Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hostage Taker

Hostage Taker
Stefanie Pintoff

Hostage Taker (Eve Rossi #1)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Summary (from Goodreads): From Edgar Award winner Stefanie Pintoff comes the start of an electrifying new thriller series featuring Eve Rossi, head of a secret division of the FBI - one made up of ex-convicts with extraordinary talents, oversized egos, and contempt for the rules. Perfect for readers of Iris Johansen and Catherine Coulter.


In the hushed quiet of early morning Manhattan, in front of the towering brass doors of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, a young woman holds a sign that reads: HELP ME. For one FBI agent, a madman's terrified hostages, and an entire city, a long and harrowing day is about to unfold.

The hostage taker's identity is unknown. But he knows who FBI agent Eve Rossi is - and everything about her past. Along with her presence, he demands five witnesses: ordinary people with some hidden connection. Defying her superiors, Eve begins a deadly dance with an adversary whose intentions are surely sinister, whose endgame is anything but certain, and whose cunning keeps him one step ahead at every turn.

As Eve manages a taut hostage situation, she relies on the combined skills of her team - a secret unit inspired by France's most notorious criminal and made up of ex-convicts with extraordinary talents, oversized egos, and contempt for the rules.

Eve is up against a rapidly ticking clock. But the dangerous man calling the shots has a timetable of his own - and a searing question for his targets: What are you guilty of? As shocking revelations surface, so does another crisis nobody could anticipate - one not even Eve and her team may be able to stop.

Review:  I enjoyed this suspenseful and dramatic thriller; having a female hostage negotiator was a nice twist on the typically male thriller heroes.  The story was interesting, the descriptions of the cathedral were detailed and set the scene nicely, the ending had an interesting twist, and the minor characters were quirky and likable.  My only problem was that the book was a little long for the story; the author spent a while building the stories of the minor characters (I'm assuming in the hopes of continuing this novel into a series) but it detracted from the pace of the story and made the book drag on too long.  And while I enjoyed the criminals working with the FBI (a la the TV show White Collar), I wasn't convinced that these criminals provided a specific expertise that FBI members couldn't also provide.

Rating: 4 stars

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