PURGATORY KEY by Darrell James


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The search for two missing teens is sparked by an unexpected connection between one of the missing and the investigator herself.

Lissa Rogers has always been an adventurous girl. So when she takes her closest friend, Kendra Kozak, on a kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou, Kendra isn’t sure what to expect. Terrebonne Key, where they finally come ashore, proves to be more mysterious and less friendly than anticipated. The two girls soon find themselves held hostage by the island’s inhabitants, brothers Payton and Teddy, who are able to enforce their will on the girls by threatening them with Gigi and Java, two captive white tigers. Meanwhile, Lissa’s grandfather Edgar Egan gets in touch with investigator Del Shannon due to her reputation for being able to find anyone, and fast. Del’s reluctant to take the case, since she thinks that Lissa’s just an irresponsible teenager who’s failed to keep in touch. But a surprising connection between Del and Lissa convinces her otherwise. It’s icing on the cake that FBI agent Frank Falconet gets assigned to track down Payton and connects with Del in doing so. The two embark on a road trip to Louisiana to track down Lissa and Kendra and find out along the way if there’s any love left between them.

Though he features a female protagonist, James tends to treat his female characters badly. That’s a shame, since they’re often the brains in the house (Sonora Crossing, 2012, etc.).

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7387-2371-6
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2013


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