TTP Review of HOSTAGE by Robert Crais

I became a fan of thriller author Robert Crais as soon as I was introduced to Joe Pike and Elvis Cole, the protagonists from Crais’ most popular series. For more on that, please take a look at my Turn the Page review of The Watchman. Better yet, read the book or any of the other Pike and Cole novels. There are currently sixteen to choose from. Crais has written four standalones as well. I’ve only read one of them so far. It’s called Hostage and I had a very hard time putting it down.

Crais_Hostage    Three thugs knock over a service station. It doesn’t go exactly as planned and the cashier is shot and killed. They flee the scene but police are already closing in on them. Seeing no other options, they take refuge in a nice home in an affluent neighborhood and take a father and his two children hostage. That’s when things really get interesting. The father risks his life to hide a couple computer disks and one of the thugs discovers a panic room, an extremely high tech surveillance system and over a million dollars in cash. He’s determined not to leave without the money but it’s clear there’s more to the rather average looking father than meets the eye.

Joe Talley is the police chief in the sleepy community where all this was going down. He was once a top negotiator for the L.A.P.D. but some bad experiences derailed both is career and as marriage. He’s still trying to sort out his issues when he finds himself in the role of negotiator once again. Lives are on the line, and the stakes go up even higher when some outside parties express a serious interest in those missing disks. They’re powerful people and prove they’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. Talley’s wife and daughter end up in the crosshairs and a brave young boy may be his best and only hope to save them.

If the title of the book sounds familiar, Hostage was adapted into a major motion picture. I haven’t seen that movie. I did watch the trailer and it looked just awful. Please don’t judge Crais’ novel by anything you may have seen on the big screen. Maybe the movie was fantastic and the trailer was nothing more than a poor, over-dramatized, over-adrenalized and completely over the top representation. I don’t know; nor do I car. The novel is excellent, as is everything else I’ve ever read by Robert Crais.  Five stars!!!


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