Book Review: Teaching the Cat to Sit by Michelle Theall

Teaching the Cat to SitTeaching the Cat to Sit
A Memoir
Michelle Theall
Gallery Books, September 2014
ISBN 978-1-4516-9730-8
Trade Paperback

Ms. Theall bares her heart and soul honestly, yet delicately, in this magnetic memoir; and I am forever grateful to her for doing so. I won’t pretend to possess the capability to clearly articulate how reading this book made me feel; or even how just one little line has stuck with me, becoming my mantra, holding me up, allowing me to cling to hope while releasing those nagging questions that will never have satisfying answers.

My gratitude extends to Ms. Gail Storey, an accomplished author, kind soul and just all-around awesome person, for writing such a captivating review and recommending this gem to me. Despite an almost insurmountable stack of To-Read and To-Review books that beckon to me from every room in my home; I purchased Teaching the Cat to Sit immediately after reading Ms. Storey’s review. Upon arrival, it settled into a Some Day Stack, patiently. The waiting period was brief.

Recently, feeling emotionally raw and shattered, in need of a maternal parental unit that I no longer have, I desperately turned to Ms. Theall, and my healing began. I don’t have real problems. Ms. Theall did, and continues to; yet these issues that could bury the average person do not define her, nor does she allow them to limit her. As I read about the brutality, harassment and persecution that she has been subjected to, I felt deep sadness, empathy and an over-all disappointment with the many humans that treated her this way. Then I became angry. No, furious is more accurate. Ignorance should no longer be “bliss”, it should not even be acceptable, and the “everyone’s entitled to his opinion” should be amended to “everyone’s entitled to his informed opinion.”

While I feel bitter, nasty and downright hateful towards those that caused Ms. Theall, her partner, and their son grief and suffering; Ms. Theall is clearly the better person, cruising right along on the High Road. That, to me, is true inspiration.

With a soft, but strong voice, Ms. Theall becomes that girlfriend that you immediately and completely relax with. She possess that unique and enviable trait of seeing herself honestly. With a strong sense of humor, compassion that can’t be hidden or even understated, and the simple, sure sense of always doing the right thing, Ms. Theall’s story is captivating, charming, honest and hopeful; catapulting her to the top of the list of awe-inspiring, formidable women that I admire…..think Cheryl Strayed, Gail Storey, Maggie Stiefvater and Marie Manilla to name a few. These women would deny the accolades, maybe blush, and say that they are no different than anyone else, and they do believe that; but I know better. They are courageous, strong, resilient and tenacious. I will go right on admiring them, singing their praises, and attempting to emulate their outstanding, admirable traits.

Reviewed by jv poore, July 2014.

Book Review: Earth Star by Janet Edwards

Earth StarEarth Star
Janet Edwards
Pyr, April 2014
ISBN: 978-1-61614-898-0
Ebook
Also available in hardcover

Jarra is now 18 and finishing the first year of her history degree. After the dramatic rescue in Earth Girl, she’s slowly getting used to her new found family. But things are changing. A new threat has come to Earth. Will Jarra be able to save them all and will there be an Earth left to return to?

You know what they say about the second novel being the most difficult book to write but fortunately for us, the second Jarra Tel Morath novel is a good one! After the dramatic events at the end of Earth Girl life slowly gets back to normal for Jarra. While most people on her course accept and respect her, there are still some there who are quite happy to make her life a misery. But things are different now. She’s found a new family and discovered that her true parents are in the military.

In this outing, a strange threat has come to Earth and the military have sprung into action. Keeping their movements a secret from the rest of the Earth’s population is an arduous task and it’s inevitable that someone will let the cat out of the bag. This is when Jarra steps in to play her part and some unexpected characters find themselves with their own role to play.

All in all, this is an excellent second outing in the Earth series. Jarra’s character is developed further with more connections made to her true parentage and extended family. We also see more happening with her relationship with Fian and the obstacles they have to face as a couple and it’s nice to see how they tackle those challenges together and individually. It will be interesting to see what happens after this since Jarra ends up becoming pretty important to the military so her future is looking more and more intriguing. So I say well done to Janet Edwards, you’ve created a future that any young reader would love to delve into.

Reviewed by Laura McLaughlin, April 2014.

