(The 911 Abduction series)
by CK Webb and DJ Weaver
Published: October 2011 by Suspense Publishing
Highway travel can be lonely and treacherous. Broken down vehicles litter the Emergency Lane like corpses on a battlefield. What if you were alone with no one to call when you found yourself stranded? Your only companion; your small child sleeping in the back seat. What would you do?
On I-10 in Louisiana the answer is simple… you use the Emergency Call Box. But while you sigh a breath of relief in the knowledge that help is on its way, a much more sinister listener has heard your 911 call.
Calls for help are coming in from Emergency Call Boxes along I-10 in Louisiana. But, when the State Trooper or wrecker service arrives to assist, there is no sign of the vehicle. Days later, the driver is found savagely murdered with no trace of their tiny passenger in sight.
When a police officer, formerly of the Aberdeen Police Department sees a twisted pattern of murder and child abduction arising from 911 calls, he contacts Sloanne Kelly, now known for her work with child abduction cases. Together, Sloanne, Shawn Tyler and Mac Mackenzie, with the help of reporter Birney Sullivan, go on the hunt for a killer and the innocent children he is collecting.
Along I-10 people and children are disappearing. The parents are turning up savagely murdered, but there’s no sign of the children. Someone is keeping them, but why? No one sees the connection between the disappearances, except Detective Mac Mackenzie, and he enlists the help of Saving Angels, the countries leading agency for finding missing children. Sloanne and her crew immediately see the connections, connections all too familiar to them. But with the resistance of other Police Departments, will they be able to find and bring these children home? Or will the killer keep collecting innocents?
Collecting Innocents is the second book in this series. Nothing can kill the flow in a story quicker than too much back-story, and that’s a common issue when reading books in a series. A majority of the first few chapters is riddled with information from the previous book, and a reader can’t help wondering when the heck they’re going to get to THIS story. But the authors did a wonderful job weaving the background of the first book into this story. Not having read the first book, I was able to jump right into this one, getting enough knowledge along the way of the characters history without the flow being bogged down by too much back-story.
The authors waste no time pulling you into this story, and being a mother myself, right from the start I felt the fear; being stranded with my child in the car, then the momentary relief that help has arrived is quickly smothered by terror. And from there I was hooked.
The plot moves and a wonderful pace, fast enough to keep my heart rate soaring, yet with enough breaks that I could stop and catch my breath before they were on the hunt again. It’s in the flawless pace you feel the author’s experience in the genre, particularly as the story really heats up. The cliffhangers and the end of each chapter feed into the desire to keep reading, regardless of how late it is, how tired you are, or what you’re supposed to be doing other than reading.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book as well. All of them you’ll find have their own distinct voice, mannerisms, and personalities. The crew from Saving Angels have their own strengths and weaknesses, and together they form the perfect team, making them the ideal group to help find the children.
The ending for me was slightly predictable. However, I have spent many, many years reading this genre, so most books in this genre have a somewhat predictable ending to me. That would be my main issue with this genre (which by the way is still one of my favorite genres), you’re really only left with two options for an ending; catch the bad guy, or they don’t catch the bad guy. I won’t spoil it with which way this ending went. I will say though that the authors did a wonderful job wrapping up all the loose ends. It wasn’t the dry, run-of-the-mill, blurting out the facts manner that many other authors tend to use.
Overall this was a good read for me, one of the better ones I’ve read in a while. I felt a connection with the characters, the urgency of needing to find the children, the fear that they wouldn’t find them, they pulled me into the rush of the chase. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the genre. And I would gladly read the first book in this series and the upcoming book as well. The authors have spent a lot of time learning their craft, and their efforts show in their work.
About the authors:
CK WEBB was born and raised in Mississippi, and dreamed of writing like the greats; Emily Bronte, Edgar Allen Poe, and Stephen King, to name a few. CK joined the US Navy and traveled the world, but eventually returned to settle down in the tiny town of Millport, Alabama. A self-proclaimed ‘reformed bad girl’, this thirty-something writer now shares her life with her husband and two beautiful children. CK also enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and book club. Although CK delights in preying on the fears of others and enjoys killing people…thankfully she does it the legal way; in her novels. She has just completed the first two novels in the 'Innocents' series which she co-wrote with her best-friend and mother, DJ Weaver. CK writes in a variety of other genres and also writes articles and book reviews for Suspense Magazine.
DJ WEAVER originally hails from Pascagoula Mississippi, but relocated to north Mississippi in 1980. She took courses at Mississippi University for Woman and Mississippi State University, studying paralegalism and Human Resources Management and has worked in the clerical field for twenty-five years. DJ, along with her daughter and best friend, CK Webb, recently completed the first two in the three-novel Innocents series. She also writes in a variety of other genres. When she isn‘t writing, DJ develops and maintains WebbWeaver Review blog, where she reviews books and interviews published authors regularly. She serves as co-chairwoman of WebbWeaver Book Club and also writes book reviews for Suspense Magazine.DJ is a 50-something year old mother and grandmother who now works part-time and makes her home in Millport Alabama.
You can find them on The Innocents series website. Also find CK Webb and DJ Weaver on Twitter.