Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C.J. Box

Three Weeks to Say GoodbyeReviewed by Allen Hott

A very powerful story that will bother any parent of a young child and especially if the child happens to be adopted. C. J. Box’s novel covers three weeks in the lives of a young couple who have a nine-month-old daughter that they adopted at birth.

Jack and Melissa McGuane had tried for years to have a child of their own and finally decided upon adoption. Their hopes had come true when they received Angelina right after her birth. And for nine months they have truly discovered happiness in their addition.

Everything at once crashes down when a worker from the adoption agency contacts them with horrible news. The birth father has come to the agency with the news that he had never signed off on the adoption rights to his daughter! Now the agency can do nothing except put the father in touch with the McGuanes to see if anything can be worked out. If not they will have to give their daughter back to her biological father.

Garrett Moreland and his father Judge Moreland make arrangements to come and see Angelina. They are adamant about taking the little girl from the McGuanes. They do make conciliatory offers such as helping Jack and Melissa to find anther child through the adoption agency quickly using the Judge’s influence.

However while there Garrett seems very interested in returning to see Angelina again although Jack feels Garrett has other intentions. The return visit takes place the following day. Garrett comes with several of his buddies who happen to be gang members of a well-known Denver gang. The visit turns out to be a nightmare for Jack and Melissa. Little do they know that this visit was just to be the start of a string of nightmares for the couple?

Two of Jack’s closest friends come to their aid as much as possible under the circumstances. Cody Hoyt, a policeman currently under suspension for an altercation while on duty, is their primary asset in finding out information about Garrett and his father. Brian Eastman is the other friend and he has ties all over Denver that helps lead Jack to more evidence and assistance.

The problem is the short amount of time that they have to get all the facts and even that short period is somewhat made shorter by a business trip that Jack has to take. However some of the results from the trip prove to be a big assist as the final days rush up on the couple.

Somewhat the same locale that Box writes about in many of his books but the lead character is definitely different. Normally he features a forest ranger that does the sleuthing and this time the main character is Jack although his wife and friends do play important roles.

Overall a great story with twists and subplots that all combine to easily keep the reader’s interest.

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