Kate Meaney is ten years old; lonely since her father died, she wanders around a mall doing detective work. Then, one night in 1984, she disappears and is never seen again. What happened to her? An adult, who enjoyed hearing about her detective work, is a suspect in her disappearance. He leaves town to avoid the suspicion. This part of the story was brilliant. I could vividly see the lonely little girl trying hard to be a good detective in case a crime was ever committed at the mall. The author showed the lovely relationship between the little girl and the young adult, one of her only friends.Then the story jumps twenty years. The only suspect has a sister, Lisa, who works at the mall in a dead-end job and is in a dead-end relationship. Her story, as well as the story of a security guard, make up rest of the book. It is not as well written. In order to show the type of co-workers Lisa have, the author fills this section with caricatures who have foul mouths. A little bit was all that was needed, not paragraphs. I would have appreciated the story more if there had not been a ghostly appearance by Kate on the security screens twenty years after her death. I want mysteries solved by good old detective work, not ghostly specters on a computer screen.