Award-winning English author Keith Dixon creates another scary scenario to add to his Sam Dyke Investigations series. This time, he tackles terrorism and makes it personal.

When private eye Dyke gets a call to the home of businessman Mark Ware, he has no idea he is going to visit an enormous mansion. But the secrets hidden there are even more incredible than the décor. As told by Mark and his stunningly beautiful wife Bobbie, their ten-year-old son has been kidnapped. Yet, there is no demand for ransom to date, and the crime took place several days before.

So why was no one called until now? And what was the role of the evasive housekeeper who would have known the whereabouts of everyone in the house, or of the chauffeur who, though an ex-cop, did nothing to stop little Luke from being dragged from the family limo?

And if the kidnappers want no money, what exactly are they after?

To ferret out the answers to these questions, Dyke calls on his son Dan and his faithful assistant Belinda. Dan’s a computer wizard and Belinda, well, Belinda is a one-woman deadly weapon. Although the two don’t appreciate the expectation that they will be available to assist Dyke whenever he calls–day or night—they always are there to help.

The deeper they delve, the more questions arise, leading to a bloody murder, an international drug cartel and a very mysterious character named Church who spends his days voluntarily leading discussion groups on religion. But which religion? And what else does he do with his time? Once nearly every clue has been uncovered, Dyke realizes he may need to pull the plug on the operation and get his backup to safety. Then Dan disappears, and Sam knows he’s in for the long haul, do or die.

Dixon’s somewhat surly, often cocksure crime fighter, Dyke, is a marvelous creation. His investigative skills rival that of any intellectual British parlor sleuth, while his tendency to get in the face of dangerous characters shows he is no stranger to backroom brawls. Throw in a few sarcastic zingers to add humor to some otherwise very tense moments—and you have the essence of Dixon’s anti-hero. There’s no word out of place in this practiced writer’s prose; he knows how to pressurize a plot to the point of near explosion, then reins it all in and sweeps up the loose ends. Recommended.