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Paying the Piper

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  813 ratings  ·  93 reviews
The Piper is the Bay Area’s infamous child kidnapper. When the Piper selected crime reporter, Scott Fleetwood, to report on his latest child kidnapping, Scott thought he had the world in his grasp, but he held nothing. Scott had been duped by a wannabe. By the time the FBI exposed the hoaxer, time had run out, leaving the real Piper only one course of action—to kill the ch ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 386 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Leisure Books
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I'm not a big fan of the child-in-peril thrillers. That said, Simon Wood keeps that part within the respectable PG-13 bounds in Paying the Piper. We've been table-of-content mates in short fiction anthologies. I liked his sense of pace, nifty plot twists, and well-drawn characters, particularly the law enforcement types. His writing is forceful but smooth. In short, I spent several nights following his heroes and villains in print with enlivened interest, and I remained entertained until the sur ...more
Jaidis Shaw
If you’re looking to get pulled in and pumped up by a truly kick-ass suspense novel, then this book is for you! Simon Wood’s Paying the Piper is a pure adrenaline rush that will have you hanging by the edge of your seat while clawing at your heartstrings. Mr. Wood tells the tale of a parent’s worst nightmare, the kidnapping of a child and the unrelenting attempts to get them back! The excitement begins as soon as you open the book, the story moving along at a swift and thrilling pace. The storyl ...more
Elizabeth A.
Eight years ago a serial kidnapper known as the Piper terrorized San Francisco. He successfully snatched child after child from the city’s wealthiest families, holding them until a ransom was paid. In every case, he collected the ransom and returned the child unharmed. Until crime reporter Scott Fleetwood got involved, that is. Contacted by someone claiming to be the Piper, Fleetwood withheld information from the police and FBI, bent on chasing the story–and resulting book deal and fame. Only Fl ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Paying the Piper, by Simon Wood, a-minus, Narrated by Mel Foster, Produced by Brilliance Audio, Downloaded from

Crime reporter Scott Fleetwood involved himself in trying to bring “The Piper” to justice. The Piper earned his reputation by kidnapping children from the wealthiest families asking for millions, and always getting it for the return of the child. But in this case something goes wrong and the boy is killed. Now, eight years later, The Piper surfaces again, this time kidnappi
I had so many “ah” moments with this book that I just have to give it 5 stars! One night I woke up frantically wondering if my own children where in their beds, only to realize they were either sleeping in their college dorm room or living at their own house…. that’s how drawn in I got. This is a first-rate thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through till the end. It’s a parent’s worse nightmare to have your child abducted from you and the author does a great job playing wit ...more
Paying the Piper is the most interesting book I've read in several months. The characters are drawn completely and compellingly, the plot is delightfully and believably complex and filled with unexpected turns, and the pace is rapid while still not leaving the reader behind. If half-stars were available I would have rated this one 4 1/2 stars (I assign a 5-star rating only if there is also significant literary value.) Just for pure reading enjoyment, this book has it all.
Jennifer Jaynes
Grabbed me from the opening scene and I worried about Sammy (the kidnapped child) throughout. Great writing, character development and suspense. Will be reading more of this author's work.
Do not read this book if you can't handle kids in jeopardy. I did not realize I was so sensitive to this until I picked up Paying the Piper.
The stress level was incredible and was continually getting stronger as the pages flipped by. Very strong characters, a nice description of San Francisco and the Bay Area, and heart stopping drama. Simon seems like such a nice guy in person, who knew the depths of his talent?
Amy Marbach
Years ago a serial kidnapper, known only as THE PIPER, terrorized the affluent of the Bay area. He would kidnap their children for ransom. The children were returned unharmed after he received his bounty. Local police and FBI were unable to track him. Until one day he contacted local crime reporter Scott Fleetwood, regarding his newest kidnap victim. Fleetwood, however, only THOUGHT he was dealing with the PIPER when in fact he was dealing with someone else. Because of this misstep, the boy ende ...more
Wendy Van dyk
Really enjoyed this book
Nancy Silk
"Compelling Thriller One Can't Put Down"

This is another fantastic, engaging thriller written by awesome author Simon Wood. In this story Scott Fleetwood is a reporter for San Francisco Independent newspaper. He and his wife, Jane, have two young sons, twins Sammy and Peter, who attend a private school. Scott has received a call from his wife who's at the school...Sammy has disappeared. As Scott runs toward the school doors, his cell phone rings: a harsh voice, robotic and demonic... a voice he h
Paying the Piper is an action-packed book that will leave any adrenaline reader begging for more. Scott Fleetwood is a reporter who built his career on a kidnapper named The Piper. While writing about the Piper's 7th kidnapping, Fleetwood is duped by an impersonator and he leads the FBI astray in his investigation. As a result of this, the Piper is forced to kill the child he abducted and forgo his collection of the ransom. Many years later, this mysterious man resurfaces but this time his missi ...more
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Gloria Feit
The tension starts on page 1 of Simon Wood’s wonderful new novel. Scott Fleetwood, a crime reporter with the San Francisco Independent, has been told by his frantic wife that one of his twin sons has been kidnapped. When the next call he gets is from the kidnapper, Scott’s horror only increases: The Piper, as he calls himself, has a history with Scott. As we soon learn in the first of several flashback scenes, eight years back it appeared that a serial kidnapper had called Scott at his desk and ...more
Shirley Wetzel
Paying the Piper, by Simon Wood, was published in 2007, but is experiencing a well-deserved surge of popularity. Scott Fleetwood, a crime reporter in San Francisco, is going about his daily life one minute, and in the next finds himself trapped in a parent's worst nightmare. His young son Sammy has been abducted. As Scott drives frantically to the school where his wife and the police are waiting for him, his cell phone rings, and the nightmare escalates to an unbearable height. He last heard the ...more
This is a gripping read, lots of hold-your-breath moments.

