The third in a series featuring British kidnap consultant Charlie Boxer (You Will Never Find Me, 2015, etc.).
Boxer, of the charitable foundation LOST, gets a request from Siobhan Jensen to find her billionaire father, Conrad, who's been missing for three days. Meanwhile, within little over a day, a half-dozen children of billionaires are snatched off the street, including an 8-year-old girl. The kidnappers want 25 million euros per captive for “expenses,” not for ransom, but they don’t seem to be terrorists. They make impossible demands and threaten to kill their hostages one by one. Boxer’s ex-wife, DI Mercy Danquah, leads the police investigation as part of London’s Kidnap and Special Investigations Unit. Meanwhile, Mercy’s lover, Marcus Alleyne, is also kidnapped. It’s a tangled web, with Jensen, Alleyne, and the missing children all caught in the strands. The “sexually voracious” Siobhan sleeps with Boxer’s 19-year-old daughter, Amy, and Boxer’s own lover, Isabel, is pregnant. Boxer is a complex and sympathetic hero who can cry over a devastating personal loss and still deal effectively with nasty and dangerous people. “You’re a good man who doesn’t have a problem with killing bad guys,” he’s accurately told. This well-honed skill seems like an odd trait for the head of a charitable foundation, but at least he doesn't seem to take pleasure in it. He's loyal, selfless, and emotional, but he has no hesitation about offing people who deserve it. Near the end, a spectacular twist gains worldwide attention and will make readers exclaim “Wow!” Then, after the denouement, the ending dawdles for a few pages.
Wilson has created a great character whose emotional trials are exciting to follow. This series looks like it will have legs if the hero can stand any more emotional pummeling.