A well-structured novel of revenge.
Stankovic, also a short story writer and filmmaker, is first and foremost an experienced, independent finance professional with a background in accounting and the insurance industry, and he successfully makes this world of numbers, which in lesser hands could be mind-numbingly dull, a fascinating backdrop. Driving the action in the book is the daring daytime kidnapping in Sydney of the top management team of Easy Insurance Group Ltd. Jordan Johnson, the meticulous mastermind behind this dazzling crime, which grabs attention both in Australia and abroad, has a legitimate grudge against EIG officials, who he feels ruined his father’s life during a coverup years earlier. JJ, who’s assisted by his girlfriend, Angela, and a couple of thugs handpicked by his girlfriend’s gangster father, isn’t after money but rather closure, as he seeks to ascertain and punish those responsible for the decline and eventual death of his beloved dad and the dissolution of his family. Away from JJ’s hideout, local police investigators are baffled by the bizarre crime, with the kidnappers issuing no ransom demands or even initiating any communication. Through a series of flashbacks, Stankovic skillfully doles out the back story so that readers understand JJ’s motivation as well as the executives’ histories. JJ’s Machiavellian plan involving psychological warfare is unveiled as the executives’ days in captivity in an abandoned apartment complex fly by. With breathtaking twists, the author’s propulsive style will ensnare readers in a headlong rush toward a satisfying conclusion in which a handful of greedy or indifferent corporate executives, rather than the kidnappers, might be perceived as the real criminals. Though this is Stankovic’s first published book, fans of thrillers will discover that he intricately paces the action like a wily veteran.
A cinematic, fast-paced style highlights this standout debut.