John Case, Author
John Case, Author . Ballantine $25.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-345-46471-2
Reviewed on: 09/20/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004

A parent's worst nightmare is realized in Case's expertly written new thriller. During a summer-long, last-ditch attempt to reconnect with his family since separating from his wife, Washington TV reporter Alexander Callahan loses his identical twin six-year-old sons at a Maryland Renaissance fair. After facing the media avalanche outside his house, Alex and police detectives discover mysterious objects placed inside: a carefully crafted origami rabbit, a bowl of water in the closet, seven winged Liberty dimes in a neat stack. Following a "maelstrom of emotion," Alex is eliminated as a suspect and authorities concede a lack of reliable leads. Scouring the Internet, Alex discovers connections between several cases of abducted twins and his own situation, and with relentless determination he continues his investigation, traveling to Daytona Beach, Fla., to interview wary sources and Las Vegas, Nev., to research the horrific deaths of two abducted young showgirls. The kidnapper, it seems, is a malevolent magician dabbling in voodoo practices. Case's pace reaches a fever pitch as Alex chases more leads to New Orleans, where he teams up with a local albino sleuth and ends up on the doorstep of a witchdoctor who insists on a nightmarish rebirthing ritual before he'll break his silence on the killer. Northern and Southern California provide the final backdrops for a harrowing conclusion that will leave readers breathless. A long, winding narrative that's impossible to put down, this is another work of superior suspense from the author of The Genesis Code . Agent, Elaine Markson. (Oct. 12)

FYI: John Case is the pen name of husband-and-wife team Jim and Carolyn Hougan.

The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!