This adrenaline-fueled thriller from Drake (The Dead Place) lacks nuance and verisimilitude. When Jill and David Lassiter’s three-year-old daughter, Sophia, disappears from the park one afternoon, and then turns up just outside the park 40 minutes later with a mark on her arm, Jill fears foul play. David, on the other hand, believes she simply wandered off and got a bug bite. Blood tests come back clean, so Jill lets the matter drop. Three months pass and Sophia vanishes again, this time in the middle of the night from the family’s suburban Pittsburgh home. Evidence implicates the Lassiters, and the police seem disinclined to look for other suspects, so Jill launches her own investigation. Jill is a fully realized character whose grief and fear are palpable, but everyone else is a caricature; thus, little of the interpersonal conflict rings true. Drake leans too heavily on her premise’s inherent tension to drive the narrative, most of the plot twists are telegraphed or unearned, and a preposterous denouement robs the tale of impact. Agent: Rachel Eckstrom, Irene Goodman Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016 Release date: 03/22/2016 Genre: Fiction
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