Lion’s Head Revisited is a good, solid, well-paced mystery. When a four-year-old autistic boy is kidnapped during a camping trip, his mothers and his biological father hire Dan Sharp to investigate the disappearance. Dan’s investigation reveals a lot of potential suspects: a former housekeeper who was fired by the family; the ex-husband of one of the mothers, who was previously deceived into believing he was the biological father of the boy; the wealthy but estranged mother of one of the mothers; the drug addict surrogate with a history of extorting money from the family; and the ex-business partner of the biological father.
The reveal was far more complicated than I expected, and I didn’t guess the identity of the ultimate villain, but the mystery was satisfyingly twisty. With so many red herrings and potential suspects, this mystery could very easily have devolved into a super confusing muddle, but Jeffrey Round does a good job in keeping the plot threads simple enough to understand, and in bringing suspects in and out of the spotlight as needed.
I also really liked all the subplots around Dan’s personal life. For example, his best friend Donny has been very distant ever since Dan started dating Nick. I felt bad for Dan, who just wanted everyone in his life to get along, but when we learn why Donny’s been distant, his reasons are also understandable.
*SPOILER* (Not of the mystery, but of something from Dan’s childhood)
The mystery also brings up lots of bad memories from Dan’s childhood. I seem to remember from previous books that his father was abusive. In this book, we learn that when Dan was a kid on a camping trip with his parents, they actually made him abandon his dog Sandy, who had gone running off somewhere when his dad suddenly decided he wanted to leave the campsite. I absolutely hate stories of animals being hurt or abandoned, so this was the hardest subplot for me to read. Reading about Dan’s heartbreak in leaving his dog behind was heartbreaking, and while I’m glad this is fiction, there are horrible people who do this kind of thing in real life, and I wish the author had somehow let us know that Sandy’s story turned out okay.
Thanks to Dundurn for an e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.