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16 February 2014

Mark Gimenez: The Abduction

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As good as it gets
I thought it would be hard for Mark Gimenez to match his debut novel "Color of Law" but IMHO he has done that with his second novel "The Abduction". I expected that this would follow the pattern of Gimenez's other books which are mainly legal thrillers, but this is a no holds barred complex thriller which puts him at the top of my favourite author list.

Gracie Brice is an active, highly intelligent and mature ten year old daughter of an IT genius, John Brice, who is about to float his company and become an instant billionaire. Her mother, Elizabeth, is a top tough defense lawyer who will stop at nothing to win her cases but is haunted by nightmares of evil that prevent her fully connecting with her husband and family.

Gracie is tops at soccer and has just won the match for her school, watched occasionally by her father who spends most of his time on his cell phone managing the float. When he goes to collect Gracie after the match the Coach tells him she has been collected by her uncle to take her to hospital because her grandmother has had a stroke. But Gracie doesn't have an Uncle and her grandmother lives in New York, not Texas!!

Colonel Ben Brice is a Vietnam hero who conducted bloody cross-border operations in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam and was a POW. He is now a drunk living in isolation suffering from post traumatic stress from his experiences. Despite this Gracie visits her Grandfather and they have a very close and loving relationship. As soon as Ben hears that Gracie is missing he springs into action and revisits the family he has not seen for years.

Most cases of child abduction normally involve a sex offender and the chances of survival are slim. In this case because the family are mega-rich the police and the FBI believe that ransom may be involved. But then Ben sees something that turns his blood cold and sets him off on the trail of the kidnappers.

This is a thriller that has everything with an adventurous fast moving plot involving complex and troubled characters, kidnapping, the Police and FBI searching for child molesters, and conspiracies going back to the days of the Vietnam war. While some may think the final plot line is a little far fetched Gimenez has used this author's licence to to write an unforgettable, page-turning, adrenaline-packed, edge of your seat thriller that you won't want to put down.

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