Terry Kay was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2006. His novels include To Dance with the White Dog, which was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame television miniseries; and The Valley of Light which received both the Townsend Prize and the Best Fiction Award from the Georgia Writers Association. Kay lives in Athens, Georgia.
The Kidnapping of Aaron Greeneby Terry Kay
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Aaron Greene is a shy, stay-in-the-background young Jewish boy, the child of shy, stay-in-the-background parents. Only a year out of high school, he has a part-time job as a mailboy in a large Atlanta bank. One morning, on his way to work, he is kidnapped and the kidnappers demand a ransom of ten million dollars – not from his parents, but from the bank that employs him.
The bank rejects the demand.
And what begins as a curious crime – the abduction of an unknown, a nobody – soon ignites a national crusade for Aaron’s safe return, because everyone, in one way or another, understands what it is like to be a nobody.
For the kidnappers, the money has no meaning. The mastermind, Ewell Pender, is a wealthy eccentric, an elderly board member of the bank, yet also the man who organizes the campaign to raise Aaron’s ransom. His criminal associates are young nonconformists, dreamers and daredevils. Keeping Aaron in the luxury of the Pender mansion is, to them, a clever and teasing adventure. For Aaron, it is not life-threatening; it is life-changing.
Caught in the mystery is a journalist who unwittingly is used as a pawn by the kidnappers to tell Aaron’s story, and also a detective who bends rules and follows his instinct as much as his training. For both, the kidnapping reveals a profound understanding of their own lives in the complex workings of the world around them.
Richly written, driven by baffling twists in plot, and featuring powerful portrayals of memorable characters, The Kidnapping of Aaron Greene goes beyond the elements of a classic crime. It is an experiment in human manipulation and behavior, and a riveting study of the passions and apathy historically exhibited by society.
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- Untreed Reads
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I love it when I come across a lesser known book or one I've never heard of, and it turns out to be a very good read. That's what 'The Kidnapping of Aaron Greene' is. I had a hard time putting this one down. Obviously, the theme and overlying question of the story is 'What is a 'nobody' worth?' And that in itself leads to a very good and suspenseful story. But I was impressed also with the way Terry Kay incorporated other dynamics of human life into the story as well. He addresses friendship, love, and even hate. Not only does the reader get to see that through the characters, he/she gets to feel it. I mean, who wouldn't feel like taking a sledgehammer to Katie Harris' microphone? And who couldn't feel good about the type of friendship Yates and Menotti have; or the one with Carla and Aaron; or how about Cody and Millie? Throw in some humorous moments, and Kay does a good job of writing a complete story full of suspense, excitement, and feeling. All of the storylines are interesting, and they all come together in a wonderful, yet unexpected conclusion. This was the first Terry Kay novel that I've read, and it most certainly won't be the last.
My husband and I read this book together and we both have recomended it any time someone asks for a new book. It is gripping and keeps your attention from the beggining.
Terry Kay leaves his usual rural settings for an urban mystery. The book asks the question: What would happen if a 'nobody' was kidnapped and held for ransom? Kay does a masterful job of developing his characters, and the plot twists are intelligent. Very creative story from one of America's best authors.