The Abduction

The Abduction

4.6 24
by James Grippando

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Allison Leahy is the U.S. attorney general, the most renowned lawyer in America. She and her wealthy husband are the twenty-first-century version of the couple who has it all: a happy marriage and two successful careers. To top it off, Allison is the highly touted Democratic nominee for the presidency. Her opponent is Lincoln Howe, a retired four-star army general and…  See more details below


Allison Leahy is the U.S. attorney general, the most renowned lawyer in America. She and her wealthy husband are the twenty-first-century version of the couple who has it all: a happy marriage and two successful careers. To top it off, Allison is the highly touted Democratic nominee for the presidency. Her opponent is Lincoln Howe, a retired four-star army general and bona fide African-American hero. Like Allison, Howe is living the American dream - but time is running out. For months the candidates have run neck and neck. Both sides need just one extra push to swing the election. And on Halloween morning, they get it. A twelve-year-old girl is kidnapped on her way to school. The girl is Kristen Howe, Lincoln Howe's granddaughter. The nation and the candidates explode in outrage. As attorney general, Allison launches a massive nationwide manhunt. But her motives are under fire, especially from her political opponent, who wants his adversary off the case of his missing granddaughter. In truth Allison's drive to bring Kristen home safe is far more personal than political. Years before, Allison's adopted baby daughter was stolen from her home, never to be found. Now it seems likely that her own child's fate is somehow tied to the current crisis.

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Editorial Reviews

Miami Herald
His best so far...Grippando keeps you guessing.
Denver Post
Entertaining...Grippando has produced another exciting and cleverly plotted novel.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The presidential election of 2000 is coming down to the wire in this disappointing thriller, when Democratic candidate (and attorney general) Allison Leahy blows a solid lead by refusing to answer the question whether she's ever been unfaithful to her husband. Just as Republican candidate Lincoln Howe (read: Colin Powell) is about to pull ahead, his granddaughter is kidnapped. Leahy's own newly adopted baby daughter was the victim of a similar crime eight years earlier. Are the abductions linked? Is someone connected to either of the candidates responsible? Those are the questions that never quite propel Grippando's latest, after The Informant. While that novel had a strong narrative engine fueled by insider information on the FBI, this one never hits second gear. Neither Leahy nor Howe seems a particularly worthy candidate or likable person, and the possible villainsan ex-boyfriend, a pair of conniving campaign managers, Leahy's tough businessman husbandare equally flat and unconvincing. Author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
A U.S. attorney general running for president must deal with the kidnapping of an opponent's granddaughter.
Kirkus Reviews
Woman-in-periler in which the second female US attorney general, who also happens to be the first Democratic female presidential candidate, puts her campaign on hold two weeks before Election Day to rescue the kidnapped granddaughter of her Republican adversary. Thriller-machinist Grippando (The Informant, 1996, etc.) takes us back to 1992, when Emily, the adopted baby daughter of his heroine, the have-it-all, never-lost-a-case, unmarried career prosecutor Allison Leahy, is mysteriously spirited away from her Chicago home. Despite the considerable law enforcement resources available to Leahy, Emily's disappearance remains unsolved as, eight years later, the beautiful, courageous, now-married US attorney general and Democratic presidential hopeful blows a televised debate against her rival, the General Lincoln Howe (a thinly fictionalized Colin Powell), and finds herself slipping in the polls. Then, in the last week in October, a pair of cartoonish thugs snatch Howe's granddaughter Kirsten from her public school. Remembering the pain she endured when her own daughter vanished, Leahy decides to duck campaigning and, as head of the FBI, do her job by catching the kidnappers, even if means losing the election. As he's done in previous page-turners, Grippando again reveals too much of his story too soon—here, not only that the kidnapping was politically motivated but that the mastermind behind it all may be too close to Leahy for comfort. Among the usual suspects: Leahy's wet-blanket husband Peter; her torch-carrying ex-lover Mitch O'Brien; her Machiavellian campaign strategist David Wilcox; Howe's even more Machiavellian strategist Buck LaBelle; and a host of unsavory Beltwaytypes. Meantime, Leahy's spunk and gutsy bravado have her dodging bullets and wringing every possible victory from a series of preposterously affected defeats. Corny dialogue, cheesy political stereotypes, and a shrill, headstrong heroine who wouldn't last a minute in a real courtroom, much less the Oval Office. (Author tour)

