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Paying the Piper [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Simon Wood , Mel Foster
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.49
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Book Description

13 Nov 2012

For years, the serial kidnapper known as the Piper got rich by abducting children from San Francisco’s wealthiest families.

When crime reporter Scott Fleetwood gets a call from a man identifying himself as the Piper and offers an exclusive interview, Fleetwood jumps at the chance. But the caller turns out to be a fake, and the rash decision costs the life of the real Piper’s latest victim.

For eight long years, Fleetwood has lived with unbearable guilt—and the enduring disdain of the entire Bay area. Now he hears from the real Piper—and it’s not for an interview. The kidnapper has the reporter’s son. But he doesn’t want money…he wants blood. And he’s going to use Fleetwood to get it.

In the tradition of Harlan Coben and Gregg Hurwitz, Simon Wood weaves a plot thick with suspense and heavy with action. Paying the Piper grabs hold from page one and doesn’t let go until new debts are paid and old scores settled.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation; Unabridged edition (13 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469209799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469209791
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,450,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He's a former competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot, an endurance cyclist and an occasional PI. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and four cats. He's the Anthony Award winning author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated, Asking For Trouble, We All Fall Down and the Aidy Westlake series. His latest thriller is NO SHOW, the first in the Terry Sheffield mysteries. He also write horror under the pen name of Simon Janus. Curious people can learn more at

Product Description

About the Author

Anthony Award–winning author of a dozen books as well as over 150 published stories and articles, Simon Wood is an ex–race car driver, a licensed pilot, an animal rescuer, an endurance cyclist, and an occasional private investigator. Having dealt with dyslexia from an early age, Wood’s ambition has been met with rave reviews for his previous publications, including Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting to Happen, We All Fall Down, Terminated, Asking for Trouble, and The Fall Guy, among numerous others published under his horror pseudonym, Simon Janus. Originally from the UK, Wood moved to the US in ’98 to share his world with his American wife, Julie—and a longhaired dachshund and four cats.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Paying the Piper is an extremely good thriller packed with enough twists, turns and nastiness to keep you hooked from the start. There's a little bit of everything going on as the characters become engaged in abduction, serial murder, revenge, betrayal, blackmail and much more. I enjoyed the lead character of Scott Fleetwood, San Francisco crime reporter. Fleetwood is written with an inner strength, toughness, you don't have to suspend belief too far when the real cat and mouse chase begins and Fleetwood goes full out to save his child, Sammy, from the serial murderer/kidnapper known as the Piper. Simon Wood spins a complex, difficult plot with a great deal of skill and has an excellent standard of writing. However; reviews are based on personal opinion and I do have a couple of minor niggles:-

* For all the complexity I didn't find the ending difficult to guess, there are some enormous clues, maybe too many.

* By half way through the novel I found dialogue between Fleetwood and the Piper blending into one voice, the same voice, when they're face to face. I lost track of who was who on a couple of occasions. I'm reading a book, I can't see what's going on, and it's not enough to mention one of the characters has a gun and rely on that as the only identifier when they're having a one to one conversation.

That's all I have to say. I'm happy to recommend Paying the Piper and will certainly read more Simon Wood in the future.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed and Engaging 28 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the third of Simon Wood's books which I have read in a very short space of time, each of which have been absorbing reading. The author specialises in writing about people under pressure. On this occasion the unfortunate recipient is Scott Fleetwood, a journalist in California, married with two young sons.

Eight years ago Scott was contacted by the kidnapper known as the Piper. His ill thought out involvement eventually resulted in the death of the latest kidnapping victim. This time round it is Scott's own family who are on the receiving end of the Piper's attention. However, there is an important difference. The motive is not just money. It's personal.

This is a well written and it is easy for the reader to share Scott's emotions of helplessness and desperation as he is prepared to go to any lengths for his family. He is rather short of allies as the FBI team are led by Tom Shiels who was involved eight years ago, and who makes no secret of his antagonism towards Scott whom he blames for the debacle on the previous occasion. Others who were also involved before, particularly the families of the Piper's previous victims, also have little sympathy for him. Scott is very much on his own.

