Unsafe Haven

Lucy Burdette. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5082-9
Early in this uneven standalone from Burdette (the Key West Food Critic mysteries), New York City med student Elizabeth Brown is feeling sorry for herself after being dumped by her fiancé when a teenage girl approaches her outside a subway station and hands her a bundle containing a newborn. The girl enjoins Elizabeth to take care of the baby before fleeing. Elizabeth delivers the baby to the authorities, but moved by the abandoned child’s plight, she gets involved in a search for the mother. Meanwhile, the mother, 16-year-old Addy, tries to meet up with the baby’s father and evade the violent wrath of Georgia, the woman she fled who pimped Addy out and has plans of her own for the infant. Burdette raises a fascinating policy question—what are the parameters of safe haven laws written to protect unwanted newborns—but fails to explore whether Addy’s hand off to a stranger should be covered by such laws. Contrived plot developments and sloppiness with details, such as calling the NYPD “the Metro police,” don’t help. The author’s cozies show she’s capable of better. Agent: Paige Wheeler, Creative Media. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 09/29/2021
Release date: 12/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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