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The Wrong Hostage: A Novel

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The Wrong Hostage: A Novel [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Lowell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 13, 2006

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.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A mother's worst nightmare of an endangered child is just one breathless element of Lowell's latest romantic thriller (after Always Time to Die). Newly divorced California judge Grace Silva discovers her billionaire ex-husband, Ted Franklin, is missing, after she's summoned to the exclusive Mexican prep school where her 15-year-old computer whiz son, Lane, is being held hostage. Ted has crossed Hector Rivas Osuna, the ruthless kingpin of the most violent crime family in Tijuana, and Grace learns that Lane will be killed if she doesn't turn over the millions Ted has stolen from Osuna. She seeks the help of Joe Faroe, an ex who predated Ted and who may be Lane's biological father; Joe works for an elite private investigation firm. Lowell's convincing depiction of the Mexican drug trade illuminates the dangerous intersection of her characters' personal lives with international politics and organized crime. Events unfold in a maze of talk and double-talk, but the payoff is solid as the family reunites, finding that both love and the price of freedom are nonnegotiable. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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. A New York Times best-selling author, Lowell brilliantly mingles danger, deception, and desire to create a captivating story that is edgy, sexy, and completely satisfying. With its superbly defined protagonists and high-octane, white-knuckle plot, this is romantic suspense at its best. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 406 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060829818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060829810
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Make room on your bookshelf for this daring romantic suspense novel from Elizabeth Lowell. Add THE WRONG HOSTAGE to THE DANVERS TOUCH, TELL ME NO LIES and the Donovan family series of books that hopefully are already in your personal library. But whether you are reading Lowell for the first time or are familiar with her previous works, this story will entice you to pick up one of her books. This reviewer was reminded of how Lowell's writing and storytelling abilities have set her apart from the many romantic suspense authors. She writes with an intensity and passion that few can match.

Grace Silva was orphaned at 13. By combining her drive and intelligence, she climbed her way out of poverty and violence to become one of the most esteemed judges on the federal bench. Judge Silva is a judge personified; law is her life and maybe her religion. It is more important to her than anything, except her 15-year-old computer wizard son, Lane.

Recently divorced, Judge Silva discovers that former husband Ted Franklin has disappeared. The wealthy businessman has not been heard from for over three weeks. To make matters worse, she is summoned to their son's expensive prep school in Mexico only to learn that Lane is being held hostage. Ted's business dealings with Hector Rivas Osuna, a ruthless, violent and powerful man in Mexico, have put them both in jeopardy.

Grace must find Ted to get him to turn over millions of dollars that he stole from Hector in just two days, or their son will be killed. So she turns to ex-lover Joe Faroe. Joe recently retired from the elite St. Kilda Consultants, a global private investigation firm based in Manhattan. He left St. Kilda after being betrayed by a friend when on assignment.
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54 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not her best work June 20, 2006
As a longtime Elizabeth Lowell fan, this book was a big disappointment. Ever since the end of the Donovan family books, I have not enjoyed her writing. In this book, the characters are hard to relate to, and the plot is confusing. The reader receives very little background on the characters, and Lowell jumps right into the action. The beginning plot of the story shows promise, when the reader learns that the main character, Grace, discovers that her son is being held hostage in Mexico and she must consult someone from her past (Joe) to help her save her son. There is no "spark" between Grace and Joe. The great flirty sexy banter and sexual tension that Lowell does so well is absent in this book. I just never bought into their relationship, and I couldn't feel myself in the book. The plot is also very complicated. Grace and Joe make many trips between the U.S. and Mexico, negotiating with various Mexican gangs and leaders. Often, I couldn't even tell which country they were in, or who they were negotiating with. They were many Spanish phrases and customs thrown in, which really threw me for a loop. If you're not familiar with the story's location and third world politics, you'll probably also get confused. I found it difficult to even finish the book. At about the halfway point, it could have ended. All of sudden, Lowell throws in various twists and loops that drags the story through 100 more pages - most are predictable, the rest are confusing and/or unnecessary. I hope Lowell will soon return to what she does best - romantic suspense set in the jewelry world, with indentifiable characters and sensical plots.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a letdown June 25, 2006
I should start by saying that I LOVE Elizabeth Lowell. I have all of her books, and some of them I've read 5 or 6 times. Maybe my expectations were too high, then, for this latest novel - but I found it boring, uninvolving, and just plain bad. Before even finishing the first chapter, I found myself checking the publication date to see if maybe this was one of those instances where the publishing house had re-released something from the author's earliest days under a new title. Sadly, no - it's just a boring book, no excuses. The characters are unlikable, poorly developed, and you have no idea why they would even want each other (except for the supposedly hot sex). The background of the Mexican drug trade takes over the book, and it becomes a lesson in political science more than a romance novel. If you're looking for a good Lowell contemporary romance, pick up any of her Donovan series, where she keeps the characters and their relationship in the forefront and hooks you in until you can't put the book down.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Wrong Hostage November 10, 2006
While entertaining, I found several times that the story slowed down and got a little preachy about the politics of drug money. While probably true it distracted from the story by being repeated and heavy handed. I also found the timeline hard to believe. Maybe because I have lived in the area and understand the distances (and traffic) travelled in short periods of time. I am a big Elizabeth Lowell fan (as well as Ann Maxwell) but this was not one of her better books.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, boring, boring June 23, 2006
This is the first mystery/thriller I've read by Elizabeth Lowell and I can guarantee that it will be the last. In The Wrong Hostage, Lowell brings us the story of Grace Silva, a law abiding and optimistic judge in Southern California. Silva's son Lane has been taken hostage by a group of Mexican criminals who are holding him at a Catholic school across the border until her ex-husband returns the money he stole from them. With 48 hours to save Lane's life, Silva turns to the only person she can, kidnap specialist Joe Faroe--who incidentally happens to be Lane's biological father.

