Crossing the Dark
Heidi W. Boehringer
Serpent’s Tail, Nov 2007, $14.95
Unlike everyone else, police officer Mona Longo does not believe her thirteen year old daughter Perdita ran away with an older male teen riding a bicycle; she thinks something bad happened. For two weeks she went on leave and followed the clues until she found Perdita in a dilapidated shack in the Everglades where Cesar has sold her to customers and videoed the sex probably for Internet sales. She manages to rescue her distraught daughter and take one of his cameras, but Cesar gives chase shooting at them. Mona calls her partner Nick, but he fails to catch the thug.
Mother and daughter temporarily live in the home of Mona’s former husband and Perdita’s dad Les, who is his obnoxious self. As Mona tries to help Perdita cope with depression, Les offers his offspring beer. Cesar is caught, but the DA offers him a plea bargain to the outrage of Mona. She begins to believe the judicial legal system is broken as Cesar has all the rights while her daughter has all the pain. Needing justice and closure for herself and Perdita, Mona begins a plan outside the legal system but inside nature’s law.
This tense psychological thriller grips the audience from the moment that Mona tries to safely expedite her daughter from the nasty Cesar and never slows down until Nicky’s final depositions. The action-packed story line is driven by the anticipation of war between Mona and Cesar, as she knows if he gets out of prison he is coming for them; and he knows that if he gets out of prison she is coming for him. The laws of the jungle rules in Florida; as both antagonists understand that you mess with a lioness’ cub, you better kill the momma or die trying.