The Standoff

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A white supremacist, barricaded with his family on an isolated Montana mountaintop, holding off the cops with assault rifles.

A brilliant hostage negotiator who has failed to come to terms with his personal demons, reluctantly taking leadership of the one case he can't ...

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A white supremacist, barricaded with his family on an isolated Montana mountaintop, holding off the cops with assault rifles.

A brilliant hostage negotiator who has failed to come to terms with his personal demons, reluctantly taking leadership of the one case he can't afford to lose.

A virtual army of state and local cops, national guardsmen, U.S. Marshals, and the FBI's elite hostage rescue team, clawing for jurisdiction, vowing vengeance
for fallen comrades.

A growing crowd of onlookers, sympathizers, and troublemakers, some willing to turn an isolated battle into an all-out war.

A mixture as explosive and unstable as nitroglycerine...

The Standoff.  A stunning debut from a major new talent.

A nightmare erupts when an FBI negotiator confronts a notorious criminal who has barricaded himself, his wife, and his five children in a secluded mountaintop cabin in Montana. Their tense, nine-day standoff builds into a deadly war of nerves between two unforgettably charismatic and strong-minded protagonists.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hogan's debut thriller concerns the nine-day confrontation between an FBI negotiator and a fugitive holed up on a Montana mountaintop with his wife and children. (Feb.)
Emily Melton
Lucky Chuck Hogan. He's only 26, but he's written what's being hyped as "one of the most talked-about novels of the year"; he sold the manuscript for big bucks in a "heated auction" involving five publishers; the book is a featured selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club; and he's already adapting the story for New Line Cinema. Heady stuff for a former video store manager. But the hype is well justified. While his writing won't send the needle off the top of the highbrow-ometer, Hogan knows what it takes to write commercial fiction: a rugged but sympathetic hero (picture Clint Eastwood), a suspense-filled plot, and plenty of mile-a-minute action. At the heart of the novel is burned-out FBI agent John Banish, whose superb skills at hostage negotiation are overshadowed only by his stunning ability to drink himself into oblivion. Having lost his nerve, his family, and his job, Banish now has one last chance to show he's not a complete failure: talk white supremacist Glenn Ables off the Montana mountain where Ables is keeping his wife and kids hostage. Ables is cunning, devious, and stubborn, but then, so is Banish. In the end, it's a standoff between two men who have everything--and nothing--to lose. A completely unexpected conclusion packs the perfect final punch. Wow!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568952314
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 422

Meet the Author

Chuck Hogan
Chuck Hogan

Chuck Hogan abandoned his career as a video store clerk when his first novel, The Standoff, became a bestseller and was translated into fourteen international editions. His most recent novel, Prince of Thieves, was awarded the Hammett Prize for excellence in crime writing, and is being made into a major motion picture by Warner Brothers. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

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Read an Excerpt

Washington, D.C.

Salvatore Richardsen, Assistant Director of the General Investigative Division of the FBI, exited the elevator and was halfway to his car beneath the J. Edgar Hoover Building when a woman's voice from an overhead speaker summoned him back to his office for an urgent call.

Upstairs, Richardsen set his briefcase down on the slate-colored carpet and stood in his unbuttoned London Fog and punched the flashing button on his speakerphone.

"Jack," he said, fiddling with the secretary's message note left on his desk. Very sexy handwriting.  Wishful thinking at this point, but he was definitely interested.  He admired her script, trying to imagine her upright loops and fine trailing swirls curled around the word cock.  "Long time, Jack. Too long.  Sounds like you're airborne."

Banish's voice was low and remote over the squawk box.  "Sal," he said.  "What are you doing to me here?"

"It's bad business, Jack.  We'll need someone of your caliber out there."

"Sal, I'm in a helicopter, I can't talk.  Listen.  I don't think I'm up to it."

Richardsen licked his warm lips.  He frowned.  It was impossible to get an accurate emotional read over the connection, from a helicopter headset to a speakerphone all the way across the country.  Like talking to someone on a car phone in the final lap of the Indy 500.

"Jack," he said, "you have to be up to it.  A quagmire up there, very important to this office, as well asSOARs.  You know the bastard's drawn federal blood."

A pause.  The whup-whup of rotor blades and the underlying whine.

"What about Raleigh?" he heard Banish say.

Richardsen shook his head mildly.  In his distraction, he held the pink message slip up to the bright ceiling lights.  "He's tied up with that Port Authority thing in Los Angeles," he said.

The way she made a capital B.  Bold, broad, sweeping strokes.  Tough, confident.  Take-charge.  On top of things, experienced—but with a delicate flow of expression.  The same way she moved when she walked down the hall ahead of him.  That royal-blue sheath dress she had worn today.  He had a brainstorm suddenly.  Get something of hers down to Handwriting for a full analysis.  To get the inside track on her personality.  Something off the top of her desk, maybe.

Richardsen set the message note back down and paced a bit.  "Look, Jack," he said.  "Everything you need.  You call back with the specs.  Hostage Rescue is yours if you want it.  QB this thing, you know the drills.  He's on top of a frigging mountain, so you take your time, run your plays."

