Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Taken by Kathleen George

It is always exciting to discover a new author. Kathleen George is a professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh from which she also has earned her B.A. and M.F.A. in Creative Writing. I read a review of her newest book, The Odds in Entertainment Weekly and two
things caught my eye - the book got a grade of A- and it was set in Pittsburgh. Upon doing some research about Kathleen George, I found that the detective in the book had also been featured in previous novels. So being the kind of person that I am and having to do things in order, I had to start with Taken.

The novel begins as Marina and Michael Benedict leave a marriage counselor's office. As they go their separate ways Marina connects with a darling baby in a stroller coming from the elevator. As many people do when they see a cute baby, they interact and comment to the mother on how cute the child is. Marina was no different. She was especially touched since she and Michael could not have children. But then as she headed home and got on the bus she saw the baby again. But was it the same child? Of course it was, only this time the baby was in a man's lap - no stroller, no diaper bag. Something was definitely amiss. The man and the baby got off, but Marina could not let it go. Hastily asking the bus driver to stop a block further on the route she retraced the route and attempted to follow the man and baby. Here began the gripping and thrilling tale of how she became involved in a kidnapping and eventual murder scene.

The police are immediately called by the mother of the baby who turns out to be the wife of a young Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher and as a result thrusts the kidnapping into a major news story. Detective Richard Christie begins the investigation into why and how the abduction has occurred. As Kathleen George points out, it couldn't be for ransom money, because the kidnappers would be then be the last people in America who knew how poor the Pittsburgh Pirates were. As the investigation unfolds with all the twists and turns, it keeps the reader turning pages and on the edge of her seat.

The setting moves all around the Pittsburgh area to Erie, West Virginia, and Ohio. Within the city itself we get glimpses of East Braddock, Gateway Towers, and of course Primanti's.

There is tension in the book that is conveyed to the reader - tension between Michael and Marina, between the kidnappers, and between Christie and his wife. All lead to a grand mystery and entangling plot lines. It was a great read - stayed up way to late to finish it - and cannot wait to start the next one.

No comments: