(From the publisher):
The nine-year-old son of financial speculator Louis Martinetti is being held for $300,000 ransom. The kidnapper's first message to the distraught father is that a third party, a stranger to the family, must drop the money. Martinetti calls on a San Francisco private detective- one who has been recommended to him as being honest and discreet. This man feels that Martinetti would be wiser to cooperate with the police than with the abductor, but he understands and respects the father's decision to pay the ransom. It is, the detective reasons, a simple and uncomplicated assignment for him, even though it stems from a highly volatile situation. They wait in Martinetti's home for the kidnapper's telephoned commands.
That day, and the next, the detective shares the terrible ordeal with Martinetti; Karyn, his beautiful wife; Dean Proxmire, his overly solicitous secretary; and the coldy practical Allan Channing, his long-standing friend and fellow financier. The detective learns something about each of them, and he is silently thankful that his part will soon be ended.
The call comes; the detective takes the money and drives to the isolated spot where he is supposed to make the drop. As he leaves, he hears a terrible cry, goes back and finds the just-murdered body of a man. The ransom money has been hijacked.
Now the detective has intensely personal reasons for staying with the case. He must find the child, and in order to find the child, he must find the murderer. The ordeal has been transformed into a nightmare.
Original title: The Snatch
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Noir