cover image Combat for Custody: A Parker & Price Novel

Combat for Custody: A Parker & Price Novel

Paula Winchester Rank. Morgan James, $17.95 trade paper (260p) ISBN 978-1-63195-417-7

At the start of Rank’s absurd sequel to 2013’s The Best Interest of the Child, Virginia attorneys Emma Parker and Morgan Price arrive at JFK Airport from Egypt, accompanied by five-year-old Amber and 11-year-old Lindsay, who they pretend are Emma’s daughters. Morgan’s effort to ease their way through passport control by displaying her “full, creamy white cleavage” to an agent fails. After Lindsay hesitates in identifying Emma as her parent, armed officials pull the women aside and put them in a holding area, where Morgan succeeds in grabbing a gun off a guard. The four escape the airport after Emma and Morgan assault several federal agents. Flashbacks explain how the girls’ father came to hire the attorneys to investigate his wife, Tessa, who he believed was endangering their daughters; that assignment sends Parker and Price in search of evidence to convince a judge that Tessa was an unfit parent, which eventually takes them to Egypt. That the duo aren’t charged with assault after being apprehended underscores the book’s lack of realism. Risible prose (“Emma inwardly cursed her curvaceous hips”) doesn’t help. Those who like to see empowered women kick butt, no matter how ludicrous the circumstances, may appreciate this one. (Sept.)