It’s a horrible thing to happen around Christmas: two little girls snatched as they meet up to go play. For rookie police officer Rouge Kendall, though, it is more than a tragedy. It is a reminder of his past, when his twin sister was snatched around the holidays and found dead on Christmas morning. Ever since his twin’s death, Rouge has been on a tailspin, unable to complete anything or fuly move on with his life, always feeling like most of him died right along with her even though the culprit has been caught. But how could the culprit have been caught when it is happening all over again? Ali Craig, a forensic psychologist, believes that the answer is simple: the killer was never actually found. The man currently incarcerated for the murder of Susan Kendell can only be innocent, as kidnapping of the two girls shows that his pattern has not changed. He always takes one to lure the other out, the Judas Child forced into betraying her friend, even if that betrayal occurs after her death. The betrayed is to die on Christmas morning, unless Rouge and Ali can find a way to outsmart the real killer in time to save her.
Engrossing. Granted, I figured out the murderer and the Big Plot Twist pretty early on, but then I usually do, so I can’t judge how effectively the mystery works by that. O’Connell’s writing is very good, and even though I put the pieces together long before the main players, I found myself enjoying the process they took to get there, and completely caught up in Gwen and Sadie’s struggle for survival. In the end, that was what held my attention – the hope that these two girls could outsmart their kidnapper and find themselves returned to their parents.