Missing Max   -     By: Karen Young
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Missing Max

Howard Books / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

During the New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, Jane and Kyle Madison's 6-month-old baby, Max, vanishes into thin air while being cared for by his teenage half-sister, Melanie. Grief rips the family apart. But when Melanie---who becomes pregnant to try and replace Max---is kidnapped too, will the family ever be reunited? 320 pages, softcover from Howard.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN-13: 9781416587491
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

When baby Max is kidnapped during Mardi Gras, Jane and Kyle Madison’s life falls apart. What their daughter, Melanie, does next is unthinkable.

Max vanished into thin air while in the care of his teenage sister, Melanie. Six months later, the family is a shadow of its former self: Melanie blames herself and is acting out and rebellious; Jane is obsessed with finding Max; and Kyle, a lawyer, struggles to cope with his own grief—and a persistent suspicion that one of his cases is connected to Max’s disappearance.

With her family in turmoil and her marriage on the rocks, Jane thinks things can’t get any worse. Then when an affair and an unexpected pregnancy threaten to tear the Madisons’ lives apart, an anonymous caller leads to a break in the case. Can a second kidnapping bring their family back together?

Author Bio

Karen Young is the international bestselling author of thirty-eight novels. 
She has more than ten million books in print and is the recipient of the coveted RITA award from Romance Writers of America and the Career Achievement and Reviewer’s Choice awards from Romantic Times magazine. She is known as “a spellbinding storyteller who writes with sensitivity about issues facing contemporary women.” Karen's career in writing fiction for women has run the gamut from traditional romance to mystery thrillers to inspirational fiction. In her relationship-driven plots, she creates characters that could easily be her readers, and then places them in extraordinary circumstances while adding suspense to the mix.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

A missing child, a pregnant teen, and a marriage about to collapse are all key themes in Missing Max, a novel by Karen Young. Jane Madison is desperately searching for her infant son Max, who was abducted during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. However, what she doesn’t realize is that she is about to lose her teenage daughter and husband as well. A mother’s wrenching pain and her need for justice are clearly felt in this novel.

Jane and Kyle Madison have several challenges thrown at them in a matter of months. Max is abducted, their sixteen-year-old daughter Melanie announces she is pregnant, and their marriage begins to come unraveled. In addition, Jane has decided that God no longer exists. Her pain has taken over and blinded her to the world around her. Eventually, she must make the choice. Is the search for her son or is the preservation of her marriage more important to her?

This book is nicely organized with events occurring in a well-developed chronological manner. Throughout the book, the reader has the privilege of seeing the story through several characters’ viewpoints. One really feels for Kyle Madison’s pain of missing his son and Melanie’s heartache, because Karen Young invites the reader to experience parts of the story through their intimate points of view. Also, the relationships between a husband, wife, and stepdaughter are genuine representatives of real relationships people struggle with on a day-to-day basis.

Whereas some flat characters are persistent, the main characters in the book are well-rounded. Jane especially makes a complete change in personality, especially where the Gospel and Jesus Christ are concerned. She is a character I felt I knew and could relate to. The other central characters, such as Kyle and Melanie, are also similarly developed. Each one makes a distinctive life change in this book. They all grow throughout the story, so they are not at all the same characters they were earlier.

This book encompasses a theme from Psalm 147:3, which says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” In the story, Jane Madison’s broken heart is ultimately healed through returning to her Savior. Although the plot did lose my interest in parts of book, the story does have a good ending. Ultimately, after finishing the book, I thought it was a traditional narrative if one is looking for something that is wholesome and has a positive ending. It is not a book that made me think about heavy theological matters, but it was simply an enjoyable reading experience for an afternoon. This is a book for the romantic person who is looking for a story that is not erotic. Particularly women with a romantic side will enjoy this tale. – Elizabeth de Graaf, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

“Karen Young is a spellbinding storyteller who explores complex emotions with great skill.”
“Young’s romance is suspenseful and entrancing.”
"Readers of modern-day fiction will enjoy this tale of heart-rending emotion, forgiveness, suspense and high drama."