There are many twists and turns along the way, particularly latterly as this story races towards its action packed conclusion. This is a cleverly plotted story and an engaging read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too familiar a Tune 25 Nov 2012
By G. M. Sinstadt VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Simon Wood has enough titles - and enough awards - to his credit to know that he has a loyal readership. Perhaps they will welcome Paying the Piper but someone new to this author may feel uninspired by a familiar plot, some cardboard characters and clichéd writing: "... in this day and age" on only the second page.

Scott Fleetwood is a journalist who covered past kidnappings by 'The Piper.' Now his own child has been snatched. Tom Shiels, the FBI agent assigned to the case, also has personal issues to settle. Jane, Fleetwood's wife, fluctuates between bursting into tears and being a fierce mother demanding action. And this is the problem. Characters change personality in order to drive the plot.

Provided that is no bar to enjoyment, indulgent readers may travel with a convoluted plot to its somewhat predictable conclusion. It is not too demanding - except in requiring belief in the people involved.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Calling the tune 8 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read Simon Wood's last novel Accidents Waiting to Happen and thought it very good; this one carries on that good work. After managing to gain an interview with a still-at-large serial kidnapper, reporter Scott Fleetwood watches his stock rise dramatically with advances from the New York Times and others in the offing. Unfortunately, the supposed serial kidnapper turns out to be a hoax and the real one, named The Piper, kills his latest victim in retribution. Eight years later, one of Fleetwood's own children goes missing. The Piper has returned.

This moves along at a cracking pace with not a page wasted. You even find yourself taking sides between Fleetwood and FBI agent Tom Sheils, a man who blames him for the death of the last victim. That it reads not only as many a Hollywood film but is also similar to his previous novel about a civilian ignoring the law enforcement departments and going out on his own, none of it detracts from what's within. With Scott dancing to the Piper's tune, you know he's going to fail, and in some ways want him to so it prolongs the enjoyment. The kidnapper knows what's going on with the FBI, making you wonder who is feeding him information. There is also the sub plot of the father of the last victim putting up the ransom money (twice) and having Fleetwood followed. Whilst it won't be too difficult to work out the reason why, the secret of a good thriller is to keep the reader guessing until the author decides it's time for you to find out. Part of the conclusion had a bit of a nice twist to it and though the remainder was standard fair and you knew what was going to happen, it was still an exciting read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Paying the Piper by Simon Wood.
An exciting tale. Pure fantasy. Nevertheless, exciting. Lots of twists and turns.
I look forward to reading another of Simon Wood`s books.
Published 3 days ago by GrampsUK
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a chilling story
This one will put you on edge, a kind of witch hunt in the extreme with no holds barred. Very gory in places and tends to ramble in certain parts but worth a read
Published 4 days ago by AVM
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner
Fast paced thriller ~this will make a good film. Enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the climax.
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Story With Lots of Twists and Turns
This was the first time I have read a Simon Wood novel. I enjoyed his writing style and although I had worked out some of the plot I didn't get it all. Read more
Published 10 days ago by w m deane
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
Paying the Piper is a book what reading. Fast paced, thriller with twists and turns till the end! The writer keeps you wanting to know what's going to happen next. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars best book I've read in years!!!
JUST PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE READ THIS! Action from start to finish!!! Excellent unputdownable thanks to the author for a brilliant read
Published 22 days ago by Kirsty Harris
4.0 out of 5 stars Twists and turns a plenty!
First book that I have read by this author and won't be the last. Lots of twists and turns but I did think it was pretty obvious who was behind the kidnappings. Read more
Published 25 days ago by DH0582
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Great story many twists and turns,well thought out,never sure what was round the next corner,I'd recommend this book to anyone as a good read
Published 25 days ago by harold vodden
5.0 out of 5 stars paying The Piper
wow simon what a fantastic book paying the piper was gripped from the beginning till the end couldn't put it down till i had finished it brilliant i give you 5 stars x jane x
Published 1 month ago by jane
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A good story, rather involved and misleading in places,however a very enjoyable, riveting read. Will look forward to his next book.
Published 1 month ago by Peter jermey
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