Abduction, by Gillian Jackson

Eight stars

Having recently read one of Gillian Jackson’s more heart-wrenching pieces, I went in search of more. Thankfully, I was able to locate this book with ease, which ends up being almost as panic-inducing as a small child disappears and a family fights to find her. It was an August morning in 2000 when Grace Bryson was to celebrate her third birthday. When she disappeared at the party, no one could locate her, with the police soon becoming involved. The fruitless search lasted two weeks with no leads, leaving Stephen and Margaret Bryson devastated, as well as their older daughter, Elise. While out shopping in 2014, Elise sees a young woman she is convinced is her sister. After approaching her, Elise learns that the girl goes by Jane Solomon. While few people believe her from the outset, Elise is convinced and hopes to repair what was broken all those years ago. Able to convince the original detective, Jack Priestly, to take another look, Elise tries to determine what’s going on. Some oddities in the Solomon story leave Priestly curious about investigating a little more. As the narrative progresses, there’s a rush to see if Jane and Grace are the same person, as well as how the disappearance/kidnapping took place. Armed with a determination like no other, Elise will stop at nothing to rewrite her family’s horror story and turn it into a fairytale. Jackson does well in this book and keeps the reader’s attention throughout. Recommended to those who like an easy to digest book about child abduction and the devastation it brings to families, as well as those readers who like crime thrillers that can be devoured in short order.

While not as powerfully written as the other book of hers that I read, Gillian Jackson is able to effectively tell her story and keep the reader fully engaged from the opening paragraph to the final sentence. There is much to discover in this story, which tells a narrative from a variety of perspectives, all as the case heats up. Grace Bryson may have been abducted years ago, but there is one person who will not rest until the truths are known. Jackson uses the varied perspectives and added clues to paint an interesting tale that is sure to keep the reader wanting to know more. With a mix of character sentiments and time periods, the crime evolves as the chapters fly by. There is an underlying chill within the pages of this book, as one cannot shake that a child’s disappearance is sure to rock a family to its core. I did feel, however, that the story sped along, perhaps too quickly, resolving itself in short order and then used a sub-plot thriller until it is was time to piece together the events of August 2000 again. Jackson surely needed a little more content, though I might have wanted more on the more current Jane-Grace case, if I had my own way. A great experience overall, which is denoted in the fact that I read this in a single day.

Kudos, Madam Jackson, for another chilling tale. I am happy to have come across your work and hope others will take the time to enjoy them as well.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons