Title: The Girl in the Wind
Series: Iron on Iron: Book Two
Author: Gregory Ashe
Length: 379 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
At a Glance: Theo’s mental fatigue and emotional state are a central figure in The Girl in the Wind, as they ripple through and inform the narrative in ways that qualify as tangible. This is, first and foremost, a murder mystery, though, and the investigation unfolds as all of Ashe’s do—with horrors and discoveries enough to make the skin crawl. Much ado about nothing? Not by a long shot.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: The price for the truth might be their family.
When Theo and Auggie return home—safe and sound and miraculously alive after being dragged into a murder investigation—all Theo wants is for life to get back to normal. No more murders. No more investigations. Nothing, in other words, that might put Auggie in danger.
But when a girl from school goes missing, Theo finds himself reluctantly drawn into looking for her. Shaniyah was his former student, for one reason. And, for another, no one else seems interested in where she’s gone. Worse, her disappearance seems to be linked to a break-in at Theo and Auggie’s house.
The search, though, quickly becomes more complicated than either Theo or Auggie could have expected. Shaniyah, they discover, had been conducting an investigation of her own, looking for another missing student. And the path to learning the truth about both disappearances, Theo fears, leads back to the Cottonmouth Club.
Review: Tossing all these characters together in a single series was a stroke of chaotic genius. In theory, they shouldn’t share the same sandbox. In practice . . . well . . . the murderous tendencies on the playground of their lives leave room enough for their wildly diverse personalities. And, go figure, they’re forming a family of friendship while in the crosshairs of an as yet unknown criminal element.
The Girl in the Wind picks up where The Face in the Water left off. The team heads back to Wahredua to follow through on a clue that captures Theo’s interest, as the item in question belongs to someone with whom he may be familiar, at least peripherally. All Theo wants, though, is a little peace. His mental fatigue and emotional state are a central figure in the story, as they ripple through and inform the narrative in ways that qualify as tangible; this thanks to Gregory Ashe’s striking description of Theo’s on-going spirals into trauma, guilt, fear, and battle to overcome drug addiction. These things are affecting his overall health, his ability to teach, to be an attentive father to his daughter, and a productive participant in his relationship with Auggie. The last thing he wanted, or needed, was to be involved in another murder investigation.
This case is deeply ingrained in what should be every parent’s/caregiver’s worst nightmare, when two teenagers disappear. The sad fact in this story, and even sadder in reality, is that these kids had no one to actively care for their wellbeing. No one reported their absence to the police. And only Theo and Auggie were invested in finding out the truth. That is, until they found enough evidence to convince John-Henry Somerset they weren’t merely chasing ghosts and tilting at windmills. The investigation unfolds as all of Ashe’s do—with horrors and discoveries enough to make the skin crawl. Much ado about nothing? Not by a long shot.
The Girl in the Wind is Theo and Auggie’s book, and they do their fair share of avoiding tough conversations and tip-toeing around landmines that eventually blow. The robust personalities of the remaining characters means they never play a minimized role, though. This is an ensemble cast learning to trust and support each other in the best way they know how, whether it’s through piss-taking or a strong and capable shoulder to lean on when the going gets tough.
If you don’t like cliffhangers, don’t expect anything to be tied up in a big red bow at the end. There is more to come, with North and Shaw leading the way next. I say this with love: gods help us all.
You can buy The Girl in the Wind here: