Troy Chance, a young female free lance writer, cyclist, and general all around active person, single, and living in Lake Placid where she rents out some of her rooms to other singles, is on the ferry on Lake Champlain on her way to Vermont.
I saw something fall from the rear deck of the opposite ferry. It could have been a bundle of trash; it could have been a child-sized doll. Either was more likely than what I thought I saw: a small wide-eyed human face, in one tiny frozen moment as it plummeted toward the water.
Convinced it was a child that fell into the water, and without giving it much thought, jumped the rail of her ferry and swam to the point where she saw the bundle hit the water. She finds the bundle, and it IS a child, one whose adult size sweatshirt was tied around him. He was meant to drown.
What an opening, right! How can you stop reading after that? Well, Gentle Readers, you can’t.
She manages to swim to shore somehow, towing the half-drowned boy, and then get to her car, to discover that no one is looking for this child, there is no hue and cry, the ferry has not turned back for him. It becomes obvious that someone wanted this five-year old child dead. And she begins the search to discover who he is and what happened.
What a ride we then are on as we accompany Mz. Chance as she digs around for the child’s parents, and then for the kidnappers, because kidnapped he was.
Great mystery, great characters, and great ending. I pretty much didn’t see it coming. But then, I am dense. It is why I never get tired of mysteries. I can almost never solve them before the denouement.
I remember all those rides on the Staten Island ferry when it was only a nickel. And the Cape May ferry, too. And for a brief time during my childhood, there was a ferry that ran back and forth between Camden, NJ and Philadelphia, and I used to beg my dad for us to take the ferry. What is it about a ferry that is so enticing? Not the bodies falling off of it, that’s for sure.