The Disappeared

M. R. Hall, Author . Simon & Schuster $24.95 (402p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5698-8

Still raw from an acrimonious divorce, former lawyer Jenny Cooper pops pills to control anxiety as she slowly adjusts to her new career as the coroner for the Severn Vale District, near Bristol, England, in Hall's solid U.S. debut. When a distraught mother asks Cooper to hold an inquest to declare her son legally dead, Cooper is hesitant to take the case. Nazim Jamal and a friend disappeared seven years earlier while at university and, according to the police, probably fled to Afghanistan to join al-Qaeda at the urging of a radical mosque. Nazim's mother is adamant her son was not an extremist. As Cooper's investigation broadens, she's met with resistance not only from the police but also MI5, who claim Nazim's disappearance may have national security implications. Hall (The Coroner ) creates an appealingly flawed heroine, but struggles with pacing and the difficult task of precisely defining the coroner's role in solving crimes. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/19/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 450 pages - 978-0-230-71128-0
Open Ebook - 978-0-230-75210-8
Paperback - 402 pages - 978-1-4391-5711-4
Hardcover - 633 pages - 978-1-4104-2427-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-7927-6861-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-6860-9
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