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The Wrong Hostage by Elizabeth Lowell

The Wrong Hostage

by Elizabeth Lowell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: St. Kilda Consulting (2)

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Judge Grace — old rogue boyfriend her son kidnapped Drug Trade — Mexican Border — good

When federal judge Grace Silva's teenage son Lane Franklin is taken hostage, Grace knows the only man who can help her is Joe Faroe, the very same man Grace spent a passionate weekend with 16 years ago before she helped send him to jail. Lane is being held prisoner in All Saints School, a private Catholic high school in Mexico, by drug lord Hector Rivas Osuna, the "Butcher of Tijuana," who is demanding the return of money "stolen" from him by his former business associate and Grace's ex-husband, Ted Franklin. The problem is that Grace has not heard from Ted in more than three weeks, and time is running out for Lane. With no other options available, Grace contacts Joe, a former kidnap specialist, hoping he can be persuaded to forget their past differences and rescue Lane before it is too late.
  christinejoseph | Dec 30, 2016 |
The Wrong Hostage
3.5 Stars

Grace Silva is a federal judge backed into a corner when her teenage son is taken hostage by Mexican drug traffickers. With time running out, Grace turns to the only man she has ever loved and the one who believes she betrayed him 16 years ago: Joe Faroe, an operative with St. Kilda’s Consulting. As Grace and Joe work together to save her son, old feelings resurface and old secrets come to light. Can Grace and Joe leave the past behind to rescue her child before it is too late?

Series note: Although this is book #2 in the series, it can be read as a standalone as there is no connection to the previous installment either in terms of plot or characters.

Despite the rather stereotypical and prejudiced portrayal of Mexico and Mexicans and the somewhat far-fetched and convoluted storyline, The Wrong Hostage is fast-paced and action packed with a touch of romance.

Grace and Joe’s romance takes a back seat to the drug cartel/money laundering storyline. Nevertheless, they have an interesting backstory (which could have been better developed) and some solid chemistry. The secret keeping trope is thankfully kept to a minimum and leads to very little angst although what there is, is believable given the circumstances.

The best aspect of the story is Grace with her no nonsense, take no prisoners attitude and her transition from a naive believer in the rule of law to a woman who understand the realities of life. There are definitely no TSTL moments from this heroine and her reactions to her dirtbag ex made me smile.

Joe is your typical alpha male, covert operative, but he is exceedingly good at his job and his actions and decisions are appropriate and believable. It doesn't hurt that he is very yummy!

The secondary characters from the enigmatic head of St. Kilda’s to Grace’s willful teenage son to the disgusting drug lord and his minions are all fleshed out well and contribute to the overall effect of the story. If there is one small nitpick, it is that some passages are overly descriptive and the book could have been 50 pages shorter.

All in all, the likable characters and suspenseful storyline make this a worthwhile read. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
This was my first Elizabeth Lowell novel. I think I have found a new favorite writer. I've since read a second of her books and liked it as well. It was a nice blend of romance and action/suspense. I didn't spend an inordinate amount of time trying to suspend my disbelief, which is something I appreciated. Not that I won't read books that are flat out over the top. I have read and enjoyed some that were utterly absurd if taken too seriously. But I dislike trying to plod through a book where the writer is taking the characters seriously yet makes a habit of having them do things that are wholly out of character or utterly ridiculous. Neither of these pet peeves was an issue in this book. The characters were likable to me and acted within reason, as far as I was concerned. Judge Grace Silva was a strong woman who saw the world through the black and white lens of the law until circumstances forced her to reevaluate her beliefs. Her journey through this process was believable to me. All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense and I will certainly be reading more of Ms. Lowell's work in the future. ( )
1 vote JennieLeigh | May 23, 2011 |
Good book but slow starting...

The first few chapters were hard to get through but then it was easy to follow and finish. Although I've never read Elizabeth Lowell I thought that her writing style for drama and thrillers was great but I don't think she should mix too much romance into her stories. ( )
  Sunflower6_Cris | Aug 28, 2009 |
"Wrong" is a good word here because there was so much about this book that just struck me as wrong. First the heroine, Grace Silva, is a supposedly strong intelligent woman who is a federal district court judge and I liked her at first. But then we learn about all the incredibly stupid things she has done. Grace was dating her future husband, Ted, when she has a brief weekend affair with the hero, Joe Faroe. They part ways and she marries her boyfriend anyway not telling him that she is not sure if he is the father of the child she is carrying (not a spoiler).

I'm making excuses for her at this point thinking, well she was young. But her stupidity continues. Eventually they learn that Ted is not the father and he is pretty pissed when he finds out. He has affair after affair and treats her and her son like dirt and still she stays with him for years. She never tells her son or Joe, the biological father, the truth. Ted is a real slimeball and does some pretty bad things and she finally divorces him. This is all back story. When the book begins her son, Lane, now 15, had been caught hacking into his school's computer to change his grades and Grace sends him away to a strict private school in Mexico at the insistence of her ex. Now, I ask you, what kind of idiot mother would do this? Ted is not the boy's father and treats him like dirt. Yet she agrees to send him away to another country to a secluded private school on his recommendation.
Let's make a list of how highly intelligent this woman is, shall we.

1) Has an affair and cheats on her future husband
2) Gets pregnant (where is the birth control)
3) Lies by omission to husband about pregnancy
4) Doesn't tell biological father or her son when she finally figures it out
5) Stays with rat bastard cheating husband who treats son like dirt
6) Sends son away out of the country to private school because rat bastard ex-husband insists

One or two of these things would not bother me at all. I've seen them all before in lots of other books and it doesn't make me fly off the handle. But that last item really threw me. I just don't buy it.

Grace receives a call from the principal demanding she come to the school in Ensenada, telling her he needs to discuss something about Lane, and she drops everything and drives from San Diego into Mexico. When she gets there she discovers that Lane is a prisoner and will be killed unless millions of dollars stolen by her ex-husband from one of the most powerful drug lords in Mexico are returned.

Grace can't go to the law if she wants to keep her son alive so she contacts her former lover (and Lane's father) Joe Faroe. And what a coincidence, he happens to be a kidnapping specialist for a private firm called St. Kilda Consulting. He agrees to help because of their past history, but when she finally reveals that Lane is his son, he is understandably pissed. And she deserves his disgust.

The plot was full of fast paced action and suspense but it was very confusing and sometimes boring. But the worst part - there was very little romance. The spark between Grace and Joe was almost non-existent.

What has happened with Elizabeth Lowell? I used to love her writing. I loved the steamy sex and alpha heroes. Loved the Only series. Loved the Donovan family series (except for some minor irritations). Loved Running Scared (OK, just the sex in the elevator scene). Loved To the Ends of the Earth, Too Hot to Handle (sex on horseback scene) and Love Song for a Raven. Lowell was famous for her sizzling sex scenes. But there was no sex in this book. Zilch. Nada. Did I miss it somehow? Were there two pages stuck together? Or was my copy missing some pages? Did I accidentally skim over it because I was so pissed off or bored with it all? Did they print a G-rated abridged edition for Sunday School teachers and little old ladies? Someone help me out here.

Maybe it's her age. How old is Lowell, anyway? Since she has been writing for 30 years, she must be in her 50s or 60s. Why has she left out the sex? I can't think of any other authors who have stopped including sex scenes the older they got. I know NR must be in her 50s and she's still going strong (with the sex scenes, people).

EL was one of the BIG romance authors, almost right up there with NR. EL has 30 books that have been on the NYT list. She just puts her name on a book and it sells millions of copies. But Nora is still consistently good. EL ... not so much any more. Is she just sitting back and resting on her laurels? I don't know but I think she has officially jumped the shark for me. GRADE: D+ ( )
1 vote reneebooks | Aug 3, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lowell, Elizabethprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tucci, MariaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The phone rang four times before Judge Grace Silva pulled her head out of the legal documents she was reviewing.
Prologue: Lane Franklin told himself that he shouldn't freak out.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060829834, Mass Market Paperback)

The latest masterwork from one of the leading writers of suspense . . . New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell returns with a chilling tale of the law gone wrong and a kidnapping that threatens more than one life.

The Wrong Hostage

Orphaned at thirteen, Grace Silva clawed her way out of poverty and violence to become one of the most respected judges on the federal bench. Grace believes in the rule of law -- lives it, breathes it. She has always been buttoned up and buttoned down.

Except once.

Joe Faroe has learned that laws are made by politicians, and politicians are all too human. He believes in the innocents, the ones getting ground up by governments that are too polarized or too corrupt to protect their own citizens. He's been through the political meat grinder himself. It cost him his career, his freedom, and the woman who still haunts him. Since then Faroe has worked outside the rules and politics of government as a kidnap specialist for St. Kilda Consulting, a Manhattan-based global business that concentrates on the shadow world where governments can't go. He is good at his work -- intelligent, confident, ruthless.

Until a friend dies trying to kill him.

Now Faroe is out of the business. Retired. He's through trying to save a world that doesn't want to be saved.

Then Grace comes to him, past and present collide, and Faroe finds himself sucked back into the shadows, tracking a violent killer who holds the life of Grace's son in his bloody hands.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:12 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Orphaned at thirteen, Grace Silva clawed her way out of poverty and violence to become one of the most respected judges on the federal bench. Grace believes in the rule of law - lives it, breathes it. She has always been buttoned up and buttoned down. Except once." "Until a friend dies trying to kill him. Now Faroe is out of the business. Retired. He's through trying to save a world that doesn't want to be saved. Then Grace comes to him, past and present collide, and Faroe finds himself sucked back into the shadows, tracking a violent killer who holds the life of Grace's son in his bloody hands."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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