cover image The Kidnapping of Aaron Greene

The Kidnapping of Aaron Greene

Terry Kay. William Morrow & Company, $25 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-688-15034-1

Veteran author Kay delivers an edge-of-the-seat thriller that begins with the kidnapping of a nondescript young man whose unusual abductors are more focused on their philosophical message than on the $10-million ransom they demand for his safe return. Kay's (To Dance with the White Dog) ace here is the kidnapped man, Aaron Greene of Atlanta, a bank mail clerk, whose very commonness ironically propels him into a maelstrom of media attention. He makes clever use of digital technology as well, as Aaron's captors use popular local newspaper reporter Cody Yates's voice on their audiotapes to feed information to the media. Kay's true heroes are the men who do the behind-the-scenes legwork trying to solve the crime: detective Victor Menotti and Yates, whose dogged reporting contrasts with the frenzied hype that Kay lampoons along the way. Despite employing some stock characters--the arrogant bank president who cheats his board members, the manipulative lawyer who craves the bank president's job, the lawyer's wife who uses sexual liaisons to alleviate tedium--the author displays a knack for originality in his characterization of the innocent Aaron and his naive captors. He also manages to contrive a solid, old-fashioned love story involving Yates and a colleague. This is a clever, well-wrought tale from an author who knows how to do it. Agent, Harvey Klinger. (Jan.)