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Hostage - Robert Crais When a convenience store robbery takes an ugly turn, the three perpetrators take a family hostage, leaving small town police chief Jeff Talley to sort the mess out. Is Talley, whose life fell apart after a failed hostage situation years earlier, up to the task?

Much like with Demolition Angel, I have to admit that I was skeptical about Hostage, one of Robert Crais' standalone books. Like with Demolition Angel, I had nothing to worry about.

Hostage is the tale of several hostage situations. The Smith family are held hostage by Dennis Rooney and the gang after their robbery, Jeff Talley is held hostage by his own past, and... well, I hold off on mentioning the hostage situation in the book.

Hostage is a page turner of the highest magnitude. Crais uses frequent viewpoint shifts to great affect. While the shifts sometimes annoy me in his other books, they are perfectly used here. Twist after twist come flying at Talley and the reader, some obvious, others coming out of left field. The only way it would have been harder to put down was if it were handcuffed to my wrist.

Talley is a great lead character, plagued with doubts and concerns for his estranged family. The villains are well done, a believable bunch of fairly clueless criminals, although there's much more to Mars than originally indicated.

Once again, Crais delivered the goods. I'm not planning on watching the movie adaptation starring Bruce Willis, though.