Monday, November 06, 2006

Kidnapped by Jan Burke

Las Peirnas Express reporter and her Police Detective husband Frank Harriman return in the newest installment in this excellent series. The story opens with the murder of graphic artist Richard Fletcher, and the disappearance of his young daughter Jenny. Richard is part of the famous Fletcher family, but has distanced himself from the cult-like influences of his family. To make matters even more tragic for Richard's wife, Elisa, her son Mason was found drunk and incoherent with the murder weapon and bloody clothing in his car.

Five years later, Jenny is still missing. Mason is in jail and their brother Caleb is a graduate student studying with forensic anthropologist Ben Sheridan who works with the police department. Caleb has always believed that Jenny was alive and that Caleb was innocent. Irene Kelly enters the scene when she does a story on missing children. When she fills in for another reporter at crime scene where human remains are found, she stumbles upon a connection to the infamous Fletcher family. After that connection is made, Irene is committed to helping Caleb find out what really happened five years earlier.

Often in a continuing series it is prudent to read some of the earlier books to get a feel for the characters and their continuing storylines. It might be helpful with this book, but not necessary though some of the characters would be better understood. Even though I have read the other books in the series I was a little lost at why Ethan was living with Irene and Frank. I still didn't know at the end of the book, but it really made no difference to my enjoyment of the story, and enjoy it I did. I had trouble putting this one down. It was well-paced with on-going, intricately-plotted suspense which made me want to turn the pages faster and faster. Irene and Frank are well-rounded sympathetic characters. The secondary cast was interesting and well-developed. There were characters to love and characters to hate. Highly recommended.

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