Ingrid hates going to the orthodontist, especially when it makes her late for soccer practice. When neither her mother nor her father arrives on time at the office, she decides to walk to the field. While Ingrid loves mysteries and is an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, her own powers of observation are not so fine-tuned. In spite of living in Echo Falls all her life, she heads off in the wrong direction and only makes it to practice thanks to the help of an eccentric woman named Katie.
Ingrid does not give the incident much thought until she learns that Katie is found murdered soon thereafter and that the police are looking for any possible witnesses. Ingrid does not see the need to tell anyone that she was probably the last person to see Katie alive – until she remembers that she left her red soccer cleats at Katie’s apartment. Caught between a sense of justice and the fear of losing the respect of her parents, her latest crush, Joey, and Joey’s father, who happens to be the chief of police, Ingrid sets out to solve the murder herself.
Abrahams pulls together a mystery that keeps everyone guessing except the reader. One can identify the guilty party as soon as he arrives on the scene, though his connection to Katie is not obvious until the end of the story. Most surprising, however, is Ingrid’s naiveté. She chooses not to confide her dilemma to her parents and friends. Indeed, the only person she trusts, until the last few pages of the book, is the murderer himself. She consistently risks destroying friendships, her parents’ trust and eventually her life by relying solely on herself. All these conflicts are resolved in a superficial and not very satisfying manner. That said, except for occasional crude language, Down the Rabbit Hole is an acceptable read for middle school students.
Jennifer Minicus is a full-time wife and mother currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.