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YA-- This novel is more a contemplation of relationships than a murder story, as McBain introduces a serious study of the hostage security unit. His descriptions of the good cop, bad cop, abductors, and hostage relationships are true to life and not overdramatized. With the exception of the erotic letters included, this could be used in English class to illustrate how dialogue should be written. Relationships between working partners, married partners, father and daughter, father and son, ex-wives and lovers are successfully explored. Readers have complete knowledge of all characters and their background. There are no superfluous victims or survivors. McBain uses words the way an artist uses colors to illustrate an idea. For those who read on a less complicated level, however, there is a story worth reading. An informative book with lots of excitement.--Kathy Danbury, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA

"Los Angeles Times Book Review"Phenomenally good.

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