A Charles Boxer Thriller by Robert Wilson
Review: When the daughter of an Indian billionaire is abducted while taking a cab home to her London apartment, the assumption is that the kidnappers want cash in exchange for her safe return. But after the first call is received by the young woman's mother, it's clear that the ransom won't be for money … but something else. What that is, however, isn't clear … in Capital Punishment, a stand-alone thriller — though possibly the start of a new series — by Robert Wilson.
Alyshia D'Cruz's father Francisco, currently in Mumbai, hires private security consultant Charles Boxer to assist his ex-wife Isabel with the negotiations, even though the kidnapper, who calls himself Jordan, has made it clear there will be nothing to negotiate. Boxer quickly realizes that Jordan likely has some sort of personal relationship to the family and sets about retracing Alyshia life, not only on the day she was abducted, but over the past few months, even years, as well. Originally in London attending college, she suddenly quit school and returned to India. After working in her father's company for a time, she just as suddenly returned to London. She seems to have no close friends, but Boxer identifies a breakup with a boyfriend just prior to each of her transitions. Even so, none of this would explain why she was being held hostage when it seems one — or possibly both — of her parents is the real target here.
Capital Punishment has an intriguing premise and unfolds quite nicely as a thriller for about the first two thirds of the book. There are a few sidetrips along the way, nothing too distracting (or even all that interesting), but somewhere about the point where the plot should be drawing to a close it veers off into another direction entirely. The tension that had been developing till then quickly dissipates resulting in a really unsatisfactory — and somewhat messy — final few chapters. It almost seems as if the author realized he had another 100 pages to fill to hit some arbitrary page count required by the publisher and inserted a completely different, and not terribly well thought out, story to fill the space. Which is rather unfortunate as the cleverly structured kidnapping plot and its resolution is really quite thrilling while the pointless political subplot kind of ruins the whole experience.
Acknowledgment: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided a copy of Capital Punishment for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Capital Punishment: London, England; Mumbai, India
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Capital Punishment by Robert Wilson — A Charles Boxer Thriller
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: March 2013
List Price: $28.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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