By Jeffery Deaver

8 weak women and their helpless academics are pressured off a faculty bus and held hostage. The madman who has them at gunpoint has an easy plan: one hostage an hour will die except the calls for are met. referred to as to the scene is Arthur Potter, the FBI's most sensible hostage negotiator. He has a plan. yet so does one of many hostages-a attractive instructor who is prepared to do whatever to save lots of the lives of her scholars. Now, the clock is ticking as a chilling online game of cat and mouse starts.

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Actually, Charlie, if you don't mind…" He'd nodded toward the assembled officers. Budd had fallen silent and grinned. "There'll be no state HRT involvement here. " "Oh," Budd began. "But I think the attorney general—" Potter glanced at him with a firm smile. " Budd nodded, still grinning, and the negotiator proceeded with the briefing. Early that morning, he explained, three men had murdered a guard and escaped from Callana maximum-security federal penitentiary outside Winfield, Kansas, near the Oklahoma border.

Melanie fell into a nervous habit, twining her blond hair around her bent middle finger, the other digits extended. " Then there was a sudden jolt. Bear had turned off the asphalt and was following the gray car down a dirt road. Stoat was frowning. He asked Bear something Melanie didn't see. The big man didn't answer but just spit out the window. Another turn and another, into hillier country. Getting close to the river. They passed under an electric wire covered with a hundred birds. Big ones.

Tell him we want a SatSurv scan fed into—" he waved his hand at the bank of monitors—"one of those. He'll coordinate the tech stuff with you. All that loses me, frankly. " "Yessir," Derek said, jotting notes excitedly. In seventh heaven, techie that he was. "What is that, exactly? " "The CIA's satellite surveillance system. " Derek turned away to make the call. Potter bent down and trained his Leica field glasses through the thick windows. He studied the slaughterhouse. A skull of a building. Stark against the sun-bleached grass, like dried blood on yellow bone.

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