 

Book Review: Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

Earth GirlEarth Girl
Janet Edwards
Pyr, March 2013
ISBN: 978-1-61614-766-2
Hardcover

Jarra is about to turn eighteen and soon she will embark on her college course. The trouble is, she wants to apply to an off-world university and teach all the norms that an ape girl can be just as good as they are. It’s not her fault she can’t leave Earth and not her fault her parents abandoned her. But when events on Earth take a dramatic turn, the norms sure are glad she’s there.

This is a young adult novel, set hundreds of years in the future. By this time, William Crane has developed the portal system, allowing humans to jump from planet to planet and colonise the galaxy. Each colony has slightly different ethos and moral code but ultimately, there is peace between humans. Jarra is a teenager that happens to be ‘handicapped’. Devoid of a critical gene that would allow her to portal between worlds, she is one of a small group that cannot ever leave Earth. But she’s passionate about history and is adept at archaeological digs by the time she’s off to college. Determined to prove herself she applies to an off-world university to study history since they spend their first year on Earth studying pre-history anyway. What starts off as a plan for petty revenge on the ‘norms’, changes dramatically when she begins to realise that they aren’t as bad as they seem. Before she can tackle their prejudices against the ‘apes’, she needs to tackle her own and make peace with her affliction.

This book is chock-full of great characters with a plot that is interesting and engaging. It was good enough that I finished it in one sitting and I wonder whether there will be any more to come as I would like to see what Jarra gets up to when she finishes her course. I think that young adults will like this title and I would definitely recommend it. Check this one out, just don’t go off planet…

Reviewed by Laura McLaughlin, March 2014.

Book Reviews: Mortal Lock by Andrew Vachss and Shrapnel by Marie Manilla

Mortal LockMortal Lock 
Andrew Vachss
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, May 2013
ISBN: 978-0-307-95083-3
Trade Paperback

This is a Black Lizard Original. It sits here on my desk as I write, a smooth cover in deep purple and black with strong, bright, white lettering. The cover draws one’s eye. You sense you might be in for a difficult, intense and very dark ride with this one. You would be right.

This author is known for his un-deviating, straight-shooting, portrayals of often subtly-twisted characters and stories. Readers who are attracted to hard-boiled uncompromising language, and tough, relentless writing, will find the stories in this collection disturbing and sometimes hard to believe. Yet each stands on a hard concrete foundation of reality and truth.

Some of the stories have been previously published and are decades old. Occasionally a reader may detect the aging prose, but rarely. Some of the stories are in first person, some in third. All are up close and personal. They detail murders, drug dealing, prostitution, corruption and other ills of our human experience. Any of them could be drawn directly from the experiences of the author. Here you will find stories of revenge, retribution and occasionally, an uplifting sense of satisfaction that the good guys won. “Ghostwriter,” is one of the most intriguing.

Andrew Vachss is a lawyer who has specialized for many years in child protection. His words have the solid ring of authenticity and truth. His uncompromising view is that child predators are unredeemable. If his stories here collected are to be believed, most should be shot, the rest locked away forever. This reviewer does not disagree. The book is difficult to read, it is far from a pleasant afternoon on the beach. The aberrant behavior displayed throughout is upsetting, yet there are those characters, in almost all the stories, that will lead a reader toward hope. Hope for human society.

A quick visit to the author’s web site is a direct clue to understanding the author’s context. He is represented in Chicago by an agency called Ten Angry Pitbulls, Inc. The collection was supplied to me free of charge in exchange for an opinion. No other effort to influence the outcome has been offered.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, August 2013.
Author of Red Sky, Devils Island, Hard Cheese, Reunion.

 

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ShrapnelShrapnel
Marie Manilla
River City Publishing, August 2012
ISBN 978-1-57966-084-0
Hardcover

I adore a classic theme with a twist, my favourite motif is self-discovery.  As I marvel at the courage and strength possessed by a character forging his own path, I feel proud and genuinely happy for the accomplishment.  I tend to close these books feeling satisfied.   Usually, the person that I’m admiring is a teen, or a young adult.  Things change dramatically when the person embarking on this journey is a seventy-seven year old, WWII veteran.

