Patty Crane: Weisel’s novel delves into a disturbing and mysterious disappearance | Lifestyles

Paul Behrens had found his vocation by teaching literature to college students. He loved being a teacher. Married with a son and a daughter, he was in good health and they lived in a nice house. So why did he leave one morning and not come back?

Has life become too much to handle? Is he running from something or someone? Eddie Maher and his team tackle the mystery of Paul’s disappearance in FREDERIC WEISELthe novel, “THE DAY HE LEFT.”

Maher leads the VCI – Violent Crime Investigations – team of the Santa Rosa Police Department. The team members are: Daniel Rivas, who is close to retirement and the memory of the team; Steve Frames is a former Marine with a weapons background; Eden Somers was an FBI analyst gifted in research and with an incredible ability to find the dark connections of an investigation. and Martin Coyle is the computer guy.

The team handles all manner of crimes and never runs out of cases, so when Annie Behrens shows up to report her husband missing, it doesn’t seem like a priority – he’s a grown man gone less than 24 hours. But he left without his phone and briefcase. Also, his son saw him that early morning, dressed up instead of his usual polo shirt and khakis, and Paul was crying. Did Paul leave with the intention of never returning?

Mahler wants to give him 24 hours and the team begins to dismantle Paul’s life. They find more questions than answers. Paul’s marriage was far from ideal. He and Annie had separated. She drinks a lot and works with a doctor at the hospital where she works in the evenings. Her son sells drugs in high school and Claire, her daughter, is bullied.

In the briefcase he left behind is a friendship bracelet in a sealed bag. What, if anything, has this got to do with the case? On her laptop is a resignation letter and research on child protective services, sexual assault and sexual assault. He withdrew $1,200 from the bank the day before he left. Plus, who is the man caught on video barging into her classroom the morning of her disappearance?

When they find Paul’s corpse, the team’s attention shifts from missing person to homicide. To find the killer, they must discover the reason for Paul’s departure: was he a victim or a predator?

While Mahler conducts the search, he only has Frames part-time as he is loaned out to Narcotics for an undercover operation and Eden has been called to the FBI office about the Highway Serial Killer case. 60. Eden has been researching the case for years and it led to her resignation from the FBI, so she doesn’t want to be part of the case. The suspect has been arrested again, but he can be released and he has Eden’s name and address.

Weisel wrote a great police procedural, but it’s also a character study. Each team member is a person with thoughts, feelings and flaws. They are not the typical die-hard skeptics portrayed in many crime novels. Eddie and the team know that those they deal with have varying motivations and experiences that influence the actions and information they provide.

This is the second book of mysteries from the violent crime investigation team. The first, “Silenced Women,” came out last year, but you don’t have to read the first to appreciate this one. However, if you read “Silenced Women” first, you’ll see how the characters evolve.

It’s not the perfect crime novel, but it is an interesting cast of characters. You can entertain yourself by reading the process of finding a whodunit as well as a detective’s thoughts on people and life.

Patty Crane is the Reference Librarian for the Joplin Public Library.

Irene B. Bowles