From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bestseller Scottoline (Lady Killer
) scores another bull's-eye with this terrifying thriller about an adoptive parent's worst fear—the threat of an undisclosed illegality overturning an adoption. The age-progressed picture of an abducted Florida boy, Timothy Braverman, on a have you seen this child? flyer looks alarmingly like Philadelphia journalist Ellen Gleeson's three-year-old son, Will, whom she adopted after working on a feature about a pediatric cardiac care unit. Ellen, who jeopardizes her newspaper job by secretly researching the Braverman case, becomes suspicious when she discovers the lawyer who handled her adoption of Will has committed suicide. Meanwhile, Will's supposed birth mother, Amy Martin, dies of a heroin overdose, and Amy's old boyfriend turns out to look like the man who kidnapped Timothy. Scottoline expertly ratchets up the tension as the desperate Ellen flies to Miami to get DNA samples from Timothy's biological parents. More shocks await her back home. Author tour. (Apr.)
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Ellen Gleeson was balancing life as a single mother and a feature reporter as well as could be expected. She had taken on single parenthood voluntarily, having fallen in love with her adopted son, Will, now three, when he was a very sick infant. A have-you-seen-this-child postcard featuring a child who could be Will’s twin catches Ellen’s attention, and while she should be pursuing her assigned story about the emotional effect of Philadelphia’s high teenage murder rate, she instead becomes obsessed with the missing child and with pursuing more details about Will’s background. Her questions multiply when she learns that, just three weeks after she adopted Will, the attorney who handled the proceedings killed herself. Where is the birth mother, and why doesn’t her family seem to know that she was pregnant? The answer only leads to danger, but Ellen, her reporter’s instincts on high alert, is hell-bent on finding the truth, no matter the cost. In a departure from her wildly popular Rosato & Associates series, Scottoline still sticks to what she knows in this taut stand-alone: female drama, family ties, legal intrigue, and fast-paced action. A sure-fire winner. --Mary Frances Wilkens