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Hostage Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jun 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 1 Jun 2002
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett Books; First printing of this edition edition (Jun. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345434498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345434494
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,329,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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.

Crais keeps the point of view moving from Talley to the punks to the hostages as the situation unfolds in the house and on the ground. Then he ratchets up the dramatic tension: there's something in Walter Smith's house that a ruthless mob boss wants, and he'll sacrifice anyone to get it--which puts Talley's own family in danger. The action speeds to its climax with the velocity of a heat-seeking missile, which makes it almost criminal to slow down long enough to savour the great writing:

Talley... had stepped into the Zone. It was a place of white noise where emotions reigned and reason was meagre. Anger and rage were non-stop tickets; panic was an express. He had been all day coming to this, and here he was: the SWAT guys used to talk about it. You went to the Zone, you lost your edge. You'd lose your career; you'd get yourself killed, or, worse, somebody else.
Crais, author of popular books featuring private eye Elvis Cole (including LA Requiem and Voodoo River), belongs in that tier of writers whose novelistic gifts transcend the thriller category--writers such as Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane and James Lee Burke. Hostage is a breakout. --Jane Adams, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A teenage gang's convenience store robbery goes horribly wrong and when hotly pursued by the police they crash into a house and take the family hostage. A high-tension three way stand-off develops in a gripping thriller certain to win plaudits on the word-of-mouth grapevine. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came accross Robert Crais's books about 1 year ago. Since then I have read 9 of his Elvis Cole books, Demolition Angel and now Hostage. I have to say all of them have been a pleasure to read. And Hostage is one, if not his best.

Its so good a book that they have now made a movie from it, with Bruce Willis playing the part of Jeff Talley, ex hostage negotiator and SWAT, who due to stress and a failed negotiation has moved from highly charged LA to be a small town police Chief.

But a robbery starts a landslide of events that keep you turning page after page after page.

Absolutely rivetting. If you havent read a Crais book then this is a great book to make you a fan. But be warned once you start it you will not put it down. Brilliant characterisation, dialogue and plot.

It was a pleasure to read.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 July 2004
Format: Paperback
The less you know about the details of this story before you read it, the more you will enjoy it. My recommendation is that you stop friends from telling you anything specific, and avoid reviews that summarize the book. As a result, I will characterize the book in a very general way so that you can decide if you want to read it or not without revealing much. Please forgive me for this reticence, but I think you will be glad when you are finished with the book.
First, let me provide a word of warning. The book contains references to sadism, torture, and violence against children. If such disturb your days or your sleep, perhaps you should ask a friend who has read the book how upsetting it was before deciding to go forward. I found these elements to advance the story, and not to be overplayed . . . but they are certainly there.
Hostage deals with situations where a criminal has seized someone as a bargaining chip for something they want. Hostage situations usually either lead to lots of people being killed, or everyone getting out alive. The difference is usually related to the skill, talent, and patience of the hostage negotiator.
Hostage's protagonist is the chief of police in a small town north of Los Angeles, Jeff Talley. He had served as such a hostage negotiator during part of a truncated career with the LAPD.
Having had that experience colors your view of the world in many ways. It makes you feel responsible for the hostages, the criminals, and for those who are helping you defuse the situation. That's a lot of responsibility to have on your shoulders. Also, you get used to lengthy delays, suddenly melting down psychotics, and impetuous colleagues. The criminals will make unreasonable and dangerous demands, and you have to decide how to respond with little help.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think I would have graded the book Good as the pages but as the book was published in 2001 that would account for it. As this was the first time it had happened It certainly would not put me off ordering books in the future.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a solid read, although it does not rank with the all-time bests. The hostage rescue angle is superb, looks like Crais has really researched his stuff. My stomach flipped, about halfway when the screws were turned on Talley, expecting a crass twist. This was not the case, the author played out the rest of the story with aplomb. The book didn't keep me up all night, for which I'm actually grateful, rather I looked forward to returning to the book the next day.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm an avid reader of Cole/Pike novels and this last one doesn't disappoint. One feels a strain in the plotting as there are so many in the series already but Pike is slowly showing his human side. In early Elvis Cole novels, Pike was used as a sort of "Deus ex Machina" who would appear out of nowhere and get Cole out of an impossible scrape - generally with extreme violence, but the novels devoted to Pike as main protagonist have softened him up a bit. Time for me, I think, to try others from the Robert Crais oevre; he does write so well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read nearly all Robert Crais books - I thought that I would read one of his early ones and I am glad that I did. I am not going to reveal the plot other than say there is coarse languaqe for the easy offended but it doesn't detract from an outstanding read.
If this was a film you would be at the edge of your seat!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd read all the author's book except this, being unsure to read it or not as I remember the film made from the book. I finally bought it and needn't have worried, it's just as good as all the author's other stories, which I get through very quickly as they're hard to put down once you've started reading.
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By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
HOSTAGE accelerates from 0 to 60 in seconds, and then just keeps on rolling. Like A MAIDEN'S GRAVE, another hostage thriller I recently devoured, this novel is everything a trashy, can't-put-down potboiler should be.
Denny, recently released from a correctional facility, robs a Southern California suburban convenience store with his whiny brother, Kevin, and an inscrutable new buddy, Mars. The cashier is killed, and Mars smiles watching him die. Making their getaway, the transmission of the trio's pick-up fails. So, it's out of the truck, over a wall, and into the home of an accountant, where the boys take hostages: the owner, Walter Smith, and his two children, 16-year old Jennifer and 10-year old Thomas. Soon the place is surrounded by the local, bedroom community cops headed by Chief Jeff Talley, a mentally scarred former hostage negotiator for the LAPD, who quit that gig because of burnout and a hostage crisis that went bad. Soon the Highway Patrol and the county sheriff's SWAT team join the fun.
What the police and the Bad Guys don't realize is that Walter isn't just any accountant. He's the personal bean counter for Sonny Benza, head of the Mob's regional operations. It's tax time, and Walter has possession of the books for both Sonny's legal and illegal businesses, each on a computer zip disk. Through them, a link could be made back to the Big Boss on the East Coast. After Walter suffers a severe head injury, the disks are unprotected. (Oh, and did I mention that army of troopers itching to storm the house?) Ain't nobody happy about this one. Except maybe Denny, who's wondering how to spend the oodles of bundled C-notes he's found in a secret closet - if he can just get away with the swag.
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