From the Cradle, (DI Patrick Lennon #1), by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards

Four stars

Another great novel by British duo, Mark Edwards and Louise Voss, who pull on the heartstrings of any parents or those close to young children. After returning from dinner out, Helen and Sean Phillips find their toddler missing from her bed and Sean’s elder daughter passed out on the couch. Fearing the worst, they alert the authorities, who are already handling two other kidnapped toddler cases in the region. DI Patrick Lennon heads up the investigation and adds the Frankie Phillips case to the list, seeking similarities that might help the investigation. When one of the children’s bodies turns up, Lennon must determine if this is the work of a serial kidnapper and what fate might belie the other children. Struggling with issues in his personal life related to his daughter and estranged wife, Lennon juggles moving forward with the investigation as the leads prove fruitless. Might there be someone with an inside interest in the Phillipses, seeking to enact revenge for something they’ve done? Lennon and the MIT9 Squad must strike before Frankie becomes a victim of more than kidnapping. A great mix of drama and psychological thriller, Edwards and Voss pen an excellent novel, complete with plot twists, that will pain any parent but force them to read on in hopes of redemption.

Well-versed in the Edwards-Voss team writing, I could not wait to get my hands on this novel. It has the necessary story development to keep the reader intrigued and characters with an ever-evolving backstory to ensure that minute facts play strong roles in the forward movement of the narrative. With a sprinkling of social media mention, common for both their series, Edwards and Voss bring the novel into the 21st century to a time when false empathy and highly critical statements have their own virtual soapbox. Well written and captivating to the point that I am looking for the sequel to see how Lennon will handle all that he has on his plate.

Kudos, Mr. Edwards and Madam Voss for this wonderful introduction to the MIT9 Squad. You have Patrick Lennon painted in an interesting light and I am eager to decipher more about him, given time.