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The Wrong Hostage [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Lowell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 Jun 2006

The latest masterwork from one of the leading writers of suspense . . . New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell returns with a chilling tale of the law gone wrong and a kidnapping that threatens more than one life.

The Wrong Hostage

Orphaned at thirteen, Grace Silva clawed her way out of poverty and violence to become one of the most respected judges on the federal bench. Grace believes in the rule of law -- lives it, breathes it. She has always been buttoned up and buttoned down.

Except once.

Joe Faroe has learned that laws are made by politicians, and politicians are all too human. He believes in the innocents, the ones getting ground up by governments that are too polarized or too corrupt to protect their own citizens. He's been through the political meat grinder himself. It cost him his career, his freedom, and the woman who still haunts him. Since then Faroe has worked outside the rules and politics of government as a kidnap specialist for St. Kilda Consulting, a Manhattan-based global business that concentrates on the shadow world where governments can't go. He is good at his work -- intelligent, confident, ruthless.

Until a friend dies trying to kill him.

Now Faroe is out of the business. Retired. He's through trying to save a world that doesn't want to be saved.

Then Grace comes to him, past and present collide, and Faroe finds himself sucked back into the shadows, tracking a violent killer who holds the life of Grace's son in his bloody hands.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 406 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company (13 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060829818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060829810
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 15.7 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,434,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A nicely written whodunit with a satisfying payoff. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Elizabeth Lowell's exciting novels of romantic suspense include the New York Times bestsellers Dangerous Refuge, Beautiful Sacrifice, Death Echo, The Wrong Hostage, Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. She has also written New York Times bestselling historical series set in the American West and medieval Britain. She has more than 80 titles published to date, with more than 24 million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.

Las aclamadas novelas de suspenso de la autora Elizabeth Lowell incluyen varios bestsellers en la New York Times. Lowell ha vendido más de treinta millones de ejemplares. Vive con su esposo en Seattle, Washington y Sedona, Arizona, con quien escribe novelas de misterio bajo un seudónimo.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CHILLING WORD PORTRAITS AND REALISTIC DIALOGUE 5 July 2006
By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Grace Silva is quite a woman - attractive, intelligent and successful. Little in her background indicated that she would one day be a respected district judge in line for an appointment on the federal appeals court. The press calls her Hispanic, but she considers herself to be "the perfect all-American mongrel, " a blend of Irish, and Kazakh. She had been raised by her grandmother in a Santa Ana barrio - she left and never looked back.

"She'd spent her adult life forgetting the gutter, ignoring it, not looking back, climbing high and fast to a place where the air was clean and the nights were safe and women didn't have to be arm candy to be allowed into the halls of power."

But, now she's going to have to crawl back into that gutter in order to save her son's life. Fifteen-year-old Lane is a student at All Saints School, a private high school on the beach a short way from Ensenada. He's a good kid, smart, athletic but he's been sent here as a reprimand for turning his Fs into Bs on the school's computer, and a few other online pranks.

When Grace receives a call from Carlos Calderon telling her she has to be in Ensenada in three hours, something about Lane, she doesn't hesitate. In too short a time she realizes that Calderon, one of the most powerful men in all of Mexico, is acting for someone else - Hector Rivas Osuna who heads a vicious crime family in Tijuana.

Lane is, in effect, a prisoner at the school and will be killed unless Grace returns the millions of dollars stolen form Osuna by her former husband, Ted. She has two days to accomplish this and Ted is nowhere to be found. Pushed to the breaking point, Grace goes to Joe Faroe, a former lover who may be the boy's biological father.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a really good book. Judge Grace Silva, who has overcome the poverty of her birth, (almost) ex-husband Ted goes missing. Suddenly she realises he has been involved in some dodgy dealings.

Her son, Lane, who is in a private school in Mexico, is kept a virtual prisoner at the school. I don't know the law in Mexico, but according to the book, if the father put the son in the school the mother can not remove him. Grace Silva knows only one man who can help; a man she had a brief fling with she was engaged to her husband - Joe Faroe, a man who tracks down and recovers victims of kidnappig.

