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The Day I Died    by Lori Rader-Day order for
Day I Died
by Lori Rader-Day
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2017 (2017)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Anna Winger scrutinizes people's handwriting. Interesting thing to do. Companies hire her to help them with hiring new employees. She can read their applications and deduct from the writing on these forms whether the applicants tell the truth in answering the questions on the paperwork. Or possibly whether the possible new employee is capable of handling the job they are applying for.

A small boy has disappeared from the town she and her teen son have moved to. She is asked to read a ransom note and reveal what she thinks of the kidnapper's handwriting. She can see that this is a serious case. However, the local sheriff doesn't believe in her hocus pocus. When her own son disappears, the sheriff finally trusts her skills but that does not produce either one of the boys.

The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day kept me on the edge of my chair. The title alone makes a reader want to pick up this novel and dig in. Why was the little boy taken and did his father's family have anything to do with his disappearance? Anna is pretty sure where her own son might be. He has never met his father and she believes her son is on a pilgrimage to find him. But there is a lot more to the boys' disappearances than simply kids who didn't like their lives any more and felt they could do better living with their other parent.

Rader-Day captures a teenager's thoughts and creates a character in Winger's son that is right on the mark. I believe raising a teenager is one of the hardest things to do. But it can be done and Winger does it for her character very well. The anguish that one must go through when a child disappears is depicted realistically. At least I think so. Never had to face that while raising my three. I have to admit, the title of this mystery drew me into the book at first glance.

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