You Will Never Find Me by Robert Wilson
Amy Boxer, the precocious daughter of London kidnap consultant Charles Boxer and Detective Inspector Mercy Danquah, has drifted from melancholy and frustration to drastic action: she's leaving home. But Amy can't just walk out, and goads the talents of her parents with a challenge: YOU WILL NEVER FIND ME.
Amy's destination: Madrid. Here, in the strobe-lights of bars and crowded dance clubs, she's anonymous and untraceable. Except to a volatile, unpredictable leader in the Madrid drug trade, the man known only as El Osito.
Charles Boxer will use his very specific set of skills to retrace Amy's quickly vanishing steps, while DI Danquah takes on her own case in London: a young boy, Sasha Bobkov, has gone missing. Is the disappearance connected to Sasha's father, a retired agent of the Russian secret service, who is working to discover who poisoned his former fellow agent, Alexander Tereshchenko.
As Danquah begins her search for Sasha, a body is found in Madrid. Amy's father may be the next target.
Review by Brittany:
I won a free copy of this book on Goodreads, entering because the blurb interested me.
I didn't realize that this was the second in a series featuring Charles Boxer, but that did not impact my reading experience at all. There is limited character development for both Boxer and Mercy, but I didn't feel shortchanged or as if the author might have given that information in the previous book.
This book jumps right into Amy leaving home, leaving her parents in the dark about where she's going and stunned at her leaving. Boxer is a kidnap consultant, so finding people is what he does and what he's good at. He goes on a search for Amy, which the reader stays up to date on, while also getting information about El Osito, the dangerous drug leader. El Osito is clearly a villain, and the author wrote him to be one that has no redeeming qualities. He's smart but vicious, a dangerous combination.
The action in this story kept me reading, both with Amy's case and with the case that Mercy takes on. There are constant developments being made, and about halfway into the book, there's a twist that alters the course of the story. I thought this author did a great job of keeping me hooked on what was happening.
Something interesting about this book is that I felt like I got more character development for the villains than the main characters. Boxer and Mercy both just are the way they are, and there's really not much development to help the reader understand their personalities or to care about them too much. But the author took time to develop El Osito - which makes the reader hate and fear him - and other criminals that are introduced in Amy's case. There is one villain in particular who I couldn't help but feel a little bit of affection for because of the way he was written.
My one complaint about this book is that there is a lot of discussion about the Russian government that I found confusing. It was a lot of information that came out at once, which left me feeling a little overwhelmed. This is not a knock on the author, merely more of a personal preference and based on my limited prior knowledge on what the author was talking about.
Overall, I think this book is one worth reading. The suspense is good, the villains are good, and the twist was one that I personally didn't see coming. I definitely recommend to those who like a good crime novel.
"It's a messy business being human."
"You only ever know about yourself, and most people don't know that much, and it's in a constantly shifting state, rarely still for long enough to be analysed."
"We talked about everything except the thing that was always just out of reach."
Grief is essentially a selfish emotion. It's inspired by the loss of others, but it's private and deeply personal. No one but the individual experiencing it can understand its power...
Isabel wanted to ask about those secrets, but she also didn't want any answers.