HOSTAGE by R.D. Zimmerman


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 Desperate to dramatize the plight of AIDS victims and furious at homophobic Congressman Johnny Clariton--whose presidential speeches, identifying AIDS as a punishment for immoral behavior, are calling for a moratorium on government assistance for AIDS sufferers and research into a possible cure- -three friends in the terminal stages of the illness kidnap the Congressman from a fund-raiser, planning to videotape themselves as they tell him how they contracted the HIV virus and guarantee his sympathy for AIDS research by injecting him with their blood before they turn him loose. Since they don't plan to hold him more than a short time in their undetectable hideout and they're not making any demands (except on detestable Clariton), the plan seems foolproof--and it would be if (1) one of the witnesses to the abduction, uncloseted WLAK reporter Todd Mills, already the toast of the Twin Cities, hadn't roused himself from his shock and grief over his current lover's infection to notice some telltale clues to the kidnappers' whereabouts, and (2) the last stages of AIDS hadn't left the would-be terrorists, running on adrenaline and rage, so pitiably weak. Veteran Zimmerman (Red Trance, 1994, etc.), as if knowing this high-concept snatch has nowhere to go, punches up Mills's hardcover debut with such ferocity and horrific physical detail that it transcends its pulpish story to become a full-throated howl of anger and pain.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-31983-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1997


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