A Henry Parker Mystery by Jason Pinter
Review: New York City journalist Henry Parker is assigned the scoop of the city newspapers: an exclusive interview with the family of a kidnapped boy who has mysteriously returned home, safe and unharmed, five years after he disappeared, in The Stolen, the third thriller in this series by Jason Pinter.
But something about the interview with the family and their son disturbs Henry: although the boy has no recollection of his time away from his family, he seems to have a memory of having two brothers even though in fact he has only one. Researching other kidnappings of children who returned home years later, he discovers one with striking similarities. But the case is sealed, the details unavailable. Henry turns to his ex-girlfriend Amanda who works for a legal aid society and can access them, albeit illegally. When a powerful senator steps in to stop Henry from investigating the case further, it simply spurs him and Amanda on. Together they're determined to find out why children are being taken from the families only to be returned years later.
In order for a thriller to work effectively, the plot, no matter how incredible, must have some degree of plausibility. And that is the most serious problem with The Stolen: the plot simply isn't plausible. Late in the book, a character says to Henry, "I know you can't possibly understand … Maybe someday you will, but you can't right now." "No," [Henry] said, "I certainly can't." That's the same reaction the reader will have, and it undermines the entire premise of the book.
Still, there are a number of factors that work in the book's favor (and a few others that don't). Henry is a likeable character who comes across as a good, solid reporter. The investigation is well-paced and the alternate points of view add a measure of suspense that would otherwise be missing. In the end, though, there are a few unanswered (or at least inadequately answered) questions that should have been resolved, and the subplot involving fellow reporter Jack O'Donnell is just plain absurd.
Acknowledgment: Susan Schwartzman Public Relations provided an ARC of The Stolen for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Mira Books (Mass Market Paperback), March 2008
ISBN-13: 9780778324638; ISBN-10: 077832463X
Location(s) referenced in The Stolen: New York City
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The Stolen by Jason Pinter — A Henry Parker Mystery
Publisher: Mira Books
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: August 2008
List Price: $7.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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