A twelve-year-old girl is snatched from the street where she lives. And for two cops, Mack Steiner and Bank Arbaugh--partners, best friends, fathers themselves--the girl's disappearance will hurtle them back through layers of friendship, memory, and loss. Because seven years before, Bank's own daughter vanished without a trace. And now, as police descend on the small midwestern city, as witnesses are grilled and evidence mounts, one case begins to illuminate the other. And for two men, a harrowing journey has begun--one that will test their long, complicated friendship and uncover a chilling truth about two missing girls, two shattered families, and at least one heartbreaking lie.
From the author The New York Times hails as "astonishing" comes a spellbinding blend of raw tension and human drama--a masterpiece of suspense that races toward a devastating climax...then jolts us again with a final, unforgettable twist.
The protagonists of Craig Holden's poetic, intricate, and challenging novels are complex individuals whose many dimensions are revealed so painstakingly that when their deepest secrets are finally uncovered, the reader is likely to whisper a satisfying "aha!" and experience a closure that is secondary to the solution of the mysteries at the heart of the plot. Like his previous novels, this one is a meditation on friendship, love, and the meaning of family, as two men, both of them police detectives, undertake a search for a missing teenager. Mack and Bank have been down this route before--7 years ago, when Bank's own daughter disappeared in a case still marked "unsolved" in the police files of the unnamed Midwest city where the novel is set. The parallels between her disappearance and Tamara Shipley's abduction aren't immediately obvious, but first Mack and then Bank begin to suspect a connection. As the search for Tamara bolsters the link between a murdered Catholic priest who knew her family and a shadowy organization called the Sisters of Compassion, which operates a kind of underground railroad for young abuse victims, evidence points to a hidden motive for what might not have been a kidnapping after all. And when Mack's own difficult teenage daughter goes missing, his search for Naomi uncovers even more disturbing connections between Tamara Shipley's disappearance and the decade-old abduction of his partner's child. The denouement doesn't wrap up all the loose ends--that's not Holden's style. In fact, it raises more questions than it answers. But those questions, and the characters who pose them, will linger in the reader's mind long after the details of the plot have faded from memory. --Jane Adams