The Dollmaker, written by Amanda Stevens, was published March 1, 2007 by Mira Books.
Genres: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery
Blurb for THE DOLLMAKER
And now a new clue has surfaced…a doll that is the spitting image of Claire Doucett’s missing child, right down to the tiny birthmark on the girl’s left arm. A chance sighting of the eerily lifelike doll in a French Quarter collectibles shop leaves Claire shaken to her core…and more determined than ever to find out what happened to her beloved Ruby. When the doll is snatched and the store’s owner turns up dead, Claire knows the only person she can turn to is ex-husband Dave Creasy, a former cop who has spent the past seven years imprisoned by his own guilt and despair. He let Claire down once when she needed him the most. Can she make him believe the doll really exists? She’ll have to if they’re to survive an encounter with a brutal psychopath– the dollmaker–who stole their future to feed an obsession that will never die.
Jen’s Review of THE DOLLMAKER
I read The Dollmaker because I had enjoyed other books by Amanda Stevens.
This review was originally posted on Books That Hook, our old blog. I’m updating it and adding more details.
Quick Review: Creepy and well-motivated villain, great atmosphere, but unresolved plot points and rushed ending
The Dollmaker is a twisted tale about a man who wants to recreate his female counterpart Maddy, who was taken from him as a child. (There’s more to it than that, but I don’t want to give it away.) The dollmaker kidnaps girls who look like Maddy. He makes dolls that look like the girls before he kills them.
Claire sees a doll in a shop window that looks just like her daughter, Ruby, who was kidnapped seven years earlier. No one believes Claire that the doll is an identical match of her daughter, especially since the doll disappears from the store and the store owner is later found dead.
Dave, a private investigator and Claire’s ex-husband, is in New Orleans on a case that loosely connects to their daughter’s disappearance. Claire asks for his help in locating the missing doll.
That’s all the plot I’m willing to reveal, because if I said more, I’d be telling you the entire book, and you would have no reason to read it.
Claire and Dave are understandably damaged by the loss of their daughter. However, they didn’t seem particularly motivated to get to the truth. Maybe they were just worn out from all the years of searching. I don’t know. Their characters didn’t really connect with me at all.
Alex is Claire’s current husband. He seems to be more interested in solving the crime than Dave. But, he misses clues which seem rather obvious.
The dollmaker is well-developed. Although I didn’t like how his identity was revealed, I did feel the author built up his motivations and psychological problems to a level that made him a believable, almost sympathetic, villain.
I have mixed feelings. It started out very intense, capturing my interest. Stevens kept the dollmaker’s identity a secret and casts suspicion on other characters. Then, suddenly in chapter seventeen, she tells you who the dollmaker is. The mystery and suspense evaporated. I almost didn’t want to read any further, but I kept going because I wanted to know what happened to Ruby. Well, that was another big disappointment. You can assume she was killed because that’s what the dollmaker does, but Stevens never gives any answers to how or when. The book lacks resolution and the ending feels really rushed.
On a good note, the author did a great job with creating a creepy atmosphere. Also, the setting details were very well written.
Do I Recommend?
Bottom line is I wouldn’t recommend this book. It’s too much of a let-down. However, since I really liked it until chapter seventeen, I will give it at least three stars.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (C)
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