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It's the stuff of nightmares: Nora de Jong returns home from work one ordinary day to find her mother has been murdered. Her infant daughter is missing. And the only clue is the body of an unknown man on the living-room floor, clutching a Luger in his cold, dead hand.
Frantic to find Rose, Nora puts aside her grief and frustration to start her own search. But the contents of a locked metal box she finds in her parents' attic leave her with as many questions as answers--and suggest the killer was not a stranger. Saving her daughter means delving deeper into her family's darkest history, leading Nora half a world away to Amsterdam, where her own unsettled past and memories of painful heartbreak rush back to haunt her.
As Nora feverishly pieces together the truth from an old family diary, she's drawn back to a city under Nazi occupation, where her mother's alliances may have long ago sealed her own-and Rose's--fate.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-08-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Van Heugten’s sophomore effort (after Saving Max) chronicles the ordeal a mother goes through to rescue her kidnapped daughter, uncovering the truth behind her own mother’s past along the way. In 1980 Houston, pediatric surgeon Nora de Jong comes home to discover her mother Anneke’s mutilated dead body next to that of a man Nora’s never seen before. Missing from the house is Nora’s six-month-old daughter, Rose. Fed up with police bureaucracy, Nora takes matters into her own hands, traveling to Holland, the de Jongs’ homeland, to chase down clues. She’s aided by Nico, whom she fell in love with when she studied in Amsterdam but reluctantly left behind to pursue a career in America. Though riveting from start to finish, the book’s credibility suffers as the villain grows more cartoonish and evil, and van Heugten stumbles by letting us into the kidnapper’s mind early on, reducing the element of mystery. The story remains absorbing nonetheless, working best as that of a daughter discovering things about her mother and her family. Agent: Al Zuckerman, Writers House. (Nov.)