Switchback: Catherine Anderson
Fear is something that everyone knows and experiences. But, the worst kind of fear is one that you cannot control and do not see coming. Mallory Christiani is the mother of a young child named Emily who is staying with her friend while she visits her father in law in the hospital. Although the friend is watching her daughter somehow she manages to wander off and is taken by a diabolical killer that will stop at nothing to get what he wants and that is where things heat up. Entering her father in law’s hospital room she realizes that he cannot speak. Learning that her daughter might be missing more than heartbreaking. Bud Mac Phearson is a private investigator that Keith her father in law hired to protect her. But, before she can even learn his real name and trust him things spiral out of control. Bud receives a message from Keith that he needs to protect both Mallory and Emily but the message does not come on time and Emily is now the pawn in this killer’s plot. Mallory is nurse and at times she seems quite astute and smart with her snappy answers and her quick comebacks. Yet, at other times she falls apart, fears for her life and has to put her trust in a man she hardly knows. Can she and will he be able to get Emily back?
The unravels as both Bud and Mallory are constantly on the run as three killers are after them, both are in danger, cars explode, homes are ransacked, offices are pilfered and the reason is a missing key. Just what does the key hold is the focal point of why the killer took Emily and the reasons why these three men who work for him are after Mallory. A serious crime boss is hot on their trail and taunts them at every turn. But, Bud is smart and knows his way around and handles each situation quite masterfully as he manages to counter offer the killer each time he threatens to hurt Emily. Ledgers, books and accounts are at the heart of what this man wants and the fact that the three men working for him are skimming off the top and stealing from him he cannot quite process. Hoping that Bud can pull of an identity switch and with the help of his friend Shelby and a police detective, they hope that Bud can fool the bank officers and manage to get what is in the safety deposit box, lure the killer and get Emily back.
Some feel that he is not quite thinking and the fact that Mallory is rich, appears to them aloof and snobby just from her appearance alone does not make it easy for Mac to convince Shelby and some others to help him but. But, Trudy her father in law’s secretary comes through and the inventive way Mallory figures out how to find the key and who Keith communicated with before his stroke brilliant. As the events unfold even further it leads to the truth behind what an accountant for the kidnapper was doing, how he cooked the books, get involved with three men who worked for him and the road led back to the man’s real name and prostitution ring.
The chemistry between Mallory and Bud begins to heat up and somehow you can imagine what just might happen next. But, the focus is on finding Emily and both will stop at nothing and risk it all to find her and bring her home. Threats are made, the killer has given them a time limit and Mac just might give it all up for Emily’s life.
With her father in law in the hospital and unable to communicate Bud and Mallory learn the truth behind the package, the documents and why Keith did not turn them over to his son’s killer. Learning that her husband’s death was a murder was crucial and heart wrenching coming up with a plan to take him down quite unique. Under duress and forced to comply with the demands of this person Keith tried to handle the situation but had a stroke from the stress. Finding out that he was visited in the hospital by someone pretending to be a priest was alarming especially since Darren and Keith were both Methodists and this was odd. The killer is smart and learns their pattern, several of his cronies are trying to kill both Bud and Mallory and the plans to escape capture are quite unique, dangerous and scary. Learning the true identity of the kidnapper provided the information needed to understand his motives and why the documents were so valuable. Using that as leverage was the creativity of both Mallory and Bud as they devised a plan to not only get Emily back but also has to find a way to bring him out in the open.
Situations change and she sees a photo and realizes Bud’s connection to Darren and understands his allegiance to Keith but not sure why he is helping her. Fake ID’s, conversations overheard, Emily’s life in the balance and a child who just wants to come home and does not understand why she cannot and misses her stuffed dog Ragsdale. Wanting to be with her mom and her grandfather is just what she needs but being a young child she does not fully understand why she is being separated from them both.
Linking the situation to the kidnapper, his other business, two girls murdered and an accountant who turned rogue and knew too much, the story becomes quite complex and the solution to taking down the three men who are following them and were skimming money and the doctored books that this kidnapper did not know about makes for the start of an explosive ending.
Just how they attempt to stop what has been put into motion you have to read for yourself. Why Mallory turns on Bud will revert back to his past and their connection just might be broken.
Will they manage to stay focused and get Emily back? What happens when he decides to risk his life for the child? Just what scheme does Mallory come up with in order to safe his life? An ending that is heart stopping, electrifying and will keep you riveted to the printed page until the final words are written and you hope that the author brings these two back again. Switchback: : a zigzag road, trail, or section of railroad tracks for climbing a steep hill which aptly describes the ups and downs of the situations which these characters endured.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews: MJ Magazine