cover image Say Nothing

Say Nothing

Brad Parks. Dutton, $26 (448p) ISBN 978-1-101-98559-5

Shamus Award–winner Parks’s excellent domestic thriller credibly portrays a family under severe stress. Federal judge Scott Sampson’s tranquil and fulfilling personal life in rural tidewater Virginia with his wife, Alison, and twin six-year-olds, Sam and Emma, is shattered when someone impersonating Alison abducts Sam and Emma from their school. The kidnappers insist that Scott say nothing to anyone and that he await instructions about the impending sentencing of a minor drug dealer whose history merits severe punishment. The orders that Scott eventually receives threaten his professional position and prove to be but the prelude to extortion regarding another case with even greater consequences. The tension the catastrophe causes in Scott and Alison’s marriage is palpable, and Parks (The Fraud and five other Carter Ross mysteries) makes even Scott’s most paranoid suspicions reasonable in the circumstances. Veteran genre readers may anticipate some of the surprises, but they’ll still find themselves on pins and needles awaiting the reveals. Five-city author tour. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (Mar.)