The Mysterious Bookshop

A. F. Carter - The Hostage

First Edition

September 20, 2022 Publication Date

November 2022 Hardboiled & Noir Crime Club Pick

In this new thriller from the author of The Yards, a cop tracks the kidnapped teenage daughter of a wealthy developer in a transitioning Rust Belt town.

A new Nissan plant is coming to the depressed Rust Belt town of Baxter, and Captain Delia Mariola has been busy cleaning up the crime-addled city ever since the deal was announced. But when the 15-year-old daughter of the lead bidder on the construction project—a wealthy out-of-towner—suddenly disappears, and it becomes clear that a professional kidnapping ring may be responsible, Delia realizes that the factory’s influx of cash could bring with it an entirely new sort of danger, never before considered in this working class milieu.

Though Elizabeth’s abduction was well-planned and bearing the mark of an experienced team, her captors could not have anticipated the quick and clever brilliance of the exceptionally smart teen. From the trunk of the car where she is held, she soon devises a clever trick to get cryptic messages to those who love her back down the highway in Baxter. The only problem is that the messages might be too cryptic even for their recipients to decipher. If Delia has any hope of bringing the girl home unharmed, she’ll have to crack the code and discover the meaning behind the message. And unless she does it fast, there may be nobody left to save…

Tough, thrilling, and filled with memorable characters, The Hostage is a gritty mystery set in the same hardscrabble town as 2021’s The Yards, which Kirkus Reviews praised as "a breathless suspenser that’s also a painfully acute evocation of the wrong side of the tracks."

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