The bestselling author of Demolition Angel and L.A. Requiem returns with his most intense and intricate thriller yet.
As the Los Angeles Times said, Robert Crais is "a crime writer operating at the top of his game." His complex heroes and heroines, his mastery of noir atmosphere, and his brilliant, taut plots have catapulted him into the front rank of a new breed of thriller writers. Hostage proves his earlier success was no fluke. It's an unstoppable read.
An ex-con with delusions of grandeur and his tagalong brother unwittingly team up with a psychopath one wrong word away from meltdown. When their late afternoon joyride turns into a random act of violence, they take a family hostage in the affluent bedroom community of Bristo Camino. Enter Chief of Police Jeff Talley, a stressed-out former LAPD SWAT negotiator who is hiding from his past. Plunged back into the high-pressure world that he desperately wants to forget, Talley soon learns that his nightmare has only begun.
The hostages are not who they seem, and the home contains secrets that even L.A.'s most lethal and volatile crime lord, Sonny Benza, fears. As Talley tries to hold himself together and save the people inside, the full weight of Benza's wrath descends on him, putting the police chief and his own family at risk. Soon, all involved are held hostage by the exigencies of fate and the only one capable of diffusing the standoff is the least stable of them all.
Hostage is a blistering stand-alone thriller with superb characters in crisis, multistranded plotting, and pitch-perfect Southern California sensibility.
It's already been sold to MGM Studios as a starring vehicle for Bruce Willis, which may account for the preponderance of action-movie cliches, especially the bombs-bursting conclusion. As a way to pass the time on a sunny beach, this isn't a bad thriller, but Crais aficionados are likely to be disappointed.
Thriller vets will have seen a lot of this before, but every virtuoso is allowed variations on a theme, and Crais, with his record and with the smart suspense offered here, has proven himself nothing less.
Crais belongs in that tier of writers whose novelistic gifts transcend the thriller category--writers like Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and James Lee Burke. Hostage is a breakout.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
This book was very exciting and kept me guessing all the way through the book. I would recommend to anyone who likes Robert Crais's work to read Hostage.
Rated of 5
A very interesting read, but one quite different from Crais' other works (I think I have read them all to date). Anyone who enjoys the current hit TV show, Boomtown, will especially enjoy his technique here. Crais unfolds the drama from the... Read More
Rated of 5
by Brad D.
Great book with several twists. Shows how money can change relationships, and perspective on society. This book does still have the mystique of childhood innocence that really carries the plot. The detailed portrayal of each character made this... Read More
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