The Hostage
John Ryder

November 22, 2021
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The Hostage by John Ryder Review by Lauri Murphy

Jerome Prentice opened his eyes to find himself staring down the barrel of a gun.

With this opening sentence, the rocket ride that is The Hostage grabs the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go. This is a fast-paced thriller about abduction, greed and love with an unlikely protagonist in unassuming accountant Jerome Prentice.

College sweethearts Jerome and Alicia Prentice are still madly in love, happily married and working for the same conglomerate, Beck Holdings. All comes tumbling when armed, masked gunmen wake them in the middle of the night and take Alicia hostage. To get her back Jerome must redirect $50 million from Beck Holdings, convert it to crypto currency and parcel it out to multiple accounts. All this while circumventing the various governmental and internal accounting controls put in place to stop just such an effort. For upstanding and law-abiding Jerome it is never an option not to do as instructed to get Alicia back. What the abductors don’t count on is Jerome’s resourcefulness and determination to find Alicia before he must break the law and meet their demands. Armed with knowledge derived from watching action movies and playing PlayStation games, Jerome sets out to rescue Alicia and thwart her abductors.

Told from Jerome’s and Alicia’s point of view, the reader feels Alicia’s terror and Jerome’s resolve in this cat and mouse thriller. Up against abductors who seem to be one step ahead of him, Jerome’s decision making, while sometimes questionable, moves the plot along at a pace that seldom allows the reader to catch their breath. Add in the twists at pivotal points and one comes up with an absorbing, exciting read.

Lauri Murphy is a retired college professor who spends her retirement happily reading, biking and hiking the trails in Northwest Montana. Trying to make a dent in her to be read pile is what gets her through the long winters.