Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Killer Kidnappers

I'm so-so on KIDNAP HOTEL, #2 in Warner Books' series about C.A.T. (Crisis Aversion Team). Author Spike Andrews (whoever he really is) seems to be going for a Joseph Wambaugh vibe with black humor, daredevil cops and kinky sex. The villains, though, are pretty tame and don't seem like a big enough threat for the reader to get worked up over. I like the cover though.

A group of lazy young people, now led by a charismatic Brit named Graham, run scams in which they kidnap affluent couples in separate cars and let them go after driving the husband to the bank to withdraw $5000 and hand it over to them. Seeking a bigger payoff, they kidnap several wealthy people and hold them hostage together on top of an unfinished but abandoned skyscraper. Smartass cops Stewart Weston and Vince Castillo, who may be based on "The Super Cops," are assigned to the case, even though it doesn't really seem like a "crisis" that needs "averting."

Beyond the dull heavies, KIDNAP HOTEL suffers from a rambling plot and a lack of good solid action. I have another C.A.T. novel too, but I don't think I'll be seeking more unless it's an improvement in quality.

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