Full Circle by Michael Ace Smith moves away from Alaska, a scene in earlier Smith novellas, to Alabama and Hawaii. Detective Ralph Houston has achieved fame and recognition as a detective specializing in ransom for kidnapping cases, especially when they involve children. He had been driven to become proficient in this specialty as a result of personal tragedy; his own daughter, Stella, had been kidnapped and killed despite ransom being paid. Ralph had delivered the money to a place designated by the kidnappers. Ralph had found his daughter’s body hanging from a tree.
Ralph’s marriage to Whitney had fallen apart as they could not stand to live together when every conversation reminded them of Stella. Initially turning to alcohol, Ralph had quit drinking after six months and devoted all his energy to becoming the best detective with his specialty. Although he would never forget his daughter, he might have abandoned his search for her kidnappers had not another daughter of ex-wife Whitney’s also been kidnapped. The latest kidnapping happened fifteen years later by kidnappers using almost identical methods and place for the ransom drop.
Mountain Brook, Alabama had more than its share of wealthy families. As Ralph became more and more famous, he traveled around the country solving cases. He only returned to Mountain Brook when two kidnappings and murders of two daughters of wealthy businessmen occurred close together. When the third kidnapping occurred, the daughter of his ex-wife, he devoted all energies to assure that his ex-wife, remarried to a wealthy banker chosen by her father, would not lose another child.
This is a well told developed story as author Smith tells the stories of families of each of the kidnapped girls. The culprits, there are several, come together in a surprise ending that I would never predict. This is a five Amazon star read and is one of those that give added value to a Kindle Unlimited subscription.