5 shiny stars
I just want to start off by saying that this was probably the most difficult review I've written to date.
Even though my friends on GR 'warned' me that this would be a tear-jerker, nothing, and I mean NOTHING prepared me for actually reading, and experiencing what happened at the end of the story.
KUDOS to Ms. Howard's storytelling!
In the beginning of the story, We're introduced to Milla and David Boone. David is a surgeon working for a year in Mexico offering a free clinic. Milla's found out she was pregnant just before David was set out to leave, but after meeting with the teams OB-GYN, Milla she feels secure in having her baby in Mexico with David.
Milla and David's baby is now 6 weeks old, and they're looking forward to finishing up in Mexico and moving back to the States.
One morning while Milla is at the market getting a few groceries, two men corner her. One of the men cuts the sling that holds her baby Justin to her front and frantically she leans forward to prevent her baby from falling, only to realize that her son has been snatched out of her arms. Milla viciously fights the man clawing at his face, until he loosens his hold on her son. Just when she thinks she's able to get Justin, she feels a searing, paralyzing pain in her back and she drops like a rock to the market floor. When she finally looks up she sees the man running away carrying her son like a football under his arm, She calls out for someone.. anyone "Someone get my baby"... but no one helps her.
10 years later.. El Paso, New Mexico
Milla is now 33 years old, and here's the countdown of her last 10 year..
10 years ago, Justin was stolen from her, and she barely survived the stabbing to her kidney.
9 years ago, David divorced her. She didn't blame him. David hadn’t just lost his son, he’d also lost his wife. From the time she’d regained consciousness after being stabbed, her every thought, her life, had focused on finding Justin. There simply hadn’t been anything left in her for David.
8 years ago, following another lead to find Justin, Milla recovered a stolen baby, and was able to return the infant to an hysterical mother. She didn't have any closure with her own son's disappearance, but somehow she was able to offer it to some other mother.
7 years ago, she organized Finders, a group of people set out to mobilize and hunt missing or stolen children.
6 years ago, David remarried.
5 years ago, Finders received their first missing persons case. They didn't just search for missing children, but adults as well.
4 years ago, David and his new wife had their first child, a daughter.
3 years ago, Milla's brother told her to get on with her life, and forget about her son. She hasn't spoken to him since.
2 years ago, Milla heard the name Diaz for the first time, and the possibility of him being involved in Justin's disappearance. David and his wife had their second child, a boy. That night Milla cried herself to sleep.
Tonight.. tonight following a anonymous tip telling her Diaz would be at a meeting behind a church in Mexico, she saw the man who tore her son out of her arms.
She would never forget his face, but also she left her mark on him, because now he only had one eye.
Milla puts word out that she' looking for Diaz. She asks her friend and a sponsor of Finder's, True Galligar to find any information on Diaz. She soon discovers that Diaz is not the person who has stolen her son, but that he is an assassin, and if the money's right, he can find anyone.
After a rather scary first meeting with Diaz, Milla convinces Diaz to help her find her son. At first Milla is wary to be around Diaz, because he moves like a panther, has a 'cold' look in his eyes (like he's a sociopath), and screams 'predator' whenever you look at him. But, after awhile, Milla soon realizes that Diaz is only cold, and cruel to those who deserve it, and she knows in her heart that he would never hurt her. Milla soon starts to become attracted to Diaz. She's never had this type of attraction to anybody else in her life before... and it scares her because she knows this man can be brutally dangerous.
As a reader I really did not like Diaz'z character, but as the story progresses, and the more I 'get to know him'...I soon fall in love with him. He is guarded, and only opens himself up to people who he trusts, and that seems to be only Milla.
As the story builds, so does the bond between Diaz and Milla.
They soon realize, by putting pieces together from information they've discovered, that for last 10 years Milla has been fed misinformation to keep her off track from finding her son.
There is a huge conspiracy going on, with deceit, and absolute betrayal from people Milla thought were her friends and people she loved.
This is were the story gets really exciting, and without giving too much away, I gotta say that I DID NOT expect the ending this story had.
Milla's journey was so well written, and her heart breaking 'obsession' to find her son..even after so many years, after everyone else gave up was so touching and believable.
When Milla finally finds out the truth, and what happened to Justin ...
the best way I could describe how I felt for her is:
... and then there's the Epilogue. All I can say is MY GOD!!!
It is how it should be because, she deserves nothing else!
One of the best stories I've read to date, and definitely one I'll be re-reading!