Kidnap by Jane Adams

Title: Kidnap (Merrow and Clarke #2)

Author: Jane Adams

Published on: 3 Feb 2022

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A sleeping toddler is kidnapped from its home in the middle of the night. Detective Toby Clarke is assigned the case by the commissioner himself. Detective Petra Merrow is asked to partner to Clarke. They are given an old school building as a makeshift office and an ‘information package’ containing the ‘details’ pertaining to the case is sent to them.

From the beginning, the detectives doubt if this is one of those cases which will never be solved. Perhaps, they are assigned so that they can be the fall guys in case something goes wrong. Soon, they learn the kidnapping of toddlers is not new. In the past three years, around 14 toddlers were kidnapped from their homes. The kidnappers left a note – it had a phone number of the family of their previous victim. The toddlers were returned when the parents followed the note to the T.

But this time, things go horribly wrong. The kidnapped toddler is found dead. Or rather, murdered…

Kidnap is the second book in Jane Adams’ Merrow and Clarke series.

The story begins with Sammy Marvin, a student who works the night shift at the local warehouse, being killed. What was Sammy guilty of? Nothing. The poor chap was at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Meanwhile, Joshua Banks, a toddler, is kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night.

Detective Petra Merrow is trying to adjust to her new life. She was undercover for the past three years. Things went sideways when her handler was tortured and killed and, the man she loved murdered – all because Sykes learned there was an undercover cop in his midst. Petra managed to escape and also saved Sykes’ daughter Lauren’s life. She staged Lauren’s ‘accident’ but Sykes does not believe his daughter is dead. He would go to any extend to make sure Petra pays for ruining his life.

Detective Toby Clarke was caught in the crossfire. He was tortured and left to die. After recuperating, he’s back in the police force. But being assigned a case that is sure to fail might not be the right comeback for Clarke. As the two detectives fight their inner demons and try to find the kidnapper, they receive a news: a toddler’s dead body is found in a nearby lake. The same lake which happens to be Sykes’ favorite dumping (bodies) ground.

What I did not expect from the story was the gruesome murder of a toddler. Sykes is a killer but he definitely crossed the line when he decided to kill a child. Reason for killing: the toddler’s father said something against Sykes on media.

Petra and Clarke’s previous adventures – mostly the event leading up to their injuries and recuperation – is mentioned a lot throughout the story. As I hadn’t read the first book of this series, I found it a little difficult to follow the characters’ backstories. Also, Sykes and his enemy-turned-friend/new-business-associate – they too have a backstory which can only be understood if one reads this series in order.

As the story proceeds, we see the detective come to one conclusion – there is a pattern in the kidnappings. There is one person whose name keeps popping up in each case. A person who was initially believed to be the victim…

As the story ends, there seems to be some form of relief for Petra – something to do with Sykes. The mystery behind the kidnappings and Sykes’ hunt for Lauren and Petra kept me guessing till the end. To be honest, I did not like the main characters Merrow and Clarke as much as I wanted to, but I do have plans to read the first book and also follow the series a bit and see if my opinion changes.


I received an ARC from Joffe Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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