Recently widowed and forced to leave his home in Texas to live with his daughter and her family in West Virginia, Bing has absolutely no idea that he is about to question beliefs held and enforced for a lifetime.  He is not a fool.  He knows he will be terribly home-sick.  A chilly reception is the best that he can hope for.  Well, that and indoor plumbing.

At a blush, Bing is just a grumpy old man, set in his ways.   But, there are certain things about “old folks” that tend to be forgotten. First, they are tougher than nails.  These folks were forced to grow up quickly and deal with real problems.  There was no time to pontificate; work had to be done to keep food on the table during the bleakest of times.  Ideas and thoughts weren’t questioned or challenged; people simply put their heads down to work for their families and homes, as well as to fight for their countries.  Times may have been simpler, but not easier.

This is how Bing was raised.  He had been taught to see things as black or white, wrong or right.  That philosophy served him just fine for the past seventy-odd years, it would surely see him through. So, when he learns ‘the secret’ about his new friend Ellen, they can no longer be acquainted.  It isn’t his doing, not his decision—it is simply The Way Things Are.  Never mind that he misses her terribly, or that he desperately needs a friend.

Searching his meager belongings for a way to strengthen the tentative bond forming with his granddaughter; Bing uncovers a newspaper clipping that threatens to shatter all he has ever known.  Questions asked during typically formative years become his internal struggles. Suddenly, he has to make choices.  Rather than being told what is right or wrong, Bing will have to decide for himself; apparently, alone.

Ms. Manilla’s portrayal of the traditional, grumpy old curmudgeon is astonishingly real.  With a seemingly simple plot, she reveals to the reader that sometimes, people are the way they are for good reason. Without feeling chastised, I felt humbled as I accompanied Bing on his transformative journey.   As I read the final pages of this book, I wept.  I shed tears of sorrow for missed opportunities, mixed with tears of happiness for new beginnings.  If you’ve ever had a Bing in your life, well, this book’s for you.

Reviewed by jv poore, August 2013.

Book Review: This Is W.A.R. by Lisa Roecker & Laura Roecker

This Is W.A.R.This Is W.A.R.
Lisa Roecker & Laura Roecker
Soho Teen, July 2013
ISBN 978-1-61695-261-7
Hardcover

From the publisher—

This is not a story of forgiveness…

The mystery of their best friend’s murder drives four girls to destroy the Gregory family. Emily Thorne would be proud.

Everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club saw Willa Ames-Rowan climb into a boat with James Gregory, the Club’s heir apparent.

And everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club watched him return. Alone.

They all know he killed her. But none of them will say a word. The Gregory family is very, very good at making problems go away.

Enter the W.A.R.—the war to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan. Four girls. Four very different motives for justice and revenge, and only one rule: destroy the Gregory family at any cost.

Apparently, I did not read the same book a lot of other people did. One review after another, professional and amateur, heaps praise on it while I can’t even muster up a “meh”. Why do I feel this way? Normally, I bend over backwards to avoid spoilers but, in this case, I need to reveal important points to explain what bothered me the most so, if you don’t want to know about those points, you should stop reading now.

SPOILER ZONE
SPOILER ZONE

First, there’s the implication that these four girls are friends. It’s true that three of them are but the fourth is in no way a friend of the other three for the simple reason that there’s a huge divide, socially and financially speaking. By the end of the story, the three have decided to accept the fourth but this new friendship is based entirely on their shared experiences in getting revenge. That is hardly a healthy basis for friendship and I don’t for a minute believe it would last.

Next, there is the issue that this book does not include one single adult with character, not one. At first, I thought this was an attempt to paint the wealthy as the bad guys but the authors actually spread it around so that employees of the club and the local cop have no more integrity and moral strength than the privileged. I get wanting to have the young adult protagonists appear to have character that is a step above their elders but this is no way to do it.

Speaking of the four girls, none of them are especially bright—they come up with some really stupid ideas, such as feeding hormones to their target so he’ll grow manboobs. Seriously?? Then, when they finally find a way to bring the Captain and Trip down, Madge, who spearheaded this revenge plot all along, gives it all up for money. Are you kidding? Are we supposed to understand this is a tale of how money makes up for all the guilt, anger, heartache and remorse?

