They Disappeared by Rick Mofina
A loving family, fracturing under pressure... Jeff Griffin, a mechanic, and his wife, Sarah, travel from Montana to Manhattan to give their nine-year-old son, Cole, his dream vacation as they secretly face the heart-wrenching turmoil that has them teetering on divorce. In the wake of their heartbreak, a mother and son disappear...
You know those old horror movies that come on late at night, where you scream "Don't go in there!" at the TV but the characters go in anyway, to certain doom? I felt a little like that at the beginning of this book. I wanted to scream at Jeff to not leave his family's side for even a minute. Don't do it! Stay with them! But then this would have been a very different book....
Jeff and Sarah are going through a rough time, having lost their baby daughter to SIDS over a year ago. Not sure if their marriage will survive, they come to New York for a family vacation. After a baggage mix-up at the airport, Sarah and Cole disappear when Jeff pops into a small store to buy batteries for his camera.
At first, the police aren't much help and seem to think that Jeff had something to do with the disappearance. Frantic, he refuses to sit idly by and starts his own investigation. For a small town mechanic, Jeff is remarkably resourceful and discovers vital information, more than once, making the police look bad. Seemed to come together too easily for him at times and I wish he didn't keep going off on his own, but could understand his frustration.
In the meantime, Sarah and Cole show remarkable ingenuity and bravery in dealing with their bewildering abduction. I was really proud of Cole, who had me rooting for him the entire time!
The last part of the book had me shaking my head in disbelief, for several reasons, but it was still enjoyable. Sort of like certain over-the-top action movies, where you can't totally suspend your disbelief but can still have a good time. In fact, I think this would make a great movie!
Mofina is a very talented writer and I really enjoyed the fast-paced action and getting to know all of the various characters. While the plot did go down an unexpected path, it was still an enjoyable ride and I'll definitely be reading more of the author's books!
ARC provided by the author