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Friday, March 12, 2010

Abduction by Wanda L Dyson

Karen Matthews woke up one morning to find her infant daughter's crib empty. Jessica Matthews was gone without a trace. When the police investigate the situation, they suspect Karen and Ted of foul play. Zoe Shefford has been calling herself a psychic for years because of her strange mental ability to know what kidnappers are doing at certain time. She wants to bring all kidnappers to justice ever since her twin sister was kidnapped and killed when they were both young. Now the police have asked her to help in the baffling case. Josiah "JJ" Johnson objects strongly to the use of a psychic and immediately makes an enemy out of Zoe. But their incessant fights do not help the case since the killer is still on the loose...

Where most authors feel content to write a simple and straightforward suspense plot, Wanda L Dyson has done just the opposite in Abduction. This book is not a straightforward mystery. There are multiple plot elements introduced; half of them ending perfectly, half of them not. This is slightly realistic, but more comforting because Wanda, unlike most suspense authors, seems to actually have a grip on reality.

First of all, the characters are well developed. There are no perfect characters. Many of the characters have personalities, and all of them are imperfect. Character development is a necessity in fiction, and more and more authors are getting a grasp on this concept. The character development makes Abduction a stronger plot than most of its suspense counterparts.

Zoe's gift is a bit off and not well explained. Adding this gift element throws a little spice onto the recipe, but it also serves to slightly clutter up the plot. At least the gift subplot comes to a good end.

The rest of the plot elements are very contradictory.The kidnapper is not an animal and is surprising, but he instigates a cheesy showdown, and Zoe knew him from her past.

Basically, the biggest asset this book provides is good characters, and the biggest drawback is the cheesy showdown that ends predictably. We must always reward good characters, but we must never reward predictable showdowns.

Wanda's biggest strength is plot element diversity. She is able to create multiple realistic situations at once and not end them all predictably. I expect more good things from her in the future.

4 stars

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