The Crime Readers' Association

‘The Abduction’ by A.A. Chaudhuri

16th December 2019

THE ABDUCTION by Alex Chaudhuri

Hot on the heels of serial killer whodunnit, The Scribe, Kramer & Carver are back in new twisty thriller, The Abduction, published by Endeavour Media, 20 December 2019.

Like many crime writers, I very quickly become immersed in the complex, often unstable, twisted psyches of my characters, as warped as that might sound! For me, and I suspect readers feel the same way, this psychological analysis can prove far more disturbing than a graphic “warts and all” description of a murder simply because it’s about getting inside a person’s mindset, and understanding the stresses, strains and motivations – temptation, betrayal, jealousy, regret, loss and greed to name but a few – that can compel the most unsuspecting of people to commit the most unthinkable crimes, along with the lengths they will go to perpetrate them. Motivations and lengths which none of us, as fallible human beings, are immune to, and which must therefore strike a chord with each of us.

Although The Abduction takes places two years on from The Scribe, I wrote both novels back-to-back. It was one of those dream scenarios when, no sooner had I finished The Scribe, an idea for the follow-up came to me, and I spent another six months in the familiar company of Kramer and Carver, allowing me the opportunity to develop their characters and the simmering relationship between them.

A violent abduction

In the sequel, Kramer has moved law firms, but finds her life turned upside down once again when a violent abduction occurs at her new firm and Carver is called to the scene. Although there’s less blood and gore involved than in The Scribe, there’s a powerful psychological thriller element to the sequel which I hope readers find just as compelling and disconcerting, if not more so, along with several twists and turns designed to shock and surprise. The story also features a series of flashbacks, helping readers to understand the reasoning and agendas driving the kidnappers, and perhaps even empathise with them and their cause.

The psychology of the human mind, more specifically its imperfections and frailties, is a fascinating subject, and when it is explored through the medium of the crime genre, it often makes for a far more powerful thriller than one purely filled with a series of bloodthirsty murders. When you look at some of the most successful books in recent times, many of them fall under the psychological thriller category, no doubt because readers find the feelings, emotions and internal struggles driving their characters – characters who often go from being the most reliable, placid of individuals to the most erratic, vicious criminals – to act in the way they do far more relatable than the physical act of committing murder. And it’s this “close to the bone” feature, this power to stir up emotions, emotions which we, as mortal beings, are all vulnerable to, which makes such novels that much more unnerving and effective.

Relationships explored

Make no mistake, The Abduction has plenty of action, but the rationales driving its key players to act in the way they do are explored through various themes running throughout the novel – the mother/child bond, the male/female dynamic, male dominance and abuse, the impact of childhood, the often destructive, almost delusional effect of love, lust and obsession – and therefore form a key component of the story.

Aside from the psychological element to the novel, readers will also see a more balanced interplay between Kramer and Carver. Whereas in The Scribe, much of the action focused on Maddy, with Carver adopting more of a sidekick role, Carver gets more of his own time in The Abduction, giving readers a deeper insight into his character, particularly the softer, more sensitive side to his nature, and his feelings towards those he cares about. Including his unspoken feelings towards Maddy; feelings complicated by their considerable age difference, notwithstanding the obvious chemistry and easy rapport between them.

I had a fantastic 21-day blog tour for The Scribe last summer – it was immensely gratifying to learn how quickly many of the bloggers had warmed to Kramer and Carver and were therefore looking forward to seeing more of the duo in future installments – and so I feel fortunate to have already penned a sequel which my publishers are releasing just five months later.

I hope readers enjoy Kramer and Carver’s latest outing, and that they continue to look forward to more mysteries involving a couple whom I hope are considered a unique crime-solving duo.

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