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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lethal hostage
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...
Published 18 months ago by Blue in Washington

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best!
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...
Published 10 months ago by Neville Reilly


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best!, 16 Sep 2013
This review is from: Capital Punishment (Hardcover)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bad day at the office, 15 April 2013
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. In particular, Dan, a former nurse turned dealer, has an inner life and degree of conflict which is lacking in Boxer, who is resolutely humourless and decisive. It is in this world that the best of the action and drama takes place.

Wilson has written some great books and I'm sure he will do again. The end of Capital Punishment is set up to allow Boxer to return. He is supposedly giving up international travel to concentrate on his family. Let's hope he kicks over the trouser press, recovers the personality he lost in transit and inhabits London in the way that Wilson's Falcón does Seville.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars avoid, 2 Mar 2014
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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 .The people just chatter so much in a lifeless literary way , holding back the plot so that it almost disappears .
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lethal hostage, 2 Feb 2013
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Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Capital Punishment (Hardcover)
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
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to scratch, 8 May 2013
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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. Bad people are called Black, the police officer is called Makepeace (Make Peace - get it?), the main character is called Boxer, and so on. The beautiful story lines have all gone to be replaced with Americanesque clichès.

I think the problem is this. His previous stuff - The Falćon books and earlier - are all brilliant but not big sellers. This is designed to sell big but its not thought provoking or compelling.

Sorry Robert, but I know you can do better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read, 25 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Capital Punishment (Paperback)
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 all one wants and this is one of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 18 April 2014
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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".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written book by one of the best in the business, 15 Mar 2014
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Mr. Paul Carney "Book lawyer" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Capital Punishment (Paperback)
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 different in style from, say, his African books. In common, with all his other books, CP moves along at a rapid rate and, unlike many novels on the market today, it manages to provide clear, evocative descriptions and create tension which is palpable without compromising on grammar. Buy this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read, 6 Mar 2014
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Great. Well plotted and very exciting. I love Robert Wilson's writing. Will be reading the next one shortly. I recommend you read him.
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Capital Punishment
Capital Punishment by Robert Wilson (Hardcover - 17 Jan 2013)
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