★★★★★ It’s the 1980’s in sunny Florida and private investigator Jake Bodine is back at work. Kidnapped, the third novel in a crime fiction series by William E. Dempsey, takes readers along on Bodine’s latest assignment. His mission is to save a newly widowed woman by the name of Anastasia (Ana) Perez, who finds herself in a dark, dire situation. Unbeknownst to Ana, her late husband, Ricky, was involved in serious criminal activity while he was still alive. His final scheme, which led to his brutal slaying, involved stealing a large amount of drug money from his unmerciful boss. After stealing the money, Ricky unsuccessfully tried to pin the robbery on a motorcycle gang. With Ricky gone, and money missing, Ana is held accountable for her husband’s actions. She must return all the stolen money back to Ricky’s former boss immediately or face a terrible fate.
As with all of Jake Bodine’s adventures, Kidnapped is packed full of action, suspense, and lots of sexual intrigue. In this third book, Dempsey cements Bodine as the confident, problem-solving character that readers can‘t help but cheer on and, at times, even envy. Though the storyline starts off in territory that will feel familiar to fans of the genre, Dempsey soon reveals that he has plenty of surprises in store. Skilled character development combined with a series of discoveries and shocking revelations, make this third book a must-read. It’s important for readers to know that elements of both physical and emotional abuse against women are included throughout the storyline, adding to the high-stakes scenario of this exceptional read.