CALL THE DEVIL BY HIS OLDEST NAME
The kidnapping of assistant district attorney Mary Crow's godchild sets a dangerous game of retribution in motion. Mary, godchild Lily and the baby's parents, Ruth Moon and Jonathan Walkingstick, become pawns in a sinister plot to avenge longstanding grievances.
Three-month-old Lily is the light of her parents' lives, and Mary loves her as if she were her own child. Lily disappears after Ruth and Jonathan have a fierce argument, and law enforcement officials believe that Jonathan took Lily to prove a point. Their response to Ruth's pleas for help is minimal. Frantic, Ruth calls on Mary to help search for Lily. As the circumstances of the kidnapping come to light and clues are uncovered, Mary fears that it is she, not Lily, who is the kidnapper's ultimate target.
Bissell creates an excellent balance among plot, characterization and setting. The search for Lily proceeds at a breakneck pace, and the psychological tension increases steadily as the characters are developed. Subplots are equally suspenseful. The result is a captivating psychological suspense, in which the need for revenge brings the story to an astonishing conclusion. (Mar., 400 pp., $6.99)