WHITE MALE INFANT
This versatile author has always had the ability to raise goose bumps (Authorized Personnel Only; Good Cop, Bad Cop; etc.), but in this stand-alone thriller she makes our spines absolutely tingle. What began as an uncomplicated adoption of a Russian infant by wealthy American parents, New York surgeon Dooley McSweeney and his lawyer wife, Claudia, turns out to be anything but simple. After a bone marrow biopsy on four-year-old Teddy and some additional medical tests, Dooley realizes that his beautiful red-haired, green-eyed son is not the Russian baby they thought they'd legally adopted three years earlier, but an unknown child, kidnapped from God-knows-where. A man of great integrity, Dooley decides the real parents must be found. He refrains from telling Claudia of his fears, as he's sure she would run away with Teddy, leaving him sans child and wife. Meanwhile, an American journalist, Gabrielle Coulter, and her videographer, Justin Craig, are in Moscow working on a documentary on orphans around the world. The two plots coalesce when Justin is brutally murdered at the Hotel Metropol and "Go Home!" is spray-painted on a nearby wall. Hooligans wreck all their video equipment, except three tapes that Gabrielle has secreted in her handbag. Keep Kleenex ready as you near novel's end, for Dooley and Gabrielle's search for Teddy's true identity inevitably leads to heartbreak. (June 28)
FYI: Authorized Personnel Only (2000) won the first Mary Higgins Clark Award. D'Amato's most recent Cat Marsala mystery is Hard Road (Forecasts, July 9, 2001).