‘The Choice’ is the latest book by Alex Lake.
Matt Westbrook only turned his back for a moment. But when he looks around, his car – with his three young children inside – has vanished. Panicked, Matt assumes a car thief has got more than he bargained for, but then he starts to receive text messages: This is a kidnap. If you want to see your children again, you will exchange them for your wife. Matt and his wife Annabelle are horrified. They can’t involve the police, or their children will be killed. Which means they have to choose: Annabelle, or their children. Either option is unthinkable. But one is inevitable. And they have only hours to make their decision.
This is first book that I’ve read by Alex and it was a fantastic introduction to the author with this fast paced thriller about every parents nightmare. The story is seen through the narrative of married couple Matt and Annabelle, who are parents to 3 children. One day whilst grabbing a few bits in the shop, Matt returns to his car to discover that it’s gone with the children in it. He receives a message that he cannot contact the police or he’ll never see them again. As him and Annabelle prepare for the first, the kidnapper reveals their ransom demands. A trade – Annabelle for the children. The story then follows the couple as they decide this crippling decision without the aid of the police.
The story is written in past and present tense and introduces Matt and Annabelle when they meet at university, becoming friends and then partners. Each chapter from the past is a milestone in their lives, such a marriage, babies and Annabelle achieving her dream of becoming a published author.
As well as perspectives from Matt and Annabelle, there is a narrative from the kidnapper and I found these insights fascinating as it give some detail and background into the kidnapper and reasoning behind it all.
The story flows at a fast pace, as time is really off the essence in the book and the desperation and fear is evident with each moment. As the story progresses through the couple’s relationship, we meet a variation of characters along the way and with each new personality, we find another possible suspect.
Opening with a nightmare scenario and cleverly crafted with just the right amount of drama and suspense to keep the reader hooked in the story and there were plenty of twists for there never to be a dull moment.
A gripping psychological thriller with devoted parents fearing the worst, ‘The Choice’ is a tense and atmospheric story that makes for a roller coaster of a story.
You can buy ‘The Choice’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.