Wednesday, June 16, 2010
"Clear conscience never fears midnight knocking." Chinese proverb
Former Philadelphia police officer, Max Freeman, is in his canoe on a river in South Florida and sees something that doesn't look right. It turns out to be the body of a dead six-year-old girl, Melissa Marks.
Max has been living with the memory of a child he shot in self defense while on duty in Philadelphia. His motivation for being a cop ended with the remorse he had by taking the life of a twelve-year-old. Now, seeing the girl's body brings back all the memories.
He knows that the police always look closely at the person reporting a crime and is ready for any tough questions. He learns that there have been other children who have been abducted, killed and their bodies left in remote areas like where he lives.
Max has an attorney, his friend, Billy Manchester, who advises him not to say anything to the police but his obligation as a former law enforcement officer obliges him to disclose what he knows. Then, when another child is abducted, police don't hide their suspicions that there are too many coincidences and he becomes a possible suspect.
The author maintains the tension at a high level as we see Max attempting to investigate the abductions but at the same time, looking to authorities that he could be an accessory. He visits remote areas in the Everglades in hope of finding the killers but in so doing, places his own life in danger.
A well plotted novel with intriguing characters and a believable story. Max is easy to sympathise with after his bad experiences in his past come back to haunt him again. He's honest, intelligent and determined in his search for the people who are guilty of the crimes against the children.
It was also interesting to meet characters like Nate Brown, a man who lives by nature and wants to do the right thing. I could visualize him in the days of the old West, leading wagon trains through a path to avoid being attacked by Indians.