Friday, July 17, 2009
Read "Below Zero" and warm up you night.
A phone message comes in to Joe Pickett's home. The message was from April.
When Joe's family hears about the message, they are shocked. April was Joe's foster child and she died five years ago.
April contacts Joe's daughter, Sheriden, by texting her, but April was at a home that blew up in a gas explosion. Joe saw her face in the window and moments later the house blew up. He asks Sheriden to text back and ask the person claiming to be April some questions that only April would know. When she answers correctly, Joe and his wife Marybeth feel as they might have a second chance with April.
April had been abandoned by her mother when she was six. Marybeth took her in as a foster child. Three years later the Sovereigns, a group of Montana Freeman survivalists took April back by legal maneuvering. The survivalists were wanted by the FBI and while cornered in a trailer there was an explosion. In the cover of the smoke, one of the survivalists escaped on a snowmobile and April was on the back.
She moved from family to family and when she was with one family that only cared for her and a few other foster children, the father started to make motions as if he would abuse her. Another child, April's age, stood up for her. Then the father took April to a brothel. He sold her there and they were grooming her to work there. However, a man named Stenko arrived and wanted to cash out his investment in the whore house. He saw April and was reminded of his daughter Carmen who died. He argued with the whore house owner, shot him and took April.
Now that man, who has terminal cancer, and his son are on a killing spree. The son is an extreme ecologist and the father is trying to win his affection during his final illness. They are traveling around and killing people who harm the ecology.
This is much more than a mystery. The author explores the family relationships and the question of trust between parent and child. C.J.Box also does a nice job in describing the unending love between parent and child and shows that this is also true of adopted children.
The writing is smooth and the story is an easy read.