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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
"M" and his six year old sister Jessie are taken in by their aunt Janey after their father beats their mother to death and "M" then kills their father. Aunt Janey lives in a traiter park in a rundown area near Sacramento, California, called Olive Park. When Janey works, nearby neighbor and fortune teller, Ruby Rendell, watches over "M" and Jessie. Meanwhile, the Sacramento Police Department is reinforcing its Cold Case division with detectives Stan Wyld and Jake Steiner, along with newcomer Mallory Dimante. Stan, Jake, and Mallory are checking out the brutal killings of three children, Joey, Karen and Phillip, who were tortured and then buried alive. They review closely all the evidence and the notes from this cold case of 1997 and find ties to a Rendell Carnival. Could Ruby the fortune teller be tied into this old case? She has posters of the carnival in her trailor.
"Olive Park" is a highly suspenseful story that takes the reader back in time to unsolved child murders and then forward to present times as it also covers "M" and Jessie's lives as orphaned brother and sister recovering from terrible trauma. The characters are three-dimensional and totally believable. For instance, "M" is a wise-mouthed young teen who does not sit around and wait for things to happen and Mallory Dimante offends Stan and Jake at every turn. With heightened suspense that is developed brilliantly, the sociopathic child killer is discovered before more children turn up missing and then dead. With brilliant plot and brilliant delivery, "Olive Park" must belong at the top of reading lists everywhere.