2 out of 4 stars
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The Missing Child is the first novel by Bruce R. Guerin and is classified as other fiction.
Jake is a retired police detective and ex-Marine who has found his niche as a private investigator. One day his work hits a little too close to home when he is asked to investigate the disappearance of someone who he knows personally. Jake met Julia, the daughter of multi billionaire Charles Alexander, and immediately was drawn to her open and honest character. After Julia goes missing and the police and FBI have no leads, Charles takes matters into his own hands and turns to Jake for help in finding his daughter.
Jake throws himself into the investigation and draws on all of his old Marine friends, as well as their international contacts, to try and trace Julia´s disappearance. Jake will stop at nothing to get her back again, but when every second counts, will he get to her in time?
This story starts in the United States but quickly crosses the globe, with the team searching in Canada, France and the Middle East in search of any trace of Julia and her abductors. Written in first person, the story is portrayed from Jake´s perspective. This allows the reader to appreciate how driven Jake is and how determined he is to do whatever possible to have Julia safe again.
While Jake is the main character here, the reader is introduced to the secondary characters who make up the rescue team. All have ties to Julia and share Jake´s determination in this mission. They bring their various skills to the group, whether it be martial arts, medical knowledge or to provide a sounding board for Jake´s ideas. This in turn helps to emphasize his leadership qualities. Julia’s character comes across as a very strong willed and determined woman, which helps to realistically emphasize that anyone can become a victim of an attack.
The story deals with several serious topics such as abductions, human trafficking, physical and sexual abuse and all the horrors which these entail. One thing which I liked about this story was that there was a lot of emphasis on Julia´s mental health. One of their main concerns was that even if they got to her in time, how damaged would she be psychologically and what would be the best way to go about helping her. Many stories involving kidnapping or abduction focus just on the rescue itself rather than the long running repercussions. This aspect of the book provided a nice sense of reality.
While I liked the idea of the plot and the various points the author portrayed, there were a lot of errors in the writing. There was an overuse of incorrectly placed semi colons and commas throughout the story. This severely altered the flow of the writing as well as making it quite disjointed. The pace of the story itself was also very slow with unnecessary repetition or over explaining of certain things.
This was a good first attempt at a novel with some original plot ideas and the incorporation of serious topics, but it would definitely benefit from some more editing. I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars as the punctuation errors really altered the flow of the writing and made it more difficult reading than necessary. I would recommend this book to those not put off by excess punctuation, as well as to those interested in crime and rescue fiction.
The Missing Child
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