The Ransom

A Nicole Graves Mystery: Nicole Graves Mysteries, Book 4

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
216 Pages
Reviewed on 08/27/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

The Ransom: A Nicole Graves Mystery by Nancy Boyarsky takes us inside the world of a private detective, Nicole Graves. Nicole’s boss gives her the task of researching the past of a kidnap victim for one of the Agency’s more wealthy and important clients; the father-in-law of the victim, whose son was accidentally killed during the botched snatch. This is not the sort of work Nicole prefers; she would rather leave this sort of thing up to the police but the reality is when a major client asks for your help, the Agency needs to give it. Nicole, the surprised recipient of an unexpected inheritance, doesn’t realize that she is now in the direct cross-hairs of the kidnappers. It all becomes very personal for Nicole when her beloved younger sister Stephanie is kidnapped and her sister’s fiancé David is badly injured, in order to seek a ransom payout from Nicole. She is torn between allowing the police to do their job, in the form of the rather dishy detective Arnault, or trying to negotiate the ransom payment and her sister’s safe release directly with the kidnappers, especially when she realizes all the kidnappings may be linked and she may have a handle on the perpetrators.

Author Nancy Boyarsky has given us the fourth in the series. It is not important to have read any of the previous books to enjoy this story (I haven’t). It stands alone as a case on its own. The author has given us a straightforward crime mystery story but it is definitely one of the better offerings that I have read. I always love a strong female lead, especially one who is performing in an area usually reserved for the macho male character. Nicole is a strong, independent woman who has carved out a successful career for herself in the rough and tumble world of the private dick. What I love, though, is that despite the pain and ugliness she must encounter regularly, she maintains her empathy, her humanity, and her ability to emote. She’s not afraid to allow her emotions to show and that gives her, as a character, a real balance. As a single woman, there is always the opportunity for romance and I was pleased the author left that opportunity open for Nicole in the future.

The plot and development were clearly well thought out and took the reader on a number of twists and turns that placed various main characters in serious danger at times, which allowed the reader to root for the characters. I also liked the unusual background for Detective Arnault, for a police officer, which gave him much more color, interest, and potential for future adventures. I can see a really close working (and personal) relationship developing between these two in the future. If crime mystery is your thing, this is one series you want to get your hands on and if it’s not your thing, well, you’ll love the story anyway. It’s well written and edited and I highly recommend it.

Jack Magnus

The Ransom: A Nicole Graves Mystery, Book 4 is a sleuth mystery novel written by Nancy Boyarsky. Nicole was perplexed as she read through the contents of the folder that Jerry, her boss, had left on her desk. In it were press clippings discussing the recent spate of home invasion/kidnappings that had rocked LA. She had, of course, been following up on the situation, as had anyone who kept up with current events. Nicole’s puzzlement over why Jerry had sent her the folder was eased when he explained that one of their clients, Robert Rexton, wanted his daughter-in-law’s past looked into. Ashley Rexton had been the third woman to be kidnapped, and her husband, Brad, had died during the invasion. Nicole had worked with Rexton Enterprises in the past. In her role as a private investigator, she had tracked down hidden assets for a settlement collection from another company. While Colbert and Smith did not ordinarily take on investigations that were active police business, Jerry had agreed to have his top investigator look into Ashley’s past for their client.

While The Ransom is the fourth book in Nancy Boyarsky’s sleuth mystery novel series, the author gives just enough background information to allow this book to be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. Boyarsky’s plot is finely honed and suspenseful as her detective swiftly finds herself personally involved in the series of home invasion/kidnapping crimes. The author gives the reader ample red herrings to consider while also giving opportunities to mull over that very difficult decision to involve the police in ransoms. The Ransom is hard to put down until the last page. Boyarsky’s characters are credible and well-defined, and her style of writing makes reading this book a pleasure. The Ransom: A Nicole Graves Mystery, Book 4 is highly recommended.

Trudi LoPreto

The Ransom by Nancy Boyarsky starts out as a case about a murdered man, Brad Rexton, and his wife Ashley’s kidnapping but it becomes so much more very quickly. Nicole is a young and new investigator who has never taken on this type of case before. She has just received a huge amount deposited into her bank account which will add spice to the story. Ashley and two other women have been recently kidnapped and it appears that they have all been taken by the same group and have a connection. As Nicole is interviewing and looking for answers, the case becomes more personal. The police detective who is assigned to find the kidnapped women, Greg Arnault, takes an interest in trying to direct Nicole to do the right and safe thing, but that isn’t a choice she is willing to take. Nicole puts herself in danger and doesn’t back down until she finds the answers.

Nicole is faced with a huge assignment in The Ransom: A Nicole Graves Mystery that will make her mark as a favorite female investigator/sleuth in detective fiction. The Ransom, while the fourth book in the series, is a stand-alone story. I did not read books one to three (though I now plan to do so) and it never made a difference. I found Nicole to be a really likable character. Her sister, Stephanie, and Greg were also easy to cheer on. Author Nancy Boyarsky portrayed both the good and bad guys in a way that made them seem very real and the story never lost excitement, suspense, mystery or good reading. The Ransom is a book that any fan of mystery and detective fiction will find hard to put down.