When eleven-year-old Henley Fairbanks is abducted on her way to school, the FBI doesn’t waste a moment, sending agents to scour the area and embedding Special Agent Ava McLane with the distraught family. In the eye of the storm is local detective Mason Callahan, who also happens to be related to Henley. To make matters worse for Mason, the kidnapping comes on the heels of the murder of his longtime confidential informant, and he’s been sidelined from the investigation. Now both he and Agent McLane are holed up in the Fairbanks’ home, along with Callahan’s ex-wife, Robin. Every second counts in a kidnapping case, and the stakes keep rising the longer Henley stays missing. As Ava and Mason struggle to hold the Fairbanks family together in their darkest hour, the two investigators find themselves more and more drawn to each other.
I finished this one fast.… what can I say? I frigging loved this book. As usual Kendra has outdone herself. The characters already felt familiar since most of them had been in previous works and I was giddy to see Brynn and the SARs team was pulled in to this one as well. The story hits a sore spot in some peoples hearts I would assume -I know it did in mine- because no one wants to ever know what its like to lose a child at the hands of a crazy person. No matter the underlying reasoning. I loved the dynamics between Mason and Ava. If was as if they were drawn to each other. Soul mates maybe? God, I hope so.
As with the other books of Kendra’s I mixed this with reading parts on my kindle and the other was done via audio book. The narrators for this series Nailed it. Nick did a spectacular job. And Amy was just as wonderful. Their voices helped to make this story feel real as I listened to it.
***small spoiler alert***
Mason Callahan and Ray Lusco are back at it again. Callahan gets a frantic call from his ex-wife, Robin, as he leaves a crime scene. A crime scene of his long time confidential informant So his already shitty day takes another nose dive. Robin’s step-daughter Henley has gone missing. Henley is the daughter of his exes husband. Their family is one of those, yours, mine and ours type. Henley went missing sometime between leaving Robin and her father's house and the bus stop or the school. At this time its unsure. They just know she didn't arrive at the school. thanks to the absentee messages that were sent out to her mother. Mason hauls himself to their home to see if he can help. Not only is he worried for the child but he is worried about how this will effect his son, Jake, Henley’s older step-brother.
When FBI Special agent Ava McLane arrives at the Fairbanks home she jumps right in. At the end of the family interview she is assigned to stay at the family home in case she is needed. its a bit of a stretch for her as she is frothing at the mouth to get out in the field and help find Henley. Mason -as a member of the family- assigns himself as the families liaison to the FBI and the investigation itself. Having him there will make sure that at all times the family is updated and they get the right questions asked. As the case progresses the family members are questioned again as individuals. Just to make sure there was nothing missed. As if Callahan doesn’t have enough on his plate things from his CI’s death come up and it seems he may be implicated in her murder.
The kidnapping, Mason’s CI’s death and the stress his family is under is all building up in Mason and he doesn’t have an outlet for it. He is trying to stay strong for everyone and put on a brave face but the only that has caught a glimpse of him not being okay is Special Agent McLane. But he pushes that away and plays it off. Then atop all of this things in Mason’s CI’s murder case has mounting evidence against him. Someone is setting him up. but who and why? Not only are his prints inside her apartment they are on the bat that was used to kill her. As the case grows with the CI’s case the hunt for Henley increases. Small things start to build into the larger things.
Seems someone in Mason’s past or present is after him. Does this have to do anything with Henley’s case? Would there be someone that would use Henley to get to Mason? She wasn’t his kid. How could it be? As the CI’s death case builds Mason is taken off the roster. His commanding officer takes his badge and gun, placing him on administrative leave. There was too much evidence against him. Though no one really believes him to be the killer, but its what has to be done. As the family tries to focus on keeping themselves sane the FBI and Mason put in as much time as they can into finding Henley’s kidnapper. Praying the little girl is safe. As another night passes Ava gets a call… they found bloodied clothes at a rest stop off the interstate.
Ava and Mason both joined the other FI agents and forensics teams at the rest stop and after going back and talking to the mothers, they find out it looks like Henley’s. And there was blood on it. What had happened to her? By Christmas eve, things had changed. The kidnapper sent in a note with GPS coordinates for them to find Henley. Ava, Mason and most of the FBI head to the national forest where they met the SARs team. Brynn -who is a nurse and a SARs volunteer- is teamed with Mason, Ava and one other officer and they set out in teams. Heading off in the areas leading towards the coordinates they had received. As they searched they called out for the child, then barking caught their attention. They raced towards it and were rewarded by finding Mason’s dog and Henley. The little girl was wrapped up in clothes and the dog had been laying with her to keep her warm.
As they carry the girl down the hills towards their cars Henley wakes up in an officers arms. When she seems Mason he talks to her, reminding her that he was Jake’s dad. The little girl hands him a note she was left with. Panicked as she tosses it to him. Its a note that makes his heart race. The kidnapper is going to take the one thing that means the most to him.. there is only one thing that could be. His son. The crazed kidnapper was going after Jake. As they race down the road Mason is finally able to get a signal and reaches Robin. They’ve already been notified that they found Henley but as they celebrate one miracle they discover Jake is missing from his room. He left a note he is at his girlfriend Miranda’s. As Mason and Ava haul ass over there the worst possible thoughts run through Mason’s head. This psycho has been after him all this time. Each thing that has happened over the last few days. Again, the question is… why?
When they arrive at Miranda’s they find that she had been tied up and the kidnapper had been there to ambush Jake. As Miranda tells Mason, Ava and the other officers what happened he gets a phone call. When Mason answers it.. its the kidnapper. With a few words said to him by the kidnapper Mason not only knows where the man is with Jake but who it is. His past has definitely come back to beat down his door. An incident with a crazy man in a grocery store now has Mason racing to save his son… and pray its not too late.
So now what’s next? Oh you know I am so headed to read Bridged. HA! Same narrators on the audio book as well.. it should be an awesome ride!
Until next time, keep the pages turnin’!