Ignore the shopworn title and the unpromising opening--bank-robbers holding hostages, surrounded by coppers--and stay with...

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HOSTAGE TO DEATH

Ignore the shopworn title and the unpromising opening--bank-robbers holding hostages, surrounded by coppers--and stay with veteran Jeffrey Ashford as he leads another likable, honorable fellow into a plausible bout of lawbreaking with unforeseen complications. Bank officer Bill Steen is one of those hostages, and, after the heisters are taken away, he's the one who discovers that the clever crooks have found a way to steal a fortune even while being apprehended; what's more, Bill can easily appropriate the stolen currency to himself, currency he desperately needs to move his wretchedly asthmatic wife to sunny Spain. Only the most ethical readers will root for The Law as Bill meticulously executes his scheme, and when the original thieves break out of jail and go looking for their loot. . . poor Bill. This is the sort of gear-clicking caper that's often cinema-fled as lighthearted suspense, but there's nothing frolicky in Ashford's cat's-cradle plotting of Bill's predicaments: there's no time for rolling in the aisles when you're clamped to the edge of your seat.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1977

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1977