The bad guys are mainly Mexican heavies, one of whom went to school with Grace. They are looking for a file which Ted has hidden on a computer. A computer we later find out is in the care of her son.

There are some fairly scary scenes, but it also dragged a wee bit in places. The ending was a bit predictable, but a jolly good read nevertheless.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  103 reviews
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CHILLING WORD PORTRAITS AND REALISTIC DIALOGUE 5 July 2006
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Grace Silva is quite a woman - attractive, intelligent and successful. Little in her background indicated that she would one day be a respected district judge in line for an appointment on the federal appeals court. The press calls her Hispanic, but she considers herself to be "the perfect all-American mongrel, " a blend of Irish, and Kazakh. She had been raised by her grandmother in a Santa Ana barrio - she left and never looked back.

"She'd spent her adult life forgetting the gutter, ignoring it, not looking back, climbing high and fast to a place where the air was clean and the nights were safe and women didn't have to be arm candy to be allowed into the halls of power."

But, now she's going to have to crawl back into that gutter in order to save her son's life. Fifteen-year-old Lane is a student at All Saints School, a private high school on the beach a short way from Ensenada. He's a good kid, smart, athletic but he's been sent here as a reprimand for turning his Fs into Bs on the school's computer, and a few other online pranks.

When Grace receives a call from Carlos Calderon telling her she has to be in Ensenada in three hours, something about Lane, she doesn't hesitate. In too short a time she realizes that Calderon, one of the most powerful men in all of Mexico, is acting for someone else - Hector Rivas Osuna who heads a vicious crime family in Tijuana.

Lane is, in effect, a prisoner at the school and will be killed unless Grace returns the millions of dollars stolen form Osuna by her former husband, Ted. She has two days to accomplish this and Ted is nowhere to be found. Pushed to the breaking point, Grace goes to Joe Faroe, a former lover who may be the boy's biological father. Once a kidnaping specialist for a Manhattan based firm, he knows his way around the underworld.

Lowell has crafted a page-turner spiced with danger and romance. Thanks to her husband who covered immigration and crime for the L.A. times, the author has a knowledge of the drug trafficking world as well those who live and die in it. She has painted chilling word portraits and penned realistic dialogue. Those who like their thrillers ringing with authenticity will relish The Wrong Hostage.

- Gail Cooke
54 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not her best work 21 Jun 2006
By K. Balazs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a longtime Elizabeth Lowell fan, this book was a big disappointment. Ever since the end of the Donovan family books, I have not enjoyed her writing. In this book, the characters are hard to relate to, and the plot is confusing. The reader receives very little background on the characters, and Lowell jumps right into the action. The beginning plot of the story shows promise, when the reader learns that the main character, Grace, discovers that her son is being held hostage in Mexico and she must consult someone from her past (Joe) to help her save her son. There is no "spark" between Grace and Joe. The great flirty sexy banter and sexual tension that Lowell does so well is absent in this book. I just never bought into their relationship, and I couldn't feel myself in the book. The plot is also very complicated. Grace and Joe make many trips between the U.S. and Mexico, negotiating with various Mexican gangs and leaders. Often, I couldn't even tell which country they were in, or who they were negotiating with. They were many Spanish phrases and customs thrown in, which really threw me for a loop. If you're not familiar with the story's location and third world politics, you'll probably also get confused. I found it difficult to even finish the book. At about the halfway point, it could have ended. All of sudden, Lowell throws in various twists and loops that drags the story through 100 more pages - most are predictable, the rest are confusing and/or unnecessary. I hope Lowell will soon return to what she does best - romantic suspense set in the jewelry world, with indentifiable characters and sensical plots.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced story with smart repartee and edge-of-your-chair suspense 17 July 2006
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Make room on your bookshelf for this daring romantic suspense novel from Elizabeth Lowell. Add THE WRONG HOSTAGE to THE DANVERS TOUCH, TELL ME NO LIES and the Donovan family series of books that hopefully are already in your personal library. But whether you are reading Lowell for the first time or are familiar with her previous works, this story will entice you to pick up one of her books. This reviewer was reminded of how Lowell's writing and storytelling abilities have set her apart from the many romantic suspense authors. She writes with an intensity and passion that few can match.

