Mira, Jan 2009, $6.99
In Blue Rose Creek, California Maggie Conlin arrives at her son Logan’s school to pick him up only to learn her husband Jake already did; when she cannot find either of them, she learns he took their child and went into hiding. She is extremely anxious because Jake since his return home from Iraq where he was a contract employee has not bee the same as he was before he left. He has become paranoid with loud public outbursts including accusing Maggie of having an affair with Logan’s soccer coach.
Jake is in Cold Butte, Montana with Samara, a nurse who saved his life in Iraq. She contacted him when she came to the States and is using father and son as a cover while completing her mission. She seeks vengeance ever since the despicable West murdered her husband and son.
Near Banff, Alberta, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Daniel Graham fishes out of the river Emily Tarver; before she dies she whispers: “don’t hurt his daddy”. He finds the bodies of her brother and mother. The father Ray is a free lance journalist working on a story of international scope. Due to bizarre circumstances Graham meets Maggie and they fly to Montana to retrieve her son and prevent a terrorist attack on the Canadian-American heartland.
Rick Mofina is a great thriller writer. His latest work is full of action and yet the main characters are fully developed even as the third person point of view changes from the distraught mom to the despondent RCMP officer to the PTDS suffering Jake to the embittered Samara. Thus the fast-paced story line enables the audience to understand what motivates the adults. Ironically though Maggie and Samara are antagonists, they share much in common especially as moms; many readers will conclude that if the American’s child was brutally murdered she would be the victim turned terrorist. Thus the key to this strong work is making Samara an empathetic character doing wrongs because she has been wronged. Mr. Mofina is at his best with the superb character driven SIX SECONDS; as that is all it takes to destroy a person’s world.