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HarperCollins Publishers
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4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.02(d)

Read an Excerpt

Allison could feel her heart pounding. Her lungs burned as she fought forair. The treadmill's digital display told her she was passing the two-milemark. She punched the speed button to slow the pace and catch her breath.Perspiration soaked her, pasting the nylon sweat pants and extra-large T-shirtto her trim forty-eight-year-old body. It was her favorite T-shirt, whitewith bright red and blue lettering.
It read, "Leahy for President—A New Millennium."
After nearly four years as the United States attorney general, Allison wasjust fifteen days away from the historic date on which voters would decidewhether the nation's "top cop" would become its first woman president.The race was wide-open and without an incumbent, as her boss—DemocraticPresident Charlie Sires—was at the end of his second and final four-yearterm. Allison was his second-term attorney general, part of the president'sshake-up of his own cabinet upon reelection in 1996. Eight months ago, Allisondidn't consider herself a serious presidential contender. But when the Republicansnominated Lincoln Howe, the nation's most beloved black man, the polls madeit clear that the only Democrat who could beat him was a charismatic whitewoman.
Ironically, thirty minutes of walking in place on the treadmill had actuallyput Allison thirty miles closer to her afternoon rally in Philadelphia.She was on the last leg of a two-day bus tour through Pennsylvania, a criticalswing state with twenty-four electoral college votes. Her campaign bus hadlogged nearly ten thousand miles in the past six months. Now more than ever,it was showing the signs of a well-oiled political machine in the homestretch—whichto the averageorganized human being looked remarkably like utter chaos.A dozen noisy staffers were busy at the fax machines and computer terminals.A scattered collection of bulging archive boxes blocked the bathroom entrance,as if strategically placed to trip up anyone desperate enough to use theon-board facilities. Thousands of campaign buttons, leaflets, and bumperstickers cluttered the rear storage area. Four small color television setswere suspended from the ceiling, each blaring a different broadcast forsimultaneous multi-network viewing. One set was electronically "padlocked,"permanently tuned to CNN's virtually continuous coverage of Campaign 2000.
"That's about enough self-flagellation for one day," said Allison,groaning. She hit the stop button and stepped down from the treadmill.
Walking had been her chief source of exercise since the beginning of theNew Hampshire Democratic primary in January. Whatever the town, she'd walkup and down Main Street, and people would join in and walk along with her.It provided great photo ops early in the primary, but after she won theDemocratic nomination in August the crowds grew so large that she neededa parade permit. In the last week, time constraints and cold Appalachianrains had forced her to confine her walking to the treadmill during bus-ridedebriefings from her campaign strategist, David Wilcox.
"What else, David?" she said as she leaned over and stretchedher calf muscles.
Wilcox was a tall and wiry fifty-one-year-old graduate of the Woodrow WilsonSchool of Public Affairs at Princeton. He had shone as a young White HouseFellow under President Carter, but a bitter loss in a personal bid for Congressin 1982 convinced him he'd rather not be a candidate. In high school hewas voted most likely to become a game show host, and he'd finally foundhis niche as a political strategist. Over seventeen years his list of satisfiedclients included nine United States senators, seven congressmen, and fivegovernors, and he'd masterminded Allison's upset victory over a sittingvice president in the Democratic primaries. In the last few weeks, however,he'd grown concerned about the growing influence of outside consultants,so he'd decided to glue himself to Allison's side for the bus tour. At themoment, he was reviewing his checklist, seemingly oblivious to Allison'ssweaty exercise attire or to the blurred Pennsylvania countryside in thewindow behind her.
"The drug problem has reared its ugly head." He had an ominousvoice for a thin man, part of an overall seriousness that was more suitablefor a White House state dinner than the frenetic campaign trail. "Ithink our distinguished opposition is turning desperate. They're finallytrying to make something out of your treatment for depression, back in '92."
"That was eight years ago. Politically speaking, it's ancient history."
"They're saying you took Prozac."
"I told you I was in counseling."
"Are you splitting hairs on me?"
She flashed a sobering look. "My four-month-old daughter was takenright out of her crib, right from my own house. Yes, I was depressed. Iwas in group counseling. Eight of us. Parents who'd lost children. No, Ididn't take Prozac. But if you ask the other members of my support group,they'll probably say I needed it. So don't expect me to apologize for havingreached out for a little support. And don't sit there and act like thisis news to you, either. I laid out all the skeletons the day I hired you."
He grimaced, thinking it through. "I just wish we could put the wholeepisode in more of a context."
Her look became a glare. "I won't make Emily's abduction part of thiscampaign, if that's what you mean."
"Allison, we can't just say you were depressed and leave it at that.We need a positive spin."
"Okay," she said sarcastically, "how about this? Depressionis a good thing. It's what stimulates ideas. Every invention, every accomplishmentstems from depression, not euphoria. Nobody ever said, 'Life's swell, let'sinvent fire.' It was the malcontent in the back of the cave who finallystood up and said, 'Hey, I'm freezing my ass off in here!' You want somethingto get done in Washington? By all means, elect the clinically depressed."
He was deadpan. "Please don't repeat that publicly. Or I'll be verydepressed."

