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Capital Punishment [Paperback]

Robert Wilson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
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Book Description

16 Jan 2014

Beautiful Alyshia D'Cruz has grown up in London and Mumbai wanting for nothing. But one night she takes the wrong cab home.

Charles Boxer, expert in high-stakes kidnap resolution, teams up with his ex-partner, investigative cop Mercy Danquah, who's battling with their rebellious teenage daughter.

Alyshia's father hires Boxer, who knows all about the tycoon's colourful career, which has made him plenty of enemies. But despite the vast D'Cruz fortune, the kidnappers don't want cash, instead favouring a cruel and lethal game. . . To save Alyshia, Boxer must dodge religious fanatics, Indian mobsters and London's homegrown crimelords.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT is a journey to the dark side of people and places that lie just out of view, waiting for the moment to tear a life apart.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (16 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409139026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409139027
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Wilson was born in 1957. A graduate of Oxford University, he has worked in shipping and advertising in London and trading in West Africa. He is married and divides his time between England, Spain and Portugal.

Product Description


Like most of Wilson's novels, this one occupies the shadow territory between the crime novel and the intelligent thriller... it's dark and powerful stuff. And the ending has a kick like a horse. (SPECTATOR)

Fast-moving and breathlessly exciting, this is the first of a series to feature Charles Boxer from award-winning author Robert Wilson. (IRISH INDEPENDENT)

Gripping from start to finish, this intricately plotted page-turner will keep you transfixed. (CHOICE)


Full of action and tension, a guaranteed great read from this CWA Gold Dagger winning author. (LOVEREADING.COM)

Wilson blends psychological intensity, constant action with a brilliantly intricate plot that will leave you gasping after the final page. (BITE THE BOOK)

[Robert Wilson's] hotter than ever... One killer of a crime caper. (NORTHERN ECHO)

If you like dense, complex and internationally widespread thrillers, then Capital

Punishment is for you... Unputdownable.


Featuring a large cast of well-sketched players and a plethora of plot twists, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT shifts scenes briskly from London to Lisbon, Mumbai to Lahore. Mr. Wilson writes with elegant vigor as he describes the shoot-outs and emotional crescendos that result from the political and criminal intrigue at the heart of the book. (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

A genuine thriller and the first in a new series, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT is one of the best books in the genre to come along at the start of a new year... A brilliant beginning for what is sure to be a very exciting and worthwhile series indeed. (REVIEWINGTHEEVIDENCE.COM)

Featuring a large cast of well-sketched players and a plethora of plot twists, Capital Punishment shifts scenes briskly from London to Lisbon, Mumbai to Lahore. Wilson writes with elegant vigour as he describes the shoot-outs and emotional crescendos that result from the political and criminal intrigue at the heart of the book (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

It is a riveting read... Wilson writes with verve and panache (CATHOLIC HERALD)

A gripping and unsettling read (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Lots of political intrigue and double-dealing make this a complex and tense thriller (TELEGRAPH & ARGUS)

Book Description

A crime thriller to take you on a terrifying journey into London's dark side.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bad day at the office 15 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Many of us read crime fiction to escape the humdrum of our working lives. We want high stakes, conflicted characters, atmospheric locations. Wilson normally delivers these, but reading this book is a bit like the day job.

Capital Punishment begins in London with the kidnap of Alyshia, a beautiful but troubled young woman. Her father is a wealthy Indian businessman but it soon becomes clear that the kidnapper is after something other than money. Charles Boxer, freelance kidnap consultant, is brought in to negotiate.

The book seems at first to be a psychological thriller, pitting the kidnapper against Alyshia, as he breaks down her defences, then against the family and Boxer. But then it spirals off into a complex account of various businesses, criminal gangs and government agencies across London and South Asia having a lot of meetings, as if to reassure us that being in international espionage or terrorism is no more exciting than any other form of corporate management.

Boxer is a strangely lifeless character. This is partly to do with the plot. For the first half of the novel, he doesn't have much to do apart from form a relationship with the kidnapped woman's mother. He gives her lengthy expositions of the kidnap negotiation procedure manual. He swims in the in-house pool. They share lengthy psychoanalytic perspectives on their respective backstories. There are none of the tense, visceral exchanges you would expect from two people thrown into sudden close contact, one facing the possible death or torture of her daughter, the other with the responsibility for saving her life.

