cover image The Ransom Drop: Book 1 of The Response Files

The Ransom Drop: Book 1 of The Response Files

Rob Phayre. Rob Phayre, $13.99 trade paper (334p) ASIN B096WGXQM3

Phayre, a security and crisis leader for multiple organizations and companies, debuts with an excellent series launch that draws on his experience helping to resolve hostage incidents across Africa. Finlay, the duty crisis response manager for the Global Response Company Limited, springs into action after he gets a call that a super tanker, the Hibernia III, has been taken control of by an unidentified crew of pirates while en route from Qatar to Kenya. In exchange for the safe release of its crew—and for not dumping two million barrels of petroleum worth $120 million—the hostage-takers demand $100 million in ransom. As Finlay’s team develops elaborate plans to rescue the hostages, Phayre keeps readers on the edge of their seats en route to the satisfying climax, and the taut story line is enhanced by details that make suspending disbelief easy. Nuanced characterizations—even of the bad guys—are a plus. Nautical thriller fans will eagerly await the sequel. (Self-published)