A prison inmate has taken hostages, 163 of them, and he’ll kill one every six hours until he is granted a meeting with crime writer Frank Corso.
It’s not easy to bring Corso (protagonist of A Blind Eye, 2003, etc.) to the scene of the crime. He’s on the Saltheart, his boat, in Seattle’s Garrison Bay when the Coast Guard finally tracks him down to inform him of his command performance. Though Corso likes thumbing his nose at command performances, his inner Galahad wins out. Soon, he’s on his way to Meza Azul, the Arizona maximum security facility where former Navy Captain Timothy Driver holds his vigil, having already executed one prison guard. Corso and Driver have a history. Several years earlier, Corso, a true-crime writer of note, had published a sympathetic bestseller about Driver. Though it’s true Driver had shot his wife and her lover to death, Corso presented him as a decent man savaged by betrayal. Is more sympathy what’s wanted here? Corso wonders. Before he can nail down the answer, he becomes a hostage himself as the prison break explodes. Now what Corso must decide—his life will depend on it—is how much of the decent man survives in the stone killer.
Another seamless performance from the accomplished Ford, whose list of winners has grown long enough to place him among the first-stringers.