While nothing about Alex Lake's "The Choice" is objectionable, there's not much to recommend it, either. The plot revolves around Matt and Annabelle Westbrooke, a married couple who have been together since university, have three young children, a staid and sturdy lifestyle, and whose children have been suddenly, shockingly kidnapped. Matt's negligence in leaving his kids in an unlocked car outside a convenience store is glossed over in the narrative, and the story focuses on the kidnapper's near supernatural knowledge of the Westbrooke's every move after their children's abduction, and the kidnapper's bizarre ransom: Annabelle, the children's mother.
Reluctant to involve the police, since the kidnapper seems to know every move the Westbrookes make, Matt and Annabelle enlist the aid of family and friends to assist in recovering the children.
I don't recommend this book highly. Although reasonably well-written, the characters are fairly lifeless and inauthentic for the circumstances. They seem prescripted, less than anxious in what would be a terrifying situation. Both seem unwilling to consider close friends or family in the role of abductor, though it's clear that only someone close to the family could have succeeded in kidnapping their children. In the messages they receive, it's fairly obvious that someone is getting nearly up-to-the-minute feedback on their plans.
I figured this out immediately. Some of that is due to process of elimination; there are only so many people it COULD be. However, I believe that this is also due to to sloppy writing.
The narrative switches back and forth between the present and the past when Matt and Annabelle were in university, giving us a context to their relationship (also throwing out red herrings as to possible suspects). In the end, though, I think that this novel isn't complex or interesting enough to recommend.