"Sal, it's been more than two years."

"Everyone knows that, Jack.  I don't mean everyone.  But you're out there on the fringe, counting your fingers.  Look, Jack.  A man of your talents.  I have absolute confidence in you here, absolutely.   You are the best, I mean that. Now, there's the kids involved, I don't know if you know.  That's the other thing.  They're armed, all right? His kids carry, that's the report we're getting.  He trained them—  which is what I mean by a quagmire here.  You see how it is? With the hostage scenario, SOARs takes full control.  We can't afford to ride along with the Marshals on this one, too much at stake. External Affairs knows it's a nightmare going in.  That's the main thing.  If there's any shooting to be done, make sure it's the Marshals doing it.  We don't want to get drawn into a gun battle with little kids.  So— they're hostages.  All right? That's priority one."

"Sal," Banish said, "you offer me whatever I need, then you handcuff me to a chair.  I have to go into this with a clear head."

Richardsen grabbed his football off the shelf.  "You make like I'm throwing you to the lions here, Jack.  This is your job, this is what you did so damn well in New York for eleven years.  So you're coming back off injured reserve.  OK, great—big comeback here."

"Sal.  Jesus."

"Just talk him down, Jack.  Get him off that fucking mountain, effect the arrest.  Bring the bastard to the bar of justice.  I mean it, free rein.  I don't care how you run things.  And look—if the hijacking thing resolves itself soon, maybe we can release Raleigh.  Hell—you trained him, right? Jack, I gotta go."

"Sal, listen.  Just tell me.  Is this a push? Do they want me to resign?"

Richardsen stopped where he was.  Even with all the interference, he heard it that time, the desperation in Banish's voice.  Richardsen frowned harshly.

"Jack," he said, "we want your expertise here.  We want that bag of tricks you've got in your head.  Christ, Jack—a man's dead and there are kids in mortal danger up there.  All right? Jack—all right?"


"You are the best, Jack, the best there is.  Just forget New York.  Put it all behind you.  Starting fresh here.  My number two will be in later, so you call him with your laundry list.  The SAC out there is Perkins, Butte.  All right? All right.  Keep in touch, Jack."

Richardsen punched the button and the red light went off.  He remained staring at the box a moment, then moved away.  He turned his old college football over in his hands.  The leather was cracking, its bladder gone soft.  He recalled hours spent sitting at the foot of the metal frame bed in his little room at Fordham, thinking about the next game, and the hands that used to hold that ball—tight-skinned, trim-knuckled, ringless fingers— gripping it, turning it, tossing it up and down.  It was the last time he could remember his priorities ever matching his responsibilities.

For anyone else, protesting or refusing an assignment would be cause for immediate termination.  But the word had come down on his old friend Jack Banish and all the head cases ripe for wrongful termination lawsuits.  Sal Richardsen cupped the football in his right hand.  He set his feet and momentarily drew his arm back for a dramatic, game-winning Hail Mary.  Then he went across the room and returned the football to its wooden stand on the shelf.  He threw away the message note and picked up his briefcase and headed for the door.  They had needed a negotiator on the scene ASAP.  Whoever had screwed up, it was the kind of mistake that could cost a man his career. Banish was mistakenly listed on the active roster and SOARs had geographically matched him to the crisis perpetrator, and Carlson at Quantico hadn't gone through Richardsen himself or known enough to override.  So the order had been cut and the great machine set into motion.  Stopping Banish now would have thrown the entire operation to a grinding halt, and there was simply no time for that.  The crisis was current and ongoing.  Richardsen realized that he would have to keep close tabs on this one, very close tabs.  He would give it some thought on the long ride out to Rockville.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted November 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "A rumor without a leg to stand on will get around some other way." John Tudor

    If it's possible for something to go wrong, it will. Murphy's law.

    This seems to be the motto of the Border County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Leonard Blood. Blood is ordered to serve a notice of eviction on Glenn Allen Ables for tax evasion. He realizes that there is danger involved so Blood asks for the help of two deputies. Ables is an anti government, white supremacist and survivalist. When Blood attempts to serve the papers, one of his deputies is wounded and the other barely escapes.

    Huddleson, Montana seems to be a place where they deal harshly with the failure to obey the law. Soon after the shooting, the Huddleson Police Department under firebrand Chief Moody, is called out. It doesn't take long for this to escalate. Shots are fired and one of Moody's men is killed and, as we will learn later, so is Ables' twelve year old daughter.

    With the situation worsening and memories of Waco, Texas, fresh on the minds of law enforcement officials, John Banish, an FBI negotiator is called in. Also in attendance at this time is, Randal Perkins, agent in charge, Butte, Montana and Deputy Fagin, head of the Marshal's Special Ops Group. A power struggle begins and Banish assumes command.

    In other words, chaos reigns.

    This story concentrates on the action taking place without much character build up. The reader is not able to know the thoughts of the characters and as result, "The Standoff" reads more like a lengthy newspaper report than as a novel.

    This is Chuck Hogan's first novel. He does well in describing the intricacies of crime scene negotiating and the intense anti government feeling that exists in some rural areas of America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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