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  1. Cafe Lily Book Reviews
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    July 19, 2010
    Cafe Lily Book Reviews
    Although Jane Madison isnt a huge fan of Mardi Gras Day, she reluctantly agrees to chauffeur her teenage daughter to the event when her husband Kyle gets stuck at work and cant keep his promise to take her.Having her best friend Christine with her makes the day a little more bearable, especially since she will have extra help with her six month old son, Max. Tragedy strikes when Jane leaves to go buy some food and Christine attempts to help a woman who faints nearby. Maxs teenage sister, Melanie, is distracted from tending her baby brother by some cute boys in the parade and when she turns around, Max is gone.As the family tries to piece together what has happened, hours turn into days which turn into months and Max is still missing. The family slowly begins to implode and turn against each other, as each one blames the other for what has happened. Jane and her husband Kyle are both very driven, highly ambitious attorneys who had begun to grow apart before Max was abducted, and this blow to their family threatens to break them up for good. As Jane, Kyle and Melanie all try to get a handle on their grief they end up isolating themselves from each other instead of using the tragedy to draw closer as a family unit. Missing Max is a classic example of how grief, guilt and frustration over the loss of a child takes a heavy toll on families. This book is full of drama, suspense and action with lots of unexpected twists and turns in between.
  2. Christy Lockstein
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    June 27, 2010
    Christy Lockstein
    Missing Max by Karen Young is the story of every mother's worst nightmare. While watching the parade at Mardi Gras, Jane Madison asked stepdaughter, sixteen-year-old Melanie, to watch Max, her six-month-old son, for just a few moments. The boy disappeared while Mellie was talking to some of her friends. Police eventually find his stroller with only one shoe left behind. Seven months later, the family is falling apart in the wake of Max's disappearance. Jane has been spending all of her time at a missing child center, leaving husband Kyle and Melanie feeling abandoned and angry. When Jane starts receiving strange phone calls with a baby crying in the background, she at first dismisses them as crank calls, but she is soon being stalked by someone deranged who just may know what happened to Max. Young has crafted a taut and frightening story. When I first started reading the book, I only intended to read a few pages before bed, but the next thing I knew it was 2 am. I just couldn't put it down. Young takes care for the reader to empathize with all of the major characters and includes a faith element without shoving it down the reader's throat. It's a haunting story that will linger with readers.
  3. Cindy Loven
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 26, 2010
    Cindy Loven
    Jane and Kyle Madison are both successful lawyers. Busy, too busy often. It is Mardi Gras and Kyle promised to take Melanie their sixteen year old daughter, but finds himself tied up at the office, so Jane agrees to take Melanie, even though baby Max is fussy and teething. Her best friend and neighbor Christine joins them. While gone to buy food for the teens, someone snatches Max. A nightmare that most parents pray never happen to them begins. The kidnapping of Max, stretches the Madison family to the point of breaking. Melanie is defiant, rude and hateful to Jane, Kyle blames Jane and Jane is blaming herself and perhaps subconsciously blaming Melanie. This family is on the verge of breaking apart. A stalker, who keeps trying to get to Jane brings Kyle and Jane together, but will they ever find baby Max? This book is a attention grabber, it was hard to put it down, even though I was nodding off from exhaustion, I still wanted to read on and see what would happen. I loved the writing style and this author is very good at word pictures and helping you to see the absolute despair this family faced. I really don't have the space or the words to truly describe how much I loved this book!! 319 pages US $14.99 5 stars!!!This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment of any type was received for this review.
  4. Edna Tollison
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 11, 2010
    Edna Tollison
    Jane and Kyle Madison are riding high. They have a six-month old son Max, a sixteen year old daughter Melanie. Both Jane and Kyle have successful law careers. Things couldn't be better on that beautiful sunny day when Jane, Melanie, Max went to Mardi Gras. In a matter of moments their lives quickly spiral downward as Max, is kidnapped. All that is left is a tiny shoe and an empty stroller. The next six months become a nightmare as the family turns on each other, each trying in their own way to find Max and bring him back home. Jane turns to Child Search, an agency searching for missing children. Kyle begins his own search unknown to Jane. Even Melanie tries by making a major change in her life. None can predict the destruction as each tries to heal. But a chance sighting sets Jane on the right path to finding Max. But will they get there in time. Six months later, no trace of Max has surfaced though the police still follow any lead. The family fails to receive strength from each other; instead they drift apart. Melanie blames herself and deliberately gets pregnant so that she can give the newborn to her step-mom and her dad Kyle.Blaming Jane for leaving their baby for a moment, Kyle moves out of their bedroom. Jane feels guilty for the loss of her child, but to what is happening to her family; however, she cannot pull herself together to prevent the collapse. MISSING MAX is a brilliant depiction of perhaps the toughest issue a mother could ever face.This audio book was received for review by Oasis Audio.
  5. Edna Tollison
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 11, 2010
    Edna Tollison
    First I would like to say that this is a really good book, but it bothered me because I just don't like to think about a baby being kidnaped. There are so many preverts out there, It just really hurts me.Jane and Kyle Madison are riding high. They have a six-month old son Max, a sixteen year old daughter Melanie. Both Jane and Kyle have successful law careers. Things couldn't be better on that beautiful sunny day when Jane, Melanie, Max went to Mardi Gras. In a matter of moments their lives quickly spiral downward as Max, is kidnapped. All that is left is a tiny shoe and an empty stroller. The next six months become a nightmare as the family turns on each other, each trying in their own way to find Max and bring him back home. Jane turns to Child Search, an agency searching for missing children. Kyle begins his own search unknown to Jane. Even Melanie tries by making a major change in her life. None can predict the destruction as each tries to heal. But a chance sighting sets Jane on the right path to finding Max. But will they get there in time. Six months later, no trace of Max has surfaced though the police still follow any lead. The family fails to receive strength from each other; instead they drift apart. Melanie blames herself and deliberately gets pregnant so that she can give the newborn to her step-mom and her dad Kyle.Blaming Jane for leaving their baby for a moment, Kyle moves out of their bedroom. Jane feels guilty for the loss of her child, but to what is happening to her family; however, she cannot pull herself together to prevent the collapse. MISSING MAX is a brilliant depiction of perhaps the toughest issue a mother could ever face.This audio book was received for review by Oasis Audio.
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