Demoted Utah cop Sam Kincaid must put aside personal feelings when the daughter of the man who demoted him is kidnapped.
Kincaid had been chief of the Special Investigations Branch of the Utah Department of Corrections until he ran afoul of Ben Cates, who is now executive director of the department. Cates asks Kincaid for help because, with his daughter Samantha’s life at risk, he acknowledges that Kincaid is the best man to find her. Readers learn at the outset that the kidnapper is Jorge Lucero. Two deaths, one of a retired cop and another of a judge, were initially thought to be unrelated until Kincaid and his team learn that both men were involved in a case regarding Lucero’s son. When that trail also leads to Cates, the investigators are frantic to find Samantha before Lucero’s path of revenge takes even more lives. There are some genuine moments of tension as the team works against a narrowing deadline. But Norman’s pedestrian prose too often gets in the way of his storytelling, with winceworthy phrases like “until I drink my first cup of Joe” or “I quipped.” And what normal person (not a waitress) offers a guest in her house “coffee, tea, or an assortment of cold drinks”? Still, Norman is able to portray Kincaid as a decent man trying to juggle passion for his work, his devotion to his daughter during a custody fight with his ex-wife, and perhaps even a chance at romance.
If readers don’t mind prose that occasionally stumbles instead of soars, they’ll enjoy following Norman's hero as he figures out the next steps in his life.