To keep the light of his life, he'll have to do some dark things. After Matt Caine loses his wife in a car accident, all he has left is his daughter, Anna. But just as the little girl - who survived the accident - finally starts thriving, Matt's former in-laws threaten to take her away via a bitter custody battle. Desperate to keep Anna and in debt to some dangerous local thugs, Matt has no good options. But he does have Jay, one very bad friend. Just out of jail and plagued by drug addiction, Jay tempts Matt with a foolproof kidnapping scheme. But what sounds like the perfect solution to all his problems eventually leads Matt through a nightmarish maze of betrayals and reversals, pushing him to his breaking point - and beyond. Now, with his entire life hanging in the balance, Matt makes a pledge of brutal payback.
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Matt Caine's life is not going well. A former Marine, Matt brings home unwanted baggage from Iraq and Afghanistan in the form of PTSD. Beth, the love of his life, is killed in a tragic traffic accident. His daughter Anna barely survives the same accident and requires multiple surgeries to recover. If that isn't enough, the plant where Matt worked closed, putting him in the unemployment line. After using his savings to pay for Anna's surgeries, the mortgage company is threatening foreclosure. He borrows the money to stay the foreclosure from an old friend, Brian Murphy, who just happens to have ties to the mob. As if all that wasn't enough, Beth's parents have hired a lawyer to take temporary custody of Anna "for the best interest of the child." Anna is all Matt has left. She is the one small piece of Beth that remains, and he will do whatever it takes to keep her.
Enter Jay, another of Matt's old friends, fresh out of prison. Jay obviously hadn't learned that crime didn't pay, because he had a "can't miss" plan to make a quick $500,000. They would kidnap a wealthy philanthropists wife and collect the ransom. Jay had all the details worked out: where to hide the woman; where to have the money drop; how long to make the old man wait. All he needed Matt to do was drive. Since Matt owned a van, it would be perfect. Desperate for money, Matt finally agreed.
You could see it coming a mile away. Nothing ever goes down as planned. The woman had a driver, who became a witness to her abduction and could ID the van. Jay, who had been a long time drug user, overdoses after they get to the warehouse where they were hiding the woman. Matt decided to go ahead with the plan on his own, but he was woefully unprepared. The old man, Roman Pinnell, was a member of a South American drug cartel and had traced Matt's van back to him. Before Matt knew what was happening, Pinnell had turned the tables on Matt and kidnapped Anna. Again, Matt was faced with doing whatever it took to protect his family.
The book was very exciting and was very difficult to put down. The chapters were short and always seemed to end with a cliffhanger, causing me to read "just one more chapter." We see Matt as a flawed character, seemingly going from one bad decision to another. And although he was a Marine, Matt seemed almost totally inept in the urban jungles the mob called home. The fact that Matt was trying to right his mistakes and get his innocent daughter back tugged at my heart. If you like action and adventure, then this book is for you.