This is the first in a police procedural series featuring Detective Cooper Devereaux and set in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. He's the archetype of maverick cops with unorthodox ways and a very sketchy history. The "child" in him is quite messed up and his background provides fodder for the development of the premise and main theme of the book -- is your future behavior predicted by your genetics, is it in your DNA? Or can you choose who you want to be?
In this outing, he's partnered with a cop on loan from vice, Jan Loflin -- another pretty messed up character with her own secrets and she and Devereaux have a lot in common though they don't really trust each other. The case that they are to work -- a 7-year-old boy, Ethan Crane -- has been abducted and is apparently the latest in a string of kidnappings spanning many years. Can they find him before it's too late?
This was well-written, fast-paced and full of twists with some interesting revelations as the characters are developed and the investigation proceeds. Although some of it was predictable given the genre, the narrative unfolds and is told in alternating points of view with a timeline progression. I really was into the story -- until the very end. The conclusion with its insinuation left me COLD and very unsettled. I'm not sure if I want to continue. I don't have the second at hand, but I do have the third, and I guess I must read it to find the answer I need to set my mind at ease -- or not.
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballentine Books for the e-book ARC of this to read and review.