Monday, August 16, 2010

How far would you go for your child?

Australia has the highest per capita rate of parental child abductions in the world, with around 150 Australian children abducted each year. How scary a statistic is that? Who would have though Australia would rate higher than places like the Middle East or even the US?

The Retriever is a new book by Australian private investigator Keith Schafferius and Grantlee Kieza. For the last three decades Keith has specialised in child retrieval cases, slipping into countries like Poland, Yemen and the Philippines to retrieve children taken overseas against court orders after the breakup of their parents’ marriage.

It’s a tale of clandestine meetings with CIA contacts, forged passports, and the threat of being thrown in jail – everyday challenges in Schafferius’ line of work. Over the years Keith has built up a vast array of contacts, paid thousands of dollars in bribes to officials, been on international wanted lists and found himself in many terrifying situations, including being shot at and pursued by police.

This book talks about Keith’s six year enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force and part secondment to ASIO, and of the incredible and often unbelievable retrieval missions that have taken him to all parts of the world in his bid to reunite families torn apart by parental child abduction.

Sounds like a gripping (if terrifying read). Available from September 1, $35rrp

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