One of the delights of owning a Kindle is that often, when you’ve finished a book in a series and just have to find out what happens next, you can go online and download it in a couple minutes. That’s what I did when I’d finished Jeff Shelby’s Thread of Suspicion, and went on to Thread of Betrayal.

I reviewed the first book in this series, Thread of Hope, last year, and gave it high praise. It was the story of a driven man, Joe Tyler, a former San Diego cop whose life got upended when his daughter was kidnapped from his front yard just before Christmas. He stopped being a cop and he stopped being a husband. Instead he became an investigator searching for lost children. He found every one he looked for – except for the one who mattered most.

But at the end of Thread of Hope he got a surprise – a cop friend handed him a photo taken from a seemingly unrelated missing child file. The photo was taken in Minneapolis, and showed two little girls, one of whom was clearly Elizabeth, his own daughter.

Thread of Suspicion finds him in Minneapolis in the bitter mid-winter, trying to locate the family of the other girl in the picture. When that trail fades out, he’s referred to a local woman who’s devoted her life to helping street kids. She agrees to use her contacts to help him, but in return she wants a favor. A homeless boy she’d been particularly close to has disappeared, and because of his very special family situation he may be in serious danger. Solving that problem, Joe discovers a new trail of his own to follow. But he also gets a surprise that causes him to suddenly mistrust people he’s believed in up to now.

In Thread of Betrayal he teams up with his ex-wife Lauren in Denver, again on the trail of a daughter who now seems to be on the run from something. Repeated near-misses and disappointments make this one a real nail-biter. It ends with a kind of a resolution, but unanswered questions remain, so I suspect there’ll be at least one more book in the series.

I highly recommend all the books in Jeff Shelby’s Thread series. I agonized with these people and sometimes wept with them. Jeff Shelby creates characters with blood in their veins, and that blood sometimes gets shed. Also I may have missed something, but I thought the language was pretty restrained.

My highest recommendation. Loved them.