A bank robbery in Ingham goes bad, leaving a dozen hostages at the mercy of the robbers.
Ted Harper and his associates, one of them his son Alan, have their routine down to a science: the dropoff outside the bank, the no-nonsense establishment of order, the swift rifling of the till and swifter escape. But this time things go wrong. The beat officer outside notices their suspicious behavior and phones in their plates, an inexperienced responding officer turns on his siren, and suddenly the four thieves are trapped inside along with four employees, one of them pregnant and another suffering from angina, and 11 clients, including two with small children and a sharp old lady whose abrupt manner would probably fray everybody’s nerves even at a cocktail party. Most of these potentially hazardous complications come to nothing. Instead, Adams focuses on a single hostage, ex–DI Naomi Blake (Mourning the Little Dead, 2002, etc.). Years ago, before an accident left her blind, Naomi had taken part in a surveillance operation that ended in the arrest of Ted Harper as he tried to kill the wife he was convinced had grassed on him. How long will it be before Ted recognizes her and acts out the murderous impulses she thwarted?
Adams handles her foolproof central situation capably but without the frills of unexpected developments or interesting people.