Valerie Vincent thinks the worst of her life is behind her when she divorces alcoholic Johnny Starr, boots out his crazy anti-Satanist parents, knuckles down to finish her college paper on the Salem witch trials, lies about having a daughter, and leaves her toddler Joanna with her old friend Esther Klein in order to take a job as companion to blind, crippled Antonia Carrera. But her carefully reconstructed world shatters when someone kills Esther and then, passing herself off as Valerie, breezes into the local police station and takes off with Joanna. Valerie's nightmare only deepens when the police link Joanna's abduction to Deliverance And Safe Haven (DASH), an underground network of born-again kidnappers and deprogrammers of small children whose membership just might include Johnny's lunatic parents. As Valerie struggles to figure out just which of her would-be supporters she can trust--dried-out Johnny, manipulative Antonia, Valerie's predecessor Kristin Denby, zealous journalist Kevin Murchison?--Wallace (The Seduction, 1993, etc.) expertly throws suspicion on one after another of them until you're as overwrought as poor Valerie. Once again, Wallace's breathless fantasy strikes deep into the core of paranoia that Mary Higgins Clark's recent novels have missed.