No Child of Mine
Five Star, Oct 12 2011, $25.95
In San Antonio, U.S. Attorney’s Office Investigator Daniel Martinez and his estranged wife Nicole attend the wedding of Ray and Susana (see A Deadly Wilderness). The bride’s son Marco Acosta asks Police Detective Deborah Smith where his Tio Daniel is. The upset child explains to his Tio and Deborah that Daniel’s foster son, eight-year-old Benny, is missing. Evidence points to a kidnapping.
While Daniel desperately searches for Benny before the lad is trafficked or killed, Deborah and her police partner Alex Luna find a child’s skeleton on Ray’s ranch. While the two cops try to find the child and to solve a cold case homicide that has become hot, Daniel, also investigating the abduction knows time is running out for his Benny.
This sequel is a gritty police procedural that looks deep into the visible underbelly of the city and the more discrete but as ugly rural areas. Besides the urban gangbangers, there is also plenty of drug and other illegal trafficking on the back country roads. Although the romantic subplot seems out of place and rushed, the condemnation is for an under staffed overworked foster care system in which politicos only give a sh*t when a media incident occurs. Readers will enjoy this dark Texas thriller.