KIDNAPPED (Unlicensed Investigator(Reporter)-So. Cal-Cont) – Okay Burke, Jan – 12th in series
Simon & Schuster, 2006-Hardcover

Reporter Irene Burke does an article on kidnapped children that ties her into a 5-year-old murder of Robert Fletcher, for which one son is imprisoned, the daughter missing and the remaining son working with forensic anthropologist Ben Sheridan. Robert Fletcher’s father believed in adopting and fostering children, home schooling them before enrolling them in the prestigious Fletcher Academy.

Jan Burke is an author whose work I normally love, but this missed the mark for me. There was an assumption you had read the previous books of the series so character development was thin at best. The only characters who were truly distinctive and interesting were two young girls. There where so many characters, it was very difficult to keep track of them. Missing children is such an important issue yet the plot was implausible, convoluted in the extreme. The motive was weak and the ending was improbable at best. However, as the story progressed, the forensic information was very interesting, as was that about working with search dogs. There was some excellent, gripping suspense. The book wasn’t such that I won’t read more of Ms. Burke. But, for me, this was definitely not her best work.

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