Combining suspense and nuanced characters in an absorbing read, first-timer Clark gives a new twist to every parent's nightmare--the disappearance of a child. When nine-year-old David Stark disappears on his way home from school, his parents, Stephen and Rachel, are naturally distraught. They'd taught him a secret password so he'd never accept rides from strangers, yet for some reason it hadn't worked; and he'd abandoned his new bike, something else he was unlikely to do. The couple, once close, are now estranged, and as they struggle to find David, all the underlying problems in their marriage come to the surface. The two are still grieving, in their different ways, for their first son, Jonah, who died at five months from a genetic disease carried by his father Stephen. Rachel, an artist, has found solace in David, her work, and visits to Jonah's grave, while Stephen, a lawyer who loves David no less intensely, has resorted to affairs. While the police look for his son, Stephen now, ignoring Rachel's wishes, hires an organization that specializes in finding lost children. Rachel, intuitive by nature, tries ESP, sometimes successfully, to learn David's whereabouts. The couple is further tried not only by the arrival of a letter suggesting that Rachel be tested for AIDS, since the sperm donor for David has developed the disease (Stephen had a vasectomy after Jonah's death), but also by Stephen's confession to having had an affair with Rachel's sister Miranda (and by Stephen's anger at his wife's emotional reaction). The case begins to break when Rachel, brave, resourceful, and fiercely determined to find David, learns who the sperm donor was (a New York doctor). Though many twists, turns, and nailbiting moments remain as David's danger increases, Rachel's intuition will finally come to the rescue. A fine addition to the genre, and a promising debut.