Londoner Robin Ballantyne is producing a TV series about missing persons, so it makes sense that she's investigating the disappearance of Melanie Jacobs, a cameraperson who vanished six months ago.

Melanie often worked in war zones, and she was attending classes to learn survival strategies when she went missing. Since then, investigators have uncovered few clues concerning the case and have no idea whether she's even alive or dead. But Robin starts digging and turns up new information: Melanie was last seen talking to an instructor who is now in Cambodia clearing land mines. Robin heads there to try to find out what happened to Melanie.

The pace of the story slows after a strong start. Some of the secondary characters are flat, lacking differentiation and making them somewhat hard to remember. The book is written primarily in past tense, and occasional use of present tense distracts from, rather than highlights, the tension of key scenes. Still, an interesting plot makes this a worthwhile read. (Sep., 306 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters