In the latest installment of this author's Jack Swyteck series, Jonathan Davis gives an uplifting performance to an implausible plot. A homeless man, who has access to several hundred thousand dollars, kidnaps Swyteck's best friend, Theo, who is tough and streetwise and is, thus, an unlikely victim. Factor in a female police officer who is the mayor's daughter who, in turn, is in love with a blind hostage negotiator - and you have a smorgasbord of improbable fun. Davis to his credit, gives this melodrama a spirited performance in clear, authoritative tones. He's at his best when describing the kidnapping, the most exciting scene in the story.
Panicked and on the run, Falcon takes Jack's best friend, Theo, as hostage. They end up barricaded in a motel room, and Theo isn't the only one at Falcon's mercy. Jack has to work with the cops and their crackerjack hostage negotiator to free Theo and the other hostages before Falcon decides he has nothing to lose by killing them all.
But what Jack doesn't know is that Falcon has a much bigger agenda, and that people behind the scenes will stop at nothing to keep their dangerous secrets. Thus unfolds a lightning-paced story, as only James Grippando can tell it.
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©2007 James Grippando; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
This makes Jonathan Davis my new favorite narrator, not because the story is so good (I give that a 3+), but because Davis slips so effortlessly in and out of the various Miami characters in this story, after he had had me in stitches with his rendition of Texas characters in "Guilt Trip." This is the first Jack Swytek story I've found entertaining all the way through. It ended up in a much different place than I expected at the beginning, so I appreciate Grippando for that. Even got me to listen through some chapters of a hostage situation, though I usually try to avoid the misery of most kidnap and/or hostage stories. The author broke up the hostage part well with background info, but it might not have kept my interest so well without Davis's skillful, yet simultaneously relaxed style of narration.
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