The last thing I’ll mention is the inordinate power of the Captain and his grandsons which goes far beyond all credibility. Sure, the rich can be very powerful and control a lot of what goes on around the rest of us but it goes much too far here. The Captain would put it about that the older twin is actually the younger? For what reason? He’s already cut the older boy out of his will so why go to the trouble of lying about his age? And why would he do it after the boy is somehow responsible for the head-on collision that killed his parents? Are we supposed to believe everybody in town would conveniently accept the change in birth order? Also, what bank would let Trip into Madge’s safe deposit box? An attorney general would not prosecute Trip for murder unless the Captain allows it? Please. This is a small town that centers around the Captain’s company but he’s not the King of America.

END SPOILER ZONE
END SPOILER ZONE

I’m very fond of Soho Teen books but this one is a misfire and, in my opinion, is a one-sided slap against people in general, not just the rich. How sad that the authors have such a low opinion of humanity.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2013.

Book Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever NightThrough the Ever Night
Veronica Rossi
HarperCollins, January 2013
ISBN 978-0-06-207206-1
Hardcover

From the publisher—

It’s been months since Aria learned of her mother’s death.

Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.

Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It’s a moment they’ve been longing for with countless expectations. And it’s a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first. Then it slips away. The Tides don’t take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry’s control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

OK, it’s official—this is my first gushing book review of 2013. I’ve been waiting nearly a year for this book, getting more and more antsy as time went on and, as it turns out, the seemingly endless wait was worth it. More than worth it.

I fell in love with Veronica Rossi‘s characters and story in Under the Never Sky and the only quibble I had was I wanted to know more about the Aether and the Unity. There is still much to learn but the author has given us some insight into both, enough to tide me over till the third book in the trilogy.

Aria has matured into a strong young woman, strong physically and emotionally, despite her extremely sheltered upbringing and she clearly feels comfortable on the Outside now. When she and Perry are finally reunited, the connection between them is shown to be as intense as they both thought when separated for months. Their romance is one of the most natural and honest I’ve seen in young adult fiction and I especially appreciate the way they both understand that their feelings for each other are not top priority, that they have obligations to others that must be fulfilled as far as humanly possible. Separated once again, Aria and Perry each have missions that just might be life-altering. Perry, in particular, has a tough road ahead to gain the full trust of his people and watching this 19-year-old try so hard to become a real leader is a true pleasure.

Secondary characters are just as important in Through the Ever Night as they were in the first book and becoming reacquainted with Roar and Cinder was a pure delight for me. Cinder is such a damaged child and wants nothing more than to be accepted as normal…but normal he is not and he finds himself at the center of a time of crisis. Roar, on the other hand, could be the strong and very likeable guy next door who lives in the shadow of his best friend, Perry, but Roar is a man to be reckoned with. He is the one I would want by my side, not only in a fight, but during all those times when emotional support is so sorely needed.

Ms. Rossi has upped the ante this time with the future of everyone Aria knows on the Outside and in Reverie and, although there are passages that are somewhat slow, as there would be in anyone’s life, the tension is always there, sometimes enough to make me feel as though I was right in the thick of it. Will Aria and Roar find the way to the Still Blue? Is Perry’s nephew, Talon, alive? Can the Tides come to believe in their young Blood Lord? High suspense tempered with a modicum of romance (but a lot of real love) along with some moments of utter heartbreak and others of joy all come together in a tale that continues this author’s well-deserved status as one of the best young adult fiction authors writing today. Her telling the story from the perspectives of both Aria and Perry is so well done that I could have been sitting around a campfire with the two of them while they took turns telling their parts of the tale.

Next will be Into the Still Blue but we’ll have to wait far too long for that. We can hope that Ms. Rossi will offer her readers another novella to tide us over like her wonderful Roar and Liv. For now, I just have to thank the author for this completely engaging continuation of Aria’s and Perry’s story. It is the first book I’ll be putting on my list of best books read in 2013.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, January 2013.

Book Reviews: A Wedding to Die For by Radine Trees Nehring, The Demands by Mark Billingham, Viral by James Lilliefors, The Prophet by Michael Koryta, and They Disappeared by Rick Mofina

A Wedding to Die For
Radine Trees Nehring
St. Kitts Press, 2006
ISBN No. 978-1-931206-01-3
Trade Paperback

Here Comes The Bride and this time it is Carrie McCrite who is getting married.  But she is confused about how to have a wonderful wedding but one that is appropriate for a mature bride and groom.

