cover image Payoff


Douglas Corleone. Minotaur, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-04073-2

After making a slam-bam debut in Corleone’s Good as Gone (2013), haunted Simon Fisk—British-American U.S. Marshal turned savior of kidnapped children—returns for a disappointingly generic, if fast-moving, follow-up. The action opens with a bang as four masked men invade the Calabasas, Calif., mansion of filmmaker Edgar Trenton, terrorizing his wife, Emma, and snatching his 15-year-old daughter, Olivia. But once the kidnappers get Edgar to wire a $8.5 million ransom to the Caymans yet fail to release Olivia, the story heads south, literally and figuratively, sending a reluctant Simon (roped into the job to repay a personal favor he owes Edgar) on a kind of crook’s tour through the Caymans, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela as he races to rescue Olivia. Despite copious far-fetched action and cinematic set pieces, including a climactic chase through the Carnaval-clogged streets of Caracas, this thriller’s payoff remains limited with Simon a shadow of his former self and secondary characters underdeveloped. Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Aug.)