Judge Silva puts up the appearance of being so completely against doing anything criminal in one moment, but then changes her mind when she thinks of her son and is willing to kill for him the next. Her character is overly optimistic about her son's chances when she really just needs a reality check or a wake-up call. I got so sick of her hypocritical comments that I frequently just found myself skimming her lines until something better came along. Joe Faroe was a nice counterpoint for that, but even his realistic nature and hard-faught realism couldn't save this boring storyline.

This novel moved along at a snail's pace with barely enough action to keep me interested. I was tempted several times to just put it down, but I wanted to believe that Lowell had something better coming along the way. I was so wrong. The only thing this book is good for is cliched Mexican slang, hard to decipher metaphors and detective jargon you could learn watching repeats of NYPD Blue. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere for a little drama.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great reading exciting to the very end
Published 10 days ago by DMH
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good romance/very good adventure/action.
Published 2 months ago by Tuneduc8r
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked that the female character was very strong and quite ...
This was a very readable thriller, romance. I liked that the female character was very strong and quite capable.
Published 3 months ago by Msb60
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing look at Mexican drug trade
Though this was a very different book than the ones I've read by one of my favorite authors. It was a fascinating look at the drug trade, particularly along the California/Mexico... Read more
Published 4 months ago by SA Monk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I like all the st Kilda novels. They are great!
Published 4 months ago by bobbie brooks
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 7 months ago by Mary K. Dempsey
4.0 out of 5 stars good romance with edge-of-seat moments and action.
Always enjoy Lowell's books with action, suspense and romantic tension making you route for the good guy.
Highly recommend it.
Published 7 months ago by Vivian Cheadle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love her books.
Published 7 months ago by Vicky Russell
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great detail regarding the boarder. Great characters and development. Suspenseful but never a climax I expected.
Published 7 months ago by Sylvia Bronner
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
It is a real page turner. The flow keeps the reader interested through out the whole book. The characters are well developed.
Published 7 months ago by Mina
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More About the Author

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has more than thirty million books in print, including historical romance and contemporary romance novels. The series of novels featuring the unforgettable Donovan family--AMBER BEACH, JADE ISLAND, PEARL COVE and MIDNIGHT IN RUBY BAYOU have won acclaim as some of her best romance novels. Her most recent romantic suspense books are DANGEROUS REFUGE and NIGHT DIVER. Her new romance novel PERFECT TOUCH will be out in the summer of 2015.

She has been writing since 1982 and in 1989 became an innovator in the field of romantic suspense. She has over fifty books to her name.

Lowell lives in Nevada with her husband of many years.

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