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By Chris Mooney
Atria Books, April 20, 2004 ($25.00)
Reviewed by Susan Johnson
Mike Sullivan is a father set on building his six-year-old daughter Sarah's self confidence and independence. He goes against his over protective wife's wishes and takes Sarah sled riding. Mike allows Sarah to go up the hill with an older friend where she vanishes. All that is found is her sled and her glasses half buried in the snow. Without her glasses Sarah is practically blind and often panics.
5 years later Mikes is still searching for clues to Sarah's whereabouts, his marriage has crumbled and he is now on strict probation. After Sarah's disappearance a man was thought to be her abductor but could never be proven. Father Jonah, as he was known, is also suspected in the disappearance of three young girls. Mike become an alcoholic and when it appeared the police were getting nowhere he beat Father Jonah in an attempt to find out about his daughter.
Now Jonah, a former priest, is dying of cancer and Mike fears he will take the truth about Sarah to his grave. On the eve of the anniversary Sarah's snow jacket is found, by Father Jonah. Mike is desperate to find out the truth but he has become the villain here, forced to attend anger management classes, subject to drug and alcohol testing and with a restraint order against him.
Child abduction stories have become very prevalent in the mystery genre lately. In this novel Chris Mooney takes the now common theme and turns it upside down. The child is missing, the abductor appears to be in plain sight and the father is forced to live like a criminal.
This is a great book with a totally unexpected ending.
This book is scheduled for paperback release April 1, 2005 from Pocket Star.
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