Thursday, March 20, 2008

Abduction

Karen pushed open the nursery door, the first gray light of the day slipping through the open curtains made the Hundred Acre Wood mural on the wall appear far more haunted than harmless. The Winnie-the-Pooh mobile hung over the crib, eerily silent and still. With a growing sense of dread, she crossed the room, trying to understand exactly what could be so very wrong. A sensation of fear slowly crawled up her spine.

When she reached down for the quilted pink comforter, Karen was surprised to find her hand trembling. She lifted the covering--but sweet little Jessica was not curled up beneath it. In horror, Karen looked around the nursery. No Jessica. Not on the changing table. Not anywhere.

Little girls are missing, and suddenly Karen is living every parent's greatest fear. Seven-month-old Jessica is gone, stolen during the night. But Jessica's disappearance doesn't fit the pattern--and when Detective J. J. Johnson senses two fatal threats developing, his department calls upon the acclaimed crime psychic, Zoe Shefford, for direction. - Synopsis from back cover of the novel

First sentence: "1983 - The day he chose to kill her, a warm breeze and bright skies seemed to promise that summer was going to show up on schedule."

Abduction by Wanda L. Dyson (359 pages) is one fantastic read. It had me glued to my seat as I raced through to the end. I finished it in one day. I still went to work--started reading during breakfast, continued at lunch and finished up at night before I call it a day. The synopsis above gives a great overview of the story. I had read the second book Obsession in the Shefford-Johnson series, and I loved that one too. These two Christian thrillers deserve a five-star rating.

The novel has a great plot and it'd successfully made me feel for the characters in the story, especially Karen. Karen is sort of controlled by the men in her life--her husband and father, except for her brother who supported her throughout the ordeal. The husband would make her feel inadequate, stupid and careless, while at the same time claiming to love her. There is no physical abuse but psychological abuse can prove to be worse. Worst still, Detective JJ thinks she and her husband are conspirators in the crime of their missing baby girl. Karen is devastated and hysterical but her husband, Ted Matthews seems to be calm and collected. Something is not right, but what?

As this is happening, other little girls aged between five and six, are also missing. The trend seems to suggest that a serial kidnapper and possibly killer, is on the loose. Investigations do not reveal anything and JJ's boss is getting anxious. When the daughter of a close personal friend of the mayor also falls victim, the mayor summons the police department to engage the help of a well known psychic named Zoe Shefford. JJ scoffs at the idea but it is beyond his control. Later, even the FBI gets involved in the case.

JJ and Zoe did not get off to a good start. JJ mocks Zoe and calls her a fake. But when Zoe did manage to unveil truths (of which some involves him) and helps partially solve the case, JJ begins to think differently but still maintains his negative attitude. Little did he know, he's falling for the beautiful psychic whether he cares to admit it or not.

The supporting characters such as Rene (Karen's Christian neighbour), Ray (Karen's brother), Denise and Keyes Shefford (Zoe's parents), Matt Casto (JJ's partner at work), Donnie (one of the FBIs), and many others, all add richness to the story. As the scenes bounce from one part to the other, this approach adds suspense to the story. Wanda Dyson did a marvelous job with Abduction just as she did with Obsession. Quoting one of the reviewers on Amazon.com, "she kept me guessing!" I highly recommend this.