Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy Release Day - Little Lamb Lost

Today Oceanview Publishing will release Little Lamb Lost by Margaret Fenton and I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy and am tickled pink to be among the first to read this engaging book.

Little Lamb Lost
by Margaret Fenton
Oceanview Publishing
June 1, 2009
Hardcover, e-book
Mystery
ISBN: 978-1-933515-51-9 (hardcover)
978-1-933515-58-8 (e-book)
312 pages, $25.95


How many times have we watched as the press blasted one child protection agency or another for poor results? Do we ever hear the other side? Do we hear about dedicated social workers, who work day in and day out to protect children. Do we hear about the case loads, the working conditions, the threats and dangers faced by public servants trying to save the world one child at a time? Do we ever hear their success stories?

The protagonist of Little Lamb Lost is a dedicated social worker. The story is told in first person, so we meet Claire Conover through her own voice beginning on page one. She is immediately engaging as she shares her early-career hopes and fears. Still on page one, we read paragraph four—where we get the first hint that a child will be harmed in this book. At that point, I wanted to stop reading. I wanted to throw the book across the room and hate it without reading further. But I couldn't. By page one, paragraph four, I was already hooked on Claire Conover, already cared about her and her situation. I had to keep reading.

I'm glad I did. Although we are aware of Michael and his demise throughout the book, the horror takes place off-page and the story focus stays on Claire's search for justice and the perils she faces along the way. We are aware of the grief and sense of loss felt by those who knew and loved Michael, but Ms. Fenton does not drag us through page after page of gut-wrenching emotion. Instead, she keeps Claire searching for answers, and she keeps the reader engaged in the mystery. We have to know "who done it" because we care about what happens to Claire, we care about Michael, we even care about what happens to Michael's young mother.

Marget Fenton delivers a well plotted story that doesn't sag in the middle. Like all good mysteries, the plot takes some unexpected twists and turns. But the strength in this book is the characters and the way they come to life—one after the other. It's been a few weeks since I finished Little Lamb Lost and I already miss Claire. I hope to read more of her soon.

Is Little Lamb Lost perfect? No. But with strong characters and a well plotted tale, the minor flaws fade into the background. Mystery lovers will enjoy this book. Nicely done, Ms. Fenton. Nicely done.

6 comments:

Pen N. Hand said...

I will look forward to reading this book. Your review sparks an interest as one of our titles is dedicated to our ten-county child sexual abuse center and they get the profits from Sins of the Fathers.
I will insert a link from Bird's Eye View to your blog, because we do the same thing.
Nash Black
http://nash-black.blogspot.com

Marvin D. Wilson said...

Appreciated the fine review. It DOES sound like a good book. :)

The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

Charlotte Phillips said...

Nash,

Thanks for your interest, and thanks for linking to my blog.

The problems with abused children in this country is shameful, but the solutions are not always obvious. A recent event in Texas demonstrated the dangers of giving too much power to governmental agencies.

Still, I commend those who work on behalf of our countries young people. It's too bad we can't issue crystal balls to help guide them in their difficult decisions.

Charlotte

Charlotte Phillips said...

Marvin,

It was pretty durn good.

Char

Helen Ginger said...

The fact that you finished the book weeks ago and you still miss the protagonist is about the best testimonial you could give!

Helen
Straight From Hel

Denise said...

Sounds like a great read!

Thanks,
Denise