☆☆➹⁀☆ 3 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What It’s About:
Isaac Childs has the perfect life—until that life comes crashing down when his wife Ramie vanishes.
Isaac learns that his wife’s disappearance is the ninth in a string of similar cases. In the wake of this news, he struggles to cope, to be a good father to his daughter and college-bound son, and to reclaim something of an ordinary life even as he conceals his troubled past.
After the FBI makes an arrest, and his wife is presumed dead, Isaac begins to move on. Yet will his secrets catch up with him? Has he conquered his vices for good? And what of the FBI’s theory that the case isn’t completely resolved, after all?
Evolved Publishing presents the first book in the “An American Family” series, contemporary suspense thrillers that explore one family’s trials and tragedies.
In An American Family, the first in a duet series from Jackson Baer, readers are quickly introduced to the seemingly happy Childs family. After tragedy strikes, the family’s façade begins to show its cracks.
Mr. Baer paces his character-driven story well as it toggles between the family dealing with their loss and the police hunt for both victims and perpetrator. Isaac and his children each turn to destructive behavior when initially dealing with their loss. Through family support and prayer, they muddle through and eventually resume their lives. When the story seems to be headed toward happy endings for each of the family members, Mr. Baer throws a humdinger of a curveball the creates the conflict for book two in the duet.
Mr. Baer has created very realistic characters whose flaws vary in severity, but make them no less empathetic. The family dynamic is quite interesting. It is quite loving and supportive, and it is devoid of any parental judgment, which conveys the message of the relative importance of the issues facing the Childs’ family.
I found the FBI investigation story line to be more interesting than the family drama, but unfortunately, the investigation was not the main focus of An American Family. The dramatic twist in the story was both predictable and a bit too fantastic. While I have no issue with the predictability, the nature of the twist was too unbelievable for me. Overall, An American Family was an interesting read that has intrigued me enough that I plan to read the second book in the duet. It is light on the crime/mystery, but it is a complex family drama.
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