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Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite
In Out of Reach by Patricia Lewin, Erin Baker is an excellent CIA agent with a troubled past that haunts her so that she is in CIA limbo, not actively spying overseas as she was trained for. Instead, Erin tries to balance her role as caretaker for her traumatized younger sister, Claire, a kidnap victim when she was a very young child, who, now as an adult, resides in a special care facility for the mentally ill. Erin also helps care for Claire’s daughter, a precocious 7-year-old with help from Marta. Erin blames herself for her failure to protect her younger sister from the abduction. This affects her work as a CIA agent. She runs each morning to keep her anger in check, anger that threatens to consume her. On one such run, she rests in a park in D.C. and spots an ice cream vendor who performs magic tricks for the kids using quick hands. These trigger disturbing memories related to Claire’s kidnapping and the man who abducted her, the Magic Man. Soon after, another child is snatched in the park and Erin suspects that the ice cream man is the same one who took her sister many years ago.
Out of Reach: An Erin Baker Thriller by Patricia Lewin works marvelously due to the crafting of the lead protagonist, Erin Baker. Lewin weaves a page-turner of a thriller with a very clever and dangerous kidnapper known as the Magic Man, who works for a suave and urbane adversary known as the General, and a close-up and disturbing look at the kidnaped children in captivity. There is a romantic tease between FBI agent, Donovan, and CIA Agent Baker as the story unfolds, a fair number of confrontations, and hidden pitfalls that Baker and Donovan run into, with a few twists added to keep the reader guessing. Overall, quite a page-turner and thriller. A book that readers will enjoy as I did. Looking forward to the sequel.