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Wednesday 11 July 2018

‘Saving Grace’ by Simon Wood

Published by Thomas & Mercer,
9 January 2018.
ISBN 978-1-5420-4644-2 (PB)

From the publisher:  Former reporter Scott Fleetwood and his family are still recovering after tangling with a notorious kidnapper, the Piper, when another kidnapper grips the city.  The Shepherd has snatched a young girl from a vacationing family.  Other than money, he has one demand:  he’ll talk only to Scott.  Special Agent Tom Sheils is on the case and will watch over Scott every step of the way.  The Shepherd promises the girl’s safety as long as Scott follows the rules of his game.  Forced to trail the kidnapper’s twisting lead - - and haunted by the last victim he failed to save - - Scott is desperate to keep the past from making a brutal comeback.  But just when Scott and Sheils think they’re winning and that it will all be over soon, the Shepherd ups the stakes.   Scott begins to realize he’s a pawn in a scheme that runs deeper than greed . . . and colder than death.

The victim, Grace Pagett, is a six-year-old girl on vacation from the UK with her family.  Scot and his family seek out the Pagett family in a somewhat “unconventional get-together.  The family of a kidnapped child was at the home of a family who’d had their children kidnapped.  The unusual demographics were topped off by the presence of the FBI.”   But Scott fears what will happen if the Shepherd becomes aware of the FBI tail.

A side effect of this is the effect it has on The Independent, the newspaper that Scott works for.  “Newspaper sales spiked, website traffic had quadrupled, advertisers were clamouring to be part of the action at premium rates. All this because a man had kidnapped a child and the Independent had a ringside seat to it all.  It was disheartening that events like these drove the news business and kept The Independent solvent.”  One of the characters, who works at the Independent, thinks to himself “If this was what passed for journalism, then it might be time for him to go.”  The suspense is palpable as the kidnapper has not released Grace, although a ransom has been paid.

Simon Wood has once again given his readers a gripping novel, one in which the characters are very real and the inherent danger very real.  The pages can’t turn quickly enough, and the book is highly recommended.
Reviewer: Gloria Feit
Simon Wood A former race-car driver, licensed pilot, endurance cyclist, and private investigator, Simon Wood is the author of more than a dozen novels, including The One That Got Away, Accidents Waiting to Happen, and Paying the Piper. He has also penned more than 150 short stories. Wood has won the Anthony Award for his mystery fiction and was nominated for a CWA Dagger award. A native of the United Kingdom, he lives with his wife, Julie, in California.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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