Those of you who’ve read my earlier books will know that if I tell you Capital Punishment is about an Indian billionaire’s daughter, who gets into the wrong cab after a big night out in central London and ends up kidnapped, that this is not even half the story.

The first problem is that Alyshia D’Cruz, beautiful 27 year old daughter of ex Bollywood actor and new billionaire industrialist, Frank D’Cruz, doesn’t seem to have been kidnapped for the money. Instead her captors start to take her apart mentally, teasing out her terrible secrets and reporting them back to her parents. But what’s the point? And why does this make Frank so uncomfortable? Why does he wish it was just a question of coming up with a few million and getting his beloved daughter back?

Of course, Frank D’Cruz has enemies. He’s Goan, which means he’s Catholic, and has been playing friends on both sides of the religious divide of Hindus and Muslims. He does a lot of business in Pakistan: dubious friends with ugly links to dodgy money. Has he overstepped the mark and offended someone so powerful they’d seek to give him the ultimate punishment: not his own death, but that of his daughter?

Stepping into these murky waters is our hero, Charles Boxer, kidnap consultant, founder of the charity LOST, which finds missing people, ex army, ex cop and highly experienced in the art of retrieving stolen persons. He has his own problems: his much-loved father disappeared when Boxer was seven years old – he’d been wanted for questioning by the police about the murder of his wife’s business partner. Boxer has also just left the safety of a salaried job at one of London’s top private security companies to go freelance in order to spend more time with his recalcitrant teenage daughter, Amy. That’s not working out and all the suppressed emotions from thirty years earlier have begun to surface – with lethal consequences.

As Alyshia’s captors start scratching away at her more recent past we realize that something shocking has happened that has permanently changed her relationship with her father. This cues the really sinister figure in Frank D’Cruz’s past to raise his ugly head. Once he’s involved, anything could happen. And we begin to realize that this isn’t just a high stakes international plot, but how families can go badly wrong.

Capital Punishment by Robert Wilson is published by Orion

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