Did I just see that there's going to be a sequel to Taken out in the fall? Taken 2. This time, I guess Liam Neeson's character gets his self abducted by... wait for it... a family member of one of the kidnappers he killed for snatching his daughter in the first Installment. Well, he warned em, remember?
If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.
I'd say that was pretty cut and dried.
What a year it's been for kidnappings so far. Really, looking back on the last six months I've read more than a few kidnapping titles and I dunno why. Started with reading Robert Louis Stevenson'sKidnapped to my kids (and, come to think of it, we also tackled Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl and Paula Fox's The Slave Dancer - all featuring abductions), but it's bled into my own pleasure reading.
So... Top Five Abduction Thrillers of 2012 (So Far)
Brenner and God by Wolf Haas. Simon Brenner used to be a detective, but things got a bit heavy over the course of a few earlier titles (which I'll have to catch up on - this was my first - ooh, or maybe I can track down some of the German-language films adapted from Haas' novels) and now he works a comparatively low-key job as a chauffer for the toddler child of a German developer and an Austrian abortionist. Or, I should say he did have that job. He's no longer employed by the high-profile couple after the little girl in his charge got snatched from under his nose. Did I mention he used to be a detective? He puts the skills and contacts of his former profession back to work to find the girl and find out why (among the many reasons that jump to mind considering her parent's list of enemies) she was taken. Haas hits an intriguing tone in this trawl of seedy characters in exotic locales (somewhere between wry and funny with a dose of tragic).
The Dispatcher by Ryan David Jahn opens with police dispatcher Ian Hunt receiving a phone call from his formerly (presumed) dead daughter who was abducted as a child seven years earlier. The wild and disorienting surge of hope (and rage) that this cut-short phone call unleashes in Hunt sends him rocketing down the interstate and across the Southwest in a bludddddy odyssey of rescue and retribution. Wow, dust off the shotgun and fill up the tank, it's gonna be a long strange trip.
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith features one of the most interesting fictional creations of the year. Geiger is the tightly-wound (like tune-a-piano-tight) protagonist upon whose scarred and knotted shoulders Smith will no-doubt construct a series, and this introductory novel finds him on the brink of a crisis. His therapist can feel it coming and Geiger's own subconscious has been sending him signals, but no one is more surprised than Geiger himself the night he takes a sledgehammer to his entire painstakingly-constructed existence. For years he's been the stuff of legend in the dark and underground field of 'Information Retrieval'. It's a sterilized term for torture - and Geiger's the best at it. Everybody says so. That's why he gets paid very well by clients in organized crime, big business and even the government to get the truth from stubborn types. But the night that they bring him a kid to work over, he calls it quits in spectacularly final fashion, snatching the kid from the mysterious clients who snatched him from his parents. Now, he's got a host of nasty characters from multiple shadowy origins pursuing him with bleeding on their minds. And he's having a nervous break down.
Lake Country by Sean Doolittle is the least stylized and most probable tale on this list. Wade Benson seems like a decent guy, but he made a tragic and it cost an innocent young woman her life. He fell asleep at the wheel of his car and caused the collision that killed a twenty year old girl. Now, five years later, as he serves the last symbolic installment of his sentence someone has abducted his own twenty year old daughter. Mike Barlow thinks he knows who took her, and he'd call the cops right away if the man he suspects weren't Darryl Potter the man who saved his life when they served together in the corps. He's determined to find his buddy and talk some sense into him before it comes down to a Bon Jovi moment with the cops (or the bookie and his psychotic muscle also looking for Potter), so he (they all) set out for the Lake Country of Minnesota (also the setting for Josh Bazell's Wild Thing - but this time the monsters on the water are all people). Add a television journalist with a connection to the story to the search party and arm each character with different believable and strong motivations and you've got a recipe for an emotionally honest white-knuckler that packs a wallop.
The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott is the second of his Sam Capra series and finds the ex-CIA operative fighting to save what remains of his family. When Sam's infant son is taken he's presented with a simple task to accomplish to bring him home. All he has to do is kill a man. A specific one. And it's going to be really difficult. Stomping the accelerator down again, this one is going down to... yeah, the last minute. Don't ruin the ending for me, I'm almost there. In case you missed it, here's my Q&A with Jeff Abbott from earlier in the week.
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