In this novel, a woman tries to understand her long-lost father by following the posthumous clues he’s left her.
Kate Randolph’s father, Jeffrey, left her family when she was 8 years old. Now she’s 33, and she’s been fruitlessly trying to track him down ever since: “As far as the world is concerned, Jeffrey Randolph ceased to exist the moment he walked out on my family twenty-five years ago.” Then she gets a call telling her that her father is dead, and she must travel to the picturesque town of Albany, Oregon, to settle his estate. Kate learns from her father’s hunky friend, Jake Sorenson, and some letters left by Jeffrey himself that the story of his disappearance will be revealed—but only if she follows the instructions. In the meantime, she can’t sell his house or possessions for a full year, nor can she collect the substantial estate left to her and her sister. Kate decides she wants answers and will play the game to get them. She quickly learns that Jeffrey Randolph is not her father’s real name, and that Albany is his hometown—not Pasadena, as he’d told her in childhood. Apparently, he was something of a genius when it came to astrophysics. More importantly, perhaps, Kate discovers that there are people out there willing to use violence to keep her from finding out the truth. And another thing: Her father might not actually be dead. In this thriller, Dineen (Kindred Spirits, 2017) writes in a sharp, lively prose that is equally comfortable rendering emotional domestic moments, flashy action sequences, and humorous observations (At one point, Kate asserts: “I’m pretty darn fit, but I’m not a runner. I joke the only way I’ll run is if I’m being chased with a knife. I discover that potentially being shot is the same kind of motivator”). The premise is wonderfully mysterious and immediately gripping. But it quickly enters a pulpy, James Bondian territory, which will, depending on personal preference, excite some readers while turning off others. For those willing to suspend their disbelief, the author provides some quality, page-turning adventures.
An expansive thriller that satisfies every absent-father fantasy.