This book shows up top of Richard & Judy’s Book Club Summer Read 2008. I read so many of the other summer read besides this one who top the list. Now, I finally got my hands into this book. It is a welcoming light read after zooming past heavy weight 606-page The 19th wife in 3 days (last 300 pages in one day). I had Stieg Larsson’s The girl who played with fire next, this would be the longest consecutive dose of crime fiction read I had digested so far.
For a quick prognosis of the book, I refered you to a fellow blogger book review on this book see: Reading Monk book review on No time for Goodbye
In between chapters, there are dialogues between a mother and son, engaged in diabolic plan which doesn’t make much sense at the beginning, towards the middle of the book, I realised that this could be the prepetrators responsible for the family’s disappearance. A note came by post to Cynthia guiding her where she could find her family member. A yellow escort belonging to Cynthia mom was uncovered from the bottom of the lake, where two bodies are identified as mother and son, presumed to be Patricia and Todd Bigge. New clues are uncovered from news clip from shoebox that Cynthia kept of her family, one of them was a newspaper clip about a hit and run car accident of a girl named Connie Gromley and a boy that looked like Todd, but Vince Fleming (Cynthia’s beau at 15, the night when the family goes missing, Cynthia’s dad, Clayton, drag her out from Vince’s car) spotted the unfamiliar faces of the basketball team, and the boy that looked like Todd was in fact tagged as Jeremy Sloan, whom Cynthia chased him down at the mall thinking that he is Todd. It is very obvious that Rolly Carruthers had something to do with the secret, but I couldn’t understand why Terry chose to confide in Rolly at every stage in their investigation and these communications are not transparent to Cynthia.
Towards three quarter of the books, it became a highway chase against time to catch up with Cynthia and Grace before it is too late. What kick start the action was the persistency of Vince helping Terry to track down the murderer in Youngtown. At the very end, the book revealed more conspiracies on top of the existing conspiracy to end Cynthia’s life. With failures of bringing along cell phone chargers, failed network reception and failed batteries, the reader is left with high suspense if Terry and Cynthia would ever get in touch. I hope in real life we will never get into so much trouble and miscommunications with bad coincidences of failed mobile phone batteries.
I finished the book within a day, a good choice for a one-sit thriller for an idle afternoon. If there is a moral to the story it would be to love your family and not do anything stupid to hurt them; about being together with your spouse through thick and thin, taking their sides even the odds seems to be stacked against it; and oh, also about not forgetting to charge your phone or bring your charger out with you, it might be a matter of life and death! 8)
Verdict : 3 out of 5
What I like about it:
A crime story that keeps you hooked from the beginning till the end. The development of characters are so good to the extent you feel for them, I could almost feel my heart jumping out of my mouth when they thought Grace (Cynthia’s daughter) is missing. The mysterious little things that happened and emotions that evoked from Cynthia and Terrence (Terry) Archer were handled really well in this story.
What I do not like about it:
I hope I am not giving too much of the story away, but I can’t get it around my head on some of the justifications of letting something so important lapse for 25 years, like getting in touch.