Burnt-out ex-cop Chris Judge is on the verge of committing suicide. After years of undercover work, he's lost the moral compass that used to keep him sane. However, a frantic phone call from the past forces Chris to realize that he might still be of use.

Twenty years ago, Chris wandered into an abandoned Aspen mine and discovered a girl chained to the wall. Ashley Lacouter had been kidnapped months earlier, and Chris, though only a teenager, managed to rescue her. Now a terrified Ashley once again reaches out to him.

Her worst nightmare has come to life. Ashley receives a taunting phone call informing her that her 15-year-old daughter, Lauren, has been kidnapped. She immediately recognizes the voice as that of Davey Potts, the man who kidnapped her all those years before. Now out of prison, Davey threatens to kill Lauren if Ashley calls the cops. Remembering how the authorities bungled her own case, Ashley refuses to call the police. Right now, the only person she trusts is Chris.

All the characters in this intense thriller are flawed and edgy. Making choices and living with the consequences is a major theme, which only adds to the drama. (Jun., 304 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith