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CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
by Robert Wilson
Houghton Mifflin, March 2013
416 pages
$28.00
ISBN: 0547935196


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

A genuine thriller and the first in a new series, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT is one of the best books in the genre to come along at the start of a new year. The plot centers on an Indian billionaire (and former Bollywood star) Frank D'Cruz, whose daughter is suddenly taken from the streets of London after a night out with friends. To the rescue, a K&R (kidnap and recovery) specialist, Charles Boxer, who is having his own family crisis.

Despite the vast wealth accumulated by D'Cruz along his career path (which had its own unsavory beginnings), the kidnappers claim that they have no interest in money. He calls on Charles Boxer to help crack the case. With extensive experience in war and detective work, Boxer is now a freelance operator, specializing in kidnapping cases and running his own nonprofit to find lost people. He's stymied by D'Cruz's unwillingness to share what he knows, as D'Cruz conducts his own simultaneous investigation, without providing Boxer much to go on.

When the billionaire starts putting pressure on Whitehall, and it appears that D'Cruz may have known terrorist connections, both MI5 and MI6 get involved, despite pleas from the family, who worry that may endanger their daughter. Boxer is soon required to work in tandem with these agencies, as well as his ex-wife, a detective with the London police force .

As if all this tension is not enough (and readers will be astonished at the skill with which Robert Wilson builds his case), the kidnapping takes an unusual twist when two of the original kidnapping crew decide to go rogue and take the girl for their own profit. Soon, there are more players in this pitched battle than one could imagine possible.

It all works like a well-oiled machine in the hands of the author. There are no dropped storylines, no missed cues. Everything works together beautifully to layer tension upon tension until the final scene. While the ending provides readers with a bit of a heavy-handed glimpse into the next part of the series, the book is otherwise perfectly executed. A brilliant beginning for what is sure to be a very exciting and worthwhile series indeed.

Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Caryn Zibas, March 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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