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Publisher's Summary

Judge Scott Sampson doesn't brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she'll get the kids from school instead.
It's not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn't have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent's most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. A man who warns the judge to do exactly as he is told in a drug case he is about to rule on. If the judge fails to follow his instructions, the consequences for the children will be dire.
For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper's call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told.
Through it all, Scott and Alison will stop at nothing to get their children back, no matter the cost to themselves or to each other.
©2017 Brad Parks (P)2017 Penguin Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Narrator George Newbern gives Sampson a conversational yet compelling voice - at times vulnerable, at times furious but consistently determined. The story is fast paced, engaging, and heartbreaking." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ida on 03-29-17

OMG! I Did Not Think That I Would Survive This!

This marvelously written story is not for the faint of heart. Some pretty horrific things occur. Without giving too much away I want future readers to know that there is jealousy, lying, kidnapping, child abuse, accusations of marriage infidelities, vultures feasting on human remains, extortion, thefts, misdirected trusts, deceitfulness among spouses, relatives, co-workers and old friends. Under the most extreme crushing circumstances Women are portrayed as strong capable people, even the little girl. Remember that I don't want to give too much away!

It is also a frustrating story about how much parents will do for their children. Frustrating because the parents become amateur detectives. Legitimate trained law enforcement officials have minimal roles until the end. Frustrating because for almost 3 weeks the torturous manipulation went on and a child was missing. Frustrating because of the false starts, twists and turns of storyline. I was so tensed up that I had to go to the pool to work out some frustrations. This story is frightening and sooo good. I recommend it highly.

I love George Newbern's narration. There is an even tone and cadence to his voice. There are no distracting noises such as spit clicks, heavy breathing or shrillness. The slight variations in the male voices is good. This story is told from the point of view of Scott Sampson, who happens to be a federal judge and the father of a set of twins. Through the writing and Mr. Newbern's reading, the listener experiences each emotion of Scott's.

As mentioned earlier, this is an excellent story and one that shouldn't be by-passed.

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17 of 20 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Paula on 03-11-18

Implausible at Best

Even though this book was very engaging and kept me listening, the plot had so many implausible twists and turns in it that I found it to be ludicrous at times. For example (spoiler): a six year old girl is kidnapped, held for 21 days, burned with cigarettes and electric shock, threatened with death, threatened with having her fingers cut off, had her head shaved of hair, had one or more anaphylactic shock episodes; and comes away just a normal six year old? I don't think so. Also, a wife suffering from terminal cancer doesn't tell her husband, shoots it out with the bad guys and dies to save her daughter? Yep, just a normal family.

Too bad about this because the narration was great and the story had terrific potential.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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