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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller with enough clout to keep you gripped
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...
Published on 23 Nov 2012 by JK

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too familiar a Tune
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...
Published on 25 Nov 2012 by G. M. Sinstadt


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller with enough clout to keep you gripped, 23 Nov 2012
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Paying the Piper (Paperback)
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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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed and Engaging, 28 Jan 2013
By 
Brett H "pentangle" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paying the Piper (Paperback)
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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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too familiar a Tune, 25 Nov 2012
By 
G. M. Sinstadt - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paying the Piper (Paperback)
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paying The Piper, 24 May 2014
By 
Knobby (Darlington, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paying The Piper (Kindle Edition)
WOW!

Another incredibly intense thriller from master storyteller Simon Wood, that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Scott Fleetwood is a journalist who shot to fame, with his correspondence with a serial kidnapper calling himself 'The Piper'. Later it is discovered that he not been dealing with 'The Piper', just someone looking for their fifteen minutes of fame. As a result the real kidnapper kills a young boy because the ransom wasn't paid and escapes.

That was 8 years ago and now Scott gets a call from a man purporting to be the real Piper and advising him that he has kidnapped one of his sons. Terrified, Scott calls in the FBI and is reunited with Agent Tom Shiels. Agent Shiels still holds Scott responsible for the death of the kidnappers last victim and knows that it will be difficult for them to work together. That said and done, they both know that they must work together if they are to have any hope of finding the boy alive or bringing the Piper to justice......

********************************************************************************************************************
As with all Simon Wood books, 'Paying The Piper' moves at an incredible pace and has many twists and turns, that will certainly keep you guessing until the very end.

If you're a fan of crime thrillers, then you've GOT TO READ THIS BOOK.......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great plot, 22 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Paying The Piper (Kindle Edition)
Great twists and turns. Shame I worked it out early on. I will definitely be reading more from Simon Wood.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Calling the tune, 8 Oct 2012
By 
Quiverbow (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paying the Piper (Paperback)
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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.

The unusual thing about this book, and something I'm unaware of being used previously, is that all the characters' names are real people, winners from a contest the author held with the prize of having their name immortalised in his next novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paying the Piper, 4 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Paying The Piper (Kindle Edition)
This is another new author to me and one that I would thourghly recommend. Very fast paced with many twists and turns, this kept me hooked to the end. This is the first time I have awarded a book 5 stars and I will certainly look out for other Simon Wood books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good'un from Simon Wood, 12 Aug 2013
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I haven't yet read a Simon Wood story I haven't enjoyed. This one started at a good pace and got faster. The characters were well detailed and believable and the interaction between them was credible - especially that between Fleetwood and Shiels. Even the minor characters were adequately fleshed out. The story held my attention all the way through, although I have one criticism, which is that the twist in the ending (and I'm not going to give it away because it may spoil other readers' enjoyment) which identifies the kidnapper seems a little far-fetched to me. Maybe I'm wrong, but don't let this put you off having a go at this great piece of fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping thriller, 10 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Paying The Piper (Kindle Edition)
Gripping thriller with many twists and turns. You can imagine the scenario and how awful it must be for someone's children to be kidnapped. Simon Wood is able to put you in the parent's shoes and you just want to finish the book to find out how it ends. Not a book to read at night unless you suffer from insomnia! Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 May 2014
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If you want a real "edge of the seat" read this is the one totally unexpected end to the story really great read thoroughly recommended.
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Paying The Piper
Paying The Piper by Simon Wood
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