On the advice of her friends Henry and Carrie take a trip to inspect The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Carrie immediately falls in love with the place and decides it is indeed a perfect place for a wedding.

In trying to plan the wedding Carrie and Henry are plunged into a vicious scheme to run a florist and his family out of Eureka Springs.  Certain residents are prejudiced and don’t want Chandra and Ashur Mukherjee, owners of Artistic Floral Designs of Eureka Springs, to continue business in their town.

Carrie and Henry make friends with the two and try to help them out through a bombing and a murder.  Other friends of Carrie and Henry join in to help as well.

But even in Eureka Springs Carrie can’t escape the ghost bride wearing red who has been haunting her dreams.

I enjoyed the characters in the books and the descriptions of the area.  Nehring tells a good story and gives a good description of how an older couple deciding on a wedding might feel.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, May 2007.

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The Demands
Mark Billingham
Mulholland Books, 2012
ISBN No. 978-0-316-12663-2
Hardcover

We are all creatures of habit, and Helen Weeks is no exception.   Helen, a detective for the police department and a single mother, stops at a newsagent every morning for her newspaper, gum and some candy.  As Helen is paying for her items three boys walk into the shop wrestling with each other and messing with the stock.  Javed Akhtar, the owner, chases the boys out of the shop.  Helen and the man behind her in the store are shocked when Akhtar locks the door to the shop and pulls a gun on his two customers.

So begins a situation that is terrifying to the hostages as well as the police attempting to see them released without harm.  The hostages are handcuffed to the radiator. Stephen Mitchell, the other customer taken hostage, seems to think that Helen can use her familiarity with Akhtar and her skills as a detective to miraculously rescue them from the situation.  But he soon realizes she has no power over Akhtar.

Akhtar orders Helen to get in touch with a detective named Thorne.  Helen knows Thorne since she dealt with him when her boyfriend was killed.  Helen learns Akhtar’s son, Amin Akhtar, was involved in a manslaughter case and sentenced to prison. Amin killed himself in Barndale Young Offenders Institution eight weeks earlier.  Thorne is familiar with the manslaughter case and had been surprised the boy got the stiff sentence that he did.

Akhtar does not believe that his son’s death was a suicide and he is demanding that Thorne find out what really happened.  Thorne is racing against time in his investigation into the boy’s death.  Two people’s lives are at stake and it is up to him to save them.  But first he must satisfy all of Akhtar’s questions and prove that his son was murdered.

As Thorne investigates, he finds more and more puzzling things about the conviction and the boy’s death – some that will come as a shock to Akhtar.  The story switches back and forth between Thorne who is seeking answers on the outside and Helen Weeks who is one of the hostages.  It is a race against time as the police outside the newsagent’s shop try to determine whether to go in with force or hope Thorne comes up with answers.

Mark Billingham introduced Sgt. Helen Weeks in the novel In the DarkThe Demands bring Weeks and Thorne together and this reader hopes for more adventures involving Weeks and Thorne.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, May 2012.

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Viral
James Lilliefors
Soho Press, Inc., 2012
ISBN No. 978-1-61695-068-2
Hardcover

Two brothers separated by years and miles work together to stop an evil plan to spread a deadly virus that will change the world.  Charles Mallory is a private intelligence contractor and former CIA operative.  His brother Jon, an investigative reporter, is alarmed when a call from his brother Charles is not received as scheduled.  Charles is counting on Jon to be a witness to some event that he has yet to reveal to Jon.

Charles is investigating a lead found in a message left by his father in a safe deposit box.  He is acting undercover, using fictitious names but someone is alert to his movements and Charles knows that he is in danger.   When Jon begins to search for his brother Charles leaves clues that only his brother would be able to follow.  Jon is able to decipher the clues but is still lost as to what he is to witness.

Terrible events are happening in a remote area of Africa.  People go to bed at night and just never wake up.  A whole village is wiped out.  Charles is working against time to find out who is behind the scheme and figure out how to put a stop to it before there are more deaths.

