Lauren’s young babysitting charge, Ben, the mayor’s son, has gone missing in the middle of the night.
Seemingly, the first she hears of it is when sneaky Detective Carole Evans shows up on Lauren’s doorstep, wanting her to come along to search for the missing child. Lauren quickly learns that her high school–senior brother, Tom, seems to be the primary suspect since he may have been stalking Ben in the days before he disappeared. But Tom has gone missing too. Grady, who, though previously unknown to Lauren, appears to be Tom’s best friend, combines forces with Lauren, utilizing his very superior knowledge of all things computer to both try to locate Tom and figure out who the actual kidnapper could be. JJ, the mayor’s sketchy teenage son, seems like a good candidate. Tension—as well as a developing connection between Grady and Lauren—quickly increases, culminating in a bit of illegal entry and a scary car chase. It’s only near the conclusion that Lauren reveals her actual role in the entire affair. Since she’s served as narrator, her near-complete failure to hint at her much greater knowledge seems like a rather underhanded ploy. Still, Lauren’s edgy personality, Grady’s admirable tricks, and plenty of suspense make this a worthy read.
An engaging and entertaining mystery, especially for those who don’t mind if they can’t solve it before the protagonist. (Mystery. 12-18)