Kidnapping is a fact of life. Always has been, always will be. Extorting a ransom is an age-old pastime, less risky and more lucrative than robbing banks.
Kidnapping, twentieth-century style, has meant train loads and ‘plane loads of hostages, athletes killed in company at Munich, men of substance dying lonely deaths. All kidnappers are unstable, but the political variety, hungry for power and publicity as much as money, make quicksand look like rock.
Give me the straightforward criminal any day, the villain who seizes and says pay up or else. One does more or less know where one is, with those.
Kidnapping, you see, is my business.
My job, that is to say, as a partner in the firm of Liberty Market Ltd, is both to advise people at risk how best not to be kidnapped, and also to help negotiate with the kidnappers once a grab has taken place: to get the victim back alive for the least possible cost.
Every form of crime generates an opposing force, and to fraud, drugs and murder one could add the Kidnap Squad, except that the kidnap squad is unofficial and highly discreet… and is often us.