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Extended Audio Sample Hostage: A Novel Audiobook, by Robert Crais Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,558 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Crais Narrator: James Daniels Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9781597103763
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] adrenaline-laced…wound-tight thriller.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “It grips the reader in a vise and keeps him there…[This is] the literary equivalent of a summer action movie. Pick it up and you might not be able to put it down.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “Crais takes a simple premise and heaps plot twists upon it with exhilarating speed.”

    Miami Herald

  • Hostage signals a whole new plateau for [Crais’s] writing talent. Excruciatingly suspenseful…this is a story that is almost impossible to putdown.”

    Detroit News/Free Press

  • “Crais ratchets up the suspense…His writing is so smooth, one doesn’t even realize one is reading at all: It’s more like watching a Bruce Willis movie.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “Deftly written…Crais shows a remarkable ability to sketch a fully rounded character with a few expert strokes.”

    Newark Star-Ledger

  • “[A] nonstop thrill ride…Pure action…Exhilarating…The thirty-six hours during which Hostage takes place carries more tense scenes than some authors are able to provide in a lifetime of writing.”

    Sun-Sentinel

  • “Seamless suspense fiction. Robert Crais is one of my must-read authors.”

    National and Financial Post (Toronto)

  • “A terrific thriller about terror and redemption.”

    St. Petersburg Times

  • Hostage rockets along…Crais is good at upping the ante, letting the pressure mount, spinning out one quick surprise after another at the end.”

    New Orleans Times-Picayune

  • “An intense story that never lags, never ceases in its full-tilt run for the finish line…Crais seems to get better with each novel.”

    Colorado Springs Gazette

  • “Captivating…Pitch-perfect dialog and a narrative that shifts point of view from character to character, an effective cinematic technique to maintain tension while advancing the plot.”

    Fort Myers News Post

  • “An intense and downright scary drama…Hostage leaves you breathless…Crais is becoming more ambitious with every outing, and this one is no exception. It’s just plain good.”

    Santa Monica Mirror

  • Hostage reads like a book on speed…with the customary nonstop action of a James Patterson barnburner.”

    Memphis Commercial Appeal

  • A 2002 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Finalist
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 2/17/2014

    " Actually started a week ago and finished on july 22 - couldn't put it down; suspenseful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 2/12/2014

    " Good basic thriller, new characters from his other titles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blake Bowen | 2/11/2014

    " This book was amazing!I found my heart racing from the intensity of Talley's negotiations. It had loads of action and a lot of twists and turns. Not to mention a heart racing ending. Get this book!!!!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randy | 1/31/2014

    " Great novel, I own the hardcover. It was made into a terrific movie starring Bruce Willis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maurean | 1/12/2014

    " A captivating page-turner that moved at full speed from the very first page. Very intense and action packed. One review states that "one doesn't realize one is reading at all: Its more like watching a Bruce Willis movie." [Subsequently, it has since BECOME one!) I would have to agree. The characterization and dialogue was fabulous, and kept me glued to the pages....I will look for more by this author "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Metcalf | 1/8/2014

    " Start from the beginning and introduce yourself the Elvis Cole and his best friend Joe Pike. If you enjoy the outlaw detective, with humor and wit, you will not stop reading until you are waiting for the next one. I am!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 1/1/2014

    " Nancy 5 stars; Ron 5 stars "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betti | 12/18/2013

    " This started slow and is NOT an Elvis Cole mystery but the characters were fleshed out nicely and the plot had more than a few twists and turns. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nozz | 12/17/2013

    " Better than the movie, of course, but a little tedious at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 11/30/2013

    " The beginning and the end were worth the read. The rest? Tedious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheila | 5/19/2013

    " I did like this book in the end. It seems the first half, at the least, is a whole lot of background building. All the action takes place must more toward the end and is engrossing to say the least. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Derrick | 5/16/2013

    " Really good book, it is way better then the movie based on this book. If you have watched the movie (or not) I would suggest reading this book it is tons better as most books are. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah Gawryla | 4/9/2013

    " Violent, but somewhat believable, book of a convenience store stick up gone bad. Great dialogue, rough at times, with a big bang of a finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Buford | 3/16/2013

    " A very fast read. Action packed and full of surprises. Now to rent the dvd starring Bruce Willis. I hope they don't butcher the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 EngIIrockz | 2/8/2013

    " This one took a while to catch my interest, which is unusual for a Robert Crais book. Once he starts really ratcheting up the tension it is one pounding moment to the next. I was exhausted by the time I finished reading it. I would call it more thriller than mystery. Worth a read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/26/2013

    " Enjoyed the tension and the fliping points-of-view technique. I'll read this author again. Thought the ending was a bit cheezy but the book was still very entetaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 8/7/2012

    " I enjoyed the book, couldn't put it down. Very, very disappointed in the movie. I know that the movie is rarely as good or better than the book but this was just awful! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 4/26/2012

    " Great suspense but weak character development. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jef | 4/24/2012

    " good quick read - fast paced police story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dominic | 1/3/2012

    " Average airport book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 4/25/2011

    " I liked this one better than most. It was much deeper and really explored the psyche of the of the people involved, especially Elvis Cole. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 4/8/2011

    " A one-off that would have been a terrific movie if they had followed the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jack | 3/27/2011

    " This is the first Crais book without Pike or Cole that I have read, and I liked it very much. What starts out as a seemingly simple crime turns into something much more complicated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drabya | 2/21/2011

    " Sangat membantu mengatasi kejenuhan dan kepenatan di kala menunggu Transjakarta. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 1/24/2011

    " This was movie with Bruce Willis. Forget the movie and read the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wyatt | 1/19/2011

    " Not my favorite. Skip the movie... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 8/27/2010

    " another fascinating plot from my friend Robert. Kept me going right up to the end! Crime fiction has its merits! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 8/13/2010

    " Every now and I again I like to read a thriller, FBI story, murder mystery, etc. Perhaps two and a half stars would be my rating for this story about hostages, those taken by three men, and the negotiator who is hostage to his past. The writing is fine, much of the story seemed unbelievable to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhod | 6/4/2010

    " This was a good tight detective story - enjoyed meeting a new character and the way Crais guided him through a tough situation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 3/10/2010

    " Very suspenseful and much better than the movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 3/5/2010

    " Another fantastic thriller by Crais, this one was brutally gripping and makes me want to see the movie adaptation with Bruce Willis. "

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About the Author
Author Robert Crais

Robert Crais is the American author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Taken, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Some of his other works include Hostage, The Two Minute Rule, and The Monkey’s Raincoat, an Anthony and Macavity Award winner. He is a recipient of The Eye—Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award in 2014. He lives in Los Angeles.

About the Narrator

James Daniels is a labor organization attorney who performed Shakespeare in London, received a Grammy nomination for his audiobook narration, and wrote the hard-boiled noir mystery Ghost Bride. He and his family live in the Midwest.