Never Wave Goodbye
Review: The innocent act of a parent watching their excited child board a bus for summer camp, only to learn later that the bus is a decoy and the child has been kidnapped is the premise for the suspense thriller Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee.
In total, four children — two boys and two girls — are taken. The ransom demands come via e-mail and the first one is quite odd: a $25,000 donation to the church where one of the parents of a kidnapped child is a minister, implicating her in the crime. Later, a demand for $1 million is received, but the terms of delivery are ambiguous. While the children struggle to find their own path to freedom, the parents' united front starts to dissolve, jeopardizing the chances of finding the children safe.
Never Wave Goodbye starts strong and never wavers. A sentence early in the book succinctly sums up what the parents are facing: "What sort of person not only kidnaps your kid but then yanks the rug out from under your expectations, throws you for a loop, doubles the uncertainty, and deepens the anxiety for the fate of your child?" This delicate balance between the certainty of the kidnapping and the uncertainty of what comes next is exceptionally well handled; the range of emotions exhibited by the parents is realistically depicted and possibly more importantly, the children are portrayed as complex characters caught up in an unimaginable situation. One evening Sarah, one of the kids, spies her kidnapper sitting in front of a laptop. "As if he felt Sarah's eyes, he looked slowly over at her. She didn't look away. The distant, affectless look he gave her made the hair on the back of her neck stand up, but she couldn't tell if he was actually looking at her, if he could see her shadowy presence outside the glare of the computer, or if he was looking into some deep, unknowable future and trying to understand its indecipherable message."
Never Wave Goodbye is a thoughtful thriller that will keep readers questioning what's really happening and why. Also noteworthy is the introspective epilogue that closes the book in a special, quite touching manner.
Acknowledgment: Touchstone provided a copy of Never Wave Goodbye for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Darkness All Around
Touchstone (Hardcover), October 2011
ISBN-13: 9781439154021; ISBN-10: 1439154023
Location(s) referenced in Never Wave Goodbye: New York State
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Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee
Publication Date: June 2010
List Price: $24.99