Out of Thin Air, her latest Hidden Hearts book is no exception. This story of Dylan and Lauren's love affair and story is a little darker than some of her earlier works but, as always, Crawford's ability to show the deep humanity and also the angst of her characters shines through. Dylan is a Florida police detective who is young and successful at his job. He is committed to his role in society of putting away the "bad guys", often to the detriment of his personal life. Dylan's success leads to his appointment as the leader of a task-force to investigate cold cases where children went missing and to try to discover what happened to them and if, perhaps, they are still alive somewhere.
Lauren was only six when her nine-year-old sister disappeared, some twenty-odd years ago. Lauren and April were just playing outside and one moment April was there, the next she was gone. For the next twenty years Lauren's mother played the role of the victim to perfection often blaming Lauren for her sister's disappearance and even suspecting the little six-year-old of somehow being involved. When Lauren's beloved father committed suicide just three years after April's disappearance, Lauren was left alone to suffer her mother's hateful and spiteful invective. Now twenty-nine, Lauren still lives with her mother and although she is a relatively successful businesswoman she is beset by doubts, insecurities and is subject to panic attacks.
When April's disappearance becomes Dylan's first cold-case to investigate, the emotions and the attraction between him and Lauren is obvious but how can Dylan separate his emotions from his job that may eventually lead to the knowledge that Lauren's beloved sister is actually dead.
Like all Crawford's works, I loved this story and appreciated the fact that the author was delving a little deeper into her character's psyches. This was a wonderful story that I was instantly caught up in and invested in. Crawford has a writing style that is simple, unpretentious and extremely readable.
I can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves good, honest romance with characters that are both very human and flawed. Another absolute winner from my "go to" author when I need some reassurance that there is something special about humanity. Thank you Mary for reminding us that flawed as we may be, we are all capable of great warmth, great love and great compassion.