Thursday, April 11, 2013
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT by Robert Wilson
He won me with A Small Death in Lisbon - this intense, thoughtful creator of intelligent mysteries, Robert Wilson. Then he held me in thrall with the first in a new series, Capital Punishment - it’s not only new but tantamount to nuclear as we’re introduced to ex-army turned private security investigator Charles Boxer. His specialty is kidnap and recovery. Boxer is one of the most intriguing heroes to spring from a page - he’s unbelievably capable but also flawed. Very human. He’s married with a 17-year-old daughter, Amy, who worries him.
The scene is London today when Alyshia D’Cruz, the daughter of a self-made Indian billionaire is kidnaped. She’s spent the evening partying with her co-workers when presto - she’s gone. Boxer is hired to bring her home alive and well. But, this isn’t your usual kidnaping as there are no demands for ransom, only an insistence by the kidnapper that it “is not about money.” Well, then just what is it about?
As the story soon reveals it involves much more than the girl’s safety but the inequality of birth and wealth, counter terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, a palette of themes colored by an immense cast of characters. Although they are many in number each is artfully drawn, frighteningly so.
Alyshia’s father is a former Bollywood star, an able actor , a cold-blooded schemer who has used any means to amass his fortune thus making countless enemies. To complicate matters further Alyshia’s mysterious experience in Mumbai while working for her father may have something to do with her kidnaping.
Wilson skillfully weaves the threads of this puzzle into a stunning finished piece and closes with a single sentence that leaves readers gasping and eagerly waiting for the next Charles Boxer adventure.
- Gail Cooke