THE STANDOFF by Chuck Hogan


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 The nine-day siege of a white supremacist's fortress cabin in the Montana mountains is the focus of this absolutely smashing debut thriller. Inspired by a confrontation in Idaho, Hogan successfully creates an almost tangible sense of an actual armed standoff and hostage negotiation, sweeping the reader along in a series of events that lead, inevitably, to an explosive resolution that is at once triumphant and tragic. The selection of burnt-out FBI Special Agent John Banish to lead the attempt to dislodge Glenn Ables and his family from their mountaintop retreat is highly unorthodox and unsettling to those under his command. Banish was once the Bureau's hotshot hostage negotiator, but his career and his very life were derailed by a New York City face-off that ended in disaster. Complicating his current situation are the private agendas of several members of the federal forces aligned against Ables, including the angry black head of the US Marshal's Special Ops Group and the local sheriff, a Native American whose minority status leaves him vulnerable and frustrated. The situation is inflamed by a growing crowd of sympathetic local residents and the influx of various hate groups trying to use the event as the focal point for open revolution. Their case is strengthened when one of Ables's young daughters is killed in a skirmish early on. Worse yet, Banish becomes aware that there may be some grains of truth in his opponent's charge that the government has forced him into this untenable position. The dramatic final moments of the siege are highlighted by two unexpected face-to-face confrontations and an act of heroism well beyond the call of duty. Tense, frightening, and all too believable, a certified page- turner. (Film rights to New Line Cinema; Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection)

Pub Date: March 10th, 1995
ISBN: 0-385-47716-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1994


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