Fawcett, 2002 (2001)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
joyride quickly turns to robbery and murder for an ex-con, his brother and a budding psychopath acquaintance. With a police officer on their heels, they take a family hostage in an affluent bedroom community north of Los Angeles - a father and his two children, Jennifer and Thomas. But it's not an ordinary family, since dad is an accountant for the Mob and his home is full of their cash and very dangerous secrets. And you have to feel sorry for the police chief, ex-SWAT team negotiator Jeff Talley, who's still in a depressive state from similar situations in his previous job. He fled from it (and his wife and daughter) to this undemanding haven.
ow he has a situation on his shaking hands. He manages it with difficulty, contacting the leader of the hostage takers and organizing the perimeter, while anxiously awaiting a handover to the Sheriffs. Unfortunately for him, the Mob have different ideas, deciding that they need Talley to get their hands on computer disks that detail illegal transactions. When they kidnap his wife and teenage daughter, Jeff Talley has to juggle two different hostage situations (and keep one of them a secret from his fellow lawmen). In the meantime, inside the suburban home, Thomas moves into action, and the psycho begins to lose control.
, Crais maintains a fast pace through a maze of a plot with regular betrayals that keep the reader guessing. And, in the same vein, the author turns a horrendous and stressful situation into a healing process for his protagonist.
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