Ethan Holt overcomes an abusive childhood – or perhaps because of it – becomes an Olympic gold medalist in the Decathlon and the press nicknames him Hercules. Many years later he is teaching at his college alma mater and struggling to raise his teenage daughter Skip alone after his wife dies in a car wreck.
Then Skip is kidnapped and Holt’s life careens out of control, especially as the kidnapper has proffered a rhyming list of challenges to be completed in order to get Skip back. Eventually Holt realizes that he is being tested through the Twelve Labors of Hercules and the kidnapper knows way too much about him, his family and his childhood.
The detective assigned the case is biased by her own personal history, but that is a definite advantage here. Eventually the FBI gets involved but it is up to Holt to complete the challenges and win his daughter back.
There are the usual kidnapping tropes in play and no real surprises here until the very end but the story pulls the reader in nonetheless. Should appeal to readers who enjoy Harlan Coben or Linwood Barclay type suburban thrillers.
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12/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
DIG TWO GRAVES by Kim Powers. Tyrus Books (December 4, 2015). ISBN 978-1440591921. 304p.