Posts Tagged 'Kidnapping'

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Genre:  Mystery Thriller

# of Pages: 308

Anne and Marco were horrified to come home and find their infant daughter missing from her crib.  When the police arrive they are surprised to learn that the couple had left their daughter alone while they went to a birthday party next door.  Anne and Marco had fought about what to do when the sitter canceled last minute, but Marco had argued that they would take the baby monitor and check on their baby every half hour.  Anne eventually relented since their neighbor, Cynthia, had made it very clear that Baby Cora was not invited.  They checked on Cora every half hour until after midnight, but when they eventually returned home they discovered the front door open and their baby gone.  Who could’ve known exactly when to strike? Could it be someone they know?  Will the kidnappers want a ransom?

This mystery thriller grabs the reader right from the beginning because Anne and Marco are so easy to identify with.  What happened to them appears to be so terrible and unexpected yet eventually the pieces start fitting together and it becomes obvious that they both have secrets.  Fans of The Girl on the Train and Harlan Coben novels will enjoy this exciting tale right until the end.

Advertisements

When by Victoria Laurie

when

Genre:  Mystery/Suspense

# of Pages:  327

RAC:  Yes

Maddie has been able to see numbers on everyone’s foreheads since she was a little girl, but it isn’t until her father dies suddenly that she realizes what they are:  deathdates.  After her father’s death her mother struggles with sobriety and stability and Maddie must become the caretaker and even the breadwinner when her mother strongly encourages her to give “readings” in which she tells people their death dates for money.  Maddie hates doing this because it often causes pain, but she does not know how else to help her mother cope.  After a reading with a wealthy woman asking about her sick daughter, Maddie is horrified to have to tell her that it is in fact the woman’s young son who has a quickly approaching death date.  The woman does not take Maddie’s advice and feels she is threatening her young son.  Maddie’s best friend even calls to warn her to keep a close eye on him in the hopes that his death date can change.  Instead, Maddie and her best friend become prime suspects when that little boy goes missing after school one day.  Things continue to get worse for Maddie and her best friend as more people linked to Maddie start disappearing.  Is someone trying to frame her?  Could it be someone who is close to her and knows what she can do?  How can she stop anyone else from dying?

This premise is executed really well as you see how problematic and troubling this gift has been for Maddie and her family.  Her uncle, a big shot attorney, tries his best to keep her out of jail for the suspicious disappearances that she seems to be predicting, but the evidence just keeps mounting against her.  The reader cannot help but feel connected to Maddie and feels her fear as what is left of her meager world comes crashing down around her.  The mystery itself comes to a very satisfying conclusion that will leave readers wanting more.  Recommended for fans of mystery.

 

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Genre:  Romance/Realistic Fiction/Mystery

# of Pages:  288

RAC Book:  Yes

London suffered a traumatic incident when she was a child and as a result lost her long term memory.  She must keep notes of everything because when she goes to sleep her memory is erased and she forgets everything when she wakes up.  She does have “flashforwards” that allow her to retrieve memories from the future.  She meets a new boy at school and immediately feels a connection, but she has no memory of him in her future.  London begins having one recurring vision that terrifies her, especially when she realizes it is actually a memory from her past and not her future.  In order to understand her future she must face the past that was so painful her parents decided not to remind her once she had lost her memory.  Meanwhile, she must decide if she can trust this new boy or if he is just going to hurt her when he learns the truth about her memory issues.

Stories with characters blocking out painful memories is not new, but this story definitely puts a new twist on it.  The reader gets to put the pieces together right along with London to find out what happened to her that caused her memory to rewire itself and also as the clues slowly come out regarding London’s mysterious vision.  The story has many twists and turns and more overall character development than it first appears.  Recommended for mystery or reluctant readers.

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

Genre:  Mystery

# of Pages:  341

RAC Book:  Yes

Ellen is a reporter who is shocked to see a picture of her son’s face on a missing child flier.  She had adopted him two years ago when he was a very sick one year old.  The adoption papers appeared to be legal, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.  After doing some investigating, Ellen begins to see that the pieces of her child’s past simply do not fit.  However, she has no proof that her son was unlawfully taken from his birth parents.  Does she keep quiet for fear of losing her son?  Can she live without knowing the truth about her son’s true lineage?

This thrilling mystery moves quickly from the first page, but the last third of the book really keeps the reader engaged.  Ellen’s actions are understandable and justified as she tries to find answers.  The author wrote Ellen’s emotional turmoil at the thought of losing her son in a way that anyone can understand, but especially parents.  There are a few twists and turns that make this story different from other child abduction mysteries.  Fans of mystery writers such as Harlan Coben and Mary Higgins Clark will love this story.

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  373

RAC:  Yes

Calli is a seven-year-old girl who has been unable to speak since she witnessed a terrible incident years before.  Her best friend, Petra, understands her without words and they do everything together.  One morning both girls disappear from their beds and police wonder if they are together.  Meanwhile, Calli’s alcoholic and abusive father is also missing and her mother begins to fear the worst.   Can the well meaning deputy find the girls before it’s too late?

This story written by an Iowa author takes place in an Iowa town and accurately depicts the relationships people have in small town Iowa.  Each chapter follows a different character and helps the reader piece together what happened to these two girls.  The strong friendship these girls have ends up benefiting both of them in very different ways.  There are tough issues addressed such as kidnapping, alcoholism, and, abuse but the story is very engaging and will make readers want to find out what happened to these girls.  Recommended for Picoult fans.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  170

RAC Book:  No

2010 Iowa High School Award Winner

“Alice” recounts the story of how she was abducted by a pedophile named Ray and forced to live with him for several years and follow his rules.  For example, Ray starves her so that she will stay little and seem like a little girl.  She considers herself dead inside and wishes he would just kill her and get it over with.  The only reason she never tries to run or tell someone is that he threatens to kill her family if she does.  When Ray suggests they look for a new little girl to live with them Alice agrees because she desperately wants to leave this situation, even if it means he will kill her.  As she starts helping him on his quest she wonders if it is really in her to subject a new child to the horrors she has been through.

This book is very detailed and graphic.  Alice’s life is beyond unimaginable and her spirit has long been crushed.  Despite the fact that there have been stories like this that end happy with a family reunion, there is a sense of hopelessness in Alice’s case like she has given up.  The content of this book is very serious and will bother many students.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages: 471

RAC:  Yes

2010-2011 Iowa Teen Award Winner

Katsa lives in a world where some people are born with special powers called Graces.  Katsa believes her grace to be one for killing and hates herself for fulfilling the terrible tasks her King makes her do.  One day she meets a man named Po from another country who is looking for his grandfather who was kidnapped.  Katsa had already rescued the old man, but they did not want to release that information due to the fact that they still do not know who kidnapped him in the first place.  As Katsa and Po start to investigate who might want to hurt his family, they become fearful that they may have to save everyone from a corrupt king using an immoral grace.

This fantasy story was original and unique in a way that makes the reader want to keep reading.  The story contains interesting and colorful characters as well as an exciting, and at times suspenseful, plot that is full of surprises until the end.  Recommended for students and adults who like fantasy books.  The idea of the graces is interesting and lends an extra layer of intrigue to this tale that will no doubt be around for a long time.