Hostage by Robert Crais
A Novel

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The bestselling author of Demolition Angel and L.A. Requiem returns with his most intense and intricate thriller yet.

As the Los Angeles Times said, Robert Crais is “a crime writer operating at the top of his game.” His complex heroes and heroines, his mastery of noir atmosphere, and his brilliant, taut plots have catapulted him into the front rank of a new breed of thriller writers. Hostage proves his earlier success was no fluke. It’s an unstoppable read.

An ex-con with delusions of grandeur and his tagalong brother unwittingly team up with a psychopath one wrong word away from meltdown. When their late afternoon joyride turns into a random act of violence, they take a family hostage in the affluent bedroom community of Bristo Camino. Enter Chief of Police Jeff Talley, a stressed-out former LAPD SWAT negotiator who is hiding from his past. Plunged back into the high-pressure world that he desperately wants to forget, Talley soon learns that his nightmare has only begun.

The hostages are not who they seem, and the home contains secrets that even L.A.’s most lethal and volatile crime lord, Sonny Benza, fears. As Talley tries to hold himself together and save the people inside, the full weight of Benza’s wrath descends on him, putting the police chief and his own family at risk. Soon, all involved are held hostage by the exigencies of fate and the only one capable of diffusing the standoff is the least stable of them all.

Hostage is a blistering stand-alone thriller with superb characters in crisis, multistranded plotting, and pitch-perfect Southern California sensibility.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Robert Crais

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Robert Crais is the author of many New York Times bestsellers, most recently The First Rule, The Sentry, and the #1 bestseller Taken. He lives in Los Angeles.
Published July 22, 2009 by Fawcett. 391 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Religion & Spirituality, Business & Economics, Horror, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Hostage

Publishers Weekly

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The whopper of a complication is that the dad serves as bookkeeper for Sonny Benza, West Coast mob kingpin, and Benza will do whatever's necessary to retrieve the incriminatory records secreted in the house before the cops storm the place.

| Read Full Review of Hostage: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

In a small California town, two good-for-nothing brothers and their creepy sidekick shoot a minimart owner during a botched robbery attempt and then escape to a pricey house in a gated community.

Aug 24 2001 | Read Full Review of Hostage: A Novel

Gather Books

I say that because movies are designed to switch perspectives constantly, where as I find that when books do that it can be confusing and annoying, such was the case in this book.

Dec 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Hostage: A Novel


The Mob is about to make Police Chief Jeff Talley an offer he can't refuse.

Aug 06 2001 | Read Full Review of Hostage: A Novel

Chicago Tribune

To ensure Talley's cooperation, that gang kidnaps Talley's wife and daughter (Serena Scott Thomas and real-life progeny Rumer Willis), threatening to kill them if the chief doesn't get them the DVD, secreted in Smith's house in the box for Ernst Lubitsch's "Heaven Can Wait."

Mar 09 2005 | Read Full Review of Hostage: A Novel


Just as Jeff appears to have passed the law enforcement reins over to county cops, another set of hooded bad guys enters the picture, threatening to kill Jeff's kin if he doesn't extract a certain DVD from Walter's home office.

Mar 05 2005 | Read Full Review of Hostage: A Novel

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Michael Manley 19 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5