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   AfterImage, by Jay Brandon  
  Novel, first publication in 2000
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    Buy AfterImage by Jay Brandon
       Additional Information  
      District Attorney Chris Sinclair is stunned by the resemblance between the forensically reconstructed face of a 14-year-old murder victim and the college sweetheart he hasn't seen for almost two decades. Although the girl was gone from home for three months before her body was found in a shallow grave on the outskirts of San Antonio, she'd never been reported missing. And when Chris finds her mother, Jean, he discovers two more equally shocking facts: Kristen, the murdered teenager, has an older sister, Clarissa, who is Chris's own daughter; and Clarissa is missing too.

    Sinclair's troubled feelings compel his very personal interest in saving the child he's never met, and in tracking down the presumed perpetrator of both crimes--a shadowy Fagin-like businessman named Raleigh Pentell who controls a gang of young thieves and supplies them and their classmates with illegal drugs as well. Managing to rescue Clarissa from her captivity, Chris assembles a difficult and circumstantial case against Pentell. But in the process of bringing him to justice, Chris discovers that Jean, who lived a little outside the law when they were lovers, may have been involved in her daughters' murder and abduction.

    While the denouement is a bit long in coming, the growing relationships between Chris and his daughter and between Clarissa and adolescent psychologist Anne Greenwald, Chris's fiancée, are enough to sustain one's interest until the end; Brandon is an accomplished writer with atypical insight into his characters' emotional lives, which are movingly explicated. Jean remains an enigma and not as fully explored as she might have been. Although not an entirely sympathetic figure, she lingers in the reader's mind after the other characters have faded away.

    Source: Jane Adams,

      Part of series  
  • Chris Sinclair (#2)

      Related theme(s)  
  • 20th Century
  • Children, Teens, Kids.
  • Drugs - Narcotics - Addiction - Psychoactive Substances
  • Gone Missing - Abductions - Kidnapping - Hostages
  • Murders
  • San Antonio
  • Texas
  • Thieves
  • Thrillers
  • Thugs - Mob - Mafia - Crime Organizations - Gangs - Triads
  • U.S.A.

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