Synopsis: Former “It Girl” Janie Jenkins is sly, stunning, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a high-society beauty known for her good works and rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie makes herself over and goes undercover, determined to chase down the one lead she has on her mother’s killer. The only problem? Janie doesn’t know if she’s the killer she’s looking for.
The fun in Dear Daughter: A Novel is trying to figure out who did what, as we trail along behind Janie in her disguise as Rebecca. Her search for answers leads her to South Dakota, and what she discovers there will keep us hopping throughout this journey.
Who had the most to gain by killing Janie’s mother and framing her? What secrets lie in the small towns of Ardelle and Adeline? Is anyone buying Janie’s disguise, or is her gig up before she even completes it?
There were times when I was confused by the numerous characters and connections Janie/Rebecca came across in South Dakota. I often had to keep checking to see who was related to whom. But throughout, Janie was clearly a well-drawn character.
In many ways, she was an unlikeable character, but I found myself rooting for her anyway. In the end, I was stunned by the unexpected reveal. And then disappointed by the final denouement. 3.5 stars.