The Second Hostage by Jeffery Deaver


Reviewed by Allen Hott

It appears that Deaver has now begun writing the short stories (I suppose for EBooks). If this is a taste I would have to say that it was a great taste! Very short and easy to read but with a great plot, good characters, and great dialogue that are the norm in all of Deaver’s books.

The opening is kind of interesting in that during a meeting a fairly good sized group of deputies in Humble, Kansas receive a call that someone has been taken hostage. The sheriff isn’t available but one of the deputies decides that they as a group need to go and see what is going on.

It just so happens that a fellow named Colter Shaw is in town and was in listening to the deputies talking. Shaw is somewhat unique in that he is a “Reward Seeker”. Not actually a legal cop in any way he does travel around the west looking to earn rewards for finding missing persons or even things. Kind of an unusual occupation but he makes a living doing it and it somehow may be of help here.

Part of the story then goes into some detail as how Shaw is looking for a young teenager named Emma. He used various methods to trace her to the Humble area but wasn’t having much luck getting help from any lawmen as they all pretty much scoff at his occupation.

Shaw goes with the deputies to the site of the hostage situation. But he cautiously convinces the lawmen to stay back and just be watchful until they can begin some type of conversation with the hostage taker and his victim. They are in agreement but about that time the sheriff arrives and he believes first off that he is in charge.

He not only doesn’t believe Shaw has any business being involved but he also completely disagrees with Shaw’s ideas.

It doesn’t take long however for Shaw to prove that his ideas and methods do work. But what they uncover is that the crime isn’t exactly going down as it was supposedly happening.

How this entire story works out is very interesting as the sheriff is kind of going in one direction but nothing good is coming of his method. However it is even more interesting as the hostage situation pretty much comes to an end …just not as expected!

And the ending has Shaw earning his pay (although he doesn’t get any as there was no reward involved!). He does however complete this task and gets back into his job of finding the missing teenager. A really interesting tale with all kinds of events and happenings going on in a very short story!