St. Martin's, Jan 2002, 27.95, 224 pp.
Thames Valley police Detective Superintendent Mike Yeadings feels that déjà vu has occurred when 11-year-old Julie Winterton is reported missing. Eight years ago Julie's father writer Daniel reported his wife Caroline vanished with most of their bank account. Then Sergeant Mike investigated the disappearance until Caroline later surfaced in the Canary Islands accompanied by a neighbor.
To assist on the current disappearance, Mike drafts his regular team consisting of DI Mott, Sergeant Beaumont, and Detective Sergeant Rosemary “Z” Zyczynski. They begin to make inquiries, but questions asked of the missing child's former nanny and Caroline's brother yield nothing. Unless a break occurs, this case is going nowhere and a child's life could be in danger.
The Thames Valley police unit consists of four engaging characters that readers will simply like. When the team hits one dead end after another, the police procedural story line works well as the audience wonders how the case will be resolved. However, the plot plops into the Thames River when Clare Curzon uses a different crime to lead to an implausible disclosure. Though the cast remains attractive DON'T LEAVE ME is a weaker entry in a usually dependable series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner