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A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right by Ivana Hruba

By Ivana Hruba

While a abducted woman's husband refuses to pay her ransom, she plots revenge with the aid of her reluctant kidnapper. Discovering her husband's plan to betray her, she frames him for her personal "murder," forcing her young kidnapper into an unexpected moral hindrance that would swap him forever. This shrewdpermanent and fast paced mystery blends pathos with trickery and intrigue, drawing the reader into the non-public global of a susceptible 15-year-old boy who believes himself to be the savior and protector of a wronged girl.

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Sample text

Ah well, no harm done. I went back to my chores. From time to time, I listened at her door; she remained as quiet as a mouse. As the hours went by, I began to feel anxious. It was getting dark, and still there was no sign of Kenny. When eventually Kathryn knocked on the door, asking to use the crapper, the bathroom actually, my nerves were worn to a frazzle. I solved the problem by throwing her a bucket through the window. When she was done, she wanted to pass it to me, but I thought that risky, so I said she might as well keep it in there.

I don’t know. But there was someone there. A man came out of the shadows. It was Kenny, as onedimensional and flat as cardboard. He laughed at me, his teeth as white in the dark as sugar cubes. He looked like a rabbit. Or a dead man. A D E C E N T R A N S O M n 53 10 Phoebus! Phoebus, you turd, get up! Kenny’s voice penetrated my consciousness like a spear. I lay listening to him berating me and I felt relieved; I felt as if I were sinking into a warm bath and the world around me was full of lovely things: candles, clean towels and musical notes bursting with joy.

I bid her to sit on the floor. Seizing the rope I had so carelessly left behind, I thanked my lucky stars; I mean, she could have done herself harm while she was alone. Obviously, she wasn’t that bright because if she had, let’s say, hung herself, we would have been in a pretty pickle because kidnap is one thing but suicide quite another, and I felt that neither I nor Kenny was equipped to deal with nutcases, so it was a good thing she hadn’t thought of it herself, which testified that she wasn’t crazy.

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