Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Siege-Stephen White

The Siege
Stephen White
Dutton, Aug 4 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 9780525951223

At Yale University, a group serendipitously assaults a building housing a secret society. The assault team easily takes over the edifice holding a number of students who include some offspring of VIPs as prisoners. The invaders turn the complex into an impregnable stronghold.

Slowly Yale officials realize something has happened on the campus. They call in law enforcement who tries to make contact with the hostage holders. However, those in charge inside make no demands what so ever and ignore efforts to negotiate with them. They randomly murder some of the victims and release others for no apparent reason. Suspended Boulder, Colorado police officer Sam Purdy, FBI agent Christopher Poe and CIA terror expert Deirdre Drake unite trying to break the enigmatic code of the terrorists.

This is a brilliant super hostage thriller that makes the case that terrorists learn lessons from each assault making the next one more efficient and perhaps effective; unless the countering law enforcement also learns by extrapolating from the current attack to prevent the next. Fans will be hooked from the moment the assault team takes over the building and wonder what they want and how they choose who dies. THE SIEGE is a terrific timely thriller that reminds the audience diligence is everyone’s job whether it is knowing a lone wolf is going to mete justice to an abortion doctor or a group burning down a religious facility as everyone is under siege when we remain silent until after the incident and claim non mea culpa

Harriet Klausner