The most interesting characters are London's minor criminals.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best! 16 Sep 2013
I have been waiting for Robert Wilson to produce a new novel since the Falcon series ended and I was delighted to see this book on the shelves. The sleeve description promised much but, in the end, it failed to deliver. After a sharp opening the novel lost its way and it became something of a dirge thereafter. The main character, Charlie Boxer, was not one that captured the imagination in the manner of Falcon, it may be the character will develop in later books. His romance with the mother of the abducted girl was somewhat unbelievable and appeared to have been added for the sake of it. In the end, I lost interest in the book and finished it slowly with a sense of duty!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable/Disappointing 21 Mar 2013
I have not yet read the West Africa books but enjoyed the Portugal and Seville books very much - especially A Small Death in Lisbon.Therefore, I ordered the new book without bothering to read what it was about. I quite enjoyed the (underdeveloped) themes on modern Indian business and corruption and could just about comprehend the relationship with Pakistan and the recent conflicts. But I found the London crime scenes weak and a poor imitation of Simon Kernick's bloodthirstiness. The central character of Charles Boxer promised more than it delivered and I think a lot more would have to be added to make him half as interesting as Falcon. I am much more likely to read the West Africa books than purchase another with the same character as this.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lethal hostage 2 Feb 2013
By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
A well-paced, serpentine thriller from talented author Robert Wilson. This writer's crime/mystery stories feature multiple international settings and ultra-strong, unflinching and sometimes violent protagonists. In the case of "Capital Punishment", the central figure is Charles Boxer, a kidnap rescue specialist with a special forces background and a willingness to play judge and jury with cornered opponents.

The novel opens in London with the kidnapping of Alysia d'Cruz, the daughter of an Indian billionaire who has accumulated a crowd of enemies over a checquered career; so there is a long line of potential perps who might be behind the snatch. Kidnap specialist Boxer is called in to manage the retrieval of d"Cruz's daughter and the plot quickly broadens as no ransom or other demand is made by the kidnappers. The particular strength of this story are the frequent changeups introduced as different criminals and groups takeover the caper and eliminate (quite violently) their predecessors. This is, in fact, a kind of an in librum jest, as the kidnap victim fares better than her tormentors through most of the book.

This is a very good crime novel, rather dark and violent throughout, but never losing its credibility and certainly not its forward movement. If you have enjoyed author Wilson's Inspector Falcon series (sadly ended, in my opinion), you will find "Capital Punishment" an enjoyable read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dreadfully Disappointed 8 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As someone who thoroughly enjoyed all of Robert Wilson's previous novels, I was looking forward to Capital Punishment with its new central character and location. Unfortunately I was very disappointed. The first third of the book was bogged down with tedious cod psychology that ultimately had nothing to do with the main plot line. The new hero, Charles Boxer, was unoriginal, two dimensional, and was impossible to empathise with, so unlike Falcon and Medway (for all their character flaws you still cared about them). There were none of the tremendously evocative descriptions of locations that Wison normally gives us. I've never been to NW Africa, but feel as if I know it, and Seville was always beautifully drawn.Boxer's supporting cast (ex partner Mercy and supposedly best friend Deacon) were as with Boxer, completely flat and not developed. Even Medway's driver was better drawn. In fact the best characters in this novel were the criminal pair of Skin and Dan, who at least came off the page as real with the expected fabulous Wilson dialogue at last in evidence. Overall it's a cliched sub genre that TV's Kidnap & Ransom does much better.What a shame!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
present and delivered on the
Published 3 months ago by Ian Shuff
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
Despite some not so good reviews, I thought this was an okay thriller, kept me reading to the end. Perhaps not as dark as some of his other books, but sometimes a good thriller is... Read more
Published 4 months ago by george
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
All Robert Wilson's book are beyond excellent and his new series are no exception! It follows that I have the same comment for "You will never find me".
Published 6 months ago by tessa van den Berg
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written book by one of the best in the business
Robert Wilson is one of the best (in my view the best) crime writers today. His style bears comparison with that of Raymond Chandler although this book, Capital Punishment, is... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr. Paul Carney
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read
Great. Well plotted and very exciting. I love Robert Wilson's writing. Will be reading the next one shortly. I recommend you read him.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs CH Melia
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after a sound start
I am rather surprised that I didn't like this book more.

The story is founded on a strong plot building upon a promising start with the kidnap of Alyisha d'Cruz as she... Read more
Published 7 months ago by James Brydon
1.0 out of 5 stars avoid
if you were a fan of his early work , you will be disappointed in this farrago of bad writing , weak characters and an even weaker plot . Read more
Published 7 months ago by john H
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the most part...
...and then it tales off towards the end. Why can't authors end their stories with a strong finish and not have, as happens here, some ridiculously soft and soppy conclusion?
Published 13 months ago by Mr. Edward R. Addison
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to scratch
I'm afraid I was terribly disappointed by this new novel. It feels as though someone has taken the author to one side and told him to dumb-down the story. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jonathan Mann
3.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing
Like others I have greatly enjoyed Robert Wilson's West African and Spanish books. Capital Punishment tears along at a great pace, and is fairly compulsive reading, but I couldn't... Read more
Published 18 months ago by NickR
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