HarperCollins, May 2001, 25.00, 432 pp.
Guerilleros in Columbia attack the boats owned by visiting businessman Matthew Rey, co-owner of Rey Seafood Company. During the raid, the criminals killed innocent workers and abducted Matthew in anticipation of making a fortune since he owns an American business.
Matthew's son Nick, an attorney at a Miami law firm learns about the kidnapping. He turns to the FBI for help, but they turn to bureaucratic hiding behind an alleged spat with the State Department. Nick soon learns that the Feds believe his father is involved with drug trafficking, but actually want to nail the business partner, Nicaraguan Guillermo Cruz. Even his law firm, which was supportive of Nick, turns ugly and fires him by accusing him and his father of trying to commit an insurance fraud. Not able to obtain help from the normal channels, Nick turns elsewhere to an outside professional negotiator to save his father from what is becoming a cash crop in Columbia, kidnapping of people.
A KING'S RANSOM is an exciting thriller that never slows down as Nick's struggles to rescue his father crashes into bureaucracy and conspiracy. The story line is fast-paced, filled with action, and frightening as it rings so genuine. Nick is a great workaholic but it is the diverse support cast with their depth of characterizations that provides the novel its feeling of reality while propelling James Grippando's gripping tale forward.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner