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Publisher's Summary

Jeff Talley was a good husband, a fine father, and a frontline negotiator with LAPD's SWAT unit. But the high stress, unforgiving job took an irreparable toll on his psyche. After a despondent father murders his wife and son and takes his own life, Talley hits bottom. His marriage ends, he resigns from SWAT, and he struggles to escape from his former life by taking the chief-of-police job in a sleepy, affluent bedroom community far from the chaos and crime of Los Angeles. But Talley's pursuit of peaceful small-town life is about to change when three young men, fleeing the robbery of a mini-mart, invade a tightly secured home and take the family hostage.
Plunged back into the high-pressure world that he has desperately been trying to put behind him, Talley finds his nightmare has barely begun, because this isn't just any house. It belongs to a brilliant white-collar criminal who launders money for L.A.'s renegade franchise of La Cosa Nostra. And the accountant's records of the incriminating money trail that lie within will put L.A.'s most lethal and volatile crime lord, Sonny Benza, behind bars.
As Talley desperately tries to save the innocents inside, the full weight of Benza's wrath descends on him, putting Talley 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 crisis is the least stable of them all.
©2004 Robert Crais (P)2004 Brilliance Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By David on 07-15-13

Wonderful clarity of plot and character

Crais is a craftsman. He melds two parallel plots involving a variety of sharply drawn characters and twines them around a very cleanly conceived and delivered framework based on what seems at first to be a familiar hostage standoff. Along the way we learn a good deal about hostage negotiation techniques, but all the elements are integrated in a way which drives the tension and suspense nonstop to the end. I admire the clarity and detail this author brings to his situations and to the action. His descriptions seem effortless but provide the reader with an excellent sense of being there.

There is not a lot of depth or ambiguity in this work, but it functions extremely well as a straight ahead suspense thriller. In addition James Daniels provides a fine, no nonsense rendering of the story and keeps us oriented during the frequent shifts of character and viewpoint.

Listeners who are looking for Crais' Elvis Cole character should be advised that this book is not a part of that series.

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26 of 26 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By bonnie on 10-05-09

Really held my attention and interest

When I started listening I was a little skeptical and thought I knew what the book would be about. Much to my delight, the author added more dimension than I expected and by the time I hit the second half of the book I was fully addicted. I will definitely look for other offerings by this author.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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