Yesterday’s News: Author: R. G. Belsky
Information to help readers understand the gravity of this issue:
When children go missing families are devastated, lives and relationships are ruined and marriages can be disbanded. Trust is set aside and fear and anxiety is in its place. In the United States approximately 460,000 children are reported missing every year. But, this is only a small fraction of the problem as in many other countries the numbers might be higher, lower but not always accurate. Sometimes children are thought to have runaway, hiding from parents or just out without giving anyone knowledge of his/her whereabouts. Information is placed in the wrong databases, records when a case is closed might be deleted and the lack of numbers and these numerous discrepancies do exist and is one primary reason why ICMEC and advocates for Model Missing Child Framework, helps countries with creating strong, well-rounded national responses, and facilitates more efficient investigations, management, and resolution of missing children cases.
One child that is missing is one too many but as you enter the pages of Yesterday’s News you will learn that not only is one child, Lucy Delvin the primary focus of a news story that became nationwide but hidden beneath an unmarked grave are six more innocent victims. When the bodies of children are found in a mass grave it sets off a chain of events that one Deputy Attorney General manages to uncover where these children are buried and the notoriety and fame causes this one man to think he is now untouchable and Senate material. Clare Carlson became a mega superstar with one story about an 11 –year- old girl named Lucy Devlin whose disappearance remains a mystery for over a decade. This missing child’s whereabouts after her mother walked her and brought her to school has remained an unsolved case for too long. But, Clare Carlson has decided to relive the events, bring the case back into the limelight since this is the 15th anniversary of her disappearance. Winning a Pulitzer Prize for her story about this child’s disappearance when her mother, Anne Devlin approaches her wanting her to try and find her daughter and bringing her information about an email she received from someone who claims to have seen Lucy and was there when she was abducted sets Clare on a path to learn more. As the news director she is charged with assigning stories to reporters to cover but this one she feels belongs to her. Even though her boss Jack feels is has been out of the loop and might not do well on air, her first attempt is backed up by her reporting team but when interviewing Elliot Grayson, Senate Candidate and hopeful, her skills seem to fail her and the end result she has to delete some of the interview hoping that what she has will be fine.
Clare cannot get this story rest and although her boss wants it dropped she moves heaven and earth to gather information. Going to where Lucy was last seen missing, finding the area where she was seen with the biker and placed on his motorcycle, leaves her and her cameraman in danger when several bikers decide to mark them for some fun. Fortunately, the Sheriff is astute and arrives placing the three bikers in his custody.
Elliot Grayson is at the heart of this mystery and seems to turn up every time there is a breakthrough in the case. Anne Delvin, Lucy’s mom swears she’s alive so when the mass grave is uncovered, how does Grayson know exactly where it is and how does he identify all six bodies. But, someone wants to unhinge him and things will start to unravel but first we learn that one of the young people in the grave, Johnny Manielli is alive and in prison thanks to the fingerprints and DNA from other crime scenes so who is in the grave?
Clare is bent on trying to figure out what really happened to the five other children in the grave but first she tries to get close to Grayson and one remark made about Lucy sours her opinion of him. At times she seems to impulsive, does not think things out and wants to do on air stories herself even though her news team is more suited to be in front of the camera when she does an interview that does not pan out the right way. Meeting with Patrick Devlin, Lucy’s father we learn about his estrangement from Anne and his new life. But, what is Clare hiding about her relationship with him and why does she at times feel responsible for Lucy’s death?
Grayson’s competition for the Senate keeps hinting he has something big that will ruin Grayson but no one seems to be shying away from him as he is powerful and when someone gets in his way he manages to take aim and fire in his own way.
The issue of child kidnapping, selling children in the black market for adoption and child abuse all come to light as one victim, still alive brings to light what would have happened if he reported his parents for abuse or even ran away and got caught. Schools and school administrators need to be more vigilant and reporting abuse does not mean the parent has the right to inflict more on a child when the allocations are true. The issue of greed comes to light when this young man’s parents pretend to be mortified and upset and are suing for their anguish and heartache all the way to the bank because they could care less about their son rotting in prison. Who is to blame for his actions: Him of parents that made him so angry and hateful he resorted to stealing, inflicting pain and hurting others?
Author R. S. Belsky creates a mystery/thriller so realistic and ripped out of the headlines as check the missing persons networks and realize that so many children are taken and never found. Clare is obsessed with this case and he created her in such a way as diligent news director that she seems to want back in the broadcast part using her journalism skills and sixth sense to solve this case and maybe many more.
Someone is playing two sides of a coin one straight and the other not to save lives sometimes you need to go outside the law. Deals are made, truths might never come out and one man stands to gain from it all.
An anonymous email that claims that Lucy might have been seen on at this motorcycle convention with a name named Elliot. A grave with six kids up in New Hampshire what does it have to do with Lucy? Is there a connection and why was Grayson so sure that she was on the wrong track? Ralph and Janis Manielli and Victoria gale felt differently about the deaths of their children. The Manielli’s could care less and never gave Joey a second through while Becky’s mom, Victoria was shattered and her relationship with her older daughter gone. There is much more that will be revealed about why her older daughter, Samantha rejected Victoria when she told her what her husband was doing to Becky and she refused to handle it the right way or even acknowledge that he was doing.
Patrick Devlin was the key to much of the investigation and he did not want any part of Clare but when the author creatively reveals why she persisted in learning more about his whereabouts and his friendship with Sandy Marston you won’t believe the connection and who else is involved. Added in he went to Mountainboro but why when denying it? He received an email just like the one his ex-wife did naming Elliot as the man that Lucy was with on the motorcycle as the plot thickens even more.
Grayson had a sister that was kidnapped and killed and this set him off on a quest.
Joseph Manielli had a police record at the age of twelve and when you hear him relate why he stole a car and his prints helped Clare learn something about the six bodies in the grave you will understand the rationale behind his behavior but the sad part is no one realized why he turned bad and why he refused help. When asked if they wanted to exhume the body of their child, that is those in the grave they all declined. Every victim: Becky Gale, Emily Neiman, William O’Shaughnessy, Tamara Greene and Donald Chang were from different parts of the country and different economic backgrounds yet someone wanted them gone or did they?
An explosive interview called an ambush interview will set in motion a story that many might think should not have aired but might help Clare get some answers she might not want to hear. A blockbuster ending delivered by author R.S. Belsky reminding parents, police, teachers, authorities and friends that staying silent can hinder finding a missing child and that we need more vigilance in finding children and taking reports seriously and not waiting 24 hours to begin the search.
What does Clare learn about Lucy? What is revealed about someone close to the case that might clarify something about the six children in the graves? Not everything is what you might think and the ending will shock readers leaving you to wonder if Clare is coming back to solve another case and if her relationship with Grayson is over. The news is powerful and a powerful tool to let the public in on what is going on in many areas that’s if it’s reported openly and honestly. When dealing with missing children make sure that reporters know that the stories should not be pushed back to Yesterday’s News but should be front and center and considered until solved: Today’s NEWS!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine