Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Book & Audio Review: With Child by Laurie R. King

With Child

Laurie R. King
Narrator: Alyssa Bresnahan
Series: Kate Martinelli Mystery (Book 3)
Publication: Minotaur Books (January 15, 1996); Macmillan Audio (January 21, 2014)
Length: 306 p.; 10 hours and 31 minutes

Description: In Laurie R. King's With Child, adrift in mist-shrouded San Francisco mornings and alcohol-fogged nights, homicide detective Kate Martinelli can't escape the void left by her departed lover, who has gone off to rethink their relationship. But when twelve-year-old Jules Cameron comes to Kate for a professional consultation, Kate's not sure she's that desperate for distraction.

Jules is worried about her friend Dio, a homeless boy she met in a park. Dio has disappeared without a word of farewell, and Jules wants Kate to find him Reluctant as she is, Kate can't say no--and soon she finds herself forming a friendship with the bright, quirky girl. But the search for Dio will prove to be much more than both bargained for--and it's only the beginning.

When Jules disappears while taking a trip with Kate, a desperate search begins...and Kate knows all too well the odds of finding the child alive...

My Thoughts: Reeling from her lover Lee's decision to visit an aunt she's never met in order to rethink their relationship, Kate is drifting and drinking too much. When her partner Al's soon-to-be stepdaughter Jules Cameron comes to her with a problem, Kate reluctantly decided to help her out.

Jules has recently met a homeless boy named Dio in the park by her home and they have become friends. When Dio disappears, she can't get anyone to help her find out what happened to him. As Kate searches, she and twelve-year-old Jules become friends. Jules is having issues with her mother and some new information about her life. Kate provides a safe haven where she can think about something other than her problems. 

Kate's efforts to find Dio do have a positive outcome. She locates him in a squat in San Francisco with a bunch of other boys and a Fagin-like character running them all. When she finds him, Dio is sick with pneumonia and in the rescue attempt, Kate is bashed on the head and spends some time in Intensive Care where she dreams about her relationship with Lee.

Once Kate gets out of the hospital, she is still dealing with the aftereffects including migraines. She has also come to realize that she needs to fix herself before she can fix her relationship with Lee. Fixing herself includes buying a motorcycle and motorcycle leathers.

Jules asks to spend the time her mother and Al are on their honeymoon with Kate. Kate decides that the two will go on a road trip and maybe stop in to visit Lee. Things are going well on their road trip when Kate is hit with one of her migraines and they need to stop for the night sooner than they had planned. The next morning Jules is gone. She has disappeared and it is feared that she is the next victim of a serial killer who is targeting her type.

But Kate isn't so sure. Fearing that Jules is dead, Kate decides to investigate the possibility that Jules left for some reason of her own. She begins asking countless questions of Dio who knows something he's promised not to tell and many, many others. The details of her investigation are what makes this story a police procedural. I was fascinated by the variety of things Kate tried as she searched for Jules all the while believing that she was likely dead.

This was another excellent story in the Kate Martinelli series. The characters are complex and intriguing. The mystery was twisty and filled with tension. The narrator did an excellent job with both the characters and the pacing of the story. 

Favorite Quote:
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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