Honestly, who let me start reading a thriller after 8 pm? I knew it was dumb, but I have no self-control about these things.In case you are wondering, yes, I stayed up until 2 am to finish. Yes, I read most of the words to do so.
Elvis Cole is thinking things are going swimmingly when his girlfriend’s son is kidnapped from his back yard. When the kidnappers call, it seems like there might be a connection to Elvis’ past in Vietnam, putting a strain on their relationship. Before long, Lucy’s ex-husband Richard flies out to L.A., manages to get Elvis sidelined from the official investigation, giving him and Joe Pike a chance to get off the chain.
While it is mostly told from Elvis’ perspective, there is the occasional short piece from Ben, as well as couple from the kidnapper. None of them are particularly lengthy, so it doesn’t feel like an interruption as much as a way to assuage or increase mild tension. I’ll note that the first scene from Ben ended up being fairly horrific, leading me to get rather ticked at Crais for using such cheap techniques. He redeemed himself by giving Ben more agency and less outright terror than many kids would get from their authors.
Plotting is straight forward, with a mild twist that wasn’t the least surprising. I prefer it when Crais tries to give his readers a little more in the mystery department, but since it was a satisfying story, I won’t complain.
On the thriller scale, it’s above average, despite relying on the low bar situation of a kidnapped child. On carol’s library scale, it isn’t worth owning, but then, I can’t think of any thrillers that are. I’m giving it a sincere four stars, but don’t confuse the thriller scale with a regular read scale.