Dead Like Me, the first in the Kate Springer Series, by Kelly Miller, was predictable but still good. It amazes me when I read a book with a detective who has baggage and a strong need to hide emotions that she or he gets as far as they do carrying what they have. Then the case in the book cracks the well-built facade just when the detective needs to be on their A game. I decided to give this book a chance and see how things would go. I know from similar books that sometimes an author can ignore the theme and still tell a good or even a great story.
Detective Kate Springer’s facade cracks the moment she lays eyes on thirteen-year-old murder victim Kimberly Callahan, who looks almost exactly like she did at the same age. The sight of the deceased and the subsequent investigation opens the gates to memories long kept hidden. Kate was sexually abused when she was a child by a man her mother trusted to care for her child while she worked to support the two of them. His name was Robert White.
As Kate investigates Kimberly’s death, she struggles with painful memories and turbulent emotions. Worse yet the man, who abused her, re-enters her life twenty years older than the last time she saw him. I feared between the victim looking so much like Kate and her struggle to fight her emotions over what happened to her in past that White would pop up, and he does.
Despite the predictable nature of the book, I couldn’t help liking Dead Like Me and the way Miller educates the reader about abuse, alcoholism, and teenage behavior. She also did well getting the reader into the head of Kate and showing that even with her baggage she will survive and how she will.
While I quickly read this book all the way through, I am on the fence about if I would read another Kate Springer mystery. I worry that one called Deadly Fantasies could be just as easy to predict what will happen as Dead Like Me was and what turned out to be good won’t be the case the second time.