Forgive Me: Daniel Palmer
Angie Derose and Nadine Jessup came from two different families and two different worlds yet they were the same. Nadine’s parents were neglectful, hard on her and never really supported anything she did. Although she always got high grades in school her mother never complimented or praised her and threatened if she did not do well. Verbally abusive, a father who sent tons of money but no love or hugs, just guilt money, neither parent saw what others might have had they been looking closer: A sad, lonely, angry and dejected teen whose mother spent her days drinking and abusing liquor, going through the motions of life and not wanting any responsibilities that go along with it.
Angie Derose is a private investigator whose primary goal is to find runaways or throwaway whether children, teens or adults. Angie’s family is different from Nadine’s in that her parents are supportive, eager to hear about her day yet both divorced from their families. When Kathleen and Gabriel met and decided it was love at first sight and she became pregnant the harsh words came at them from both sides and the end result was they no longer wanted anything to do with their families. So, both Angie and Nadine have something in common: Nadine parents that don’t care and Angie a mystery about her mother’s family and why. But, when her mother suddenly passes away and Nadine decides to runaway, their paths intersect, a photo of a young child with the words: May god Forgive me on the back sends Angie on a hunt to find out more about the child, what her mother wanted forgiveness for as we take a trip back to the prologue and see hear a woman’s thoughts, listen to her words as she writes a check and pens the words; May God Forgive Me on the back.
As the head of DeRose and Associates Private Investigators in Virginia, Angie’s main goal is tot find and bring back home runaways. Angie takes pride in her work and often feels like a runaway herself as she goes off at times and gets so immersed in her job that she forgets life and literally runs away into the path of finding those lost. When her mother dies of a massive heart attack and this photo comes to light of a young child, the message and code written on the back: May God Forgive Me, and the facts about the paper it is printed on lead her to 1988 when the photo was taken and New York City which is the where. With the help of Bao and another investigator named Mike they search data bases, every social media that Nadine would possibly be on but the author brings to light in a unique and unusual fashion just where Nadine is, who she met and what kind of life she is leading as a naïve 16 year old girl, lies about her age, falls prey to the lies being told to her, meets a man claiming he can put her in films, and the end result will astound readers as she shares her life through her diary with author Daniel Palmer has graciously gotten her permission for all of us to read. As you read the diary, hear her inner most thoughts, meet Ricardo the young man who appears to care for her, clothes her, feeds her yet her identification cards, money, cell phone and credit card disappear and the jewelry that belongs to her mother in his possession, we begin to see the sad mosaic tiles that once made up Nadine and her disjointed life, but in tact, fall apart tile by tile.
As the story unfolds we get know more about Angie, her past and other things that she found belonging to her mother and her father claiming no knowledge of. Hoping that Nadine would call or text her she and Mike managed to get a phone to Tasha, one of the girls in the apartment but when Nadine stalled, the phone found and Tasha disappears, the story takes on another turn as no one seems to be able to escape this place nor their fate. Angie is still bent on finding out who the girl with the deformed ear in the picture was and why her mother wrote a check every March 4 for 200 dollars to a specific place.
Microtia is a birth defect on a baby’s ear that is the prime focus of the photo Angie found. . This occurs when the outer or external ear is small and improperly formed. These defects can vary and at times hardly seen or being a major problem with how the ear is deformed. Somewhere out there is a young girl with the initials IC that has this deformity and as Angie working with Bao learns not only whom she is but also when she was born they have to figure out the significance of March 4, 1988.
Contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is how she found out whom this child is or was and that her family is supposedly in the witness protection program and why. But, where they are now does not show up and the fact that they are in the system and cannot be found is something that she and Bryce Taggart a U.S. marshal she is interested in getting to know better just might find that missing link and how it relates to her mother. Did her mother have anything to do with what happened to Isabella? Does her father hold the answers but is not telling?
Interspersed we learn of a man named Raynor who has a link to both Angie and Ivan the drug trafficker but what has yet to be revealed as he is taken off of following Angie to tail someone else and take care of a man named Dante who knows too much. Someone is running the operation but who as Nadine decides to visit Ricardo, deal with her life and tries to rid herself of the demons that wake her at night and do something to help others. Will she work with Angie? What happens when she and Tasha reconnect? Will Nadine ever accept herself as who she is being beaten down both physically and mentally so many times? The issues are great within this powerful novel as readers learn what happens when young girls are desperate for success, to escape their homes and present situations and are naïve and not street smart enough to realize they are being roped into something they will regret. Missing children, abused, sold into drug and sex trafficking thinking they will better themselves and falling prey to sexual predators, abductions or worse. Angie spends her life trying to locate and find these children, teens and adults in some cases with the help of Bao and Mike Webb plus her staff she often succeeds and places the found person/persons on her wall of pictures but one would never be found and her determination to learn about this missing child is relentless as Angie is about to uncover something that will change her life forever.
Sometimes the best-kept secrets are the ones to never reveal but with the knowledge and information she finds she approaches two people that are supposed to be on her side and honest. Betrayals, deceits, lies and deceptions as author Daniel Palmer takes readers and Angie on a roller coaster ride filled with tilts, curves, speed and a final downfall that will stun readers when the final scenes are played out and the truth is revealed. When Angie questions her father and refuses to give up what happens next is like watching a horror movie in slow motion. Someone appears out of nowhere and another follows as Angie learns the truth behind her father’s life, his secret and her mother’s lies. When all is said and done and the end result is revealed and the sadness and grief will never be lifted author Daniel Palmer’s research into the history and work of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, including their two separate divisions and what happens when things get so far out of hand that people disappear, lives are falsified and truths mind be better left buried. An ending quite compelling, powerful and a final scene and final journal words will bring tears to the hardest heart, help you understand what happens when a young girl finds the wrong direction, wants to become something else and realizes that there is one word that will help her: HOPE! Where is Nadine and what is Angie’s fate as she comes face to face with a harsh reality and a killer? Will she survive or will she be another casualty in a plot so intricate, do creative and so intriguing that only author Daniel Palmer can create leaving readers wondering what is next? In order to learn what happens to Nadine, Angie and the rest you need to read this outstanding, compelling and heart breaking novel and remember the next time you hear an Amber Alert remember to look long and hard at the face or faces that need all of our help to bring them home. Sometimes lives intersect or intertwine for a reason: Angie/Nadine: Are they really that different? Why did her mother write those words on the back of the picture? You will have to learn that for yourself: FORGIVE ME!
Fran Lewis: MJ Magazine/Just reviews