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Setting: Californian suburb, USA
No. of pages: 385
Part of a series: no
This is a standalone crime thriller from author Robert Crais, who has been delighting fans for years with many books featuring his detective duo of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.
This book follows Jeff Talley, an ex SWAT and hostage negotiator, who after a boy dies on his watch decides to take the sleepy backwater job of police chief in a quiet Californian suburb. Nothing ever happens there, until one nightmare day when armed robbers break into a house and hold the people inside hostage....
That short synopsis gives away a lot less than what's on the back of the book - be warned. There's a lot more to the story, several excellent plots fused together to make so much more than your average crime novel. The character of Jeff Talley is a well drawn character, with a believable back story. All of the other characters are convincing too, the bit part characters are not your usual cardboard cut-outs. The writing is high quality without being overly descriptive, and the dialogue is very realistic. The chapters are quite short and snappy, which adds to the book's page turning qualities. I read this book in three days, and was late to work today because I just had to finish it. After finishing it I found myself missing the book and the characters and wishing there had been more.
This review will shortly be posted on librarything.com
Robert Crais' Hostage opens with Jeff Talley, the police chief in a small southern California town, still having nightmares about the young hostage who died when he made the wrong call in his previous job as a negotiator for an LAPD SWAT team. Now, three small-time punks go on the run after a grocery store robbery and killing in Talley's town. Soon his deputies have surrounded the house where the inept robbers have taken Walter Smith and his two children hostage. And Talley's back in his worst dream again: until the county sheriff's full-fledged SWAT team arrives and takes over, he has to negotiate for their lives.