Kidnapped (Jon Roscoe #3): A BookShot, by James Patterson and Robert Gold

Seven stars

In the third of their Joe Roscoe BookShots, Patterson and Gold deliver another story that keeps the reader guessing and wondering until the final paragraph, showing that short stories do not always lack the essential attention to detail. After finishing up with a piece of business in Chicago, Jon Roscoe is headed back to London for the holidays. His wife and two daughters await him, hoping that he will be able to carve out some time with them as he continues to work for Tribeca Luxury Hotels. While waiting at the airport, Roscoe encounters two families and their various events, both of which cause him worry. He only later learns that both pairs will be on his flight over the Atlantic. Roscoe tries his best to intervene, but is rebuffed in both cases, sensing that there is something ominous about to take place. When back in London, Roscoe is given a stern warning about staying away from a certain celebrity hotel guest, but cannot shake that something is significantly wrong. Meanwhile, Roscoe learns that his wife and daughters may have stumbled onto something else of interest. As the story progresses, the reader is pulled into two significant storylines, both with particular importance and set against the backdrop of the Christmas season. Patterson and Gold devise a wonderful story that will keep the reader up a little later to find out how it resolves itself.

Patterson’s invention of the BookShot has not always been a gift for readers, as some stories offer little more than a lump of coal while others are true diamonds. However, that is the nature of the beast and this BookShot shows strong contention for being in the latter category. The third story in the series, readers have already learned much about Jon Roscoe, but the constant move to add new and interesting characters adds a new dimension to the tale. Also, that the hotel is not a primary setting for the story plays into its unique nature. The authors use Roscoe’s brain and intuition more than his brawn in this BookShot, adding a dimension to the man while keeping things somewhat realistic. The numerous storylines keep readers ready to forge onwards, offering some interesting views into family life, particularly around the holidays. Short and crisp chapters are offset with interesting plots without taking readers down too many rabbit holes and confusing them as they seek to finish in short order. A successful BookShot that tries taking up only enough time to fill the period between a significant meal and the rowdy round of game playing during the holiday season.

Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and Gold for another wonderful addition to this collection. I hope there are more Roscoe stories on their way soon, as you have done well with this series.