The first in the Cliff Knowles series, Held For Ransom is a nail-biting thriller following the FBI’s investigation into the kidnapping of a wealthy tech executive. Written by a retired FBI Special Agent, what really sets this series apart from the usual police-thrillers is the ultra-realism and attention to detail that puts the reader right in the middle of an FBI investigation, watching the events unfold like you’re right there in the middle of the action. Told from the perspective of Special Agent Cliff Knowles and the victim, Carl Fischer, it’s a gripping story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I really enjoy this series, so I picked this one up to “see how it all started” after reading several of the later books, and I and wasn't disappointed. Cliff is a likable, unflappable investigator (I loved the patience he had while trying to keep the victim’s wife on track to get information. I’d have lost my marbles!) The story unwinds bit by bit, drawing me into the heart of the investigation and it reads like one of those docu-crime shows on cable, where each clue teases just a bit more of the story. I loved all the FBI terminology and procedures, it really enhanced my understanding of the actions and reactions of the characters and the story feels like it plays out in real time, moving at just the right pace and the exciting ending kept me frantically turning pages. This is the perfect series for any fans of gritty police procedurals or docu-crime shows on cable and one I definitely recommend.