The Deep End of the Ocean, when it came out many years ago. My reading tastes have changed considerably since then, but I was tempted to pick up this sequel about what had happened to the Cappadora family.Big mistake. This was a truly dreadful piece of drek. It begins at the premiere of a documentary made by Vincent, the eldest and up to now loser son. The film is about missing children and focuses on several families; it also retells the story of Ben/Sam, the brother who was kidnapped but restored in the first novel. It's so good it ends up getting nominated for an Oscar. At this point, the novel wallows in several nauseating chapters about the mother and other family members getting glammed up for the ceremony, stashing away gift items, ogling Kate Winslet's butt (yes, poor Kate has her butt dragged into this mess!), and ostentaciously name-dropping (Kate gets joined by Morgan Freeman, Ellen De Generis, Sissy Spacek, Michael Moore and others; even Angelina Jolie gets mentioned as NOT staying at their hotel).Just as Vincent accepts his award, a hysterical phone call comes in: Ben's baby daughter has been kidnapped. Yes, she actually makes another kidnapping--the kidnapping of the kidnapped kid's kid--the central plot. Of course, the police are too useless to figure out the culprit, so Vincent, motivated by guilt because he's convinced that his movie provoked someone to take revenge on his family, has to do it. We have to go through all the tear-jerking scenes we saw in the first novel. And then he hires a female tracker with a big dog to find the baby. And of course, against her better judgement, she allows the two greenhorns, Vincent and Ben, to accompany her into the icy wilderness mountains because they won't take no for an answer. And yes, one of them faces a life-threatening situation and is saved by the other. And as soon as they recover the baby, there is a big snowstorm during which communications get cut off, food and fuel and almost gone, and they have to separate to be saved--as of course they are. Happy, happy ending. And even happier, another missing kid is about to be found because of Vincent's movie.I can't recommend this poorly conceived and not very well written book to anyone with a brain and a sense of what makes a good novel. Was The Deep End of the Ocean this bad, too? I'll never know, because I sure don't want to reread it after this one.
I remembered reading and enjoying Mitchard's first novel,