The Hostage: A BookShot, by James Patterson and Robert Gold

Seven stars

This BookShot story pulls the reader into a high-octane thriller from the opening paragraph. At a private event to mark the opening of the elite Tribeca Luxury Hotel in London, VIPs come together to celebrate the company’s newest addition to a profitable company. During the gathering, all eyes turn upward, where someone is hanging from an upper-storey balcony. The struggle turns deadly and the body plummets to the ground, which turns out to be the owner, Jackson Harlington. The hotel’s Global Head of Security, Jon Roscoe, begins an investigation as the hotel is locked down, seeking to discover where the killer might be hiding on the premises. However, the body attracts the authorities and the London Metropolitan Police soon arrive to take charge. Roscoe comes face to face with his old nemesis on the force, leaving him pushed out of the way, though he refuses to give up searching for the killer. When a mysterious phone call comes, hinting that the killer is running the show from within the facility, Roscoe must manoeuvre around, trying to remain one step ahead. More bodies pile up, each killed in a unique way. It is only later that the thread connecting all three victims is revealed, which turns the hotel’s crime scene into a shocking mystery years in the making. A story that picked up the pace with each passing chapter, Patterson and Gold know how to tell a story and keep the reader guessing.

Yet another BookShot leaves me wondering where time went as I dove in and did not surface until I had all the facts. Patterson and Gold use the short chapter format and a telling story to keep everything running at breakneck speed. With a collection of contrasting characters and a mystery simmering below the surface, the reader learns little at a time, but when the entire picture is revealed, it should have been obvious from the beginning. While there is nothing concrete to substantiate this, I had the sense that there was a series in the making from the way the Roscoe character presented himself, though time will surely tell. Patterson may be onto something with these BookShots, offering teasers into the future of possible new series with successful possibilities. Could Gold be joining the crew of faceless co-authors used to help Patterson garner added riches?

Kudos, Messrs. Patterson and Gold for delivering a wonderful story to the awaiting audience. I am curious to see if this partnership will return again for more Jon Roscoe action.