Review: Hostage Three by Nick Lake

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It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing: a girl on a yacht with her super-rich banker father; a chance for the family to heal after a turbulent time; the peaceful sea, the warm sun ...But a nightmare is about to explode as a group of Somali pirates seizes the boat and its human cargo - and the family becomes a commodity in a highly sophisticated transaction. Hostage 1 is Dad - the most valuable. Amy is Hostage 3. As she builds a strange bond with one of her captors, it becomes brutally clear that the price of a life and its value are very different things ..

I didn't know that this book was by the same author as In Darkness until the very end, when I read the acknowledgements and found out, but now I can totally see the similarities, I have to say that I totally enjoyed Hostage Three a little more though because it was romantic, gritty and terrifying all in one.

The book starts near the end, with Amy in a boat with a gun aimed at her. Then we go a few months into the past and slowly we are introduced to Amy's ordinary life at school, her broken relationships with her father and step-mother and her rebellious lifestyle driven by her mother's recent death. Her wealthy father decides that maybe it's best if they 'get away' on his yacht and then suddenly we're thrown into the danger as Somalian pirates hijack the yacht and take the family and the boat staff as hostages.

But this isn't just a thriller, this book doesn't just use the pirates as the bad guys but makes them into something a lot more developed - they're relatable and you can kind of understand why they're doing this. Lake goes into the history of the pirates, showing how they turned to this and how they earn their money and actually, how nice they are to their hostages (minus the whole gun pointing at head thing). The hostages are fed, and are allowed to do as they please on the boat and the pirates are mostly all nice guys just trying to make a living.

Amy begins to fall for Farouz, a young, english-speaking pirate who tells Amy all about his past and his family and teaches Amy that actually, as mardy and spoilt as she is, she actually doesn't have it all that bad. I think this book hits so hard because the reader also begins to see the way these people live.

But a story like this can't have a happy ending can it? I honestly can't give anything away, but never has a book left me so heartbroken and touched. Lake may not have gone with the 'popular choice' for the ending, but in my opinion he went with the most honest and that really worked for me.

Overall, Hostage Three was a hard-hitting and gritty read, it was hard to get through at parts, but it isn't a thriller. This book has a tone of melancholy and hope that only Nck Lake can achieve. I am slowly but surely becoming a big fan of this author.

Book released 3rd January 2013 by Bloomsbury
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (NetGalley)

Other books from this author:
In Darkness

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