Thursday, September 26, 2019

Gagnon: "Kidnap & Ransom" by Michelle Gagnon

Gagnon: Kidnap & Ransom by Michelle Gagnon, 2010, 9780778328261 (pbk).

Fourth novel in a series with FBI Special Agent Kelly Jones. I read Boneyard a few months ago and enjoyed it. Boneyard was number two in the series and volume three gave Jones a traumatic amputation (via hand grenade) of her leg just above the knee. Jones has been on leave - with a black mark because of shenanigans - from work and slowly rehabbing as she lives with her boyfriend in New York City.

Jones has been in a emotional pit for about eight months. She hates that she is not working, is physically incapable of meeting her two-legged performance, guilt for her survival in novel #3, ashamed of her leg, and wrapped up in a few pre-existing emotional and behavioral issues.

Meanwhile, her boyfriend Jake Riley has been a longish term fiancee and struggling to get along with a very unhappy Jones. Riley recently started up a kidnap negotiation and rescue company (Kidnap and Ransom, K&R). Jake's estranged older brother, Mark, just retired as a commando and took a job with a competing company. Mark then gets ambushed and kidnapped in Mexico City. Jake has to go to the rescue and Jones demands to go along. Tagging with them is Jake's combative business partner WhatsHerName.

Anyhoo. Mark was down in Mexico to rescue his company's founder, Cesar. That man, Cesar, is famed for his negotiating skills and success and was taken hostage by the Zetas. Jake and Jones and WhatsHerName get involved with that as well.

Things happen. People are violent and Jake and Jones are not happy about the free flowing violence and torture employed by K&R people in the field. WhatsHerName dislikes Jones. Jones is hyper conscious of her stump and her limitations while trying to prove otherwise. Mark and Jake have been estranged. Other K&R people do not trust them. Many Mexicans are treated horribly and murdered.

I enjoyed this a fair bit and the story kept me very engaged until the last 50 pages or so. For each sitting I kept reading this longer than most recent books. But, at about 3/4 of the way through Jones pursues a second plot line that by itself would have been compelling. That plot line pulls in a serial killer from a previous novel. Adding that guy in made the the story too long for me. Paperback page count was over 411, I have no idea of the word count.

1. All the kidnap stuff is driven by money and greed. How much of it is traceable to the criminals who started off feeding the United States's drug needs?
2. It's neat to read about the ransom and negotiation business. Outside of that Russell Crowe movie a few years ago I've not run across many fictional portrayals. Gagnon does not go into a bunch of details of the work. There is more chasing bad guys and fractured personal and romantic relationships.
2. Fucking library catalog does not deliver alternate results for the ampersand symbol when I search "kidnap and ransom" rather than "kidnap & ransom". Damn thing. I suppose that is a problem with the bib record but I would have thought the system software would automatically include a search for "and" when searching "&".

No comments: