The Ransom

Brian Tobin, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (231p) ISBN 978-0-312-06469-3
This debut mystery is as hackneyed as it is implausible. An armed robber newly sprung from his second prison term, Baker Wyatt has used his time to plan his greatest crime yet--the kidnapping of New York City cocaine kingpin Tito Benitez in order to obtain a $3 million ransom. He recruits an old prison buddy, coke dealer Tony Ramputti, and a pickpocket, Hector Herraro. Wearing Halloween masks, the three carry out a ridiculously easy abduction of the supposedly dangerous and well-protected druglord. The ensuing demands Baker submits to Tito's wife, Felicita, are plotted just as laughably. Enter FBI Senior Agent Mark Lahey: eager to bring Tito to justice, he works with Felicita to capture the kidnappers and provides her with specially marked, sequential currency. Baker, however, has simultaneously instructed her to exchange the bills for diamonds. This development adds little suspense, serving chiefly to delay a predictable, violent finale. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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