Friday, September 17, 2010

My Lost Daughter by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg ~ Review & Givewaway

My Lost DaughterMy Lost Daughter
Author ~ Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
Publisher ~ Forge Books
Publication date ~ September 14, 2010

Lily Forrester is a tough judge in Ventura County, California, who has overcome adversity and heartache to achieve a position where she can help those who can't help themselves. The current case before her is the sensational murder trial of a woman who tortured and killed her beautiful two-year-old son. Lily is determined to see justice done but she's thrown for a loop when she receives word that her own daughter, Shana, is on the verge of dropping out of law school. Fearing for her daughter's mental health and pressured by the looming trial, Lily takes Shana to a supposedly prestigious treatment facility.

Which is when things go horribly awry. The institution is far less interested in treating patients than it is in bilking the insurance companies out of extravagant fees.and they are less than scrupulous about patients' rights. Lily has to use all her intelligence and street smarts to find a way to free Shana. And time isn't on her side, for there is a sociopath who is using the hospital to stay safe.

A sociopath who has decided that Shana is his best new obsession..

My thoughts ~ 

Lily Forrester (see Mitigating Circumstances, Buried Evidence, The Cheater) is about to take the bench to preside over a trial that is eerily reminiscent of the Casey Anthony case. She knows she needs to be on her game one hundred percent and can’t afford any distractions. Not only is the media all over this case, but she also has a previous relationship with the defense attorney that she can’t let cloud her judgment and a boss who is just waiting for her to screw up so he can toss her butt right off that bench. So when Lily can’t get in touch with her daughter Shana, she begins to worry. Shana is in her last year of law school at Stanford, and while they haven’t always been close, Shana normally returns her calls. This time, she isn’t.

Over the weekend break from the trial Lily heads to San Francisco to check on her daughter. She is truly frightened by what she sees. Not only is Shana exhibiting her spoiled brat behavior but she’s also acting completely irrational. All of the curtains are drawn and the kitchen and living room are littered with fast-food wrappers, dirty paper cups, and piles of laundry. It’s obvious to Lily that something much deeper is going on. Shana admits that she hasn’t slept in days and is talking nonsense about the boyfriend she just broke up with. Lily knows her daughter needs help, and after a quick internet search, she finds a hospital/clinic. She thinks that all Shana needs is to get some meds and then she can take her home. Under the guise of telling Shana they are going out to dinner, she brings her to Whitehall. Shana is tricked into signing commitment papers. Lily is shown pictures of who she is led to believe is Shana, covered in sores from supposed meth abuse. Now she knows that things are much more serious than she though and that she needs to leave Shana at Whitehall. And so life in Hell begins.

Meanwhile, Mary Stevens, an old friend of Lily’s, an FBI agent with the BAU, is pushing to be relocated to Ventura California to be with her husband and fellow FBI agent, believes she has stumbled on a serial killer. Normally there isn’t anything suspicious about a suicide, but when a rash of them occur around the country, each person shot in the base of their skull with a gun, it’s soon discovered that these cases are all related. But just what is bringing them all together? Is there some deranged psycho, out there or are these people all members of an online suicide club? A new phenomenon hitting the internet?

Shana is trapped like a caged bird at Whitehall. She is fed drugs she doesn’t need and at times is locked in a padded cell. She struggles to stay focused so that she can find a way out. She does make friends with several other patients and soon becomes very attached to a man named Alex. Unfortunately not everything is at it seems at Whitehall. Doctors might not be doctors and patients might not be patients. Games are being played, and Shana wants out – NOW. Can she escape hell? Will her mother be able to save her again? My Lost Daughter is told in both the past and present tense. The past shows the trauma that both Lily and Shana experienced years ago and the present hopefully helping them find a way to heal and get back the mother/daughter relationship they had before the tragic event. This is the fourth book to feature Lily Forrester, but can certainly be read as a stand-alone. For anyone who hasn’t read her story, the flashbacks will give a good back-story to why Lily and Shana are the way they are. But for me, I found it a bit repetitive, taking up to much of the story. I understand the reason for the tension between mother and daughter, and with the resolution of this book, hopefully they will finally get passed it, as it has seemed to go on too long. Mary’s role didn’t seem to fit in to well with the story as a subplot, but I’m thinking it was the author’s way of bringing her to the west coast and reuniting old friends for future books featuring these characters. And that is something I’ll definitely be waiting for. There are parts of the book I thought were implausible, but Ms. Rosenberg did a great job of making me think that these things just might happen out there. And that’s a very scary thought! The epilogue wrapped everything up, but I hope it doesn’t mean that this is the last we’ll see of Lily, Shana, and the rest of the cast. Overall I did enjoy reading this book and think you will too.

Thanks to the PR By The Book,  I will be giving away three (3) copies of this book!

GIVEAWAY  Rules for entering:

  • This contest is open to residents of USA residents only!
  • Please complete the form below - do not leave information in the comments - it will not count.
  • The contest will end on October 1, 2010 at 11:59PM EST; 3 winners will be selected and contacted thereafter.
  • Once the winner is contacted, they will have 48 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen (make sure to check your spam filters!).
  • Book will be shipped directly from the me.