Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Journey into Hell: "Chasing the Cyclone"

Chasing the Cyclone
Peter Thomas Senese
Pacifica Publishing Dec 2011
428 pages

ISBN-10: 0975912348
ISBN-13: 978-0975912348

Available at Amazon

What would any of us do in a situation that's straight out of our worst nightmares? Your eight year old has been kidnapped by your spouse, taken out of reach, hidden from you. Every time you come close to finding her, she's gone again, further and further away. Who would you call to help? How would you go about trying to find them? In this ever-shrinking world, how many places could he be taken? This novel, inspired by an event in the author's own life, explores the startling landscape of the world in which “chasing parents” must live. It's a world that bears a definite resemblance to hell.

Judges and other authorities are often enmeshed in a difficult web of personal animosities between parents whenever there are child custody issues, with accusations of misconduct of all kinds thrown around, legal maneuvering by lawyers exclusively serving the interests of their clients, where flaring tempers and acting out are not uncommon, but this is an entirely new level of complexity.

Courts making assumptions with only a fraction of the facts, laws that trap parents in jurisdictional gotchas that limit a chasing parent's ability to find a missing child, countries unwilling to help authorities track down parents who kidnap their children, countries with lively markets actually selling young children into sexual slavery – all of these are threats to the sanity of a parent left behind, and all become very vivid realities to the reader, as “Chasing the Cyclone” unfolds. Paul's friends (and we all wish we had such friends) drop everything to help.  Jim Eastern, a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer with overtones of James Bond, and Ben, a colorful 73-yr transplant from Australia, join the search and apply their considerable skills to the task, but the task is humongous.

The reader is dropped into a world where nothing is as it should be or even as it seems to be. The sands of circumstance keep shifting again and again, financial resources are drained as Paul and his friends travel from city to city, and even country to country, hiring added folks to help with the search,  Paul paying whatever it takes and counting his blessings that he has it to pay. All the while Paul must try to handle all of it for the sake of finding his child, and ensuring that Alex is not harmed, either physically, or mentally, in the process. And to add insult to injury, he knows that Alex must not be taught to hate the mother who kidnapped him.

This book is a fast thrill ride, nearly impossible to put down (I read it in one sitting, and have the undone projects to prove it...grin). The way Senese manages to get the reader into the head of Paul Francesco, a complex place where a mix of frustration, anxiety, anger, fear, and a host of other feelings struggle for priority, is quite remarkable. We “get” that feeling of “Oh, my God, what NOW!!” that chasing parents feel all the time.  And through it all we feel the ever-present focus on Alex, and the unswerving devotion that drives Paul's search for the son he loves.

Peter Senese has given the rest of us the opportunity to “walk a mile in someone else's shoes” and see the struggle of chasing parents, all the while giving us the dynamic, team-against-all-odds excitement of a spy thriller, swat-team-style action, the clue-following of a mystery novel and an incredible amount of suspense that keeps us anxiously turning the pages. I doubt that anyone who has read this book will ever see an Amber alert again without wondering if there is a chasing parent out there about to go through personal hell.

Put this one at the top of your fiction list. You won' t regret it.


  1. Fascinating story. Thank you for sharing!!

  2. I'm glad you decide to share this article!
    Thanks to Peter Thomas Senese and Chasing the Cyclone people will know more about IPCA.
    Thanks to the I CARE Foundation and their precious work!

  3. Thank you so much for raising awareness of the overlooked crime/child abuse of international parental child abduction. As a mother of two young girls (5 and 2 years old), who were targeted for abduction to Saudi Arabia, I am so encouraged that you are spreading the word to prevent this horrible crime and form of child abuse and to help support legislation to put safeguards in place to protect our children. Mr. Senese has personally assisted me in helping to prevent my girls from being abducted. I am forever grateful to him and the I CARE Foundation. They are the reason my girls are able to sleep safely every night at home in their beds.

  4. Thank you for your support and help in the fight against international child abduction :))

  5. I am a single mother and had been living in different parts of the globe and wherever i go i have my daughter with me…She is 17 years old now…

    As a single mom and had been living all alone with my daughter in different parts of the globe, I very well understand the feeling of how it is when we face a problem of our child get abducted as our number one problem is the language barrier…we do get confused and will have problem communicating to other countries….we don’t know where to go and turn when our child get abducted from a different parts of the globe…
    To tell you the truth, until this moment, even my dughter is already 17, i still have the fear & always watching my back that she might be taken away from me by her biological father one of these days…As a parent, the fear is always there…

    I am so very thankful to have found of Mr. Senese, his hard work and dediction, and for ICARE foundation…and for all of the people who works for the Chasing the Cyclone…
    Thank you all for bringing this AWARENESS in our World...
    Children are the future of our Universe nd they deserve to have the best of what the future has in store for them...

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your insight into part of our world so often unknown. I am appalled as to how uninformed the judicial system is regarding this travesty and how frequently it occurs. My gratitude to IPCA for their support and efforts and to Mr. Senese for illuminating this horror caused by abducting parents.

  7. Thx for sharing such an intresting and important article. Thx again

  8. Thank you for helping get the word out about international parental child abduction. Not in a million years would I, as a grandmother of two beautiful girls, ever have imagined that my family would be faced with this situation. Had it not been for Peter Thomas Senese and the information provided in "Chasing the Cyclone," we would have been caught up in this horrible storm without any hope. Everyone needs to be made aware of ICPA and support the work that Peter Thomas Senese and the I CARE Foundation are doing to protect innocent children and spare any parent from being "left behind."

  9. Thank you so much for taking the time to put together this very important article about ICPA. As someone who had reason to fear this happening in the past, as well as later on doing my best to assist in cases of abduction I cannot explain how pertinent the work that Peter and the I Care Foundation is to change and strengthen legislature and educate in order to protect all children. I have had the great pleasure to become acquainted with Peter. He has assisted me through many worries with his knowledge and works tirelessly to assist so many others and make the world a better and safer place for all children. His efforts, know-how, courage, and concern are absolutely invaluable to so many children's future.

  10. What a great article - now I'm even more eager to read "Chasing the Cyclone"! Thank you for raising awareness about an issue that desperately needs attention.

  11. About a month ago I read your article and decided to pick up a copy of Chasing The Cyclone as I had realized there were some markings that my wife might be thinking about abducting my two children. Not only did your article lead me to Mr. Senese's important book, but to an abundent about of information that eventually helped me protect my children. This occurred this past Thursday, when in court, an order was issued by the judge that concluded my wife was actually planning on abducting my children. They are, for the moment, now protected. Your article was the stepping stone to allowing my to be able to help my children. Thank you. Bryce


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