Sunday, July 8, 2007

Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber

Lena Dawson works as a fingerprint examiner for the city of Syracuse. She is haunted by dreams of spending her toddler years in a jungle and the fact that the foster family she was placed with when she was three never adopted her. When a woman barges into the lab demanding to see Lena, claiming that her own baby was murdered and did not die of SIDS, it puts Lena in the middle of a media firestorm and causes her to think even more about her childhood. The woman's visit leads to the discovery that there are more than the usual number of SIDS deaths recently. Could there be someone who is murdering children in their cribs? Origin is an atmospheric novel (set in the cold Syracuse winter) that mixes a character's search for the truth about her past with the elements of a mystery. The pacing is slower than most thrillers, but I could not put it down. A great read.

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