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Saturday, 25 October 2014

‘You Will Never Find Me’ by Robert Wilson



Published by Orion Fiction, 
13 February 2014. 
ISBN: 978-1-49091-4315-4

I am a huge fan of Robert Wilson's and consider two of his books (The Blind Man of Seville, and A Small Death in Lisbon) to be among the finest crime novels I have ever read.  This one is perhaps not up to their standard, but is nonetheless an absorbing and compelling read.

Like so many teenage girls, 17-year-old Amy Boxer decides she's had enough of school, home and parents.  She makes elaborate arrangements to leave the life she's in and start another.  Leaving a note for her mother telling her not to bother looking, because she will never find her, she vanishes.

We then find her checking into a hotel in Madrid, dressing up for a night of clubbing, doing some drugs, and finally going off with a vicious gangster who is obsessed by mixed race girls with ringlets – just like Amy.  The ramifications of her decision are brutally and graphically described.  At the same time, her parents, both of whom work in different kidnapping investigation bureaux, are involved in the cruel abduction of Sasha, a brave little ten-year-old boy in London, son of a Russian millionaire who is investigating the death by radioactive poisoning of a Russian dissident. The authorities don't want him to discover anything about the murder, hence the snatching of his son, to blackmail him into silence.

The two stories are only linked by the fact that the anguished parents of missing Amy are the principals in the search for Sasha.  The contrasts between clever, chess-playing Sasha placed in a terrifying situation and the carelessly impulsive Amy who has no thought for the consequences of her actions, are very well-drawn.
This is a truly gripping novel, and I was unable to put it down until I'd finished it. 
 ------
Reviewer: Susan Moody

Robert Wilson was born 1957. His father was an Air Force officer, so they moved around from base to base. When he was six his father was posted to France, which gave him the bug for foreign travel. He was then sent away to school in England.  It was at this school, that he had the first inkling that he would like to be a writer.  He spent three years reading English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. And left Oxford with a degree and a love of American literature and went to Greece to run archaeological tours on the island of Crete for a year. Back in London he took a job in a ship broking company specialising in gas transportation, and learnt about international business. Three years later he headed for Portugal and lived in Sintra, just outside Lisbon. He wrote travel stories about his experiences in Africa. He then moved to the Alentejo, close to the Spanish border, and found his ideal house in the middle of nowhere, and started writing novels.
Susan Moody was born and brought up in Oxford.  She has published over 30 crime and suspense novels, including the Penny Wanawake series and the Cassandra Swann bridge series.  She is a past Chairman of the British Crime Writers' Association, a member of the Detection Club, a past Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tasmania and a past President of the International Association of Crime Writers.  She divides her time between south-west France and south-east Kent.   Nominated for the CWA short story award.  Nominated for the RNA's award. 

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