Hostage by Robert Crais
In his former life, Jeff Talley was a hostage negotiator. When a case went wrong, and a hostaged child murdered, Talley blames himself and has a complete breakdown. He retreats to a bedroom community to serve as sheriff and abandons his old life--including his wife and daughter.
When three locals punks rob a store and shoot the owner, they run straight to Talley's corner of the world, much to his horror. Panicking, the three find a house to hide in, taking the occupants hostage. They couldn't have picked a worse house as the owner is an accountant for the Mob. Talley is thrust into the role of negotiator once more, although he fights it all the way.
While this story had all the plot points going for it, I just didn't enjoy it at all. Jeff Talley seemed like a very static character to me and very whiny. I so disliked him that I just couldn't identify with any of his decisions. I was yearning for someone else (anyone else) in the book to take over and tell the story. Because the writing was stellar, I am willing to give Robert Crais another try but I hope never to meet Jeff Talley again.