The Girl Without a Name
by Sandra Block
Synopsis: In what passes for an ordinary day in a psych ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is stumped when a highly unusual case arrives. A young African American girl, found wandering the streets of Buffalo in a catatonic state, is brought in by police. No one has come forward to claim her, and all leads have been exhausted, so Zoe's treatment is the last hope to discover the girl's identity.
When drugs prove ineffective and medical science seems to be failing, Zoe takes matters into her own hands to track down Jane Doe's family and piece together their checkered history. As she unearths their secrets, she finds that monsters hide where they are least expected. And now she must solve the mystery before it is too late. Because someone wants to make sure this young girl never remembers.
The Girl Without a Name is a powerful novel of memory and forgetting, of unexpected friendship and understanding...and of the secrets we protect no matter the consequences.
Review: The synopsis of the book intrigued me because child psychology really interests me. I normally don't pick up a lot of mystery books so I've never read anything by Sandra Block before and I wasn't sure what to expect. Her writing style is very simple and at first I felt like the sentences were short and disconnected. The writing wasn't lyrical and didn't flow but it did get better as I kept reading and I stopped noticing her writing style. The medical jargon got in the way and I wasn't sure what things meant. It almost seemed like the author had taken a medical class about psychiatry and wanted to show how much she knew in the book so she found many opportunities to talk about medications and medical terms. So much of it seemed out of place and unnecessary and made the dialogue choppy. Again this didn't bother me later in the book and I think this is because Block used the same terminology throughout the whole story. I was engaged in the story for the most part but once the mystery was resolved I didn't buy in anymore. The motivation of the "bad guy" just didn't seem realistic and it seemed to come out of nowhere.
Rating: 2 stars