We call her Jane, because she can't tell us her name. Can't or won't, I'm not sure. She lies in a hospital bed, a strangely old expression upon her teenaged face. We don't know her age either .... Jane Doe is our mystery.
Doing her rotation in the children's psych ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman does everything she can think of to bring Jane Doe out of her catatonia and help her regain her memory. But Jane's progress seems to be one step forward, two steps back. Then there are Zoe's own problems: the recent death of her mother, her ADHD, and her current probationary status with the hospital. And while Dr. Berringer, her attending, seems supportive, Zoe suspects that he's hiding a serious problem of his own. Plus, the detective on the case keeps telling Zoe to stay out of his investigation, but she just can't help looking for the truth about Jane Doe on her own.
This character-driven mystery by Sandra Block is her second with protagonist Zoe Goldman, her flawed and imperfect yet ultimately appealing and likeable heroine. (And you don't need to read the first one in order to enjoy this one; I didn't. Though reading any mystery series in order is probably best.) I liked that this story took place in the psych ward of a county hospital, and I thought Jane Doe's case was interesting. And while this book reads fast, I didn't find it super suspenseful. Still, I have to admit that I didn't see the ending coming. All in all, The Girl Without a Name is a fun read. I'll definitely be going back to read Little Black Lies, Block's first Zoe Goldman novel.