Secrets and Suspense: With Child — a Kate Martinelli Mystery

P.D. Workman
3 min readFeb 27, 2024

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With Child, the third installment in Laurie R. King’s Kate Martinelli Mystery series messed with my feelings, which tells you that the author is very good at what she does.

In the beginning, there is a lot that the reader is not told about what is going on. You gather that Kate is having personal issues with her domestic partner, Lee, but don’t have enough information to figure out what is going on. Maybe part of that is coming into the series at book 3 without knowing how book 2 ended.

While With Child is primarily a police procedural, it also delves into the emotional and personal struggles of its characters, adding depth and complexity to the story. The dynamics between Kate and Lee, as well as the relationships between the other characters, are intricately portrayed, adding layers to the overall mystery.

What sets With Child apart is its ability to keep the reader guessing until the very end. The initial mysteries that are presented at the beginning of the story are just the tip of the iceberg, with the real mystery slowly unfolding in the background. King’s skillful storytelling and subtle foreshadowing make the eventual resolution all the more satisfying, as the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

A well-written, intriguing crime novel. If you have the patience to wait for it to blossom, you’ll be happy you stuck with it. Laurie R. King has proven herself to be a master of the genre, delivering a compelling and thought-provoking story that will linger in your mind long after you’ve finished reading.

…he sounded like a springtime runaway who had discovered a superior resting place, an urban Huck Finn’s island, until the winter drove him in, into the arms of the city’s predators.

Laurie R. King, With Child

SUMMARY

In Laurie R. King’s With Child, adrift in mist-shrouded San Francisco mornings and alcohol-fogged nights, homicide detective Kate Martinelli can’t escape the void left by her departed lover, who has gone off to rethink their relationship. But when twelve-year-old Jules Cameron comes to Kate for a professional consultation, Kate’s not sure she’s that desperate for distraction.

Jules is worried about her friend Dio, a homeless boy she met in a park. Dio has disappeared without a word of farewell, and Jules wants Kate to find him Reluctant as she is, Kate can’t say no–and soon she finds herself forming a friendship with the bright, quirky girl. But the search for Dio will prove to be much more than both bargained for–and it’s only the beginning.

When Jules disappears while taking a trip with Kate, a desperate search begins…and Kate knows all too well the odds of finding the child alive…

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P.D. Workman

Writing riveting mystery, suspense, and young adult fiction about real life issues.