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by Lisa Bork

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7387-2336-5
Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

A sheriff’s deputy tries to cure his wife’s baby blues by bringing home a foster child.

Losing the infant she’d hoped to adopt has sent car dealer Jolene Asdale Parker (For Richer For Danger, 2010, etc.) into a deep depression. What could be a surer cure than the 12-year-old juvenile delinquent her husband Ray Parker agrees to foster? Danny Phillips’ dad is in the slammer for grand theft auto. So Danny gets parked with the Parkers, and it’s Jolene’s job to enroll him in school, cook him tasty, nutritious meals and supervise him when he gets suspended from school for fighting. (You might think a kid who’d been living on the street might have some anger issues, but it turns out Danny was only defending Ray from a classmate with a thing against cops.) Like father, like son: Danny disappears and gets caught in a hot-wired Camry. Which turns out to have a woman’s arm in the trunk. Finding the owner of the severed limb turns out to be Ray’s job, and soon the clues start to implicate the elder Phillips. Eager to shield her new foster child from more pain, Jolene noses around for an alternative solution, although she’s distracted by the disappearance of her bipolar sister Erica, who’d been hanging around a strip joint called The Cat’s Meow trying to pick up the leftovers.

Would a judge really find the dysfunctional Parkers better parents than Danny’s career-criminal dad? That’s not the only question Bork’s disappointing third fails to answer.