A Cry in the Night by Linda Castillo
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1186, $4.75, PG) ISBN 0-373-27256-1
***
A Cry in the Night is the third in Linda Castillo’s series involving the members of the Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue Team. Each of them has been informative and interesting, shedding new light on these unsung heroes located no doubt throughout the country. This novel however, has the most time devoted to the angst of the principal characters.

Buzz retired from the Denver Police Department when a bullet wound almost left him paralyzed. For his wife Kelly, his gunshot would was the final straw in their relationship. Kelly lost her father and brother in an airplane crash as they were headed toward a forest fire as smoke jumpers living on the adrenaline rush of their jobs. She was not about to repeat the scenario with a husband.

Buzz elected to pass up a cushy job in corporate security and head the SAR team. So Kelly filed for divorce and, as one of his last gifts to her, she conceived a child. Buzz ‘s history was mired in abuse and having worked the child abuse squad for the Denver PD, he was categorically opposed to having children.

Since this was yet another point of disagreement in their marriage, Kelly made the decision not to tell Buzz that he was a father, knowing he did not want a child. The deeper reason is that she doesn’t want her son growing up emulating the dangerous life style Buzz had chosen.

Kelly and her son Eddie are out hiking one day when Eddie disappears. Kelly is frantic when she cannot find him and the appropriate rescue personnel are summoned. Kelly knows that Buzz is still her best bet, and rushes to the headquarters to enlist his aid.

To discover he has a son, and to know that he is missing are double traumas for Buzz but he gamely sets out to find Eddie. Kelly will not leave his side in the search and they are eventually faced with the leading edge of a forest fire that is draining the meager resources of rescue personnel in the state.

This story is about their search…for Eddie and for the threads that wove their marriage together. The sexual tension is well paced, and the search is realistic; however, the incessant inner dialogue of the characters as they go over their mutual angst time and again is tiresome.

Yet the dialogue is believable, scene description is vivid, and the torment of a mother whose child is missing comes through very loud and clear. A Cry in the Night is worth reading, but I would recommend starting with the first in the series.

--Thea Davis


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