A brief description
Not much ever happened in Bloomfield, a small city of 2573 residents located in the southwestern region of Wisconsin that wasn’t planned and accounted for. A town where neighbors knew each other and were there at their beckon or call, offering their help freely. It was late September on a pleasant day with blue skies, a T’shirt and shorts kind of weather to boot. Abi relished the opportunity to harvest the last of the veggies from her garden, gardening was her favorite pastime. The perfect thing on the perfect day, her life couldn’t be better, she was happy, happy, happy. It was also the last thing she remembered, the last time that she felt happy.
Later that afternoon, Lynn was the first one to come home to an empty house. That didn’t bother her but what tied her stomach into knots was that the kitchen had been left in chaos. The water was running in the sink, and green beans spilled all over the place. Worse, there was no sign of her mom. After failing to find Abi, the family was at a loss to explain where or why Abi was missing. Jessie, her dad decided to call the chief of police hoping he knew something or would be able to help find her.
Reed Walters loved his job as Chief of Police for the small city of Bloomfield, it was a quiet, crime free town. A delightful place to live and to raise a family. All of that was turned upside down when he received the call from his friend that his wife was missing. There was no trace of what happened to her or where she had disappeared to. It didn’t take a knock on the head for him to figure out that this was above his pay scale, he needed help. He immediately solicited the aid of Grant County Deputy Sheriff Keith West. He was the officer in charge of the missing person investigations for the county.
Abi was missing without a trace shocking the community and putting the local authorities to task. The local authorities considered the situation unique, a random act, but what happened to her wasn’t the only one. Two FBI agents Rose Alveraz and Kurt Steele had been working a string of missing women who had been discovered murdered along the northwest coast. To their dismay, the trail started heading east from Washington State to Utah, then in Montana and now, reports of missing women in Wisconsin were coming in.
In 1972, there was no national or central agency that specifically dealt with and tracked missing persons. Without the aid of computers or cell phones they had to rely on their training and skills to find the culprit of this heinous crime. The FBI agents were determined and highly skilled with a truck load of experience working in their favor. Rose possessed a special talent for finding clues that others didn’t see. Sense things that couldn’t be seen, it was a sixth sense that served her well in the worse kind of cases. Would she be able to discover the culprit’s identity?
He was like a big cat on the prowl, with eyes that saw everything, he could pounce in a flash, hitting his target with a death grip before his prey knew they were in trouble. He was smart, very smart with years of success in avoiding being caught, the police couldn’t even identify him. With all of these years of experience, he was very accomplished at his craft, a real professional, he liked to think. He left no clues behind and with the ability to vanish into thin air, finding him was futile.
He was the master of his game, calculating his vulnerabilities, devised his defenses, and laid his trap ahead for anyone foolish enough to try to beat him. He took what he wanted and when he was done, he buried them deep. He could be your neighbor, or the person standing behind you waiting in line. He could be the person you walked past and never notice he was even there. How do you find someone that looks just like everyone else?
Will Rose and Kurt with all of their training, skills, and talents be enough to uncover who he is and find Abi before it is to late? Will Abi survive long enough? How will Abi’s family cope without knowing where she is or even if she is alive? He had stolen their future, the life that they had worked hard to build.
When she was stolen, he took more than a beautiful woman, she was a mother, a wife, and a teacher who was loved by all who knew her. A single selfish act by one psychopath turned a whole community upside down. What they lost, their sense of security and confidence in their police force, were laid suspect. What he had stolen from them, could it ever be restored, or would they continue to live in fear with broken hearts for the one that was lost and never recovered?
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Stolen is Elli’s first published novel and she continues to write more stories to be published soon. She lives in Northern Wisconsin with her feisty cat, Sophia. When Elli is not writing she enjoys gardening, cooking/baking, hiking in the woods, camping and biking. She is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with master’s in Education. She is now retired from teaching in the University of Wisconsin-System. She has two adult daughters and four grandchildren whom she adores.