Reviewed by me for Reader’s Favorite.
Down to the Needle by Mary Deal revolves around Abigail Fischer’s search for her long-lost daughter, Becky Ann. Abi’s husband, Preston, abducted Becky when she was merely five years old, leaving Abi all alone to suffer the pain of losing someone so precious to her. Abi, however, never lost hope that one day she would be reunited with Becky. She remained actively involved in searching for her daughter. She followed each news item related to missing people and made it her life’s mission to find Becky. Although she went through a few unsuccessful relationships at the time, she finally met Joe Arno, who not only supported her search but also showed a lot of optimism in her quest. During this time, Seaport, the place where Joe and Abi were living, had been experiencing a number of fires. Megan Winnaker was convicted for one of such fires. Megan maintained her innocence and repeatedly insisted that she came to Seaport looking for her family and nothing else. Nevertheless, all the pieces of evidence that could have supported her claims were discarded for one reason or another and she was close to getting a sentence of lethal injection. When Abi got wind of this case, she found many attributes of Megan closely similar to that of Becky, which led her to the conclusion that Megan might be her daughter. With the clock ticking, Abi must move fast or risk losing her daughter even before meeting her.
The author knows how to write a good suspense novel. The moment I started to read the book, I was hooked on it. Abi’s tireless attitude towards finding her daughter is really beautifully expressed. Her desperation, anxiety, fear, and frustration were very evident. The manner in which Mary Deal has expressed Abi’s pain communicated to me and I could not put down the book before knowing whether she would find her daughter or not. The suspense is maintained so efficiently that I, as a reader, could not help accepting and rejecting Megan’s claims to be Becky.
This is not a one-dimensional story that only follows Abi as she searches for Becky; it remains the central plot, no doubt, but there are many other things happening around her story. For instance, the introduction of Margaret, an ex of Joe, added some relationship drama to the serious plot. Margaret brought out a tinge of jealousy in Abi, which added to the authenticity of the overall plot. Mary Deal has paid attention to even the smallest details and written the characters’ behavior and actions according to the requirement of the plot. This keen observational skill helped me connect with all the characters. I could understand their fears and strengths among other things. There are many characters and each one of them has a significant role in the plot.
Although there are many things for which I would sing the praises of the author, I am extremely fascinated by Mary Deal’s knowledge in many aspects of lethal injection, art, and law. She has done her research in this book. The story develops splendidly and keeps the reader filled with several emotions. The author has included many elements and they all work together to keep the plot intriguing. Needless to say, I loved this book and I would recommend it wholeheartedly. Reading this book really made my day (actually 3 days). Kudos to the talented author!