In the first installment of a new series by Wilson (A Small Death in Lisbon, 2000, etc.), the estranged daughter of an Indian tycoon is abducted in London for reasons that don't seem to involve ransom money—and then re-abducted.
Sussing out this odd turn of events, "kidnapping and recovery" expert Charles Boxer is drawn into an international plot that may involve terrorists. Part spy novel, part police procedural and part terrorist thriller, this book features a wide assortment of suspects and victims. The tycoon, Frank D'Cruz, is a former Bollywood star whose coldblooded business methods have made countless enemies—but whose investments have made him a favored guest of the U.K. His 25-year-old daughter, Alyshia—whose mother, Isabel, is British—had mysterious dealings of her own during her times in Mumbai that may have contributed to her kidnapping. Boxer, a former military man and cop trying to live down his reputation for killing as well as thwarting kidnappers, complicates the investigation by having an affair with Isabel while collaborating with his West African ex-wife, Mercy, who's with the Metropolitan Police. The perpetually unraveling plot involves members of the Indian underworld looking for payback, London lowlifes looking for a fast score and Islamic extremists looking to blow up London. And while all this is going on, the estranged daughter of Boxer and Mercy is demanding attention. As packed with characters and incidents as the book is, Wilson remains in elegant control of the narrative. Though there are times when the book bogs down a bit in the details, it never loses its grip.
One of the more sophisticated writers in his field, Wilson leaves us looking forward to Charles Boxer's next assignment.