Snatched, by Gillian Jackson

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to Gillian Jackson and Sapere Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Always ready to try a new author, I was pleased to have been contacted by the publisher with this Gillian Jackson book. While dealing with a sensitive topic like child abduction, Jackson pulls the reader in with her fast-paced writing and numerous plot twists. When Danny Stone is kidnapped on his way home from school, no one seems to notice. The boy of eleven cannot even tell what’s happened to him, though he soon realises that he is no longer around those who love him, but rather in a dingy room with only the bare necessities. Thank goodness there is another boy in the room with him, though Lewis does not seem to be much help during the early days. When Martha and Richard Stone realise their son has not returned home, panic sets in, which is only exacerbated when they receive a ransom note. Working with the police, the Stones try their best to gather the money, though it will not be easy and the deadline seems too quick. All the while, Danny learns a little more about his surroundings, including the role young Lewis plays in the entire game. With the kidnappers apparently keen on quick cash, they are breaking all the unwritten rules, leaving Danny to try a daring move. Playing off the unique twists in the situation, Richard Stone tries to secure his son’s release, but the web is quite complex and pulls everyone in. Jackson does well in this quick read, keeping the reader on their edge and wondering what’s coming next. Recommended to those who like quick thrillers, as well as the reader who prefers a story they can devour in a few hours of reading.

Having never read Gillian Jackson before, I was quite eager to see if this was the sort of writing that I could find to my liking. Jackson sets the stage early and keeps the action going from there, with wonderful twists the reader may not have seen coming. Danny Stone plays an interesting protagonist of sorts, showing the reader the perspective of the captive and trying to reason why he has been taken. Left in poor conditions, the reader soon sees that Danny is unwilling to give up, letting his optimism shine through in each situation. Richard Stone counterbalances him as a secondary protagonist on the other side of the literary equation. The elder Stone has been harbouring secrets and while he tries to save his son. Richard appears eager to bring this all to an end, but his agenda does not always align with that of the others. Jackson uses a few other key characters to push the story along, leaving the reader to see a number of the kidnapping perspectives as the narrative builds. The story itself held my attention, with a few twists and a great split narrative, depicting the two sides of the story. Jackson keeps the chapters short and the action high, allowing the reader to devour this book in short order. While a heart wrenching subject for anyone close to a child, Gillian Jackson handles herself well while touching on numerous area of the crime throughout.

Kudos, Madam Jackson, for a great read. I hope others will take some time to read this and your other writing!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: