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Hostage Taker: A Novel by Stefanie Pintoff

Hostage Taker: A Novel

by Stefanie Pintoff

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Pintoff's last three novels (which I have read) have been historical mysteries, and I enjoyed them all. Was a little apprehensive and maybe a little disappointed when I read that this one was set in current times, but since I love this author's writing, I though why not give it a try? So very glad I did. This was fast paced, a super charged thriller, tense, suspenseful and thankfully for this reader, the start of a new series.

The Vidocq Unit, headed by Eve Rossi, a hostage negotiator, comes together in response to a crisis situation in St. Patrick's Cathedral. The Cathedral is the true star of this novel, loved reading about the ins and outs of the cathedral, the secret passages, have never been but hope to one day. This is a story where the truth must be uncovered, not only to save the cathedral, which is heavily wired with explosives, but also to save the unknown quantity of the hostages inside. So one by one information is uncovered, pieced together in an attempt to form a picture. What does the Hostage Taker want. What are his motives and first of all who is he?

This lady can write and write well. Fell for this unit of misfits, and look forward to their next case.

ARC from publisher. ( )
  Beamis12 | Aug 27, 2015 |
This book got my attention immediately when a terrified woman was holding a sign reading "help me" on the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral on the day of the Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center. It's the start of an exciting and suspenseful thriller featuring Eve Rossi, whose participation is specifically demanded by the hostage taker. This book is the first in a projected series about Special Agent Rossi, an FBI profiler and hostage negotiator who has been on bereavement leave following the death of her stepfather, a CIA agent. Rossi was formerly in charge of the Vidocq Unit, composed of reformed criminals with special talents, which they now use to enforce the laws they used to break.

While I liked this book a lot, it could have been shorter. I thought it was unoriginal, contrived and unnecessary to resort to the tired plot of "getting the old gang of outlaws back together for one more caper". I didn't really need to know the back stories of the team members and I'm pretty sure that the FBI already employed people with the necessary skill sets, which weren't that remarkable. Also unnecessary were the news bulletins about the hostage situation. These bulletins were interspersed among the chapters which actually carried the story forward, and unfortunately dissipated the tension. The whole CIA agent thing was also irrelevant to this story, but maybe the author is setting something up for the next book. Basically, I thought there was a lot of filler that should have been trimmed.

Nevertheless, I thought the book was well written and cleverly plotted, with a good twist at the end, although there was a lot of reliance on coincidences and I felt that the hostage taker's motivation was pretty shaky. The New York City details were spot on. I definitely want to read the next book in the series.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. ( )
  fhudnell | Aug 26, 2015 |
A special thank you to Random House/Ballantine and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The HOSTAGE TAKER by Stefanie Pintoff, a new riveting urban contemporary thriller series, featuring Eve Rossi negotiator FBI agent for an intense suspense roller-coaster crime thriller ride.

What starts as a shooting outside of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan revolves into a dangerous and complex hostage situation. At stake are not only the lives of the hostages but the fate of the most iconic church in the country.

Eve Rossi, is head of a secret division of the FBI. Most of the eclectic team is a mix of highly intelligent professionals, criminals, and ex-convicts, a secret squad known as the VIDOCQ Unit.

On the day of the Christmas Rockefeller Center tree lighting, in New York, a man barricades himself and an unknown number of hostages inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He requests Eve Rossi, who’s on bereavement leave following her stepfather’s death, a former a former CIA operative.

Eve is called back to work; however, the mysterious hostage situation is complex and so many elements are on the line. He wants five individuals brought to the scene to act as "witnesses" to the events. As the terror and intensity heats up, as the clock ticks, getting close to the deadline-- things do not go as planned.

I enjoyed the news breaks by the hour, with new correspondents, and the visual classified VIDOCQ files listing the individual's expertise, age, and criminal record, (along with their strengths and weaknesses), etc. --adding to the drama. The Author's Note was a nice addition with, master-of disguise, Eugene Francois Vidocq.

A fast-paced, suspense, with a strong and compelling protagonist heroine, pulling you into the terrifying drama unfolding with a deadly standoff; dark secrets, and special talents from the team.

My first book by Pintoff, spinning a twisted well-developed crime thriller page-turner– Hope to see more of Eve Rossi!

Fans of Lisa Gardner and Tami Hoag will enjoy this new thriller, HOSTAGE TAKER. ( )
  JudithDCollins | Aug 15, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034553140X, Hardcover)

From Edgar Award winner Stefanie Pintoff comes the start of an electrifying new thriller series featuring Eve Rossi, head of a secret division of the FBI—one made up of ex-convicts with extraordinary talents, oversized egos, and contempt for the rules. Perfect for readers of Iris Johansen and Catherine Coulter.
In the hushed quiet of early morning Manhattan, in front of the towering bronze doors of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, a young woman holds a sign that reads: HELP ME. For one FBI agent, a madman’s terrified hostages, and an entire city, a long and harrowing day is about to unfold.
The hostage taker’s identity is unknown. But he knows who FBI agent Eve Rossi is—and everything about her past. Along with her presence, he demands five witnesses: ordinary people with some hidden connection. Defying her superiors, Eve begins a deadly dance with an adversary whose intentions are surely sinister, whose endgame is anything but certain, and whose cunning keeps him one step ahead at every turn.
As Eve manages a taut hostage situation, she relies on the combined skills of her team—a secret unit inspired by France’s most notorious criminal and made up of ex-convicts with extraordinary talents, oversized egos, and contempt for the rules.
Eve is up against a rapidly ticking clock. But the dangerous man calling the shots has a timetable of his own—and a searing question for his targets: What are you guilty of? As shocking revelations surface, so does another crisis nobody could anticipate—one not even Eve and her team may be able to stop.

Advance praise for Hostage Taker
“The perfect blend: an urban thriller as modern as tomorrow’s New York Times, driven by a two-hundred-year-old idea, with a main character to die for. I hope we see plenty more of Eve Rossi and her team.”—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Personal
“A high-velocity roller coaster of a thriller! With her razor-sharp prose and keen ear for cop-and-street-speak, Pintoff ingeniously spins this twist-filled tale of a delicious assortment of good guys with less-than-good pasts, marshaled by one of the most compelling protagonists to come along in years. Heroes don't get any better—or come any more fully formed and richly drawn—than Eve Rossi.”—Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Skin Collector
Hostage Taker is a brilliant thriller from a gifted writer. Stefanie Pintoff expands her range with this ambitious and masterfully crafted tale, and the result is a tension-filled tightrope walk of a novel. Stefanie Pintoff is one of the best crime writers at work today.”—Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead
“Fast-paced . . . an addictive read.”—Kirkus Reviews
Hostage Taker is one of the most exciting and thoroughly engaging thrillers that I have read in years. Reading this book is like riding a rifle bullet: It starts at full throttle and never slows down. A great start to what promises to be a terrific new series.”—John Gilstrap, New York Times bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave thriller series

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:33:22 -0400)

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