Bagman
Jay MacLarty
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Buy *Bagman* online

Bagman

Jay MacLarty
Pocket Star
Paperback
400 pages
August 2004
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Being the only daughter of self-made billionaire Big Jake Rynerson comes with its own share of privileges and pains, but Dr. Kyra Rynerson-Saladino experiences the worst of it when someone ruthless kidnaps her. An enraged and yet bereft Rynerson is ready to pay any amount of ransom but demands the best "bagman" - professional courier - Simon Leonidovich deliver it.

While a recent bad experience has Simon wary of taking up the case, he finds himself unable to deny Jakeís enticing and clever assistant, Caitlin Wells, when she exerts all her charms of persuasion. As the money and exchange deals are being worked out, Simon continually gets a sense something being off, and his suspicions are proved true when the kidnapper always proves to be one step ahead of them. Considering Rynersonís fortune, there are a lot of people who stand to benefit from Kyraís disappearance, and itís up to Simon, the only uninterested party, to discover who is in cahoots with the kidnapper before it becomes too late Ė both for himself and Kyra.

Jay MacLarty does a great build up of suspense beginning with Kyraís kidnapping from a fund-raiser at the Galapagos Islands to the ransom details being worked out in the glittery, unreal world of Rynersonís Las Vegas headquarters, up until the final, steamy encounter in the jungles of Amazon. The mystery is well-maintained, with the identity of the villain a secret till the very end. Simon Leonidovich, the "Bagman" of the title, isnít exactly hero-like with his self-consciousness about his rotund figure and cautious nature, yet these very factors are what make him feel genuine. Kyraís mindset is also detailed, with recriminations and regrets and her determination to escape in the face of insurmountable odds gaining the respect of readers.

Of the myriad side characters, Caitlin Wells is the most intriguing, for MacLarty maintains suspense about her overall allegiance, keeping readers in the dark as to whether sheís one of the good guys or the bad guys. The gradual romance developing between her and Simon adds another interesting edge, as does the complicated relationship between Kyra, her husband, and her estranged father. Despite all the careful plotting and the various individual intriguing story elements, the story never quite comes together, and while interesting, it isnít exactly a must-read.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Rashmi Srinivas, 2004

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