Karen Karbo
February 28, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Spunky Delia Hopkins, of tiny Wexton, N.H., has a cool job doing search-and-rescue with her bloodhound, earning the love and respect of everyone around her. But all is not what it seems: Soon, Delia’s devoted dad is arrested for kidnapping. The victim is Delia herself, taken by her father from their Arizona home when she was 4. That’s a page-turning setup that begs you to ignore your bedtime. But prolific Picoult has a fondness for the too-beautiful phrase (”Blind-folded, I could find Delia by smell alone: She is lily-milk and snow, fresh-cut grass in summer. . .”) and the multiple narrators (most of them male), who cunningly reflect different versions of the truth, all sound the same. In the end, Acts emerges as a far-fetched saga of lost and found.

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