Review of WHITE MALE INFANT by Barbara D'Amato (see her website)
FORGE, June 2002
When he discovers that his adopted son could not have been the Russian baby the agency claimed, Dr. Dooley McSweeny fears the worst--that his wonderful child may have been kidnapped to order. The huge fees that agencies charge certainly would provide motivation--especially for beautiful red-headed and green eyed sons. Dooley obsesses over his fears, finally returning to Russia to seek the truth. But can he, or his marriage, survive the truth when he finds it?
With parallel investigations by a news reporter and an FBI agent, Dooley gradually learns the horrible truth--that an adoption agency specializes in finding exactly the kind of baby that infertile couples demand and in turn, it commands fees that range upward of a quarter of a million dollars.
Author Barbara D'Amato (see all BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by this author) taps into the fears of every parent, and every adoptive parent. The concept of using Russia and similar countries for baby-laundering is clever and convincingly portrayed. Dooley's dilemma is horribly real and effectively narrated. Likewise, reporter Gabrielle Coulter's story is compelling--both in her search for the story behind the huge need for international adoption and in her distress over the murder of her partner and lover. In contrast, D'Amato's villains come across as cartoon-like, motivated only by greed and with no moral scruples, or even common sense.
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