At age 8, Adele Webster disappeared from her home without a trace.
Now, eight years later, Addie has escaped her captors and returned to her family—at the White House, where her father, a former Virginia governor, is two years into a term as president of the United States. Family, friends, and the entire country are overjoyed to have Addie back, but not everyone believes Addie is just an innocent victim. When the president’s special adviser on cybersecurity blackmails Darrow Fergusson, the last person to see Addie before she disappeared, into spying on her, Darrow discovers his oldest friend isn’t as naïve or as lost as she appears. Outwardly, Addie is meek and has no memory of her life before the kidnapping, but unknown to everyone else, she’s become a computer-hacking genius with a mission, one that, if successful, will bring the U.S. government, and the rest of the world, to its knees. Unfortunately, this thriller doesn’t thrill. The third-person, perspective-switching narration is bland; some characters don’t seem to have a purpose; confusing plot points interrupt the story’s flow; and dry characterization drags the story down. There are a few heart-pounding moments and a cliffhanger ending, but nothing can redeem what could have been an enticing political thriller.
Skip it. (Thriller. 12-16)