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Taut thriller from a pro

WHERE ARE YOU NOW? By Mary Higgins Clark, Pocket Books pounds 6.99.

CHARLES "Mack" Mackenzie Junior went missing when he was 21. That was 10 years ago and he only phones home on Mother's Day to say he's fine.

His lawyer sister Caroline decides her mother has suffered enough and she yells down the phone during his annual call that she will find him and end the family uncertainty. Why did he go missing? Is he in trouble?

No sooner has she reopened the long shelved missing person investigation, than Mack is linked to the disappearance of a young female student. Perhaps he was also responsible for three others who have also gone missing during the last 10 years.

The author has a track record of thrillers that all make the best seller list so she knows how to create a professional job and that's what this is.

Escape from bigotry

SECOND VIOLIN by John Lawton, Phoenix pounds 7. 99.

ALEX Troy is a Russian- born newspaper magnate who watches with unease as Hitler takes command in Europe in 1938.

His son Rod is a journalist in Vienna as the horror of Kristallnacht unfolds and Jews are killed and persecuted during the first of many mad nights of fascist mayhem. His path crosses that of Josef Hummel, a young Jew being chased through the streets by the Brownshirts. Alex Troy's younger son Freddie is in the CID, the only copper in the East End with a cut glass English accent.

Hummel escapes to London and takes refuge in the Jewish community of Stepney and, as the war gets underway, he again meets Rod under strange circumstances, as Freddie investigates the death of a rabbi.

A complex, wonderfully woven and brilliantly written novel of people, history, bigotry, survival and murder. John Lawton is an author who has to be read.

Far-fetched crime novel

CRY FOR HELP by Steve Mosby, Orion pounds 6.99.

DAVE Lewis is an amateur magician who also helps expose fake mediums. But the magic goes out of his life when he becomes chief suspect in the hunt for a serial killer who ties up his young female victims and leaves them to die of dehydration.

Detect ive Sam Currie is the no-nonsense committed policeman leading the investigation who is determined to nail the killer.

The author has had fine reviews in the past but I found his style plodding and this plot too-far fetched considering it's supposed to be anchored in reality.Will the girl be saved?

By the end, I didn't care.
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Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 12, 2008
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