Scott Fleetwood has lived with the guilt of the Piper's last abduction eight years before. He had thought like a journalist rather than a human being and hesitation cost a child's life. The note pn the victim's chest - "You are to blame" - said it all, but now, eight years on, the Piper brings it all much closer to home when he takes one of Scott's twin sons.

This story really is a roller coaster ride and there are some elements further do
I enjoy this author - Simon Wood

If you want to read a suspenseful book, pick up a Simon Wood novel. He's a master at twists and turns in his books.

"Paying the Piper" starts out with the return of a serial kidnapper - after a hiatus of eight years. Scott Fleetwood, a crime reporter, was duped by a fake kidnapper eight years ago and feels incredible guilt that a little boy was killed at that time. The real Piper is back and has kidnapped one of Fleetwood's twin sons and the storyline really goes o
Gerald Sinstadt
Simon Wood has enough titles - and enough awards - to his credit to know that he has a loyal readership. Perhaps they will welcome Paying the Piper but someone new to this author may feel uninspired by a familiar plot, some cardboard characters and clichéd writing: "... in this day and age" on only the second page.

Scott Fleetwood is a journalist who covered past kidnappings by 'The Piper.' Now his own child has been snatched. Tom Shiels, the FBI agent assigned to the case, also has personal issu
Sheila Beaumont
In this first-rate thriller, a serial kidnapper known as the Piper, who has been quiescent for eight years, abducts the eight-year-old twin son of reporter Scott Fleetwood. Unlike the previous kidnappings, this one is more for revenge than money, in retaliation for Scott's having thwarted him in collecting the $2 million ransom for his last kidnapping and making him murder his young victim, something he had never resorted to before. He wants to make Scott suffer as much as possible.

If there were
Ginny Strait
Dues to be paid

Paying the piper takes on a whole new meaning in this tense thriller from Simon Wood. When a child is kidnapped, the police, FBI, and the worried parents are taken on a very unnerving roller-coaster ride especially when it appears the Piper, a malicious kidnapper has come out of the woodwork after eight years. Nothing is as it appears and readers will be on the edge of their seats until the end. Great stuff. Woods does not have to take a back seat to anyone.
Jennifer Kohl
This book was a Kindle freebie (or like $1.99). I grabbed it because it sounded like a good detective novel. I love when I grab an unknown author who is nowhere near the "best seller" list and get a really good book. If you me those detective /mystery /non-stop chase books...Give this one a try. I seriously could not put it down!
Teresa Mason


Francis T. Villante
Piper paid

Piper paid

this was a very exciting and fast moving book.the main character is a kidnapper who kidnaps children from rich families, he got away with it seven times but had to kill the last kid when a newspaper reporter was duped by a man who mimicked the kidnapper known as the Piper. 8 years later he is terrorized by the Piper when his kids are apprehended by piper. then the real fun starts. definitely a page Turner. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Sarah Santillan
I couldn't put it down!

This was a captivating thriller from beginning to end. I couldn't put this book down once I started reading it. I highly recommend this book to any mystery thriller fans.
Excellent thriller.

This is my second Simon Wood book, and I loved it. Can't wait to read some of his other books.
Tim Clark

Sympathetic characters and high tension make this a great read. I'm going to be looking forward to reading more from this author.
I was looking for a more fast paced book and this was great! I listened to it while driving and switched between reading when I had free time. I found it very easy to follow, I really liked it.
Joyce D Wagoner
Excellent writing

It had a few too many turns but that's the mystery, a turn at every corner. The ending was wild.
Audrey Robinson
Page Turner...

The plot sucks you in right from the beginning and doesn't stop til the end. Love the twist at the end. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
This is a terrific mystery with intensive suspense. I could not put this book down. it was so realistic and believable. Great read!
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Simon Wood is a California transplant from England. He's an ex-competitive racecar driver, a licensed pilot and an occasional private investigator. He shares his world with his American wife, Julie. Their lives are dominated by a longhaired dachshund and five cats. In the last ten years, he's had over 150 stories and articles published. His stories have been included in “Best of” anthologies and h ...more
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“He stared into the car to see the face of a child-killer, but saw only a blur. The” 0 likes
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