George Gates is a journalist. His son, Teddy, was abducted seven years before and his wife died in childbirth. Sitting in the local bar one evening, he meets Arlo McBride, a retired police who worked in Missing Persons and who helped sweep the area looking for his son, seven years prior. George asks about the case that still haunts him and he immediately recalls the case of Katherine Carr, who disappeared one evening from a local park, never to be seen or heard from again.
Cook, true to form, has penned an engrossing mystery. There is story embedded in story. There is the story of Katherine and her disappearance. She wrote a story about it, which he reads to Alice, a twelve year old suffering from progeria, old age at a young age, whose life is dissipating. There is the story of George’s own son, Teddy, whose perpetrator was never caught. And there is the story of George, the narrator, at that very moment.
Cook’s mysteries always have an ethereal, cloudy, mystical sense to them and this is no exception…although, not as strong as, say, The Chatham School Affair, my favorite of his books. The characters are intriguing. The setting is perfect for the story. The mystery is deep. Any book of Cook’s is worth reading. You won’t regret it.