Saturday, August 19, 2023

Saving Myles by Carl Vonderau Book Review

About the Book:

When the FBI can' t help, an unassuming banker takes matters into his own hands to bring his son home

Wade, a respected banker in La Jolla, CA, and his estranged wife, Fiona, make the unbearable decision to send their teenage son, Myles, away to an expensive treatment center after a streak of harmful behavior. After a year of treatment, Myles comes home, seemingly rehabilitated. But soon, he sneaks off to Tijuana to buy drugs— and is kidnapped.

When the ransom call comes, Fiona is frantic and accepts help from Andre, the Quebecois whose charity Fiona runs. Wade is wary of Andre' s reputation and the bank he owns, but seeing no other way to secure a kidnap negotiator or the ransom, he swallows his doubts to get his son home.

In order to get the ransom money, Wade makes a deal with Andre— he'll work for Andre' s bank in exchange for the cash. But as Wade races to rescue Myles before his kidnappers lose their patience, he realizes he' s wrapped up in more crime than just a kidnapping— he's now indebted to a cartel.

My Review:

I liked the premise of a kidnapping. I liked how the father was willing to do anything to get his son back. After about a third of the book, however, I felt the pace really slowed and the action was not nearly as interesting for me. I struggled to keep reading. I did not find the characters particularly engaging. I was not impressed with the parents and how they had apparently raised Myles nor Myles himself.

I appreciated Vonderau's writing style, especially the scene descriptions. I just did not find the characters engaging nor the plot engaging overall.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

About the Author:

Carl Vonderau is a former banker and anti-money laundering specialist turned crime fiction writer. A graduate of Stanford University, Carl has lived and worked in Latin America, Canada, and North Africa.

His debut thriller, Murderabilia, won the Best Debut Mystery award from Left Coast Crime and the San Diego Book award for Best Mystery. Carl lives in San Diego with his wife.

Saving Myles is his latest novel.

Learn more at

Oceanview Publishing, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Swell Media. My comments are an honest and independent review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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