Best case: Survival
The son of one of New York's wealthiest families is snatched off the street and held hostage. His parents can't save him, because this kidnapper isn't demanding money. Instead, he quizzes his prisoner on the price others pay for his life of luxury. In this exam, wrong answers are fatal.
Worst case: Death
Detective Michael Bennett leads the investigation. With ten kids of his own, he can't begin to understand what could lead someone to target anyone's children. As another student disappears, another powerful family uses their leverage and connections to turn up the heat on the mayor, the press—anyone who will listen—to stop this killer. Their reach extends all the way to the FBI, which sends its top Abduction Specialist, Agent Emily Parker. Bennett's life—and love life—suddenly get even more complicated.
Before Bennett has a chance to protest the FBI's intrusion on his case, the mastermind changes his routine. His plan leads up to the most devastating demonstration yet—one that could bring cataclysmic ruin to every inch of New York City.
I listened to this book on CD during my commute to work. I do this a lot because it makes the time pass very quickly. I've listened to probably 50 books on CD over the last few years and this is the first one I've ever run into that had sound effects - fake laughs, even more fake crying, and other random, generally ridiculous low-rent sound effects. I found it incredibly distracting. Ugh.
That said, the book itself was decent. Not one of James Patterson's best, but certainly entertaining enough. The story is suspenseful if a tad bit unbelievable. He throws in a curve ball at the end that is pointless (at best) but otherwise the plot line is interesting and the characters witty.
Overall, I can think of half a dozen Patterson books I'd prefer to read, but if you're like me and you've already read through half his library, this one isn't a bad one to add to the list.