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Chasing Amanda is, at its heart, a superb small town mystery with echoes of “The Lottery,”The Crucible, and The Scarlet Letter. Gothic horrors and decades of secrets and conspiracies abound. It carries as well a paranormal dimension that is masterfully integrated into the story rather than tacked on for effect. And talk about a perfect title. They don’t happen often, but Melissa Foster created one here.


Chasing Amanda, you see, is an abduction novel featuring housewife-sleuth Molly Tanner whose psychic powers have heretofore served her more as a torment than a gift. The thing is, the abductee in question is named Tracey, not Amanda. And, even though Molly is on the hunt for Tracey along with everyone else, she is also searching for Amanda as well as for a big chunk of her own identity. I won’t spoil the pleasure of discovering what’s behind that enigmatic statement by explaining it here, but I guarantee a thoroughly enjoyable journey with swarms of puzzles and surprises that will keep you guessing at the mysteries and astonished by their solutions even after you think everything has been explained.

Audiences who place themselves in Melissa Foster’s hands can be assured of an entertaining read that surpasses mere entertainment because the characters in these pages will matter to you long after you’ve finished the book. By all means, join the chase for Chasing Amanda.


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