I had no idea what to expect from this novel as I'd never heard of the author and didn't pick it out myself. My husband happened to be going through Costco on Friday and picked me up two books, one of which was this one. I'm pleased to say I was very pleasantly surprised. The book just captivated me and held my attention page after page after page.
Abby Mason and 6-year-old Emma Balfour were walking along Ocean Beach on a cold July morning in San Francisco. Emma was intently searching for sand dollars. Abby would soon marry Emma's father, Jake. Emma begged Abby to let go of her hand so she could better search for her precious sand dollars. With a promise to stay close-by, Abby let go. She picked up her camera from around her neck and took one shot, looked down to rewind and advance the film, looked up again to take Emma's picture, but she was gone! Just disappeared.
Jake was away for the weekend visiting old friends and returns immediately to face police questions, a polygraph exam, television reporters, and Abby. All he could say to her was: "How could you?"
Abby and Jake had met a year before when Abby was doing a slide-show at the high school where Jake taught philosophy, soccer, and American History. They made a date to meet the following evening at a Giants game.
Teachers, friends, neighbours, and complete strangers are frantically printing posters, manning telephone tip lines, organizing and participating in official and unofficial search parties with one common goal - to find Emma! Jake is barely holding himself together and Abby's feelings of guilt are physically, emotionally, and spiritually all consuming.
Desperate to try anything, Abby goes to see a hypnotherapist after a friend tells her someone aided in the capture of Ted Bundy, a real-life serial killer by seeing one.
"This is a riveting drama of how life can change in an instant, of a family torn apart by the search for the truth behind a child's disappearance, and of one woman's unwavering faith in the power of love."
May 15, 2011