Stokes is not the kind of man who cares much about anyone's child. He is a small time crook from a small town who is drinking in a bar when we first meet him. He just got back from being questioned at the local police station. He tends to be looked at for most breaking and entering type crimes in the area. We find out early on that he owes $100,000 to the local loan shark. We also realize he has few scruples within the first few pages, when he helps an overly inebriated fellow drinker into a taxi and then sneaks several hundred dollars out of the poor guys wallet before sending him in his way.
On the way home a short time later, Stokes ransacks a wrecked car and finds a dead man and a case filled with $350,000 dollars. It doesn't take much debate before he grabs the money and starts contemplating what to do with it. It takes a lot more thought when he answers a ringing phone that is mixed in with the money. He hears a young girl's voice asking, “Daddy? Are you coming to get me? They say if you give them money they’ll let you take me home."
I don't know if the reader or Stokes is most surprised at what follows, but this two bit criminal seems to have a conscience after all. I really enjoyed following his adventures as he goes against his obvious nature to find this kidnapped little girl. The characters that he meets along the way help strengthen the plot while some complicate his life. The dialogue helps make this an entirely readable story with a protagonist, who the reader can't help but root for, even though he is definitely not the hero type.
Publisher - Thomas & Mercer
Date of Publication - February 24, 2015