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Abduction 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book in only four days and I've got a very busy schedule. I actually woke up at 4 in the morning to finish because I was tossing and turning at night anxiously awaiting the ending. This book has quite a few twisted plots and interesting characters, particularly Allison Leahy. It focuses on all the behind the scenes looks at dirty campaigning, kidnappings and we can also throw in a little bit of marital infedility and racial issues. This book has a bit of everything and would also make for a great movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm an avid reader, my husband not so much. This is the second audio book we listened to on our trip this past weekend, now he's hooked. This was a great book and would recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was full of surprises and plot twists. Recommend for sure!
cdromy63 More than 1 year ago
Very well written story with some unseen turns to the end.
Rita Lopez More than 1 year ago
I've never been a person that enjoyed reading till I purchased my Nook. It was easy to carry with me and shortly after purchasing is I was given a free book by James Grippando. I don't remember which was the free one, I just know that I've now read everything he has written. ALL of his books are amazing and keep me wanting more. I can't wait till his next book comes out in January.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've just finished reading all of his books, and each one got better and better, which was hard to believe. Each book is completely different-no rehashed themes. The Abduction has so many twists and turns, you're not sure who the kidnapper is, and I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend all of his books!
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Ocilla More than 1 year ago
Very good read. Couldn't put it down.
Bettle More than 1 year ago
Will read more from this author.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent content, and the reader was easy to follow. Wish I would have gotten the unabridged version though. John
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was a page-turner kept the reader guessing as to who was responsible for the abduction.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS is yet another example of a great mystery/thriller/suspense novel. I really liked this book. I think it's the fastest moving Grippando book that I have read, and I've read them all except for A KING'S RANSOM which is next up. Once I started reading I couldn't stop. Gus Wheatly is a prominent Seattle lawyer working in a prestigious law firm. When his wife (Beth) suddenly disappears at the same time as a string of murders takes place, Gus is left to wonder if his wife is another casualty, or an accomplice to the murders. James seamlessly weaves together the story from a couple different angles. One from the point of view of Gus, another from Andie, the local FBI agent in charge of the murder mystery case, and a third from the point of view of the killer. It's story telling at it's best. The tension is high throughout the book with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The end was a shocker to me. James Grippando is my new favorite author. Thanks James and keep the books coming!
Guest More than 1 year ago
after reading 'Found Money' I vowed to go back and read all of James Grippando. The Abduction is even better than 'Fo und Money'. Where has James Grippando been? He belongs at the top of all best seller charts. He is one of the greats in my opinion. And I discovered his books in my local library. This one makes you wonder about politicians and the lengths they go to just to win an election. MOre from James Grippando, Please
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is definently worth reading! I am not big into politics, but I really enjoyed this book. I had it completed within a few days!