5 June 2020


  • Release Date: 2003
  • Series: Lydia Strong #2
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  • author web site
Synopsis (author web site)

Fresh from a tour promoting her last case, reclusive true crime writer Lydia Strong receives an anonymous cry for help, begging her to find and protect Tatiana Quinn, "and all the other girls in need of rescue." Maybe the plea strikes close to her heart; maybe her investigator's intuition starts buzzing. She takes it on.

But this simple case of a missing teenager soon becomes much more. Someone wants Lydia to drop the case, someone powerful, someone anxious enough to engineer the re-appearance of one of Lydia's first--and most dangerous--adversaries. Now, in addition to tracing the roots of Tatiana's disappearance on a trail across the country and eventually overseas, Lydia must find the man who wants her dead, his unfinished business from years ago.


"The voice on the tape was thin and quavering. Lydia Strong had to rewind the tape and turn up the volume. In the background, she could hear the wet whisper of cars passing on rain-slicked roads and, once, the loud sharp blast of a semi's air horn. "It's Tatiana," the message began, followed by a nervous little noise that was somewhere between a giggle and a sob. "Are you there...please? I can't believe she's doing this to me." She went on in another language, something throaty and harsh, Eastern European-sounding. Then she switched back to English. "I'm not supposed to call anyone. I don't have much time. I'm somewhere in—" The connection was broken."

My Take

Tatiana Quinn, rebellious teenager, has disappeared from Miami and her billionaire father Nathan Quinn is anxious to get her back. So far attempts to find her have been unsuccessful. Crime writer Lydia Strong is contacted first of all by a message on her phone and then by a Florida detective who says he has something for her. Lydia doesn't usually take this sort of case on but this one appeals to her.

Once in Miami Lydia becomes convinced that the appeal and the subsequent tape recording have been sent to her by the Quinn's home help. Lydia is about to quiz her when a black Mercedes mows her down and kills her. Actions like this tend to make Lydia all the more convinced to continue her investigation. One of the police investigators disappears and then is found dead. Then the remaining investigator becomes unwilling to talk and advises Lydia and her partner Jeffrey Mark to drop the investigation and return to New York. It is obvious that there is much more to this case and to top it all Lydia becomes convinced that one or both of Tatiana's parents are involved.

Quite a long read, with a number of twisted plot strands.

My rating: 4.4

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