Noah’s Rainy Day
By Sandra Brannan
Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication Date: Sept. 3, 2013
Newly minted Special Agent Liv Bergen races against time to solve a child kidnapping -- which could take a fatal turn -- with the help of her gifted nephew Noah. From birth, Noah Hogarty has lived with severe cerebral palsy. He is nearly blind, unable to speak, and cannot run, walk, or crawl. Yet his mind works just as well as any other twelve-year-old's -- maybe even better. And Noah holds a secret dream: to become a great spy, following in the footsteps of his aunt, Liv "Boots" Bergen.
Now, freshly returned from training at Quantico, FBI agent Liv Bergen is thrown into her first professional case. Working side by side with veteran agent Streeter Pierce, enigmatic agent and lover Jack Linwood, and her bloodhound Beulah, Liv must race to find five-year-old Max--last seen at the Denver International Airport -- before this Christmastime abduction turns deadly. Meanwhile Noah, housebound, becomes wrapped up in identifying the young face he sees watching him from his neighbour's bedroom window, but he can neither describe nor inscribe what he knows.
And his investigation may lead to Noah paying the ultimate price in fulfilling his dream.
Noah's Rainy Day (the fourth novel in Brannan's mystery series) combines classic Liv Bergen irreverence and brainpower with an unflinching look at the darkest of human motivations, all while a whirlpool of increasingly terrifying events threatens to engulf Liv and Noah both in one final rainy day.
This is the fourth novel in Sandra Brannan’s Liv Bergen mystery series, but also reads well as a stand-alone book. I especially enjoyed that the main character Noah is disabled. As a teacher of students with special needs (specifically visually impaired children) it was refreshing to see Noah’s abilities, rather than his disabilities. There was one error in Noah’s disabilities however. The visual impairment that he had (due to oxygen therapy as a premature baby) is not correctable with contact lenses.
I thought the book did a good job of showing how difficult it must be to be to live with the disabilities that Noah did. We often treat people with severe disabilities such as Noah had as though they are of low intelligence as well. Noah’s character shows us that this is not always the case.
When little Maximillian Bennett disappears, everyone thinks either one of the parents has stolen him or someone wants him for ransom. Logical thinking since the majority of child abductions are by family members and both of Max’s parent are both rich and famous. Unfortunately Max has been kidnapped for more sinister purposes.
Noah is the only one who knows where Max is. Trapped in his body, unable to speak and can barely move, the author does an excellent job of portraying Noah realistically. His desire to help and his inability to communicate effectively war with one another. I was frustrated along with him when his family members didn’t understand him. Noah’s attempts to bring help to little Max end up getting him kidnapped as well.
I loved the family focus in this book. Liv’s family is very close-knit and the value of family is apparent. Her characters are well-developed, likeable and believable.
The suspense in this book was palpable and made the book very difficult to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries or thrillers. Now I need to read the other books in the series!
Sandra included a set of questions at the end of her book which are useful to book clubs and discussion groups. I thought she had some excellent questions that were very thought-provoking.
I gave this book 5 stars!
Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review. A free product does not influence my opinion. All thoughts are my own.