Paying the Piper
Simon Wood

Dorchester Publishing
Trade Paperback/324 pages
ISBN: 0-843959800
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"A great read that keeps the reader turning the pages."

Paying the Piper by Simon Wood thrusts the reader swiftly into the conflict, and the reader is soon feverishly trying to decipher the identity of the Piper. The book moves quickly over several days, but the reader will find the pacing almost too slow in the hunt to find clues.

Eight years earlier, crime reporter Scott Fleetwood became embroiled in a Piper kidnapping case when he was contacted by a copycat and became convinced the man was the real Piper. Unfortunately, Scott also convinced the FBI. In a fit of pique at being ignored, the Piper killed his victim and disappeared.

The Piper then kidnaps one of Scott’s twin boys and demands a ransom that he knows Scott cannot pay. But money is not the issue—revenge is the Piper’s goal. He wants to get even with all the people who interfered with his last kidnapping and “made” him kill his victim. And he wants Scott to assist him—or he will kill Scott’s son, Sammy.

For Scott’s first assignment he must find and bring the Piper-copycat, Mike Redfern, to the Piper. But when Scott refuses to kill Redfern on the Piper’s command, the Piper beats him unconscious. After killing Redfern himself, the Piper kidnaps Scott’s other son, Peter, in retaliation for Scott’s disobedience.

Scott’s next task is to find the Piper’s lair—in one week—and to do what all California law enforcement agencies and the FBI has failed to do. With a little help from people who believe in him, Scott finds it. But as law enforcement agencies converge, the Piper is killed and Scott realizes that nothing is as it seems. The search for his sons begins all over again.

The heavy on dialogue style keeps the pace moving, and the language is sparse. Paying the Piper is a great read that keeps the reader turning the pages.

Reviewer: Denise Lowe