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24 Hours Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 367 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Mississippi Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This explosive suspense thriller gets off to a blistering start: the kidnapping of a little boy--in eight breathless pages--that culminates with the child's safe return and the disappearance of the successful kidnappers. That sets the stage for the book's centerpiece, the abduction of little Abby Jennings, daughter of Will, a successful physician, and Karen, a slightly dissatisfied suburban woman who's wondering where the passion in her marriage went. The criminals' modus operandi is established early on. They target the progeny of Mississippi doctors, demand a reasonable (to an affluent M.D.) ransom, release the child after it's paid, and promise the victim parents that if they ever breathe a word of the incident to anyone, their kids will be taken again and killed. The kidnappings are carefully set up, targeted to take place when one parent is out of town at a medical meeting or convention, thus ensuring the cooperation of the other. And the victim is held by a sweet, slightly retarded but humongous and powerful man whose loyalty to his cousin, the mastermind, is unquestioned.

24 Hours is a version of the locked room school of kidnap mysteries and a very good one indeed, especially when Will turns the tables on the kidnapper and takes control of the situation. Abby's diabetic condition (she needs lifesaving injections on a regular basis) notches the suspense up one last turn. It's a well worked-out plot, the pacing is terrific, and the characters likable and attractive. Iles is a master storyteller, and this one has big screen written all over it--with Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as the Jennings, if we're lucky. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

HAs close to family fare as a kidnapper-rapist-extortionist thriller can get, Iles's (The Quiet Game) latest brilliantly plotted tale walks the razor's edge between cinematic excess and bone-chilling suspense. Joe Hickey is a Southern redneck with an Ivy League talent for evil. He has trained his grossly huge, mentally challenged cousin, Huey, and his gorgeous, exotic-dancer, live-in lover, Cheryl, to work with him as part of a tightly controlled kidnap/extortion squad targeting Mississippi physicians' families while the doctors are off at conferences. But he hits a snag when Dr. Will Jennings, his wife, Karen, and their five-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Abby, prove as resourceful solo as they are formidable in tandem. Joe grabs Abby, turning her over to Huey, who drives her off to a remote forest cabin near Jackson; meanwhile, Joe stays behind to terrorize Karen in the Jennings home. Cheryl gets her hooks into the third family member by vamping her way into Will's hotel room in Biloxi, where Will receives a phone call and ransom demand from Joe, who stipulates delivery in 24 hours. It's a long, horrific night for all as Iles pits each of the captives against their captors in riveting battles of will. The well-rounded characters are trademark Iles, the plot runs speed-skating smooth and occasional near-gooey bits of dialogue are offset by nasty surprises and perfectly timed terror. The one-on-one conflicts punch up the pace, and a perfect Mississippi setting, a spot-on sendup of FBI assistance and a hair-raising finale complete the package. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and BOMC alternates. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451203593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451203595
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (367 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
As one might expect based on the title, this novel by Greg Iles covers a 24-hour period. I only wish that I had been able to finish it in 24 hours. The book was extremely good. In fact, it was nearly impossible to put down, continually tugging against work and family obligations. The book grabs you in the first few pages and does not let go, with a storyline of kidnapping for ransom that hits right at every parents' worst nightmare. The intensity and buildup of the story, combined with the ruthlessness of the villain make this a story that is not for the weak of heart. However, as the story progresses, the character development lets the reader understand the egos, anxieties, and motivations of a broad set of characters -- and also drives the reader to form an affinity or antipathy for most characters. It is a very compelling read. I strongly recommend this book.
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By A Customer on September 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a fantastic book! As I said, I read it in one sitting, I was glued to each page. This is the first book I read by Iles, and I plan to get the rest of his books. Iles is a fantastic author. He has the ability to keep the reader hooked to the very last page. He writing style is one of many plot twists and outsandting characters that you want to read about, and care about, even the "bad guys".
This is the story of the Jennings family. They are forced to live a parents worst nightmare, the kidnapping of their child. But they aren't going to sit back and be a victim. They fight back to get their daughter. While this is going on, someone else is also helping the Jennings family, even if they don't know it. Hickey, who plays a role in the kidnapping, tells Karen that he has kidnapped her daughter, she won't be harmed. He's done this before and the child has always walked away. But something about this kidnapping is much different, Hickey isn't really interesting in moeny. What could he be interesetd in? Read this book and find out. There's a movie out now called "Trapped" that's based on this book. I highly, highly, highly suggest you read this book. I can promise you won't be sorry.
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Format: Hardcover
Overall, I would have rated 24 Hours 3 1/2 stars if it were possible to do so in Amazon's rating system. In 24 Hours Iles has delivered another book that moves along at a galloping pace and is packed with lots of suspense. I'd rate this book 4 1/2 stars on these qualities. Unfortunately, I found that I was able to predict much of the action and, in particular, the ending, well in advance of their occurences. Also, while the story is interesting and enjoyable to read, I found that Iles' often severely strained my ability to extend belief in his main characters. Thus, I'd give only 2 1/2 stars to 24 Hours on the dimensions of believability and credibility. Further, while not a major criticism, I would have liked 24 Hours even more if he had provided a brief epilogue to tie up some of the loose threads in the story. Having finished 24 Hours, I have now read all five books Greg Iles has written and I would recommend them all to you. However, if you are considering reading your first book by Iles, I'd recommend Mortal Fear and The Quiet Game above 24 Hours. Enjoy!
1 Comment 36 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Greg Iles lives up to his "master storyteller" title in "24 Hours." The brilliant first chapter summarizes the Perfect Kidnapping-exactly how it's done and the terror it generates.
The characterizations were excellent, particularly five year-old Abby. At last, a five-year old who is neither an overly wise little owl, nor a series of clever one-liners. She is a delightful, vulnerable little girl, which makes her kidnapping all the more chilling. The author devotes considerable care to make his three kidnappers life-like. The mastermind Joe terrorizes with his unpredictability. Joe is shrewd, brutal, kind, violent, and petty by turns and is most dangerous of all when cornered. The female who acts as a lure and a keeper is more to be pitied than to be scorned and has flashes of earthy practicality and humor. Huey, 400 lbs. Of muscle and very little brain completes the trio. Huey is a gentle giant with total loyalty to Joe.
I would have been happier without the little side-story that makes this an unusual caper for the threesome. I believe the story would have been stronger if the attention were focused on a Kidnapping Gone Bad. The FBI gets raked over to a well-done turn by Mr. Iles. It's safe to say standard law enforcement does not meet with his approval. It stretches the limits of belief that all of the FBI is completely entrenched in bureaucracy and overkill. Usually, the author's southern settings give off a flavor of Mississippi, but "24 hours" could just as well have taken place in Cleveland or Omaha.
The story has a thrilling climax (just aching to be filmed-car wrecks and all), and the author keeps cranking up the velocity until you are almost begging for a little peace. A recommended page-turner.
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Format: Hardcover
Iles has a natural talent for pulling the reader into the story, keeping you turning the pages, even when the plot is less than he is capable of. Such was the case with this novel.
My hope is that Greg Iles is not going the way of other writers such as Grisham and often times Crichton who seem to be writing for that "big screenplay deal" and not for the reader. Although largely predictable and sometimes maddingly unrealistic, this work was still an excellent read with some interesting takes and a truly unique plot.
If you haven't read Greg Iles before, don't make this your first one. I would strongly advise Mortal Fear, or The Quiet Game before this..... in fact I would place Spandau Phoenix ahead of this as well even though it is in a slightly different genre.
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