The book shifts back and forth between Jon and Charles as well as some of Jon’s contacts in Africa.  The book is well written but at times, it was hard to keep the characters straight.  The descriptions are very graphic and not to be read by a squeamish reader. The entire plot is not revealed until well into the novel.  Viral is an exciting book that keeps the reader on edge.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, June 2012.

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The Prophet
Michael Koryta
Little, Brown and Company, 2012
ISBN No. 978-0-316-12261-0
Hardcover

Marie Austin was picked up on her way home from school, brutally attacked and killed.  The death of Marie had a profound effect on her brothers Adam and Kent.  The family was torn apart by the tragedy.  Both boys were outstanding football players.  Kent went on to become a coach at the high school.  Adam became a bondsman and private detective.  Adam felt responsible for his sister’s death.  He was to pick her up and give her a ride home from school but instead he picked up Chelsea Salinas and spent the evening with her.

Adam is still with Chelsea even though she is married.  Her husband is in prison.  Adam owns his parents house along with his brother Kent.  Adam has reconstructed Marie’s room to be exactly as it was when she was alive and spends many hours in Marie’s room.

Kent has married and loves his job as Coach of the local football team.  A championship is in sight and Kent is busy preparing his team.  Kent is also deeply religious and became involved in visiting prisoners.  Adam is furious that Kent has taken this road in life.  Adam still attends the games coached by his brother but there is no closeness between the two brothers.

This all changes when another girl dies.  A girl directly connected to Adam.  Adam vows that he will find her killer and avenge her death.  When a person connected to the young girl’s killing threatens Kent and his family, the two brothers join together to protect Kent’s family and stop the killer.  Although seemingly the brothers are working together, Adam keeps Kent in the dark about some facts in the case and strikes out on his own.

The Prophet is a very exciting book with characters that I loved.  As I neared the end of the book I postponed reading the final pages.  I just did not want this book to end.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, August 2012.

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They Disappeared
Rick Mofina
Harlequin MIRA, 2012
ISBN No. 978-0778313816
Mass Market Paperback

Cole Griffin is nine years old and his dream is to see Manhattan and that dream is about to come true.  Jeff, Cole’s father, is a mechanic and volunteer fire fighter in the family’s Laurel, Montana hometown.  Sarah, Cole’s mother, is a schoolteacher.  The family of three had been a family of four until Cole’s baby sister died.  Since Cole’s baby sister died, Jeff and Sarah had been holding the family together with a thread.  Neither parent is good at handling their grief and this has caused a rift in their marriage. The couple is hoping the rift can be repaired during this family vacation.  The decision to visit New York is two-fold.  Cole will have his dream fulfilled and Jeff and Sarah hope to be able to put their troubles behind them.

Fate has a way of changing the best-laid plans and the Griffin’s are thrown a curve when they pick up their bags at the airport. Cole picked up what appeared to be his bag but when the Griffin’s get to the hotel it is discovered that Cole has someone else’s bag.  None of the contents are Cole’s but he is fascinated with a tiny plastic toy jet that falls out of the bag.  Arrangements are made to meet with the owner of the bag that Cole picked up by mistake and the exchange is made but with a small but very important exception.  Cole left the plastic jet on the windowsill in the hotel.

When Jeff steps into a shop and leaves Sarah and Cole on the street the mother and son are abducted.  It seems the plastic jet is a very important piece in a group of terrorists plan.  The group has no concern for the lives of Cole and his mother and will take any step necessary to get the jet back.  When Jeff leaves the shop, he finds his wife and son gone.  Frantically Jeff contacts the police.

The police investigate but not to Jeff’s satisfaction.  Jeff begins his own investigation and surprisingly is a very good detective.  With his son and wife at risk, Jeff manages to finds clues faster than the police do.

The hunt is exciting and terrifying and always there is the fear of what the terrorists will do to Sarah and Cole before Jeff and the police can uncover their location.

Rick Mofina draws on his experience as a news reporter to bring the reader thrillers such as They Disappeared.  The story keeps the reader on edge as the danger mounts for the Griffin family. I’ve enjoyed many of Rick Mofina‘s books.  He always gives the reader an exciting story.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, October 2012.