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Over My Dead Body: YOU WILL NEVER FIND ME is "an exceptionally crafted and terrific thriller.”

Date: Jun 1 2015

Mr. Robert Wilson presents an engrossing and intricate thriller in You Will Never Find Me.

Amy Boxer, headstrong 17-year-old daughter of London-based kidnap consultant Charles Boxer and Detective Inspector Mercy Danquah goes missing, ironic because both parents have spent the latter years of their careers investigating kidnappings and rescuing the victims. In this case, however, conventional police routes are not necessarily available, as Amy is legally an adult, and leaves a scathing goodbye and good riddance note, in some ways challenging the parents to locate her. But she’s obviously not been taken against her will, either.

Both parents, divorced and estranged, nevertheless unite to locate their daughter, if only to ensure themselves that Amy at least doesn’t hate them beyond recovery. But Amy’s clever and knows the inside workings of police investigations, and has covered her trail carefully. Yet not enough, as Charles Boxer tracks her to Madrid, where she has apparently run afoul of a drug-dealing sadist.

Mercy is also distracted by her own casework, the kidnapping of a boy whose father is ex-KGB (now the FSB), and police fear that the ransom demands are only a cover for revenge on the father’s recent work to expose FSB activities in both England and the Continent. And so we have two parallel stories of disappearance to be resolved.

You Will Never Find Me is an elaborately plotted mystery with many intelligently placed false threads and plot reversals. Indeed, one of these switches near the beginning of the novel is quite stunning, and my vow to not reveal spoilers is difficult to adhere to, as the tweak is exceptional. I can only say that I was stopped in my reading tracks, and pleasantly so. Although “pleasant” is not quite the correct description for this rather grim and darkly violent (but superb) mystery.

Again, as is my charge, I must point out a few flaws. We learn well into the narrative that Mercy Danquah is an African émigré and therefore her daughter Amy is of mixed race heritage. However, such knowledge would have been more concomitant with our learning of the personalities and motives of the protagonists had we known of it earlier. And no, this is not an issue of racial prejudice, but instead a simple fact of how the racial background of certain characters affects the plot resolution.

The author also engages in too much “head-hopping.” That is, excessively rapid shifts in point of view (POV). Juggling several key plot arcs at the same time is difficult, and the reader must of course be kept informed of the movement of each, but switching too quickly back and forth can be annoying.

As is necessitated by the major plot line, there is a considerable amount of familial trauma and intense self-examination by both Charles and Mercy, which might at first alienate action fans due to its introspective rhythms, but the novel itself is a skillful examination into the social and spiritual tenets of family and relationships. I would urge those readers to keep the faith and persevere, because You Will Never Find Me is an exceptionally crafted and terrific thriller.