MacAdam/Cage, Feb 2001, 24.00, 341 pp.
Ellen and Eric Sommers wanted to start a family, but for three years she failed to conceive. That is until today when Dr. Spyro's office called to inform her that she is in deed six weeks pregnant. When she leaves a message for Eric that Spyro said “he's positive”, an elated Eric leaves his law firm to celebrate the good new with Ellen.
While Eric and Ellen share their happiness, Frank Mallory is also pleased with the news of the Sommers pregnancy. Frank, whose wife and child left him, decides Ellen and her unborn will make perfect replacements. However, he must insure that no trail lead to finding Ellen once he snatches her. He sets up a scene to make it look like Eric killed his wife while Frank completes the abduction by stashing her in an isolated section of British Columbia. Everything goes according to plan with the kidnapping and the eventual arrest and conviction of Eric for murder.
THE FAMILY MAN is extremely frightening because the plot feels as if it could happen to anyone. In spite of knowing how much he loves his wife, everyone including his father-in-law believes Eric killed Ellen. The audience is aware of what is going on in a manner reminiscent of Hitchcock's Frenzy and knows Frank commits the crime, but sees how overwhelming the evidence is that condemns Eric. That degree of certainty that Eric murdered his wife by the support cast and the question whether any proof exists exonerating Eric are what make this thriller a winner that will leave readers wanting more suspense novels from Michael S. Patterson.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner