The Lucky One

by Lori Rader-Day

Publishers Weekly Alice Fine, one of the protagonists of this complex, intimate novel from Mary Higgins Clark Award–winner Rader-Day (Under a Dark Sky), works for her ex-cop father’s Chicago construction firm while also volunteering for a website that matches missing people with unidentified remains. After seeing the face of the man who kidnapped her when she was a toddler among the listings, Alice calls on two other volunteers to help follow that lead. Meanwhile, Merrily Cruz, alerted by the police that her not-quite-stepfather, with whom she only corresponds sporadically by text, is missing, tries to seek him out. As the two women’s searches—and lives—collide, decades-old secrets come to light. Rader-Day creates deeply believable, empathetic characters and puts the power in the hands of women, including older women. Pacing is fast but not frantic, and the story’s constant surprises and reveals evolve naturally and come together satisfyingly free of loose ends. The tightly crafted storytelling brings heat back into the familiar cold case plot, digging deep into those aches that never really fade. Agent: Sharon Bowers, Miller Bowers Griffin Literary Management. (Feb.)

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Library Journal Kidnapped as a child from her backyard in Indiana but quickly rescued by her policeman father, Alice now volunteers for The Doe Pages, scrolling through image after image of unidentified individuals in an effort to reunite loved ones. There she spots her long-ago abductor, which sends her on a mission to find him before he strikes again. From the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

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Kirkus An online project to trace the fates of missing persons and unidentified murder victims bears poisonous fruit for two women it brings together.Everyone involved in the Doe Pages has their reasonscivic-mindedness, moral outrage, obsessive curiosityfor the interest they share in gathering information about the anonymous parties whose photos they pore over. Alice Fine's reason sets her apart. Taken from her home when she was only 3, she was lucky enough to be rescued by her father, a police officer in Victorville, Indiana, apparently before anything terrible happened. In the generation that's passed since then, Harrison Fine has quit the force, moved to Chicago, been widowed, and become the can-do junior partner in the contracting firm of King and Fine, where Alice is working in a meaningless hanger-on position the day she's scanning the contents of the Doe Pages and spots the photograph of the man she's convinced was her kidnapper. By the time Alice catches up with Richard Miller, she and a pair of her online buddies have uncovered evidence that he lived many lives before the last one came to an end when he was stabbed 12 times. One of these lives, Rader-Day (Under a Dark Sky, 2018, etc.) begins hinting early on, involved Merrily Cruz, who knew Miller as Richard Kisel, the man so close to her mother for so long that he was practically her stepfather, the man who on her 30th birthday leaves her a text message"Hey, kid, it's best if I don't bother you anymore. Have a good life"that so interests state trooper Graciano "Gonzo" Vasquez that it pretty much guarantees that "Rick Kisel was going to ruin their lives, all over again." The ensuing developments send both heroines spinning down converging rabbit holes to their dimly remembered pasts until Alice concludes, "She was in Wonderland." It's not a pretty place.Another harrowing nightmare by a master of the sleepless night. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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