53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
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.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2002
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.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
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!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2001
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.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2000
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I read the hardback "24 Hours" not "Trapped" as someone else indicated below. It was the first of his books that I have read, but I understand that Dead Sleep (which I will read next) was even better. This is a story of a kidnapping, the 5th of its kind for the kidnappers, none of the previous kidnappings having been reported, all "successful" as planned, and all are children of Doctors. The kidnapper uses his real name, lets the victims see his face, and his motto is "the kid always makes it," although the story leads the reader to wonder if the current kidnapping has the same rules as the previous kidnappings, as there seems to be a real personal agenda in this one. I thought it was well done and it kept my interest, as we get to see what really motivates the main kidnapper, Joe Hickey, how he manipulates his accomplices in the crime, his wife and semi-retarded cousin, and why he commits these crimes. He never asks for exorbitant amounts of money, only what he knows the victim (Doctor) can afford and come up with in 24 hours. I disagree that it was boring, and although some of it was predictable, I still recommend it as a good book to read.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2001
This book has all the thrill and suspense of James Patterson's "Along Came A Spider." For those who are devoted Greg Iles fans, this one rates close behind his successful, "Mortal Fear."
In this novel we have a kidnapping plot, a distraught Mom and Dad whose ho-hum marriage is not exactly a garden of passion, a sweet little girl, a fiendish villain who is the mastermind of the plot, and the villain's somewhat challenged cousin who is also his partner in crime. The characters are well developed, true-to-life people, and while the plot is not original in nature (kidnappings novels are easy to come by these days and the reason for a four-star rating as opposed to a five) the book is filled from start to finish with action and suspense. It is definitely an all night thriller and I highly expect this one will be a future movie. You won't believe how much action can actually be packed into 24 hours. Great book, fabulous author; that says it all!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
After reading 'The Quiet Game', easily the best myster/legal-thriller I have ever read, I was anxiously waiting for '24-Hours' and let me say right here and now, it was one of the most thrilling stories I have read in a long time. Taking place pretty much over the course of just 24-hours, the pace is frenetic at the very least and once in motion, quite literally never let's up.
The plot is absolutely chilling to anyone who is a parent: your child being kidnapped for ransom. The thing about kidnapping in this country is: the culprits almost never succeed. The FBI captures virtually all of the criminals who are stupid enough to use kidnapping as a means to get rich quick. This is where Joey comes in. He knows how unsuccessful snatching people for ransom is, so he devises a nearly foolproof plan that has worked like a charm 5 times-in-a-row...but that is before Joey decides to make a grab for Abbey, the diabetic daughter of Karen & Will Jennings. His idea is actually incredibly simple: grab the kid, take them someplace isolated...hold Mom and Dad in two other separate locations keeping them apart for the entire 24-hours it takes to pull off the *plan*...which means you need 3 kidnappers in order to make the *plan* work. What Joey did NOT count on, was the determination of Karen & Will. Y'see, Joey is going to make this the FINAL *plan* and intends to move out of country and enjoy the spoils of his evil ways with his partners. He also has something special in store for Will in particular, making this last operation one not only of kidnapping, but of sweet revenge. I can't tell you the WHY, because finding out is half the fun of this rocket-ride of a novel. I CAN tell you that once you begin this thriller, you will be hopelessly caught up in Greg Iles' fertile imagination, one that won't let you go until you reach the final page. The explosive climax is worthy of Hollywood's biggest chase scenes. Word has it that Hollywood is interested in turning this story into a movie, and as long as they didn't screw it up, it would be a great one, too.
I only gave '24-Hours' 4 stars simply because after finishing 'The Quiet Game' I was absolutely stunned with how amazing it was. Greg Iles is a truly gifted storyteller, and it was almost impossible to equal that novel (in my opinion) and as good as '24-Hours' really is, 'The Quiet Game' is still my favorite novel by him. Do NOT let that influence you into NOT buying this book, on the contrary, buy it, read it and enjoy because it is a fabulous book that deserves ALL the positive reviews it has received--and NONE of the negative ones. I am truly mystified at those who did not like this book, and actually went out of their way to bash it. Go figure. For ME, it was great and I Highly Recommend it.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
No question Joey is the best at what he does. Once a year, accompanied by his partners Huey and Cheryl, Joey kidnaps a child. He always succeeds in obtaining the ransom money, returning the child unharmed, and never having the abduction reported to the police. Clearly, Joey belongs in the felons' hall of fame (shame?).
This year, Joey plans to abduct Abby, the five and a half-year-old daughter of Dr. Will and Karen Jennings of Jackson, Mississippi. He has been watching the Jennings for some time to insure his plot goes smoothly and that the parents of the victim fits the mold he needs to succeed. However, this time the abduction has a twist because Will and Karen refuse to idly sit by while Joey orchestrates his dastardly deed. By taking action, has the once happy couple doomed their daughter to become Joey's first casualty?
24 HOURS is an exciting, frantic-paced story line that grips readers much more than Mel Gibson's similar movie. The plot never allows the audience a moment to breath as the tension mounts to almost unbearable levels only to rise further due to the MORTAL FEAR that the precocious Abby will die, something fans will not want to happen because they care. As usual with a Greg Iles work (see THE QUIET GAME), the key players seem genuine as if they are next door neighbors and the plot feels authentic, adding to the overall helpless terror in the pit of the sympathizing reader's stomach. Mr. Iles is at his nightmarish best with this abduction tale that takes no prisoners.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Greg Iles is an excellent author even though this is not his best book. With 24 Hours, he takes the theme of kidnapping and applies a unique twist to it. Then he makes that twist about as entertaining as possible. This book doesn't have the deep plot or character development of Mortal Fear or Spandeau Phoenix, the other two Iles books I've read, but in does entertain you with non stop action and suspense.
The kidnappers Joe, Cheryl and Huey each pair up with a member of their target family. Iles develops three different story lines. The evil Joe is with the wife, Karen. Cheryl is with husband Will. And Huey is with Abbey. The first part of the book is carried by sexual tension between the characters. The kidnappers know sex can be a powerful weapon, and they attempt to use it to their advantage. The last half of the book devolves into a race for Will and Karen to get to their daughter before the kidnappers get their ransom money. While there isn't a lot of charcterization, I felt for Will and Karen as they struggled to find a way to live through the kidnapping with their family intact. All readers can relate in someway to the plight of possibly losing a loved one.
This book is being made into a movie and some reviewers gripe that the author wrote this book specifically to be made into a movie. That may be true, but I don't think that is a bad thing. As long as it is entertaining, then I don't really care what format the story is in.
Iles is an excellent author who is able to write entertaining stories without rehashing characters from previous novels. As far as I can tell, he is one of the few authors that does this.