Douglas King is rich. A nice house in the best part of the
city, servants, big cars, fashionable clothes for his
attractive wife, Diane. He's worked hard all his life to get
where he is today, and now he's planning a big business
deal. It's a very expensive deal, and there are enemies
working against King, but if he wins, he'll get to be
company president. If he doesn't win,he'll be out on the
Sy Barnard and Eddie Folsom are not rich. They're smalltime crooks, not very successful, but they want all the
good things that money can buy. So they plan the perfect
kidnapping. 'Five hundred thousand dollars by
tomorrow morning, or we kill the boy,' they tell Douglas
It's a beautiful plan. But Eddie's wife, Kathy, doesn't like
it, and neither doesDetective Steve Carella of the 87th
Precinct. And Sy and Eddie have taken the wrong boy —
not King's son, but the Reynolds boy, the son of King's
chauffeur. And the chauffeur doesn't have five hundred
So who's going to pay the ransom?
OXFORD BOOKWORMS LIBRARY
Crime & Mystery
Stage 5 (1800 headwords)
Series Editor: Jennifer Bassett
Founder Editor:Tricia Hedge
Activities Editors: Jennifer Bassett and Alison Baxter
ED M c B A I N
Retold from the original novel by
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
'Why would anyone want to steal radio parts?'
3 'Jump down and attack! Take him by surprise!'
4 'We've got your son'20
'We've got the wrong kid!'
6 'This little boy is in big trouble'
'I want to talk to you about the ransom'
'I'm taking you out of here'
Original edition © Ed McBain 1959
First published in the USA by Simon & Schuster 1959
This simplified edition © Oxford University Press 2008
Database right Oxford University Press (maker)
Firstpublished in Oxford Bookworms 1995
'We want your voting stock, Doug'
'If you don't pay them, they'll kill him'
10 'You're out and I'm in!'
'The boy needs a hot drink'
'That five hundred g rand has got to be ours!'
13 'Lock him up!'
14 'The case is closed now, but . . . "
ACTIVITIES: Before R eading
92ACTIVITIES: While Reading
ACTIVITIES: A fter R eading
ISBN 978 0 19 479230 1
A complete recording of this Bookworms edition of
King's Ransom is available on audio CD I SBN 978 0 19 479208 0
Typeset by Wyvern Typesetting Ltd, Bristol
Printed in Hong Kong
Word count (main text): 22,670 words
For more information on the Oxford Bookworms L i b r a r y
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE BOOKWORMS LIBRARY
Illustrated by: Mark Thomas
'We want your voting stock, Doug'
Outside the window boats sailed up and down the River Harb.
In the clear October air, orange and gold leaves screamed their
colour against the cold blue sky.
The room was full of cigarette smoke. It hung over the five
men like thebreath of ghosts. The room was enormous, but it
was full now, full of the dirty ash-trays, used glasses and empty
bottles left at the end of a long and difficult discussion. The men
themselves were as exhausted as the smoky air.
Tired but determined, the men sitting opposite Douglas King
hammered out their argument. King listened to them silently.
'We're asking you to think about profit,Doug, that's all,'
George Benjamin said. 'Is that a lot to ask?'
'Think of shoes, yes,' Rudy Stone said. 'Don't forget shoes.
But think of profit. Granger Shoe is a business, Doug, a business.
Profit and loss. The black and the red.'
'And our job,' Benjamin said, 'is to keep Granger in the black.
Now take another look at these shoes.'
A thin man, he moved fast and silently to a glass table,...