Jonathan "Digger" Grave, level-headed fixer and planner, returns in John Gilstrap's newest thriller, HOSTAGE ZERO (scheduled for July release). Teaming up with "the Big Guy," best known as Boxers to his friends, Grave is working what should be a simple retrieval of a pair of kidnapped children. With the explosives capacity of his buddy, and the computer skills of Venice Alexander behind them both, Grave should be able to resolve the situation quickly. Yes? Umm, no.
The trouble is, this is no simple grab-for-money caper. The two boys seized in a raid on the school Jonathan cares fiercely for, Resurrection House, aren't the orphans that many think live at the school, either. Even more grimly, as the team digs into what's happened to the boys, it appears that one of them has been captured for long-term leverage on people of national importance. And where would you hide a boy that you needed to keep for, umm, years??
Hint: You wouldn't hide him anywhere that's easy to get to. Or safe.
Jonathan slammed the table with his palm. "Stop!" Everyone jumped. "Box. Gail and Ven. Let's be clear we understand what we're doing here. Look at the screen." He pointed, but they continued to stare at him, startled. "Look at him, goddammit."This fiercely suspenseful action thriller is packed with violent maneuvers, clear lines between "our side" and "them," and situations that insist that the light stays on for reading another chapter, even though the clock is steadily heading toward morning. Don't read it on a night when you've got to get eight hours of sleep ... this one is really tough to put down. And if the finale is a bit wilder than Grave and his team had planned, well, that's no surprise, is it?
Their heads pivoted to the projected image of Evan Guinn. His face seemed small under his thick helmet of white hair. His blue eyes blazed. "Evan Guinn was my responsibility," Jonathan said. "He continues to be my responsibility. If Ven is right -- and Ven is always right -- that boy has just been folded into luggage. Luggage, people. Like so much dirty underwear. We need to fix this." He wondered if his hands might be trembling.
Heavy silence devoured the room. Boxers dared to be the one to speak. "Calm down, Dig. We're all on the same team. We'll get the job done. This isn't the first time we've rescued a kid."
His anger continued to burn. "It's never been one of my own," he said.
This is a classic John Gilstrap novel, the second featuring Grave (the first was NO MERCY), and a great addition to the thriller shelves.