Book Review: “Kidnap & Ransom” by Michelle Gagnon

(See the “new” wood table donated by Barnes & Noble, Tracy, CA…cool, huh?)

Book Review

Genre:  Thriller

Rating: 3.5 WaterTowers (Awesome read!)

This book was sent to me, and signed, by Michelle Gagnon.  It is in stores now.

This is the first book I have read by Michelle Gagnon.  Breaking my own rule number 53 (to read series in order) by reading this book, I started the series 4 books in.  I love the way Michelle did not do a standard re-cap of the previous book or books, but, instead, integrated the previous information as the story developed.  The only bad part about that is I was pretty much lost as to who the main characters are, and still am to some degree.  Arrrghhh…  My suggestion to the new reader of Michelle Gagnon:  Start with “The Gatekeeper”.

Lets see…..there should be a run on “The Gatekeeper”, ’cause “Kidnap & Ransom” (once I got into the characters) was outstanding.

“Kidnap & Ransom” opens with the unlikely kidnap, in Mexico City, of Cesar Calderon the CEO of the world’s most famous kidnap & ransom organization….the Tyr Group.  The notorious, and lethal, Los Zetas accomplished the kidnapping.

In an attempt to rescue their leader, Tyr sent out a group of special operatives lead by Mark Riley.  Unfortunately, the rescue attempt goes horribly wrong leaving several would be rescuers either dead or captured.

Back in the States, Mark’s brother Jake Riley, who runs another Kidnap & Ransom company, hears about Mark’s disappearance and decides to put a team together to rescue him.

Off to Mexico City.

If I say much more, I will ruin the action.  So while the team is looking, they run into all sorts of obstacles, discover hiding places, and raise all sorts of havoc.  Do they succeed in rescuing Cesar and Mark?  Well….you will just have to read “Kidnap & Ransom” to find out.

In a second plot, heroine  FBI Agent Kelly Jones, who is not well enough to go on the eventual mission to rescue Mark having just recovered from a horrible injury (from the previous book “The Tunnels”), finds out that her old nemesis from that book is alive (surprise!) and living in Mexico City.   Chasing down Stefan proves a daunting task.

At the end, both stories collide in an explosive ending that will leave you breathless….and sad.

The pacing of “Kidnap & Ransom” is PERFECT.  Every two or three pages, another story line picks up and ends two or three pages later in a cliff hanger.  There must be a hundred cliff hangers that make it extremely difficult to put the book down…. because you HAVE to find out what happens.  But it is like that every few pages, so you are CONSTANTLY reading to see what happens.  I love it!

I hope Michelle does not mind me comparing her to James Rollins, Clive Cussler, and Matthew Reilly when it comes to adventure and thrills.  More realistic than Rollins or Reilly, but, she definitely has the same devil-may-care adventure.

Start with “The Gatekeeper”…..you will have fun.

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