The Missing American is Gordon Tillson who met the love of his life while working in Ghana in the Peace Corps. When his beloved wife dies of cancer, he mourns her for years and becomes a fixture in a Facebook group for the bereaved. He has a type, a Ghanaian woman connects with him on Facebook and he begins to fall for her. He also has a one-night tryst with a Ghanaian woman who is in D.C. for a fundraiser, the wife the head of the national police force. When his son, Dexter, confronts him about his internet romance whom he has sent a few thousand, he travels to Ghana to meet her and prove his son wrong.
Emma Djan is an ambitious young woman eager to follow in her father’s footsteps in the police – as a homicide detective. However, she soon runs into the old boy’s network and becomes a private detective, one who Gordon’s son Dexter hires to find his father who has gone missing. This takes her into investigating the infamous 419 scams which leads to investigating the corrupt police who help keep the scams going.
The Missing American is rich in plot. There are conspiracies on top of conspiracies with political assassinations, fraud, murder and corruption. I guess there is so much plot there was little room for the rest of what makes a great mystery, developing characters and establislhing a sense of place. It’s not that setting is completely absent, but it is not well-developed. There is a difficult balance on character development. Too much and the plot is weakend. Too little and we don’t care about the people. I would like to have seen more character development, but believe it may come in subsequent books in the series.
The Missing American will be published on January 14th. I received an e-galley from the publisher through Edelweiss