"Fun investigative tale"
In Eugene, Oregon, parole officer Madrigal "Maddy" Harper
raises her twelve years old son Skylar by herself in a
trailer park. Sky's dad not only failed to grow up, but
also deserted his child once he realized the kid suffered
from Asberger's Syndrome, a type of Autism.
Sky rarely finds anything fascinating so when he does
Maddy goes all out to further his interest. Thus, they
attend a Star Train science fiction convention, as the lad
is a big fan of the series. At the ElfCon, Maddy notices
parole jumper Abner Farelli. Being taller, heavier, and
confident that she can take the smaller man, Maddy gives
chase. Abner escapes when Maddy crashes into despondent
Star Train author Everett Wilkins.
Not long afterward, someone shoots Abner using Maddy's
stolen gun. Her alibi actor hunk Richard Battersea
refuses to give her an alabi because he fears how his wife
will react. Worrying about what will become of Sky if she
goes to prison; Maddy investigates the murder of Abner.
Maddy and Sky make this investigative tale work as readers
will see a loving mother and son struggle with his
condition by doing "normal" things together. Maddy is a
terrific protagonist, who depends on few people except
those she trusts like her best bud when it comes to Sky.
The story line is intriguing due to insight into
Asberger's Syndrome, which is cleverly woven into the plot
as part of the relationships between characters. No
wizard behind curtains to make things right, Maddy knows
that the yellow brick road leads to prison if she fails to
uncover the identity of the killer.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 5, 2004