Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review:'Found, Near Water,' A Suspenseful Mystery by Katherine Hayton.
In Found, Near Water by Katherine Hayton, missing and exploited children are a focus for a support group headed up by Christine, a victim support councilor and coordinator who works with the police in various situations. The yammering and neediness of her focus group is beginning to wear on her, and her impatience is keeping new members away. That didn’t faze the members already aboard for they want the spotlight for their own pain. Having become almost friends they are comfortable talking about issues, yet Christine is struggling to focus. Her irritation makes her curt for they have all had their moments and she is fighting her own anguish.
When the police ask for her assistance with a young woman injured in a car wreck, she finds herself intrigued. Why does this woman insist that her young daughter is now missing, taken from the car after or during the accident? Wouldn’t the woman’s husband know if her daughter was missing, for he does not come forward? There is something quite strange going on. The woman seems quite delusional, yet as Christine begins asking questions she is shocked. The woman does have a young daughter, and no one seems to know where she is. On further questioning, she realizes that there is a strange tenseness, a compartmentalization that surrounds Rena, the young mother.
As Christine begins her perusal of the situation, she also keeps in touch with her husband through text, trying to heal her own relationship woes. She is torn between duty and her own past, but this case is one that pulls her out of her own doldrums. Where is the child and why did the father not report her missing? Although out of the country when called about his wife, no mention was made of a child.
Now the police must reevaluate the evidence and dig much deeper in their effort to find the truth. Little do they know that this strange and unusual disappearance will open a “Pandora’s box” of disturbing offenses occurring over the years, putting to rest one of the most sadistic of perpetrators.
Hayton has given us a mystery with teeth. Whenever it comes to missing and exploited children there is always that painful feeling, for there is an innocence lost when a child disappears. The edginess of the story begins right from the beginning and the missing children are threaded together into a strange and eerie nightmare of questions and answers. The characters are in pain and have their own mistakes and flaws that they try to overcome, and each deals with their pain in their own fashion. You are amazed at the resilience that helps to hold them together.
The mystery itself is well done and just as strange as the rest of the brew that spews from the pages. As the facts are all entered, Hayton throws in another bit of incongruity as she details the background of Christine herself.
If you enjoy mystery and suspense this is a great book to add to your collection. There is a satisfaction as the situation breaks loose and the puzzle is solved that will make this one you will want to read over and over. Hayton is an author to watch for.