Trade Paperback/331 pages
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". . . an exciting mystery without foul language, gratuitous sex, or unnecessary violence."
With Finder’s Fee, Alton Gansky, once again delivers an exciting mystery without foul language, gratuitous sex, or unnecessary violence. In his twentieth novel, Gansky shows that the mainstream formula is not the only formula.
The story begins when two people—decorating mogul Judith Find and stock investor Luke Becker—are given certain instructions to follow or he will die and their individual “secrets” will be revealed. The “he” turns out to be an eight year old boy with startling purple eyes—a genetic anomaly—named Abel Purnak who was kidnapped from his recently-widowed mother, Ida.
While Judith and Luke are chasing leads trying to determine who kidnapped Abel, Judith’s stepson is orchestrating a take-over of her business. A business that Judith has nurtured from an interior supply company owned by her late husband to the conglomerate it is today.
Realizing that Abel’s mother might be in danger since her house is under surveillance, Judith and Luke decide to take Ida with them only to have the house blow up as they are sneaking out the back way. Clues lead them to Dr. Zarefsky a fertility doctor who helped the Purnak’s become pregnant. Once they rescue Abel he tells them that there are more “special” children like himself that the doctor plans to take to Singapore and use in further genetic research.
Unwilling to leave the other children to be “guinea pigs,” Judith, Luke, Ida, and Abel head to the mountain camp where Abel had overheard the children were being held. Unfortunately, in a series of unfortunate miscalculations they are all captured except Ida, who is beaten and left for dead.
The pacing is fast–the entire story encompasses only two days. The language is spare with most of the story being told through dialogue which helps the story move more quickly. The only disappointing part of the bookis that Judith’s and Luke’s “secrets” are never told. When Luke suggests that he tell Judith his secret as they face almost certain death, she assures him that it doesn’t matter because, “Abel says there’s truth in you and that’s good enough for me.” The capability to see into the heart’s of people being one of the children’s special abilities.
As usual in his writings, Gansky, a retired minister, includes elements of faith in this book. Terri, Judith’s personal assistant, is a woman of faith and it is mentioned several times that she is praying for her boss and friend. And in the course of the book Judith, who hasn’t had much time for faith, comes to the point where she acknowledges that the only way to live is by the Truth (“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6). She comes to admit that there is more to life than business as she develops plans to safeguard and nurture the “special” orphaned children from further exploitation.
Reviewer: Denise Lowe