Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee is a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and up into the wee hours of the morning just so you can find out what happens in the end. Imagine putting your child on a bus for her first away from home camping trip -you’re already nervous and scared to let her go – then imagine waving goodbye and then… another bus coming to pick up your daughter…
This is exactly what happens to Lena Trainor when she puts her nine-year-old daughter Sarah on the bus for Camp Arno. The young man driving the bus, J.D., seems friendly and is very good at putting Sarah at ease so Lena feels pretty comfortable letting her go. There are a few little things that she really doesn’t think about until later that should have made her a little wary but being preoccupied these things weren’t significant enough to really grab her attention. The bus leaves to pick up three more children and Lena goes inside to finish up with things. Not to long after a second bus comes to pick up her daughter. Lena is beside herself – who was that then that just picked up her daughter and took her away?
A parent’s worst nightmare! The four kids have been kidnapped. Where are they? Who took them? Why were they taken? Can it be that one of these parents sitting in front of Lena are responsible in some way? So many questions and Lena has answers for none of them. To make matters worse things aren’t the best between her and her husband, David. The time Sarah was away was to have been a time for them to hopefully repair their relationship and now it’s just full of accusations; each wondering if the other wasn’t responsible in some way.
The parent’s receive an email demanding a one million dollar ransom. As the story evolves we start to learn more about the parents and begin to wonder if one of them might not have set this up themselves. But they couldn’t have — who would have their own child kidnapped for the sake of getting money? Everyone is looking at everyone else and wondering if any of them can be trusted. With the ongoing investigation, we learn that everyone has their secrets and we’re taken on a roller coaster of twists and turns with still no clue as to who has committed this crime. And all along Lena is wondering if she’ll ever hold her little girl again.
This story is told mostly through Lena and then alternates with chapters of the kids. I liked Lena as a character and her daughter Sarah is certainly an independent, spunky little girl. One thing that I have to mention that I found odd is that these kids didn’t seem to have much computer knowledge or technical knowledge at all for that matter. I know kids this age and maybe even younger who might be able to run circles around me on the internet but that’s a minor glitch; it certainly doesn’t take away from the novel. The sections when we see into the minds of the kidnappers is downright creepy – how people can justify things to themselves is scary indeed.
I was hooked on this story from the first chapter because of course I had to know how they would get the children back or if they would and I finished it quickly. The only thing I wish had been different was the ending – it felt a bit rushed to me and I thought it could have been done a little differently but again a very minor complaint. Never Wave Goodbye is a fast-paced thriller that will have you flipping those pages in a hurry – a great debut novel from Doug Magee.
You can pick up your own copy of Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee here in the US and here in Canada. Be sure to visit Doug Magee’s website as well for more information on him and his books. And I’ll leave you with the book trailer to enjoy and be sure to pop by Peeking Between the Pages tomorrow as Doug will be here with a guest post to share with all of you…
My thanks…to Diane Saarinen for the invitation to participate in Doug Magee’s Blog Tour and for my review copy of Never Say Goodbye by Doug Magee.