It’s always a treat to be asked to review books from John Ryder and having had a sneaky preview as a beta reader for The Hostage I was delighted to be asked to review the published copy!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says
“You get us what we want. Or your wife dies. And we will make it hurt.”
Jerome Prentice is a good guy. Loyal to a fault, he always stays on the right side of the law.
But everything changes the night he is awoken by the sound of masked kidnappers entering his home. Holding him at gunpoint, they drag his beloved wife Alicia out of the house with a promise to kill her if he goes to the police. Their demand: betray the company he’s worked for his entire adult life.
They think he’ll do anything to save his wife. But they don’t know that they’re messing with the wrong man. Because Jerome might be a good guy. But betrayal doesn’t come easily to him. And he’s not a man who will go down without a fight.
What’s more, he will hunt the people who’ve taken Alicia to the ends of the earth. And if they’ve hurt even one hair on her head, he’s going to make them pay…
Once again, John Ryder drags his readers into his latest novel with that killer hook opening that he has become renowned for. Well and truly hooked and invested from the first chapter and then it just keeps giving! This author sure knows how to drip feed his readers tension by writing ticking time bomb thrillers! Short, sharp chapters add to the sense of pace and kept me turning the pages long after my bedtime.
Jerome and Alicia are probably the least likely couple you would think to be of any interest to kidnappers, they are the epitome of good guys, the all-round decent people who just get in with their lives and help out others along the way. and that is what makes the plot all the more chilling; there is nothing better than ordinary people caught up in a spiders web of deceit and corruption. And the way in which the kidnappers dangled Alicia on a string, with a strange sort of respect alongside the clear threat on her life meant I was left wondering just how far her husband would go to save her life! Nail biting suspense indeed!
John Ryder is known for his explosive storylines, the kind that push at the boundaries of reality yet still manage to draw his readers in and keep them glued to the pages, and The Hostage is no exception to this.
I found myself firmly inside the heads of both Alicia and Jerome, rooting for them for part of the time and yelling “nooooooo don’t do that” at others. Alicia’s feisty nature at times made me think she was going to end up on the last nerve of her kidnappers while Jerome could have done with some of her balls! Yet, despite his initial quiet ways, he had other skills, he was not as naive as he perhaps came across and so those two very different personalities in the mix led to some delicious suspense as the author notched up the chill factor right until the last minute. Full of thrills and spills, with some unlikely heroes, The Hostage is a must for lovers of thrillers and once again this author has created a story that would work wonders on the big screen!
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About the author
John Ryder is a former farmworker and joiner. He’s turned his hand to many skills to put food on the table and clothes on his back. A life-long bibliophile, he eventually summoned the courage to try writing himself, and his Grant Fletcher novels have drawn inspiration from authors such as Lee Child, Tom Cain, Zoe Sharp and Matt Hilton. When it comes to future novels, he says he has more ideas than time to write them.
When not writing, John enjoys spending time with his son, reading and socialising with friends. A fanatic supporter of his local football team, he can often be found shouting encouragement to men much younger and fitter than he is.