Minotaur, 2009 (2008)
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Reviewed by Tim Davis
hen Peter Leonard's first-rate, must-read thriller
opens, recently widowed Kate McCall and her sixteen year old son Luke are having considerable difficulties. Kate's late husband Owen, the former racecar driver and successful Michigan businessman, died several months earlier during a hunting accident, and Luke cannot get over feeling completely responsible for what happened. Luke's guilt, depression, and behavior problems - natural reactions to the accident - further complicate Kate's own grieving process and adjustment.
eanwhile, Jack Curran, a hard-luck fellow who had been convicted of armed robbery has recently been released from a long confinement at an Arizona prison, and he is now on his way back to home territory in Michigan. Jack's optimistic homecoming, however, is about to become unpleasantly complicated by DeJuan Green and Teddy Hicks, Jack's former partners-in-crime who are eager to confront him and demand their share of the missing $257,000 that the trio had stolen together.
ack, however, upon his return to Michigan, is surprised to find out that his former girlfriend from more than sixteen years earlier - Kate McCall - is, as Jack sees it, once again
. When confronted by Jack, though, the recently widowed Kate is more than a little reluctant to enter into any relationship with anyone; moreover, Jack - because of his past problems - is not likely to become the person who would change Kate's reluctance. Persistent and resourceful, however, Jack works tirelessly to convince Kate that he has put his problems behind him and has become a responsible, law-abiding fellow with plenty of potential.
hen, just when Kate thought life for her couldn't become more difficult and confusing, Luke disappears. At first, Kate thinks he may have run away. Or perhaps he became lost in the nearby forest at the family's northern Michigan cabin. Instead, though, to her horror, she discovers that Luke has been kidnapped. And when the high-stakes ransom demand arrives, Kate is determined to do whatever it takes to save her son.
hrough adroit plotting, compelling characterizations, and explosive action, debut novelist Peter Leonard (son of the legendary Elmore Leonard) delivers a top-notch novel in which absolute evil invades and threatens to destroy the lives of a decent and honorable family.
is an extraordinarily impressive, impossible-to-put-down thriller that will keep suspense-filled readers burning the midnight oil as they look forward to whatever surprises Peter Leonard will offer up next.
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