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The Wrong Hostage (St. Kilda Series #1)

The Wrong Hostage (St. Kilda Series #1)

4.4 50
by Elizabeth Lowell

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The latest masterwork from one of the leading writers of suspense . . . New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell returns with a chilling tale of the law gone wrong and a kidnapping that threatens more than one life.

The Wrong Hostage

Orphaned at thirteen, Grace Silva clawed her way out of poverty and violence to become


The latest masterwork from one of the leading writers of suspense . . . New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell returns with a chilling tale of the law gone wrong and a kidnapping that threatens more than one life.

The Wrong Hostage

Orphaned at thirteen, Grace Silva clawed her way out of poverty and violence to become one of the most respected judges on the federal bench. Grace believes in the rule of law — lives it, breathes it. She has always been buttoned up and buttoned down.

Except once.

Joe Faroe has learned that laws are made by politicians, and politicians are all too human. He believes in the innocents, the ones getting ground up by governments that are too polarized or too corrupt to protect their own citizens. He's been through the political meat grinder himself. It cost him his career, his freedom, and the woman who still haunts him. Since then Faroe has worked outside the rules and politics of government as a kidnap specialist for St. Kilda Consulting, a Manhattan-based global business that concentrates on the shadow world where governments can't go. He is good at his work — intelligent, confident, ruthless.

Until a friend dies trying to kill him.

Now Faroe is out of the business. Retired. He's through trying to save a world that doesn't want to be saved.

Then Grace comes to him, past and present collide, and Faroe finds himself sucked back into the shadows, tracking a violent killer who holds the life of Grace's son in his bloody hands.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A mother's worst nightmare of an endangered child is just one breathless element of Lowell's latest romantic thriller (after Always Time to Die). Newly divorced California judge Grace Silva discovers her billionaire ex-husband, Ted Franklin, is missing, after she's summoned to the exclusive Mexican prep school where her 15-year-old computer whiz son, Lane, is being held hostage. Ted has crossed Hector Rivas Osuna, the ruthless kingpin of the most violent crime family in Tijuana, and Grace learns that Lane will be killed if she doesn't turn over the millions Ted has stolen from Osuna. She seeks the help of Joe Faroe, an ex who predated Ted and who may be Lane's biological father; Joe works for an elite private investigation firm. Lowell's convincing depiction of the Mexican drug trade illuminates the dangerous intersection of her characters' personal lives with international politics and organized crime. Events unfold in a maze of talk and double-talk, but the payoff is solid as the family reunites, finding that both love and the price of freedom are nonnegotiable. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When federal judge Grace Silva discovers that her son is being held hostage in Mexico, she calls the only man with enough experience to get him out alive: Joe Faroe. Joe and Grace, and the shadowy St. Kilda consulting group, have less than 48 hours before the bullets start flying. Maria Tucci captures the very essence of Hector, the male chauvinist Mexican drug lord, complete with accent. In fact, all her accented voices are distinctive and memorable. Unfortunately, she is less successful with our American protagonists; she makes Grace sound far older than her mid-thirties, and Joe is too feminine to be leading-man material. Though Tucci's pacing keeps the tension building, her reading is not as effective as it should have been: Joe and Grace are not as appealing as their roles imply. This is still a good listen, but it could have been great.
—Jodi L. Israel
Kirkus Reviews
South-of-the-border mayhem, with refreshing twists amid the genre conventions. Lowell (Always Time to Die, 2005, etc.) has a flair for writing about the dark corners of well-traveled places, in this instance San Diego and its Mexican sister city, Tijuana. Fences, barbed wire and searchlights separate the two, but crime is a nation all its own, and when young Lane Franklin-busted for altering his grades via computer hackery and sent to a parochial boot camp in Mexico-is kidnapped, his tormentors and rescuers alike come in all shades, shapes and sizes. Leading the cavalry is his mother, Grace Silva, a federal judge who's "all woman everywhere a man liked to feel the difference." She's also a tough cookie, but she can't do it alone. With some trepidation, she enlists an Eiger Sanction-ish anti-crime outfit and its top agent, Joe Faroe, who just happens to be a former lover of hers and who went to jail some months before young Lane came into the world. The bad guys are a Mexican narcotraficante fond of crack-laced cigarettes and assorted evil; a well-connected Tijuana politico and wheeler-dealer; and one Theodore Franklin, who is a billionaire many times over, Grace's ex-husband-and Lane's father. Sort of. Now, of course, in the thriller game, all billionaires are villains, all former cops knights errant of virtue, all kids smart and computer-literate and all federal judges-well, some federal judges-keen on finding time on their judicial calendars for pleasures of a sort they have never known. Lowell fulfills all these obligations and then some, but the story she turns in has plenty of nice moments in which good is not wholly good and evil not wholly evil, though the really bad guys are nastypieces of work indeed. In the end, everyone gets what he or she has coming, and justice prevails-sort of. A nicely written whodunit with a satisfying payoff.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
St. Kilda Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.99(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Wrong Hostage

A Novel
By Elizabeth Lowell

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Lowell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060829818

Chapter One

Southern California
La Jolla
Saturday morning

The phone rang four times before Judge Grace Silva pulled her head out of the legal documents she was reviewing.

