After passing the bittersweet parental milestone of putting her daughter, Sarah, on the bus to sleep-away camp for the first time, Lena Trainor plans to spend the next two weeks fixing all the problems in her marriage. But when a second bus arrives to pick up Sarah for camp, no one seems to know anything about the first bus or its driver. Sarah and three other children have been kidnapped, and within hours of the crime, the parents receive an e-mail demanding one million dollars.
When the specifics of the delivery terms throw suspicion on the parents of two of the abducted children, some of the parents begin to turn on each other, exposing fault lines in already strained marriages and forging new alliances. While the kidnapped children are living their parents' worst nightmare, the police are trying to sort the lies from the truth in conflicting stories and alibis that seem to be constantly changing.
Deftly weaving the emotional story that pits the parents of the missing campers against the police - and each other - with the fate of the kidnapped children hanging in the balance, Never Wave Goodbye will keep listeners holding their breath until the very end.
©2010 Doug Magee (P)2010 Tantor
The intro says that this is a novel of "suspense" and it is suspenseful, with some interesting angles to a basic crime theme. The characters are all educated and some are prosperous, in contrast to the "low lifes" that usually turn up in crime novels. There is a lot of introspection and the author does a good job of managing a range of characters and their personalities, job lives, and histories.
However, the narrator tries too hard. There are a few characters that I just could barely tolerate listening to - a male character who speaks in halting rhythm, stopping just short of a stammer. The worst is a female who shrieks so loud and whines in such a drawn out fashion I wanted to yell "Shut Up" to my iPod.
I really am not a fan of character interpretations. When men try to be women and women try to be men it just sounds wrong. Unless the narrator is a professional actor, it's better to simply read the book without any extra drama. There is so much noise in modern life, and I like to read to escape the noise. I would rather the books I listen not be so noisy.
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