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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 11/2019
  • 978-1-9772-1772-1
  • 183 pages
  • $15.95
Ebook Details
  • 11/2019
  • B081VSC835
  • 183 pages
  • $2.99
Kerry Reis
Author
Disappeared and Found
Kerry Reis, author
A young woman’s search for her biological family opens up a mystifying nineteen-year-old cold case of a mother and her baby daughter disappearing while on a walk, a development that arouses interest and surprise from a couple of television programs, local and federal law enforcement, and a splintered family.
Reviews
Reis’s languorous second novel (after 2013’s Legacy Discovered) opens with college student Dorothy Samuels testing her blood type and consequently discovering that her affluent, nurturing parents are not her blood relatives. After her father confirms she was adopted, she secretly contacts Finding Family, a television series that specializes in reuniting adopted children with their biological families. The producers have Dorothy submit a DNA sample, which leads to a sibling match with Scott Bradley. Finding Family host Rory Mason calls Scott, who’s being interviewed for Gone Without a Trace, a true crime show about missing persons. Scott reveals that his mother and baby sister mysteriously disappeared 19 years earlier—and that missing sister is Dorothy.

Dorothy gradually becomes acquainted with loving, supportive Scott and the other Bradleys, which is a pleasure to read. Scott and Dorothy are both determined to learn about Dorothy’s kidnapping and their mother’s disappearance, and they share their suspicions and discoveries with law enforcement. Unfortunately, the interesting premise is bogged down by repetition (for instance, readers are constantly reminded that Dorothy’s adoptive mother died of cancer, which inspired Dorothy to pursue medical school) and long paragraphs about mundane events such as rearranging furniture. Reis’s expertise in television is evident in the meticulous details of producing and filming the two reality shows, but this also slows the pace.

As secrets are revealed, the plot becomes a bit confusing. It doesn’t help that several characters have similar names: Stephen is Dorothy’s biological father, but Steve is her love interest; Dorothy’s last name is Samuels, her birth name was Samantha (nicknamed Sammy), and Sam is a television producer. Readers will wish for more development for Dorothy, who is amiable but somewhat banal. Despite a lack of depth, the central mystery will keep readers engaged.

Takeaway: Contemporary mystery fans will enjoy unburying family secrets alongside Reis’s capable protagonists.

Great for fans of Kate Hamer’s The Doll Funeral, Mary Higgins Clark.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A+
Illustrations: -
Editing: B-
Marketing copy: B+

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 11/2019
  • 978-1-9772-1772-1
  • 183 pages
  • $15.95
Ebook Details
  • 11/2019
  • B081VSC835
  • 183 pages
  • $2.99

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