Thursday, April 23, 2009

Little Lamb Lost by Margaret Fenton

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Social worker Clare Conover honestly believed she could make a difference in the world until she gets the phone call she's dreaded her entire career. One of her young clients, Michael, has been found dead and his mother, Ashley, has been arrested for his murder. And who made the decision to return Michael to Ashley? Claire Conover. Ashley had seemingly done everything right-gotten clean, found a place to live, worked two jobs, and earned back custody of her son. Devastated but determined to discover where her instincts failed her, Claire vows to find the truth about what really happened to Michael.What Claire finds is no shortage of suspects. Ashley's boyfriend made no secret that he didn't want children. And Ashley's stepfather, an alcoholic and chronic gambler, has a shady past. And what about Michael's mysterious father and his family? Or Ashley herself? Was she really using again? Amidst a heap of unanswered questions, one thing is for certain: Claire Conover is about to uncover secrets that could ruin lives-or end her own. (From Amazon)

While she doesn't have the easiest job in the world, Claire Conover loves what she does. Being a social worker isn't easy ~ especially when it comes to removing children from their homes. But she is determined to do what is best for the child. Whether it's permanently removing the child from the parents care or temporarily while she works with the mother (and/or father) to turn their lives around and regain custody. This is exactly what she thought she had done with Ashley & two year old Michael. After removing Michael from the home for Ashley's drug use, she helped not only get her clean, but found her a place to live, a job and daycare for Michael.

But then Clair gets the call that every social worker dreads. Michael is dead. She rushes over to Ashley's house knowing deep in her heart that Ashley had nothing to do with Michael's death. She had changed, she wasn't doing drugs anymore. Unfortunately, after finding out that he died from an overdose in the orange juice Ashley gave him, Clair finds she is the only one to believe in her innocent. And that's not an easy thing to do after Ashley pleads guilty.

Devastated by the loss of her client, her doubts in herself and the job she is doing, and her conviction of Ashley's innocence, Clair refuses to give up on finding out what happened to Michael. Ashley and her boyfriend refuse to help, stopping at nothing short of threatening Clair. But with a shady cast of characters where does Clair begin? With Michael's mysterious father and his family? The drunken slob who is married to Ashley's mother who happens to have a few secrets of his own? The new boyfriend who makes it known he doesn't want children? The ex-boyfriend who can't seem to let go? Or have we known the truth all along, that Ashley is actually guilty.

With lives on the line and secrets to be told, Clair will stop at nothing to find out the truth. An intense, heart wrenching story of one woman's desire to find justice for a two year old gone too soon. A profound tale that left this reader with a greater respect for the job that social workers do. A story of a woman trying to right a wrong - at the same time finding something she wasn't really looking for ~ love. Margaret Fenton is a shining new voice in the mystery genre and I eagerly look forward to her next book.


Jess said...

This book sounds great but so sad. Have you read it yet?

Anonymous said...

This really sounds great. So many suspects.

Kristie said...

This sounds like another great one... keep up the with great preview of the books!

LuAnn said...

I have given you an award!