Clark I reviews books and sometimes writes them!
Missing Clayton – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
Clayton awoke to shivers running up and down his body. The blanket had slipped while he slept, and now, only partially covered him. The short-sleeved puppy-dog T-shirt he wore left his arms exposed and goose bumps covered the bare area. He reached out a hand and grasped an edge of the blanket. It was threadbare; several small holes scattered across its length. The blanket gave him little warmth in the dampness of the dirt hole. He pulled the blanket up to his chin and curled himself into a tight ball. Shivers traveled along his arms and legs. His body felt like a block of ice, and his forehead felt hot, so hot.
He wanted to go home. He wanted to be in his own soft bed with his mother tucking the blankets around him, blankets that were thick and warm and had no holes in them. He wanted his mother hugging him. More shivers. Grabbing the edge of the blanket, he tucked it around his limbs. He shut his eyes. He wanted to keep them closed. He tried to go back to sleep. At least then he didn’t have to think about anything. He didn’t have to think about why he was here.
What did I do? Did I do something bad? Why won’t Mommy come and get me? Why is she leaving me here? Why? Mommy, please come. I want to go home.
Five-year-old Clayton Kingsley and his mother Jenny have moved to a new home. Jenny left her abusive husband and obsessive mother and took Clayton to a serene bedroom community that she thought would be the perfect place to raise her son. At least that was until the day Clayton came up missing. She had only left him for 5 minutes to go inside and make peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Jenny searched every place a child could hide and still no Clayton. He neighbor Steve took up the hunt but still had no luck finding the child. Who could have taken him that quickly and left no trace, no clues?
Tyrell was a loner who lived in what could only be described as a shack in the woods. After high school he had joined the army and served his time but before he left he had met Patty. They married and had a child and what Tyrell thought would be a happy marriage. But when he came home after being wounded everything had changed. Patty had changed. She was no longer the quiet, mousey girl he had married. She kept her hair bleached and when she saw the limp from his war injuries, she called him names. Eventually she took their son and left. Could he be the one who took Clayton?
Steve the next door neighbor had a police record. He had helped his friend kidnap the friend’s newborn child when the mother planned to give it up for adoption. The child’s mother went to one of the police deputies to report the missing child and Steve’s friend ended up being beaten pretty badly and eventually dying. The deputy who came after the baby later accused Steve of possibly kidnapping another child that came up missing. And now Clayton is missing. Coincident? Could Steve be the one who took Clayton? He lived close enough to snatch him quickly and without being caught.
Missing Clayton kept me wanting more. The suspense kept me on the edge in hopes that Jenny would find her child before it was too late. And when she was taken to the morgue to identify a child's body, it had me holding my breath. This is an experience that has to be one of the hardest things a parent can do and go through.