On a sultry afternoon in a small dusty village, Milla Boone faces every parent's nightmare. Two assailants kidnap her six-week-old son, leaving Milla in a pool of blood, left for dead. For ten years Milla's resolve to find her son never wavers. Returning to the scene of the crime, Milla begins to piece together not only her son's fate, but the fate of countless other children who have disappeared in to what appears to be an elaborate and highly lucrative baby smuggling ring. Cautiously, she joins forces with James Diaz, a dangerous stranger with his own agenda, a man who is as untrusting as he is untrustworthy. As Milla's search for her son intensifies, along with a growing desire for Diaz, the quest becomes more treacherous. Suddenly entangled in an intricate criminal network of conspiracy and murder, Milla finds herself the hunted - the target of a lethal force of hired assassins that aims to silence her permanently.
Wow! I felt quite exhausted after finishing this one and can only say that my fears after reading All The Queen's Men and finding it bland were groundless. This was a Howard book that I could love and that made go through a mix of different emotions in a very good way. I can totally see how this book might upset people, it deals with a horrifying subject which is the kidnapping of babies and the selling of organs in the black market, and it features a hero who has no trouble getting rid of the bad guys and calling it justice.
I must say that from the very beginning I was totally engaged in the story. I felt for Milla when first she lost her son and then later when we discover what happened to her marriage. I actually liked Milla very much, not everyone would be able to do what she did and actually fight to prevent other crimes from being committed and she certainly paid a high price in her private life for spending most of her time tracking lost of kidnapped people.
One day she receives the information that a man named Diaz may have been involved in stealing her son and starts trying to track him down. But Diaz is not a man who is found, he finds the people who are looking for him and that's what he does one day showing up at Milla's office. She knows he is not the man who attacked her but finds out that he does know who did. So, 10 years after her son was kidnapped Milla finally finds a lead about what happened and who was behind it...
It is obvious from the Beginning that Diaz is a mystery, he may be a murderous mercenary or he may be a government agent, and to tell the truth Howard wrote him so well that I think in the part a part of him remained a mystery. He decides to help Milla in her quest to find her son and soon it is obvious that there is someone trying to keep her away from the truth.
Although I have to say I started suspecting the villains almost as soon as they appeared the truth is that that doesn't change the fact that this was a wonderful suspenseful story. And even after everything is out in the open Howard still manages to surprise me although maybe I shouldn't have been because Milla really was that kind of person.
I did like Diaz very much, he is definitely not your average romance hero and he remains enigmatic till the end but he is a good guy and I quite liked the development of his romance with Milla. In the beginning I felt she was the one opening herself to be hurt because he seemed much more detached from her but in the end, after she spends the time at his house to grieve, it was obvious where is feelings and his priorities lay.
Regarding the aspect of vigilantism that may shock some people and especially one particular scene all I can say is that Howard managed to write such evil villains that I really couldn't care less what happened to them and at least a part of me actually felt they got their just desserts. This is what you get when you think with your emotions instead of with your brain but it’s very hard to evade an emotional response to such a theme.