Karen Rose Smith
Amazon Digital Services, Feb 19 2013, $3.99
When Clare Thaddeus was five years old, someone abducts her three year old sister Lynnie. The child never came home and their parents Amanda and Max divorced. Clare never quite recovered from her loss and subsequent family collapse; behaving wildly as a teen years.
Almost three decades since the tragedy that changed her life, single mom Clare struggles with her defiant teenage daughter Shara while musing fate is giving to her what she gave to her parents when she was sixteen. Clare’s mom calls to tell her that retired Detective Grove, who worked the Lynnie kidnapping twenty-seven years ago, thinks he has a lead. He meets with Clare and her parents at her Amanda’s Yesteryear office. The former cop says Luther Brown on death row in Texas for killing two little girls says his sister struck a deal with authorities that led to the corpses, but now dying from pancreatic cancer, she gave her sibling’s journal to the FBI. Two girls Winnie and Barbara were abandoned in Pittsburgh. A DNA test will prove whether one of them is Lynnie.
The seventh Search For Love contemporary tale (see HEARTFIRE and CASSIDY’S COWBOY) is an engaging family drama that looks deeply into the impact on people when a tragedy destroys their idyllic world. Two well-developed romances rightfully play second fiddle to the mystery of Lynnie with each affected by the kidnapping and now the DNA test. Though there may be too much tsuris as an unwanted pregnancy adds to the family issues, the character-driven strong storyline showcases how each Thaddeus deals differently to the abduction that devastated their loving home though they have a second chance at coming together after failing to do twenty-seven years ago.