I began the series with Bonne Femme,
a tale all about obsession. Richard was obsessed with protecting Jill, and his nemesis Mic is obsessed with violent sexual
fantasy. Each of the stories since has paired conflicting obsessions. Add obsessive/compulsive disorder to Richard's undiagnosed
PTSD, survivors guilt, and periodic depression. This story continues in that
Every story is about people and relationships, whether set in the mythical past, the gritty
present, a post-doomsday dystopia, a distant galaxy, or in some fantasy world peopled with strange, wonderful, and terrifying
beings. To transport us there, the story must speak to us in terms we understand—actually, it must speak of us.
In The Daughter, there are several important relationships, those of Shara
McGregor (the missing girl), of her mother Okinawa, of their
friend and benefactor Willis Sparkes, and (of course) those
of the Carter family and friends.
In this tenth story, Marta Florez, Jill's college friend from Mexico
(see Bonne Femme) returns.
About the title: we only see Shara through the eyes of her friends
and acquaintances, along with Richard's idealized image of her. His too-vivid imagination of her stems from empathy. He too
has a daughter.
The motive of the criminal in The Daughter seems clear enough from the start. The only task
then is to discover the culprit. However, as any experienced cop can tell you, knowing "who done it" and proving
it are two different things. So the story moves to the courtroom.
The Daughter is a puzzle right to
the end. It is not a crossword to work though. Neither is it a jigsaw puzzle to fit together. It is a hand puzzle, the sort
that seems to come together suddenly as if of its own accord.