Missing Boy by Rick Polad
Spencer takes on a search for a missing boy from an amusement park that leads to much bigger crimes, and does so without a lot of gratuitous violence.
In this fourth installment of the entertaining Spencer Manning Mystery series, author Rick Polad focuses on the famous Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago. Set in the early 1980s, Spencer is a likeable, nice-guy P.I in the mold of his namesake from the Robert Parker detective series “Spenser”.
In this tale, a 16-year-old amusement park worker fails to come home from work one day, and Spencer sets out to track him down. It’s great fun to spend a few days at the now-defunct Riverview Park, and Spencer makes numerous enemies as he attempts to solve a seemingly intractable mystery that seems to grow in complexity by the minute.
Missing Boy is a rollercoaster ride of surprises for fans of great mysteries, and a worthy addition to this fine series.
Review by Michael E. Merrimen:
Missing Boy is one of those books that gets my wife upset with me. She doesn’t appreciate it when I get so involved in a book that I tend to ignore her. Spencer Manning falls into a great plot that just keeps you reading.
Just when I think I’ve got it figured out there comes another twist and I go back to the guessing game. I really appreciate the complexity of the characters and subtlety of the “cookie crumbs” that are later revealed as significant to the story.
Spencer takes on a search for a missing boy from an amusement park that leads to much bigger crimes, and does so without a lot of gratuitous violence. I’ve read Polad’s other books and enjoy following some of the other characters that people his novels.
It’s sort of like coming home. In this book there is a bonus of a another mystery in a mystery. I’m looking forward to more from Polad as he is becoming one of my “must read” authors.
Review by Karen Bedore:
Missing Boy is the latest in the Spencer Manning Mysteries series. The story is centered around Riverview Amusement Park and the mysterious disappearances of kids that work there. The loveable P.I. once again finds himself in deeper than he had anticipated, and with the wisdom of his father-figure Stosh, is able to not only get the job done, but to learn a few things about life in the process.
Outside of his detective work, Spencer’s relationship “issues” created a lot of tension, which even though it was only hinted at in the final chapters, begins to get resolved—and it’s about time! There were moments I wanted to reach into my Kindle and slap him for being such a ‘guy’!
Not going to lie here—I wanted more. The story was well told, and I love Polad’s mix of humor and seriousness to his mysteries. The historical facts and references to Chicago’s beloved Cubs add a personal touch which Chicago natives will truly appreciate (and bring non-‘natives’ a little extra Chi-Town to them personally).
I look forward to some more of Spencer Manning’s adventures!