Eight years ago, the Piper successfully kidnapped children for profit, throwing the city of San Francisco into panic. Each of the children was returned to the parents after the ransom was paid, except for the last kidnap victim. A reporter, Scott Fleetwood, was contacted by the Piper. Thinking he was working with the kidnapper, Scott played a dangerous game that ended with the kidnapped boy, Nicholas Rooker, dead. Now the Piper has one of Scott's twins. He wants to make Scott suffer. He wants revenge.
The plot of this book is full on action. The story opens with the kidnapping of Scott's son and the tension mounts as ransom attempts are made and the Piper's demands become increasingly hard to meet. He doesn't always want money. The twists in the plot will definitely keep you reading. In fact, it's important to read quickly so that you don't stop to question the character development.
The characters, particularly Scott, are eaten up with guilt for what happened to Nicholas. He'll do anything to save his son. You can feel his pain. The role played by the FBI agent, Shiels, is more difficult. He too feels guilty, but mostly he blames Scott. However, Shiels, too, made mistakes and blaming Scott seems a great deal like shifting the blame. I didn't like the character. I thought he was a bumbler. He wants to capture the Piper, but his desire to blame Scott and his failure to trust him lead to some bad decisions.
If you enjoy suspense, this is a book for you. The writing is clear and the story moves along at a good pace. However, I would not recommend it for character development. Not only is Shiels a difficult character, but some of the other characters, particularly the agents, are so poorly developed as to be caricatures. The mother, Jane, is not really believable. She's upset, but I would have expected the tension to create more angry scenes between husband and wife. Still it's a good read.
I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.