cover image The Lucky One

The Lucky One

Lori Rader-Day. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-293807-7

Alice Fine, one of the protagonists of this complex, intimate novel from Mary Higgins Clark Award–winner Rader-Day (Under a Dark Sky), works for her ex-cop father’s Chicago construction firm while also volunteering for a website that matches missing people with unidentified remains. After seeing the face of the man who kidnapped her when she was a toddler among the listings, Alice calls on two other volunteers to help follow that lead. Meanwhile, Merrily Cruz, alerted by the police that her not-quite-stepfather, with whom she only corresponds sporadically by text, is missing, tries to seek him out. As the two women’s searches—and lives—collide, decades-old secrets come to light. Rader-Day creates deeply believable, empathetic characters and puts the power in the hands of women, including older women. Pacing is fast but not frantic, and the story’s constant surprises and reveals evolve naturally and come together satisfyingly free of loose ends. The tightly crafted storytelling brings heat back into the familiar cold case plot, digging deep into those aches that never really fade. Agent: Sharon Bowers, Miller Bowers Griffin Literary Management. (Feb.)