Harlequin MIRA, 2012, 384 Pages
ISBN No. 978-0778313816
Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid
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 Griffins 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 Griffins 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 import piece in a group of terrorists’ plan. The group has no concern for the lives of Cole 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.