From the publisher: Former reporter Scott Fleetwood and his family are still recovering after tangling with a notorious kidnapper, the Piper, when another kidnapper grips the city. The Shepherd has snatched a young girl from a vacationing family. Other than money, he has one demand: he’ll talk only to Scott. Special Agent Tom Sheils is on the case and will watch over Scott every step of the way. The Shepherd promises the girl’s safety as long as Scott follows the rules of his game. Forced to trail the kidnapper’s twisting lead - - and haunted by the last victim he failed to save - - Scott is desperate to keep the past from making a brutal comeback. But just when Scott and Sheils think they’re winning and that it will all be over soon, the Shepherd ups the stakes. Scott begins to realize he’s a pawn in a scheme that runs deeper than greed . . . and colder than death.
The victim, Grace Pagett, is a six-year-old girl on vacation from the UK with her family. Scot and his family seek out the Pagett family in a somewhat “unconventional get-together. The family of a kidnapped child was at the home of a family who’d had their children kidnapped. The unusual demographics were topped off by the presence of the FBI.” But Scott fears what will happen if the Shepherd becomes aware of the FBI tail.
A side effect of this is the effect it has on The Independent, the newspaper that Scott works for. “Newspaper sales spiked, website traffic had quadrupled, advertisers were clamoring to be part of the action at premium rates. All this because a man had kidnapped a child and the Independent had a ringside seat to it all. It was disheartening that events like these drove the news business and kept The Independent solvent.” One of the characters, who works at the Independent, thinks to himself “If this was what passed for journalism, then it might be time for him to go.” The suspense is palpable as the kidnapper has not released Grace, although a ransom has been paid.
Simon Wood has once again given his readers a gripping novel, one in which the characters are very real and the inherent danger very real. The pages can’t turn quickly enough, and the book is highly recommended....Continua