it at Amazon
Notes: Reviewer Jeff Shelby is the author of Dead Week.
Disappearance of Jenna Drago
Mystery, No. 2
By Al Blanchard
The opening pages of The Disappearance
of Jenna Drago attempt to set the tone for the entire novel.
A young girl is abducted after a brief, but tense chase, and author
Al Blanchard has hooked the reader into his mystery. The payoff,
however, is a little less satisfying.
Boston police officer James Callahan is attempting to start a new
career as an artist when an old friend, Frank Drago, requests his
help. The friend’s daughter is missing and he wants Callahan
to find her. Callahan is reluctant, as he is still trying to shake
the remnants of a similar episode with his own daughter. Despite
his own reluctance and the objections of his wife, Callahan agrees
to look for Jenna Drago.
does a nice job of setting up the premise and the plot provides
a series of twists and turns that keep the reader interested. Callahan
is a sympathetic protagonist and a well-crafted character, as real
as any contemporary fictional hero in the mystery genre. His pal,
B.J., is also a character that the reader can enjoy.
remainder of the story, though, doesn’t keep up with the pace
of the opening pages. The dialogue is a little stiff, several of
the minor characters seem too simple and the conclusion ends the
story with more of a whimper than a bang. There is a nice twist
at the end, that while not entirely surprising, is handled well
and does tie up the story.
Disappearance of Jenna Drago may not be the best mystery novel
out there right now, but the character of James Callahan is one
that most mystery readers will enjoy and make the book worth spending
an afternoon with.