With Child

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Series: Kate Martinelli #3
Published by: Bantam Books
Release Date: 1997
Pages: 320


Adrift in mist-shrouded San Francisco mornings and alcohol-fogged nights, homicide detective Kate Martinelli can't escape the void left by her departed lover, who has gone off to rethink their relationship. But when twelve-year-old Jules Cameron comes to Kate for a professional consultation, Kate's not sure she's that desperate for distraction.

Jules is worried about her friend Dio, a homeless boy she met in a park. Dio has disappeared without a word of farewell, and Jules wants Kate to find him Reluctant as she is, Kate can't say no—and soon she finds herself forming a friendship with the bright, quirky girl. But the search for Dio will prove to be much more than both bargained for—and it's only the beginning.

When Jules disappears while taking a trip with Kate, a desperate search begins...and Kate knows all too well the odds of finding the child alive...

Discussion Guide

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“Inspector Kate Martinelli agrees to help [medievalist Jani Cameron’s] preteen daughter Jules track down Dio, a homeless boy she met in a San Francisco park over the summer. [When Jules disappears,] Kate searches frantically for some clue about her fate that will allow her closure and mourning; and for that clue she can only turn, logically enough, to Dio—in a beautifully nuanced transformation of the traditional roles of detective, assistant, and victim.”
Kirkus (starred review)


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Afterward, she thought it amazing that she hadn’t been frozen with terror, in the sights of two small cannons manned by lunatics, but at the time all she felt was incredulity….

“We had a report, ma’am…” began the shorter one, the driver, with no trace now of a drawl.

“Some old lady in one of those houses over there no doubt, who saw me poking around and took me for a mad bomber. And now she’s watching you making asses of yourselves.”

“Yes. ma’am. But do you mind telling us what you were doing?”

“This is a public park.”

“Now, look you—”

“Shut up, Randy,” hissed the driver.

“But Nelson—”

“Nelson?” snorted Kate. No wonder he had a chip on his shoulder. She stood and waited for further grumbles of authority, but there was more apprehension than aggression in their faces.

“No, I’m not going to file a complaint. But you two better think three times before you pull that kind of damn fool stunt again. I don’t expect to have to ID myself every time I go for my keys, and it’s too damn hot to wear a uniform.”

Kate waited an instant before this penny dropped, and she was suddenly aware that she felt better than she had in a long time. Happy, even. She stepped forward and held out her hand to Nelson.

“Inspector Kate Martinelli, SFPD. Homicide.”