A review of Artemis’ Daughters (A Caitlin Reece Mystery), by Lauren Wright Douglas

READ AUGUST 2013

ONLINE PLOT SUMMARY: The so-called Full-Moon Rapist is prowling the streets of Victoria, B.C., and Caitlin Reece, the gutsiest private eye. (As tis is a little skimpy, I include more of the plot than usual in my review.)

MY REVIEW: Daughters of Artemis is the third book in Lauren Wright Douglas’ series of mysteries featuring PI Caitlin Reese. I’ve enjoyed all three, but this one, perhaps the most. Caitlin is hired to find a young college student who’s left home and won’t talk to her older sister or to her (former) best friend. Turns out, the women she’s staying with are all rape victims, as is she, and they have something suitably grisly planned for a particular rapist. Caitlin needs to separate the young woman she’s looking for from the group before they all end up in prison.

The plot, detective doing standard sleuthing to complete her tasks, is pretty basic stuff, but well-written and nicely paced. A secondary plot involves the rapist whom Caitlin sent to prison when she worked for the Crown Prosecutor’s office. (This takes place in Victoria, B.C.) Seems he’s out on some ridiculous early release program, and he had vowed to kill both our intrepid PI and the victim who testified against him. The way he becomes involved with the other rape victims is a little contrived, but it still works.

One of the things I like best is that Caitlin is not some larger than life, fearless Amazon of a protagonist. She’s vulnerable, but still does what needs to be done. She’s scared to death when she learns Macklin, the rapist, is out of pison, but is still determined to send him back. She also has to fight an overwhelming desire simply to kill him rather than return him to prison. To complicate things just a bit more, she has a sexual encounter with the head of Daughters of Artemis, the rape victims.

I won’t give away the ending. Suffice it to say there’s plenty of suspense, a surprise or three, and the climax (no, not that climax) is pretty gut-wrenching. Likeable characters, pretty good story, competent writing, in an easy-going style despite the emotional turmoil. Maybe not at the top rung of this sub-genre, but still enjoyable and worth the read.

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