A woman inherits a psychic ability that helps her find missing children, but now she’s a target.
Milford, Connecticut, special education teacher Sara Slane Allbrooke can enter the minds of missing children—an ability she uses to help her husband, Detective John Allbrooke, solve tough cases. While she’s in the mind of the kidnapped Teddy Hansen, she hears the words “Let’s play a game!” and knows what comes next. The kidnapper, a cult member who also possesses psychic powers, has been feeding clues to Sara, specifically music notes, as a part of a twisted game. Even though she can see and feel everything the child does, the kidnapper remains faceless. She meets Samuel Hawk, a retired Navajo detective, at the scene of a crime. He believes this same kidnapper struck his reservation before and ominously warns her that when a gift like hers is stopped, there are repercussions. Soon after, a co-worker gives her a difficult ultimatum: She must choose between teaching and working with the police. Sara—emotionally drained from her mind melding with children and desperately wanting to keep her teaching job—says she’ll stop helping the cops. Caleb, Sara’s brother who also shares her talents, enters into the mix. Slowly it becomes clear that the kidnapper doesn’t want these children; he wants Sara. Debut author McCrea builds a robust narrative by focusing in on each of the complicated characters, such as the kidnapper’s conflicted son, who wants to distance himself from his father’s cruelty. And at one point, Sarah’s husband, John, wonders: “What kind of man let—even pushed—his wife to continue doing something that was destroying her?” Sara’s skill attracts characters interested in the power, including Samuel. While some subplots distract from the narrative, a shocking reveal and a cliffhanger ending leave a lot to anticipate in the planned sequel.
An absorbing but overpacked thriller with a multilayered cast.