The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

May 8, 2009

Book review: Readers should say hello to ‘Say Goodbye’

“Three Weeks to Say Goodbye”

By C. J. Box

(Compact-disc audiobook)

After several years spent trying to conceive a child, Melissa and Jack McGuane adopt a baby girl and name her Angelina. Life with their baby daughter is nearly perfect for the McGuanes. Angelina is a beautiful, precocious 9-month-old when Jack and Melissa receive the devastating news from the adoption agency that Angelina’s teenage birth father never signed away his parental rights.

Money is tight for the McGuanes. Jack works for the Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau, and when they adopted Angelina, Melissa quit her job to be a full-time mother. Jack and Melissa are stunned when the baby’s father, Garrett Moreland, and Garrett’s father, Federal Judge John Moreland, pay them a visit. Judge Moreland tells Melissa and Jack that they must give Angelina back in three weeks and even offer to help them find another child! Melissa and Jack realize they do not have the funds to fight the powerful judge, but they intend to do everything in their power to keep their little girl.

Two of their best friends, Cody, a cop, and Brian, a prominent real-estate developer, use their resources to help Jack and Melissa discover why Garrett, a thug and member of the Mexican mafia gang, and his father want the child. The judge’s wife doesn’t even know about Angelina until Melissa runs into her at a fund-raiser, and she seems less than thrilled to learn she is going to have a baby granddaughter in her house. During Jack, Cody and Brian’s investigation it becomes evident that the judge and his son have some rather dark motives for wanting Angelina and also uncover a shocking secret and a plot that will endanger the child.

Some of Jack’s and Cody’s escapades are a little over the top but C.J. Box’s novel is a spellbinding and suspenseful thriller that you won’t want to put down. John Bedford Lloyd’s narration is superb. Lloyd also narrated “Blue Heaven,” another of C.J. Box’s thrillers that I highly recommend.

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