Enter the hero, aptly named Boxer, whose own child was kidnapped in the previous book. Boxer runs a “nonprofit” organization specializing in finding missing persons or kidnap victims. It seems in the past Boxer has been willing to break the law and even kill people to succeed. Even with that reputation, the British police tolerate his operations.
When a strange young woman comes to ask him to find her father, who has disappeared, Boxer reluctantly signs up for the gig but doesn’t trust the girl, who in fact turns out to be a boy. We learn of this when the girl (boy) attempts to seduce Boxers daughter, and she discovers the equipment. This leads to a chain of events which result in the kidnapping of Boxer’s daughter and former wife’s boyfriend. Got that? Boxer and his ex are buddies and she’s a cop, so they work together.
In the meantime, families of the five wealthy kidnapped children bicker about whether or how to pay the ransom which the kidnappers term the “expenses.” Because of the importance of the victims the CIA, the British MI6, and the Russians all get involved, adding many new and mysterious characters.
A bit like Tolstoy, one needs to take notes to keep track of the players and their families, and reading requires concentration. Boxer trails the kidnappers through London. Beating and shooting lots of bad guys and girls. The action never lags.
Contrary to everything taught in writer’s schools, Wilson introduces a new major character in chapter 34, who leads him to another new character, a woman who seems sympathetic but with Wilson’s typical twist, turns out to be a traitor. Towards the end is another totally unexpected twist involving the money which I won’t divulge but have to give Wilson credit for creativity.
If you like complexity, plenty of violence, and a deeply troubled hero battling many demons, Stealing People is a great read. If you’re like me and find time to read late at night or in front of the television you may have trouble keeping track of the plot and the characters. Your choice.
Steve E. Clark is a best selling author as seen in the New York Times. He is author of the Kristen Kerry Novels Of Suspense series. You can pick up his first book Justice Is for the Lonely here, or ask for it at your local book store.
You can learn more about Steve Clark here. Steve is also an attorney at Clark+Mitchell in Oklahoma City.