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No Child of Mine by Kelly Irvin
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432825300
Date: 21 September 2011 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

No Child of Mine, a Christian mystery from Kelly Irvin, takes the reader on a breathless ride as police hunt for an eight-year-old kidnapped in a ploy to exchange him for a major drug stash. In the process, they discover a five-year old girl killed years before. The novel is heavy on child abuse, drug use, and redemption.

Daniel Martinez, estranged from his wife, has taken in foster child Benny Garza after his mother is imprisoned for drug dealing. The boy thrives in his new home until snatched during a wedding reception. The kidnapper intends to use the boy to blackmail his mother into revealing the location of drugs he gave her. The syndicate wants the drugs back.

Daniel's family consists of several police officers who swing into action to find the boy. While investigating, they also find the body of a small girl buried nearby. The former tenant of the property claims his wife took their five children and disappeared. The dead child had once been in a foster home.

The tenant had hired a detective to locate his family, but then retired and never reported followed up with the detective. The detective never returned from a trip to the wife's former home. The police have no trace of the wife or the children.

The police don't know who kidnapped Benny and sort through the list of visitors his imprisoned mother had. Before police can question her, she is attacked and killed by another prisoner. With her death, the police have no way to locate the drugs the kidnapper wants.

The novel provides plenty of excitement and several shootouts. Some readers will be appalled by the child abuse and Benny's treatment by the kidnapper. They will like the close and supportive family relationships. Daniel comes across as contradictory and worried over Benny, but not as much about his other children despite his determination to save his marriage. The religion is generally soft, but a bit heavy at times. Irvin's first novel, A Deadly Wilderness, was well received.

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