by David Morrell
Warner Books, May, 2002.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
Brad Denning is a successful architect with a wife and son. Life is pretty good, until one day a man shows up claiming to be his long-lost brother Petey. Brad has always felt guilty over his little brother's disappearance, which happened when they were both children. Petey always followed Brad around. One day Brad told Petey to get lost and not follow him and his friends. Petey rode away on his bicycle and was never seen again. Now he's reappeared in Brad's life, looking quite haggard. But Brad is so excited to see him that he takes the stranger into his family. Petey knows all kinds of details that only his brother would know-surely he's the real thing? Petey seems to be integrating into the family fairly well, until the family heads off on a camping trip. Petey pushes Brad off a cliff, leaving him for dead, and kidnaps Kate and their son Jason. Brad survives and calls in the FBI who tells him that "Petey" was really a con man named Lester Dant. With the assistance of a p.i. who is a retired FBI agent, Brad sets out to find his family, regardless of the fact that the police and FBI seem to have given up. As he digs into the life of Lester Dant, trying to find out who he really was, he steps into the horror that was his little brother's life, and towards an unknown future in which his own wife and little boy may not even be alive.
Long Lost is an absolutely chilling suspense novel. Brad Denning, the man who never gives up on finding his family, is a complex and believable character: he's an ordinary guy who has been placed in an extraordinary situation. And "Petey" is a vivid character that will repulse you, even as you feel incredible sympathy for what he endured as a child. This is a fast-paced, thought-provoking and immensely entertaining novel.
Long Lost is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the October - November, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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