It was a regular weekday morning when 11-year old Henley Fairbanks waved goodbye to her stepmother Robin, turned the corner to go to her bus stop and vanished. It wasn’t until the afternoon that it became clear she was missing. FBI Agent Ava McLane was one of the first to be contacted and embedded with the family. Oregon State Police Detective Mason Callahan came to help as his son lived in the household with his ex-wife and stepfather. Jake was home from college for the holidays so this blended family quickly became a united front as law enforcement teams assembled to figure out what happened to Henley. In the meantime, Mason is grappling with issues of his own as he’s now on the outside of the investigation into the brutal murder of one of his confidential informants.
Anytime a story involves a missing child, I’m nervous from the onset as it’s impossible for me not to experience the despair vicariously. The FBI procedurals were fascinating as the haste, scope and scale of their investigation was impressive. Ava was also impressive and I liked her immediately. She’s smart, driven and highly observant. She provided the bridge to the family and the FBI, providing both perspectives. Mason is the more opaque character who is admirable but his career is his life. Both have interesting backstories but his is the one that becomes the most intriguing.
I really liked this story and the characters. The romance between Mason and Eva was a slow burn that didn’t overwhelm the primary storyline, which was heartbreaking. I thought the tension and helplessness the family experienced was perfectly captured as I felt what they did. The search for Henley was suspenseful and it never let up. You’ll have to read it yourself to learn the outcome. I’m hooked already but as this is a spinoff of Bone Secrets, I’m pausing until I finish that series before resuming this one. I’ve incentive to do so quickly because I want more of Ava and Mason.
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Series: Callahan & McLane #1
Page Numbers: 337
Publisher: Montlake Romance