The Negotiator: My Life at the Heart of the Hostage Trade

Overview


Ben Lopez spends his life traveling the world, bartering with people who value money over life. Working for governments, law enforcement agencies, multinational corporations and private clients, Ben is an expert K&R (Kidnap and Ransom) consultant, supplying professional kidnap-negotiation services. He can be called out to anywhere in the world within twenty-four-hour notice to set up and command the negotiator's cell, bargaining with religious fanatics, hardened criminals, and other desperate people in order...
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The Negotiator: My Life at the Heart of the Hostage Trade

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Overview


Ben Lopez spends his life traveling the world, bartering with people who value money over life. Working for governments, law enforcement agencies, multinational corporations and private clients, Ben is an expert K&R (Kidnap and Ransom) consultant, supplying professional kidnap-negotiation services. He can be called out to anywhere in the world within twenty-four-hour notice to set up and command the negotiator's cell, bargaining with religious fanatics, hardened criminals, and other desperate people in order to save the lives of their captives. Alongside a shadowy team of former spies and special operatives, his arsenal of psychological techniques is just as powerful as brute force. He'll spend as long as is necessary to get the job done. And then he'll disappear.

This extraordinary book reads like a thriller—but for those involved in the stories within it, the drama and the tension are very real.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A dissatisfied psychologist abandons the therapist's couch for the high-pressure world of hostage negotiations. Lopez (not his real name) recounts his fascinating journey from inchoate postdoctoral candidate to international man of mystery and intrigue with all the sinewy grit you'd expect to find in a big-budget Hollywood movie. The heroes of this kinetic tell-all are predictably rough-and-tumble, while the villains are suitably vile. But that's where the familiarity ends. As the author demonstrates, the real world of kidnap and ransom--or K&R as it's known in the industry--isn't about busting down doors with high-powered semi-automatics at the ready in the hopes of freeing a hostage. It's actually a much subtler and nuanced discipline where the ability to understand the inner workings of a kidnapper's mind is the greatest weapon of all. The taut narrative marches through some of Lopez's toughest cases, starting out in Mexico City where affluent businessmen are often the targets of thugs hoping for a big payday. From there, the saga eventually lands in Kandahar, where a very different kind of kidnapper--militants with a political agenda--has been preying on hapless Westerners since the United States first invaded Afghanistan years ago. Suspense fuels each exotic locale, and even when no one is shot, the outcomes are explosive. Much of that is due to the absorbing interplay between complex bad guys and the crackerjack psychoanalyst manipulating them. No one escapes psychological scrutiny--including Lopez himself. In addition to lifting the curtain on the intricate world of K&R, the author also sheds light on his remarkable life and how his ongoing efforts to restore other people's interrupted lives have cost him personally. Thrilling and illuminating.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616088620
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 740,396
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Lopez was born in New York and spent part of his childhood in Venezuela, where he witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of Kidnap and Ransom (K&R). His work has taken him across the globe, from Mexico to the Middle East. In more than twenty years in the K&R field he has never lost a hostage. Ben Lopez isn't his real name; if his name was known, it would be too dangerous for him to travel to many countries ever again.
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