The Worst Thing

The Worst Thing

2.8 6
by Aaron Elkins
     
 

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For Bryan Bennett, designing hostage negotiation programs is the perfect job—as long as he doesn’t deal directly with kidnappers or their victims. Intense nightmares of his own abduction and imprisonment as a small boy still plague him thirty-some years later, and claustrophobia prevents him from attempting to travel.

So when Bryan’s boss asks

Overview

For Bryan Bennett, designing hostage negotiation programs is the perfect job—as long as he doesn’t deal directly with kidnappers or their victims. Intense nightmares of his own abduction and imprisonment as a small boy still plague him thirty-some years later, and claustrophobia prevents him from attempting to travel.

So when Bryan’s boss asks him to fly to Reykjavik to teach his corporate-level kidnapping and extortion seminar, he initially refuses. But a CEO has specifically requested Bryan—or no one else. Finally Bryan relents…

For decades he’s treaded gingerly around his deepest terrors. Now, on this trip, Bryan’s taken hostage again and must face his fears full-on. Will he realize that in this battle of will and nerve, he is his own greatest enemy? Or has this fight already been lost years ago?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A mind-bending, heart-pounding read…I’m in awe.” —Ridley Pearson, New York Times Bestselling Author

“An evocative portrayal of the inner workings of a mind tormented by terror.”— Jonathan Kellerman, New York Times Bestselling Author

“One whopper of a surprise ending…this may well be [Elkins’] best book.” —Booklist

Publishers Weekly
Bryan Bennett, who was kidnapped and held for two months as a five-year-old, has largely overcome that trauma to become a successful hostage negotiator for a Seattle security company in this taut stand-alone from Edgar-winner Elkins (Turncoat). When Bryan's boss, Wally North, asks him to present a "corporate-level kidnapping and extortion seminar" to GlobalSeas, an Icelandic fisheries company, Bryan, who tries to avoid confined spaces, convinces himself that medication will enable him to endure the plane flight. Even Bryan's discovery that Wally neglected to tell him that GlobalSeas' CEO survived an abduction attempt doesn't deter Bryan and actually motivates him to seek professional help for his crippling panic attacks. Once Bryan and his long-suffering wife, who's looking forward to a vacation, arrive in Iceland, he's plunged into a dangerous situation that puts his sanity and life at risk. While a final twist will strike many readers as a cheat, Elkins excels at maintaining tension throughout and in making his hero's difficulties accessible. (May)
Kirkus Reviews

The creator of forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver (Skull Duggery,2009, etc.) plunges the egghead designer of a hostage-negotiation protocol into a harrowing abduction in far-off Iceland.

When he was five years old, Bryan Bennett was kidnapped and held for 58 days while his parents, working in Turkey, sweated to come up with the ransom. Small wonder that as an adult, he's become such an expert on negotiating with kidnappers that he's written the book for the Odysseus Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Security. Now his new boss, Wally North, wants him to fly to Reykjavik to lead a self-protection seminar for the executives of GlobalSeas Fisheries. Bryan's own phobias—he doesn't lead seminars, hates airline travel and still suffers from frequent panic attacks—threaten to make the trip a nightmare even before GlobalSeas CEO Baldur Baldursson, who's already survived one botched abduction attempt, is snatched again, this time in the company of Bryan's wife Lori. The kidnappers, who include the three clueless left-wing ideologues of Project Save the Earth and George Henry Camano, the ice-cold freelancer they've hired to coordinate the snatch, are no more happy to have grabbed Lori than Bryan is to have lost her. Their face-off pits the expert negotiator against the expert kidnapper and inevitably leads to Bryan's exchanging himself for his wife. It's only then that his ordeal truly begins.

A well-calculated change of pace for normally laid-back Elkins, with mounting thrills, a heavy emphasis on self-therapy and a nice surprise at the end.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425251447
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/07/2012
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,135,072
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Aaron Elkins is the author of the Edgar® Award-winning Gideon Oliver mysteries.

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The Worst Thing 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Bryan Bennett has come a long way from when he was abducted and held prisoner for fifty nine days in Istanbul as a five year old child. He accepts the notion that he became a hostage negotiator because of his childhood horror. However, Bryan also prefers to stay in the background as a designer of programs. In Seattle, Odysseus Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Security Wally North asks his employee Bryan to present a "corporate-level kidnapping and extortion seminar" in Reykjavik as the CEO of GlobalSeas Baldursson demanded only Bennett to come. To blackmail Bryan into agreeing Wally suggests he take his marine ecologist wife Lori with him. Bryan avoids confined places, but reluctantly he decides to go because he loves his wife of almost ten years though he expects the plane will be a nightmare even with drugs. Bryan learns that Baldursson was also an abduction victim, but that does little to relives him of his confined places panic attacks. When the couple arrives in Iceland, Bryan quickly finds himself plunged in a nightmarish situation that leaves his mind on the brink of emotional collapse and his life in peril. The key to this exciting stand alone thriller without the Skeleton Detective is Bryan's panic attacks that seem so real readers unaccustomed to them will understand how debilitating they are and those who know first hand will believe Aaron Elkins is one of us. The story line is fast-paced throughout without taking a respite as Bryan knows fist hand the Pogo classic line "We have met the enemy and he is us." The coda is a final twisting stunner that brings to light what a memory is as fans will enjoy spending March in Iceland. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As usual, a great storyline, good character development, all around good book!
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kjsfr More than 1 year ago
I did not read this book because I am not paying 18.99 for a nook book!