A cop—and mainstay of the Connor-Quincy series (The Killing Hour, 2003, etc.)—is kidnapped, but is it really for ransom?
Usually Rainie Connor is as saucy, savvy and sexy as the genre allows, but she’s not been herself recently. Actually, she’s been a bundle of seriously jangled nerves. As a result, we find her being nasty to her lover/partner Pierce Quincy, and, even worse, seeking emotional solutions in a bottle. And then, just like that, she’s gone! The Bakersville (Ore.) police find her car abandoned by the side of a mountain road, engine still running, purse on the passenger’s seat, no sign of Rainie. Naturally, Quincy’s distraught. He knows how resourceful Rainie is, and it’s hard for the ex-FBI profiler to profile the kind of assailant who could have out-maneuvered and disarmed the redoubtable Rainie—her ever-present Glock has disappeared from her purse. Compounding Quincy’s unsettlement is the realization that as spouse surrogate he heads the official suspect list. That changes when the ransom note arrives at the local newspaper. Now, at least, it’s clear to law enforcement that they have a kidnapping on their hands. To Quincy, however, the paltriness of the number—$10,000—is disturbing. What seems obvious to him is that Rainie’s kidnapping can hardly be about money. It’s about something else, something—the thought scares him—personal.
As ever, Gardner is hot to plot, but few are the twists fresh enough to counter been-there-read-that.