“Eight gray birds, sitting in dark.
Cold wind blows, it isn’t kind.”
Eight school kids and their teachers are kidnapped by three escaped convicts and are taken hostage in a slaughterhouse in rural Kansas. The FBI is trying to negotiate their release with their abductors. Seems like a run of the mill hostage thriller? It would be. Had it not been for the eight school kids and their teacher to be deaf.
The prime criminal is Lou Handy, savage and brutal who threatens to kill a girl every hour if his demands are not meant. Arthur Potter, the FBI’s top negotiator, tries his best over the time frame of around 18 hours to get the hostages out safely. The cat and mouse game is as thrilling as it can get.
The routine hostage-release drama is convoluted and twisted by Deaver to bring out subtle nuances of relationships that develop between the hostage, the kidnapper and the rescuer. The hearing impairment of the hostages lends a subtext to the story overall and Deaver sprinkles illuminating factoids across the pages that bring out the scope of the drama in a more vivid manner.
When I read the book, I found it to be disturbing in some ways. But the twists and turns never ceased to shock. Deaver weaves a thriller so complex and tight, it is amazing to find a love story blooming amidst all the thorns.
Read the complete review here.