Susan McBride has done a tremendous work with her debut mystery. I say this for two reasons: one being, it's a good mystery, and two, her superb handling of a sensitive subject matter.
In the mystery, Ellen and her daughter Carrie go to the park. Suddenly Carrie disappears. Litchfield is a small town in Texas and nothing like this has happened before. Maggie Ryan and her partner are put on the case, volunteers help out, and the dogs are brought in. Ellen, her husband, and her son, each have their own way of dealing with the tragedy. In life I have found tragedy to be the key to Pandora's box, exposing unspoken or unwanted truths that we would have never faced, and in this case, it proves true for all those involved in Carrie's disappearance. While reading, I felt emotional from time to time because as we all know in this day and age that no one goes untouched when it comes to child abuse or abductions, but Maggie Ryan's feelings -- her words for the situation were so true and honest that they seem to speak for me as well; I found this comforting.
If you are thinking of turning away from this one because of the subject matter, DON'T. You have to experience the gift this writer has in conveying human emotions, her talent in building strong characters, and presenting us with a gripping, suspenseful story. AND THEN SHE WAS GONE is the beginning of a mystery series I recommend readers follow.