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Moonbird is a six-year-old boy whose future is at the heart of the latest in Padgett's increasingly compelling series featuring manic-depressive sleuth Bo Bradley. Bo meets Moonbird at Ghost Flower Lodge, a psychiatric rehabilitation facility run by the Neji Indians in the desert mountains of Southern California. The boy is there with his father, Mort Wagman, a single parent, aspiring comic and schizophrenic who had recently gone off his medications. Bo (seen last in Turtle Baby) is there climbing out of a deep depression that had been precipitated by the death of her 17-year-old dog.When Mort is shot to death in a nearby canyon, Bo is devastated, but her sympathy for the boy and her job as a social worker for the San Diego Child Protective Services give her impetus to investigate Mort's death and watch over his son, who will be moved into the child welfare system if no relatives are found. Bo, whose illness gives her an acute, reliable self-awareness, has become more forceful and credible with each of her four appearances. Padgett places her in a complex, well-orchestrated plot here, involving the greedy aspirations of a medical management corporation that hopes to franchise the Lodge's traditional Neji healing approach. Firmly rooted in Bo's unique interaction with the world, the narrative develops texture and depth as Padgett weaves strands of neurophysiological research, Indian ritual, murder, big business, WW II atrocities, family ties and romance (in the continuing relationship of Bo and pediatrician Andrew LaMarche) into a gripping novel. Mystery Guild featured alternate.
(Book Four of the Bo Bradley Mysteries Series)
the detailed explanation of Child Protective Services he needed to hear. Bird rarely sat still for anything. Bo placed a firm hand on the boy's thin shoulder under his biker-style black T-shirt with the sleeves ripped off. "I know you've already been told about what happened to your dad," she began. "It's terrible for you." That's it in a nutshell, Bradley. But don't plan on getting any awards for diplomacy. A month away from work, she thought, and already she'd forgotten how to talk with
him or about Bird. Everywhere I turn there's another blank wall. Bird's mother is supposedly dead, but that's only what Mort told his agent and Bird's school. I don't like thinking Mort lied, but..." "But if the mother were still alive and wanted custody of Bird, she could have taken him from Mort at any time and no court in the world would have upheld the rights of a father with schizophrenia," Eva completed Bo's train of thought. "And you would support Mort in that lie." Bo enjoyed another
A dull hush. Morley knelt beside his wife and placed his hand over her clasped fingers on the back of the pew before them. The gesture created an appropriate image. It was the only time he touched her. "We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness," he intoned, admiring the diamond bracelet on his wife's wrist. The bracelet said a great deal about Alexander Morley, he thought. And "sins and wickedness" fit Bob Thompson perfectly. It was going to be simple. Just let Thompson
genius range in verbal subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Bo wasn't surprised. From the nurses' station phone Bo called Andrew LaMarche and then Eva Broussard, neither of whom was at home. After leaving messages, Bo contemplated her options. It was after five o'clock. I-8 would be clogged until six-thirty, no point in trying to go home. Face it, Bradley. You don't want to go home because you're afraid of what you'll find there. Somebody's trying to break your heart with
to find him, Ann. He did stand-up comedy in clubs; he was on TV, for crying out loud. How could they miss him?" Sighing, Ann Keith took off her shoes and poured sand through her fingers onto her feet. "Because I told them to look in the wrong places," she said. "I told them to look in flophouses and SROs, state mental hospitals, filthy board-and-cares, even jails. I have a description of every unidentified young white male corpse buried in every potter's field in this country in the last two