Maybe it's Ted.


It had been years since she'd cared about her husband -- newly ex-husband -- in any way but as the father of her child. And if there was a persistent personal sadness that she'd failed in marriage, well, she'd just have to live with it. She'd worked hard to make the divorce and all the legalities entailed as civilized and adult as possible.

For Lane.

But she was real tired of getting calls at all times of the day and night asking for Theodore Franklin. Just because he'd kept his legal address as the beach home they'd once shared didn't mean he actually lived with her.

"Hello," Grace said.

"Ah, senora," said a man's voice. "This is Carlos Calderon. I would like to speak to your husband."

Grace didn't bother to point out that Franklin was her ex. If Calderon wasn't close enough to Ted to know about the divorce, she had no reason to announce it.

"Ted isn't here," she said briskly. And he hasn't been here in three weeks, which you damn well should know because you orone of your employees has called every day. "Have you tried his Wilshire office, his cell phone, and his Malibu condo?" Or his bimbo mistress?

"Si, yes, many times."

"Is it something I can help you with?"

Grace expected the same answer she'd gotten for the past three weeks -- a polite thanks but no thanks.

Instead Calderon sighed and said, "Judge Silva, I am afraid you must come to Ensenada immediately."

Her hand tightened on the phone. As a judge, she was accustomed to giving rather than taking orders. "Excuse me?"

"It is your son, Lane."

"What's wrong?" she asked quickly. "Is he in trouble? He's been so good for the -- "

"It is not something to be discussed over the telephone. I will see you in two hours."

"What's wrong?" she demanded.

"Good-bye, Judge Silva."

"Wait," she said. "Give me four hours. I don't know what traffic will be like at the border."

"Three hours."

The phone went dead.


Excerpted from The Wrong Hostage by Elizabeth Lowell Copyright © 2006 by Elizabeth Lowell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has more than eighty titles published to date with over twenty-four million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the Western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 5, 1944
Place of Birth:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
B. A., University of California, 1966

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Wrong Hostage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is a page turner. No doubt about it. The story is crisp, the dialog is excellent, the suspense is chilling, the romance is great. The characters are so well written that as a reader you start to believe they are actual people. Storyline wise, this could have came right off a Newsweek cover story. Politics, drugs, money. Perfect.
Sunflower6_Cris More than 1 year ago
The first few chapters were hard to get through but then it was easy to follow and finish. Although I've never read Elizabeth Lowell I thought that her writing style for drama and thrillers was great but I don't think she should mix too much romance into her stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Elizabeth Lowell's. Having read all of her recent novels, I thought this was one of the best plots. Although I found the first two chapters difficult to engage, once I got passed that, I couldn't put the book down. Great job!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the BEST Elizabeth Lowell novel. You won't be disappointed in the writing, the dialog or the story line. Grace Silva is a California judge whos son is being held in Mexico. With the clock ticking, she contacts St Kilda Consulting to get the help of Joe Faroe. Together they have to unravel her ex-husband secrets and bargain with devils on both sides of the boarder in an attempt to save an innocent child. But will Faroe still help her when he learns Grace has secrets of her own? Elizabeth struck gold with this story line. She hooked you in from page one and tugged at your heart and mind until the last page was turned. Her characters were so real it was scary, and yes there were times I wanted to reach through the book and slap a few people. I couldn't put the book down. I hope to see more St Kilda books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this! Elizabeth Lowell caught my attention immediately with the prologue. Started rooting for Lane right away. Then felt Grace Silva's terror at what was going on with her son and still trying to think the best of a man she thought would be safest. I like that Joe Faroe even though he has gotten so very cynical still has a kind of twisted sense of humor and his honor intact, still loves the same woman, and even though he is hurt he missed so much of his son's life comes to understands Grace's decisions that were made at the time. Lane is neat kid and makes me hope I do not do anything to hold my kids back.   I love how Elizabeth Lowell has manage to develop the characters so that they still make human mistakes and have normal fears and reactions. And still do whatever needs to be done to solve the problem at hand. The Wrong Hostage is a page turner.... I have stayed up after everyone is in bed to finish reading this book every time I pick it up to read. The easy flow of words makes for smooth reading and keeps my attention. 
jackiefancher More than 1 year ago
Seriously, this needs to be a movie. Would suggest Matthew Mc. for Joe. I was feeling the stress of the chases and the angst of the mother/son issue. I would have thrown the ex to the dogs VERY early in the story.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy this book very much,the good guys and the bad guys.Can't have one without the other.
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Oh my! I feel so hot and sexy! And everything in the book was so... whoa!! You should read it!
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SuseNJ More than 1 year ago
OK, but plot seemed to be in discrete sections (separate adventures) thus seeming to jump a lot from situation to situation and lose continuity (and strain credulity). Would have been much more fun if the boy had been in the plot more, with his computer skills (I got the book because I'd read the first chapter, about him!). Not sure I'd read another by her.
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