Young Women go missing every year. Often they leave on their own, with differing agendas. Other times they disappear without a trace. For parents, the vanishing women create a gap in their lives, leaving them to think the very worst.
In Neve & Egan Cases, Danse Macabre by Christelle Comby we are introduced to a situation where a young ballerina has disappeared. Her mother has hired the private investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan to help solve the mystery of her missing girl. While the police are on the case, they believe it is a simple runaway, and are tied up in a grisly murder, not putting much into the missing dancer case. Her mother, Mrs. Doughton, believes the worst. She knows her daughter better than anyone, and is convinced she has been kidnapped.
As the sleuthing duo look into the background and question the young woman’s friends they begin to understand their client’s conviction. They also understand the difficulty of beginning a case already held by the police and must find a way to work together without causing interference. The police are only too happy to release the case to their care, for they are working on the gruesome murder of a choir member. They do not have the manpower necessary to tackle both cases at the same time.
When a murder case in another jurisdiction suddenly ties the murdered girl and the missing girl together, the police are no longer as happy to have the investigators aboard. Yet there is more going on behind the scenes that put the entire investigation in jeopardy. Can they work together to decipher the clues before another young woman disappears?
Comby has done a great job of giving us a murder mystery with characters that draw you in. The teams of individuals working together are a mix of dynamic, shuttered, and fun, yet the differences seem to round out the type of brain power needed to solve the case. There is something humble and yet fierce about Neve and Egan, and their working relationship is both interesting and interactive, but in a strange way. The flaws of each character make them human, and you find the peculiarities endearing.
The case itself is deep and muddy, with a macabre killer who has his own agenda. The killings are brutal and staged, and the killer does well staying under the radar. It is only the strange characteristics of the investigators that find the way to solve the mystery. The interplay between the police and investigators is often tinged with a bit of humor, taking a bit of the horror away, but there is no doubt that a twisted killer is on the loose.
If you enjoy mystery and romance you will enjoy this work. If you are interested in puzzles and enjoy a chance to develop your own thoughts you will enjoy the red herrings and twists and turns introduced throughout.