Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Seven years ago Dave Creasy and Claire Doucett were married and had a happy little girl named Ruby. Dave was a New Orleans police detective who at the time was looking into the murder of a teen girl named Renee Savaria. Dave was also falling further and further into darkness by drinking constantly and turning moody and lashing out at others because the case was getting to him. He even went as far as to sleep with a female officer who was known to be loose in bed and who later exposed the truth about their sexual encounter to Claire. Both Claire and Dave blamed the other for Ruby's disappearance, especially Claire who was the last person to see her alive besides the Dollmaker that is. Later, because of Dave's inability to get his head cleared up, Claire walked out the door, and Dave ended up quitting the force and becoming a full time drunk.
It is now seven years later and Claire has married yet another cop, Alex Girard, but they are in the process of getting a divorce. He blames Claire’s inability to let the past go and still having feelings for Dave as well as her inability to let her daughters disappearance go. So, when Claire notices a doll in a shop window that is the spitting image of her missing daughter Ruby, everything changes quickly for Claire. Her life spirals out of control as she is run over by a car not paying attention to where she was at the time.
She then has to face the fact that nobody believes Claire’s view that the life like doll was made from Ruby’s image maybe even by the kidnapper himself. Not even her sister or mother. Not even Alex who totally misses clues in the shop owners disappearance or the fact that a picture of Ruby is found in her shop. Needless to say, but I shall say it anyho, I hated Alex. Especially after Claire's sister shows up and sleeps with him even though their divorce isn't yet finalized.
After all else fails, she ends up running to Dave who is now a Private Investigator and has other things on his plate besides helping Claire. Dave appears to be heading for a showdown with his former officers of the law in what ends up connecting Renee Savaria's death to a call Dave received on the night Ruby disappeared. Dave believes that both cases are linked to the same killer, and possibly the disappearance of his daughter. After asking for and getting help from his former partner, the pieces of the puzzle slowly come together to the point where those involved in having Dave lose valuable evidence that could have solved Renee's murder and possibly saved Ruby's life.
I liked the overall story and the plot line, and the fact that the story takes place in and around New Orleans post-Katrina. The only problem I had with the story was the rather blunt ending to the story and other plot lines were left unanswered. It was as though the writer or editors were in a big hurry to release the story, and didn't bother understanding that readers might want to know more.
When the Dollmaker is introduced to the readers, you know immediately who he is but not why he is kidnapping and killing little girls and making dolls from their likeness. Ok, so, we understand that it had alot to do with his upbringing and his mother's desire to allow him to be different. We also know that he tormented his father and aunt after they tried to "correct" him surgically.
In the end, I believe I will try another story by Ms Stevens that is not part of the Graveyard Queen series. Maybe that one will have a better ending.