This is the second novel by the British writer David M Sindall, and is different from his first novel “After Alyson”, published in 2013. Refreshingly for a crime novel, there are no descriptions of dead bodies to be found at the beginning sections of the novel [as I find this motif repetitive and boring]; instead the novel is about a crime which goes wrong, and the aftermath.
Kieran is a businessman, running two separate businesses, one legitimate, in the form of a ticket agency selling tickets to top level sporting events, the other business stealing children to order for rich families. Kieran employs Anna to act as au pair for Thomas, grooming him and his family for a snatch. The circumstances of the actual snatch, reminded me in many ways of the Madeline McCann case, which may or may not have been intentional. The snatch takes place, but then rapidly goes wrong, as Thomas is rejected by the Russian family who were going to buy him. We then embark on a dash around Eastern Europe and India, encountering the tabloid press, Romanian gangsters, the police, Kieran, his employee Elena, and assorted other characters.
I enjoyed the novel immensely, reading it very quickly. This was aided by the writing style, in which the novel is narrated in bite sized pieces by the main protagonists, with the exception of Thomas’s parents, who are seen solely through the eyes of Anna. I particularly liked the voices of Kieran, Anna and Lisa the tabloid reporter, all of whom were distinctive. The other characters such as the police officer were less successful, as they were not overly distinctive, and didn’t contribute much to the plot. Although I found the ending not overly convincing, however on balance, there was a lot of interest in the novel to overlook this.
Following Snatched, I am rather interested in reading both After Alyson and his next work.