Grace Silva was orphaned at 13. By combining her drive and intelligence, she climbed her way out of poverty and violence to become one of the most esteemed judges on the federal bench. Judge Silva is a judge personified; law is her life and maybe her religion. It is more important to her than anything, except her 15-year-old computer wizard son, Lane.

Recently divorced, Judge Silva discovers that former husband Ted Franklin has disappeared. The wealthy businessman has not been heard from for over three weeks. To make matters worse, she is summoned to their son's expensive prep school in Mexico only to learn that Lane is being held hostage. Ted's business dealings with Hector Rivas Osuna, a ruthless, violent and powerful man in Mexico, have put them both in jeopardy.

Grace must find Ted to get him to turn over millions of dollars that he stole from Hector in just two days, or their son will be killed. So she turns to ex-lover Joe Faroe. Joe recently retired from the elite St. Kilda Consultants, a global private investigation firm based in Manhattan. He left St. Kilda after being betrayed by a friend when on assignment. His experience has taught him that politicians and governments make laws, and since people run them, they reflect the good and the bad of humanity.

Sixteen years have passed since Joe and Grace were in the same room. Their attraction is instantaneous, just as it was when they first met. Their brief affair ended when Joe was arrested and sent to federal prison. After an ugly scene Grace leaves and goes on with her life only to find out later that Joe was innocent. Now as a federal judge, she has the means and know-how to get him a presidential pardon. And she hopes that this will be enough to have Joe help her. Joe takes the job because he can't seem not to.

The pair sets out to rescue Lane, find Ted and uncover the stolen money. And they need all the help they can get from the St. Kilda group. The story moves quickly, delving into all of the connections of the Mexican drug trade, the Catholic Church, and the intrigue of international politics and organized crime. This intricate tapestry unravels as all of the characters progress on their journeys. Grace and Joe, who seem to operate from different points of view on laws, governments and humanity, are tested in their encounter with Hector and his connections. And what about their relationship?

THE WRONG HOSTAGE is a fast-paced story with smart repartee and edge-of-your-chair suspense. As one character puts it, "the only way to untie a knot is with a sword." Or, as in the case of this story, the only way to untangle the many plot threads is to see it all the way through to the end. Elizabeth Lowell knows exactly what she is doing as she winds her way to a happy ending for Joe, Grace and Lane.

--- Reviewed by Jennifer McCord
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a letdown 25 Jun 2006
By Shannon In Cali - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I should start by saying that I LOVE Elizabeth Lowell. I have all of her books, and some of them I've read 5 or 6 times. Maybe my expectations were too high, then, for this latest novel - but I found it boring, uninvolving, and just plain bad. Before even finishing the first chapter, I found myself checking the publication date to see if maybe this was one of those instances where the publishing house had re-released something from the author's earliest days under a new title. Sadly, no - it's just a boring book, no excuses. The characters are unlikable, poorly developed, and you have no idea why they would even want each other (except for the supposedly hot sex). The background of the Mexican drug trade takes over the book, and it becomes a lesson in political science more than a romance novel. If you're looking for a good Lowell contemporary romance, pick up any of her Donovan series, where she keeps the characters and their relationship in the forefront and hooks you in until you can't put the book down.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Wrong Hostage 10 Nov 2006
By Book a Day - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
While entertaining, I found several times that the story slowed down and got a little preachy about the politics of drug money. While probably true it distracted from the story by being repeated and heavy handed. I also found the timeline hard to believe. Maybe because I have lived in the area and understand the distances (and traffic) travelled in short periods of time. I am a big Elizabeth Lowell fan (as well as Ann Maxwell) but this was not one of her better books.
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