“One of the finest thriller writers on the planet.” –Tess Gerritsen
“Gilstrap pushes every thriller button.” –San Francisco Chronicle
hostages are young: a bus full of teenagers on a church mission. The
ransom demands are explicit: deliver three million dollars—with zero
involvement from law enforcement—or all captives will be executed. But
rescue specialist Jonathan Grave doesn’t believe in ultimatums. For him
and his elite team at Security Solutions, it’s all about protecting the
innocent. Now Grave must face the chilling possibility that someone
within the U.S. government has a deadly secret to protect—one that could
jeopardize national security like never before…
Praise for John Gilstrap’s Thrillers
“SURPRISING AND SATISFYING.” —The Denver Post
“A GREAT HERO, A PULSE-POUNDING STORY.” —Joseph Finder
“JONATHAN GRAVE IS A HERO FOR OUR TIME…AND FOR ALL TIME.” –Jeffery Deaver
Pacing her huge office high atop the Crystal Palace
Cathedral in Scottsdale, Arizona, Reverend Jackie
Mitchell checked her watch for the fifth time in half as
many minutes. Three-oh-five. The unpleasantness was
supposed to have ended an hour ago. Mr. Abrams had
promised that she would know that her parishioners
were safe within moments of the rescue’s final outcome.
As soon as we have anything to report. That’s how
he’d put it. As soon as we have anything to report.
She tried not to worry—Abrams had assured her
that everything would go well, that it had to go well—
but given the stakes, it was hard not to harbor doubt.
Certainly, the children would be traumatized emotionally,
and perhaps the adults as well, but that was to
be expected under the circumstances. They’d been
taken hostage. Of course there’d be trauma.
Jackie refused to dwell on the events that had
brought her to this point. That was the past, and the end
was finally in sight.
Abrams had sworn that this would be a seamless operation. Without that assurance, she’d never have gone
In the end, Jackie knew that the Lord would forgive
her. The Crystal Palace was a testament to Him, after
all. He had to understand. Why else would He have led
her here? This . . . opportunity had come at too fortuitous
a time for it to be anything but guidance by His
hand. Abrams’s call had been a sign, a clear message
that the Crystal Palace was destined to survive despite
all the tests and the scandals. God knew Jackie’s heart.
We are all sinners. It’s God’s greatest desire to forgive
And forgive her He would.
When the phone rang, Jackie let out a yelp. She
turned from the window and its panoramic view of Arizona’s
rolling hills and walked across the plush baby-
blue carpeting to her six-by-eight-foot glass-topped
desk to lift the receiver from its cradle.
“God bless you,” she said. It was her standard greeting
for any caller who got past her assistant.
“Would’ve been nice if he did,” Abrams said. With
his thick New England accent, there was no need for
him to introduce himself. “Unfortunately, it’s as bad as
it can get.”