Review: Shoeless Child by J.A. Schneider

366277455 stars


A little boy has seen a horrific murder but is too traumatized to speak. Detective Kerri Blasco struggles to connect with him…

Charlie Sparkes peeks out to see his mother and another young woman brutally shot. Hysterical, the brave child bolts into the cold November night for help. He screams and cries, only to fall into more trauma.

Homicide Detective Kerri Blasco is called to the murder scene. One woman lies dead next to the blood soaked rug where Rachel Sparkes was seriously wounded. With little memory of the attack, she has been taken to the hospital – but where is her child? He too, Kerri discovers, now lies in a hospital bed, mute and traumatized in a fetal position, refusing even food and water.

Charlie must have seen what happened. Kerri’s heart aches for this piteous little boy and she struggles to help him; struggles, too to find the monster who did this horrible crime. “It’s your kind of case,” Sergeant Alex Brand, Kerri’s boss and partner tells her, stepping up police urgency when another innocent is shot, and then another.

Kerri Blasco finds herself more emotionally obsessed with this case than with any other, despite clear and onrushing danger to herself… 

Expected Release Date: January 24th 2018

The Kerri Blasco series just keeps getting better and better. This time I absolutely didn’t work out the specifics of whodunnit until the end – the pace and suspense of the novel is perfect, you care deeply about the victims and the investigators of the crime that takes place in the beginning so every development pulls at the heartstrings.
Normally, I feel that using a young child in a crime thriller can be used as a cheap and easy way of buying your affections by playing on your parental instincts without creating a fully developed young character but Schneider writes Charlie, the young boy, perfectly. He’s a clever little boy (but not conveniently able to do things beyond his age just to make the plot move faster) who has been traumatised after witnessing his mother being shot – he understands things on the level that most 5 year olds would: that you should talk to police officers when someone’s in trouble and that Horton Hears a Who is the best book ever written.
As ever, Schneider’s writing style is intelligent, emotive and completely compelling. I finished the book in a single sitting and still want more!
This installment in the Kerri Blasco series is more oriented around the crime than Kerri’s personal relationships and skills, which I enjoyed as it can get a little intense (the lady has a lot of feelings). I may rank this as my favourite book in the series so far!

**Thank you to the author for an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review**

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