The Kidnapping of Aaron Greene

The Kidnapping of Aaron Greene

by Terry Kay

Overview: 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.

Deanna Boe (03/09/19):Yes, another novel by Terry Kay! It is once more entirely different from any of his other novels. This one has lots of different characters, which can be a little confusing at times. First of all, the “main” character is a young man (more like a boy) who has been kidnapped. Why would anyone want to kidnap Aaron Greene? He is a nobody, and I do mean a nobody. He comes from a family that doesn’t have any money. He is an only child of Jewish parents, who live in a small house in a nondescript neighborhood. Aaron also has a nondescript job, he is the mail boy of a large but important bank in Atlanta. He delivers mail throughout this large bank to all the various people who work there. He rarely interacts with anyone, he simply hands them their mail and moves on to the next person.

Who are the other characters in this novel? The next main character is centered around an eccentric millionaire who owns a fabulous home. He has in his employ a sexy assistant, a young “Lolita” type of character, an intelligent computer advisor, a dubious guard, and a very old and loyal servant. We have the bank president who has been cheating not only on his wife but also the bank; a suspicious lawyer, a brash newspaperman, an aggressive policeman plus a couple of very attractive and intelligent women who are connected with two of these men.

How do all these people tie the storyline together? What was the purpose of kidnapping a “nobody?” Unlike most of Terry Kay’s novels, this one does have some “sex” involved, but nothing to curl your hair about. This is not my favorite of Terry Kay’s but as usual it is a good book to read.
Rating: ****

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