"Aaron Elkins has been hailed as "a master" (The Dallas Morning News) for his Edgar Award-winning Gideon Oliver mysteries. Now, in an original new novel, he illustrates how quickly everything can go wrong when you ask: What's the worst that can happen? For Bryan Bennett, designing hostage negotiation programs is the perfect job--as long as he keeps a safe, theoretical distance. What he can't do is deal directly with kidnappers or their victims, as a result of his own abduction and imprisonment as a small boy. Thirty-some years later, intense nightmares still plague his sleep, and a fear of enclosed spaces prevents him from attempting to travel. So when Bryan's boss asks him to fly to Reykjavik, Iceland, to teach his corporate-level kidnapping and extortion seminar, he automatically says no. But the CEO of GlobalSeas Fisheries, Inc. has specifically requested Bryan--or no one else. Bryan finally relents... For decades he's treaded gingerly around the edges of his deepest terrors. Now, on this trip, Bryan's taken hostage again and must face his fears full-on.
Bryan Bennett, who was kidnapped and held for two months as a five-year-old, has largely overcome that trauma to become a successful hostage negotiator for a Seattle security company in this taut stand-alone from Edgar-winner Elkins (Turncoat). When Bryan's boss, Wally North, asks him to present a "corporate-level kidnapping and extortion seminar" to GlobalSeas, an Icelandic fisheries company, Bryan, who tries to avoid confined spaces, convinces himself that medication will enable him to endure the plane flight. Even Bryan's discovery that Wally neglected to tell him that GlobalSeas' CEO survived an abduction attempt doesn't deter Bryan and actually motivates him to seek professional help for his crippling panic attacks. Once Bryan and his long-suffering wife, who's looking forward to a vacation, arrive in Iceland, he's plunged into a dangerous situation that puts his sanity and life at risk. While a final twist will strike many readers as a cheat, Elkins excels at maintaining tension throughout and in making his hero's difficulties accessible. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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May 03, 2011
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