“Suspenseful plotting . . . another satisfying Joshua Croft adventure” as the Santa Fe PI trails a mother who’s snatched her daughter from her TV star ex (Kirkus Reviews).
After a particularly nasty divorce, Melissa, the ex-wife of actor Roy Alonzo, accused the handsome TV star of abusing their daughter. Then she took their child and disappeared.
Santa Fe private investigator Joshua Croft has no real desire to get entangled in the sordid lives of Hollywood’s rich and famous. But a Santa Fe underworld kingpin happens to be Alonzo’s uncle and has requested Croft’s help, an offer that’s tough to refuse.
The closer Croft gets to the truth about the shocking Alonzo affair, the more urgent finding the missing mother and child becomes—especially after Melissa’s sister is killed. Croft suspects this murder could have something to do with Melissa’s association with the group Sanctuary and its refugees from Central American terror. Or perhaps it’s connected to a clandestine rescue group that protects battered wives and children.
Either way, the situation gets bleaker by the hour, with a less-than-trustworthy FBI agent impeding Croft’s investigation and even more disappearances and deaths. Apparently the adversaries in this dark affair mean serious business, and time is running out for the runaways—and perhaps for the private detective who’s on their trail as well.
After accusing TV heartthrob Roy Alonzo of molesting their daughter, his ex-wife Melissa vanishes, along with the child. In Satterthwait's ( At Ease with the Dead ) vibrant latest mystery, quick-witted and thoughtful Santa Fe PI Joshua Croft agrees when Alonzo's mobster uncle asks him to find the pair and investigate the charges. Croft learns that Melissa's sister was tortured and killed after the disappearance, and that a friend of hers has also gone missing. Seeking information from local authorities, Croft is told that the FBI, in the person of a smarmy agent named Stamworth, is impeding their investigation. The discovery of another torture and murder victim leads Croft to the Sanctuary movement for illegal aliens, the Underground Railroad (a refuge for battered wives and children) and to a brush with El Salvador's death squads. As he deals with unscrupulous characters on both sides of the law, Croft learns something about Melissa and Roy's sex life that makes finding mother and daughter imperative. Satterthwait offers local color, detail and intriguing action along with an appealingly sensitive, slightly cynical series hero.