Simon Fisk is a hunter of lost children. If there is a dispute between alienated parents and one of them takes a child of the relationship, Fisk goes after the child. He does not however deal with non-parental child abductions. This is because his own child was abducted and has never been found. Thus this type of situation would be too painful for him to pursue. But in the novel GOOD AS GONE by Douglas Corleone Fisk is forced into pursuing such a case. This makes for a heart wrenching but also adrenaline producing adventure that readers should eat up.
Fisk is first seen on his way to an airport in France. He has been working on a case involving a young boy and he has successfully returned the child to the parent who hired him. His techniques in obtaining the boy are a little outside the realm of legal permissibility and so Fisk is not surprised when he is stopped by the police. They escort him back to the police offices of Lieutenant Davignon.
Davignon tells him of a six year old girl named Lindsay Sorkin who has been abducted while vacationing with her parents in France. Using Fisk's "illegal" activities as a coercive factor, Davignon persuades him to agree to look for the little girl. This sets off a chase all over Europe that subjects Fisk to danger from a variety of forces.
Fisk is a master at his job and he soon is on the trail but at each stop in his investigation he is thwarted by people who want to block his efforts. Some merely warn him off while others take steps to do him bodily harm. It also appears that anyone who helps him in his investigation will also place their life in jeopardy.
Corleone is very good at keeping his story packed with excitement. He also knows his geography and has an extensive knowledge of the locales where Simon lands during his pursuit of the kidnappers. This knowledge of the landscape gives an authenticity to the book that makes the characters and events more believable.
What isn't as convincing are the coincidences that turn up at every corner. Fisk and his companions are just too lucky in their ability to elude danger, and clues to the trail of little Lindsay are just too easily found.
Still the book grabs the readers with its unique plot perspective and keeps them reading all the way through the story. Corleone races with the wind in telling Fisk's story, and leaves the reader gasping for breath at the end.
GOOD AS GONE is published by Minotaur Books. It contains 304 pages and sells for $24.99.
Jackie K Cooper