By Kylie Brant, Berkley, $7.99, 375 pages

10“As she felt herself lifted and carried away, her only thought was that she was being taken. Again.”

In the thriller Deadly Intent (Mindhunters), eleven-year-old Ellie Mulder, daughter of a supermarket tycoon, has been kidnapped – again. The first time she was snatched at a friend’s party; this story opens with her being taken from her own bedroom despite her family’s heavy security. Ellie’s frantic parents hire the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to investigate because of their trust in its chief, Adam Raiker, who brought Ellie home the first time. Included on the investigation team is forensic linguist Macy Reid, herself a kidnapping victim. Also on the team is Macy’s fellow investigator and sometime love interest Kellan Burke. The team moves into the Mulder estate and gets down to the business of bringing Ellie home.

The novel held me engrossed as it switches between the viewpoints of the investigation team, the kidnapper, and Ellie herself. Enough detail is included for authenticity and interest while moving the plot along. Ellie, although she has been victimized twice, does not succumb to the role of victim and actually participates in the solving of the case. Macy, meanwhile, resolves her personal problems related to her own kidnapping. The ending is happy yet open, with one of the culprits still at large, promising a sequel.

Reviewed by Stacia Levy