Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
If I asked you about the “Patrick McDermott Case” you might not recognize what I was talking about. But if I added “Olivia Newton John”s missing boyfriend” before the name you’d certainly understand.
In the summer of 2005, while on an overnight fishing trip, Patrick McDermott vanished. A quick and hasty search by the Coast Guard, as well as investigation “experts” on land, concluded that he must have fallen overboard and drowned.
In the search for the ever popular ratings, the television program “Dateline N.B.C.” contacted famed investigator Philip Klein and asked him if he would take one of two cases they had been following. Intrigued by the celebrity aspect, and the fact that nothing seemed kosher in the information presented to him, Klein took the McDermott case. For over two years he and his team interviewed witnesses, checked alibis and investigated leads previously dismissed. And they got their man!
A true storyteller (I would love to just sit down at a table with Mr. Klein and hear some of his exploits), Klein begins the book in the middle of a harrowing plane ride. With his wife, Inga, he is escorting a suspected kidnapper and the young child she abducted back to Texas. Approaching the runway at 200 MPH the front landing gear fail to lock, causing the plane to skid. Cool heads prevail, thankfully, and everyone gets off safely. But those few minutes inside the plane are riveting. Once Klein accepts the case he and his team begin to systematically follow the clues. And there are many. Most of them point to McDermott’s horrid ex-wife, described by anyone that would talk about her as a bitch. And that was the polite word. As the case progresses Klein and his team literally travel the globe, setting traps and beating bushes. Taking advantage of the world wide web they set up a “spider” web site, one that captures the IP address of everyone that visits it. They also set up a public web site which, within 48 hours of the first “Dateline N.B.C.’ show airing, crashes 39 times and gets over 2 million hits!
While Klein is the lead investigator he also praises his “team,” from his office workers to his field men. And to Inga! It’s clear that she is the force which guides him, both personally and professionally, and his words of appreciation ring true.
If you’ve ever wanted to get inside a missing person case…and I mean INSIDE…then “Lost At Sea” is a fine entrance.