DETOUR by James Siegel
Kirkus Star


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A pair of American innocents ignore their friends’ warnings about traveling to Colombia to pick up an adoptive baby. Complications ensue.

Paul and Joanna Breidbart have it all except a family of their own. Their salaries—he’s an actuary, she works in human relations—have given them a comfortable life in New York but no hope of conceiving a child. Unwilling to endure the long wait they’ll have for a baby from Korea or eastern Europe, they jet to Bogotá, the mountainous capital of a land torn by drug battles and civil strife. At first everything seems to go smoothly. Their driver, Pablo Loraizo, is an old hand who obviously knows what he’s doing; María Consuelo, the coolly professional director of the Santa Regina Orfanato, duly approves their application for parenthood; and Joelle, the adorable little girl chosen for them, even comes with Galina, her own nurse, who’s considerably better at parenting than the novice couple. And then Galina doesn’t seem like such a paragon after all. She doesn’t want to put Joelle down on her back the way the textbooks say you should, and she takes her out one day without telling Paul and Joanna. Her infractions are the first ominous sign that something’s very wrong—something that won’t stop till the happy couple have been kidnapped and separated, and Paul’s on his way back home carrying a fortune in drugs in a most uncomfortable place. As in Derailed (2003), Siegel shows all the ingenuity of Hitchcock in leading his clueless heroes gently into nightmare, and if once more he’s considerably less convincing when they start to fight their way out, exhausted readers will be grateful for every ounce of their spunk and unlikely skill.

A thriller that explodes with the energy of a high-velocity bullet, even if it does lose both power and accuracy toward the end of its amazing trajectory.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 2005
ISBN: 0-446-53185-5
Page count: 320pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2004


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