Dana Lyon. The Lost One (1958) 184 pp.
Alice Johnson is an emotionally-disturbed woman whose one goal in life is to be a mother. After her third miscarriage, she resorts to the desperate act of taking another woman’s child from the East Bay hospital where she was recuperating. Afraid to tell her husband, Frank, that she had lost another baby, she passes the child off as her own and they relocate to the California Delta region near Stockton, where Frank has a job waiting for him. Meanwhile, the baby’s real parents, Tip and Muriel Kingsley—a wealthy couple living on the San Francisco Peninsula—frantically await news that the baby has been found. As the police diligently keep the case alive, it becomes a race against time to find the child before Alice’s despair and desperation cause her to do permanent harm.
Setting: East Bay; San Francisco Peninsula; Delta Region