Full disclosure, I was provided a copy of this book by the author however have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
Through the eyes of a child
A vicious attack. One dead, another severely wounded and a child so traumatized by the events that he can no longer speak. These are a few of the circumstances that savvy New York detective Kerri Blasco faces in this newest installment by author J.A Schneider. Taking place some time after “Watching You”, Blasco is back in service after an imposed desk stint and psychiatric evaluation. When she and her partner Alex are called to the gruesome scene awaiting them in a shabby tenement block, Kerri realizes that this will not be an open and shut case. The sole witness, a five-year-old boy, is so traumatized that he is in a catatonic state and little signs of snapping out of it. With an unclear motive and many suspects, Kerri has her work cut out for her. When the suspects start becoming victims, she realizes that her time is running out. Kerri must juggle her time between protecting the victims and chasing down leads before she becomes the killer’s next target.
The great thing I have found with J.A. Schneider’s books is that while, Shoeless Child is the fourth novel featuring Kerri Blasco, each book works well as a stand-alone read. Each installment thus far has been treated like a separate case or a separate day in the life of Blasco and her team instead of being mired in backstory. I like that approach. For this particular case, Kerri is faced with a brutal murder and a broken child all in one fell swoop. Little Charlie is devastated and traumatized to the point that nobody is getting through to him, but somehow Kerri finds a way to break through and earn his trust. When that happens, valuable pieces of the puzzle start falling into place and the bigger picture is nowhere near what she had envisioned. The twist that Schneider includes is so genius and utterly unexpected, it’ll have you re reading parts of the story to see if you missed any subtle clues. Shoeless Child is a psychological murder mystery that will have you rushing to the end, only to be blown away once you get there. I am putting this one on my list of books to revisit again in the future. This is a definite “To read and to read again!”