Hostage by Clare Mackintosh book review

Hostage is a book that was kindly sent to me by a follower on social media who thought I would absolutely love it. The title gives away what the premise is and the front cover suggests where most of the action takes place. It’s a thriller where you can guess most of the action but some very interesting techniques are used here and then there’s the ending!

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Mina is on the world’s first flight non-stop flight from the UK to Australia – over 20 hours long. The whole world is aware of the flight but when things begin to go wrong, Mina must choose between the lives of everyone on the plane or that of her adopted little girl after she begins to get clues that she may not be safe.

Hostage plot – 4/5

The majority of the plot is focused around Mina and her 20-hour flight to Australia that ends up not going to plan and the capture of her daughter happening in tandem with all of this. It’s a story that at times feels quite tense but at others feels like a fairly predictable aeroplane hijack film.

I recently watched Hijack on Apple TV+ and was really impressed with how they did something quite different with it which often had me as the watcher shocked at the twist. However, with Hostage there’s only really one twist which switches everything up.

However, there are some clever chapters by Mackintosh in Hostage where you hear from anonymous passengers on the plane, some of whom end up having a bigger input on the plot than others. It’s actually a really clever way of not just filling space in the book but also adding some suspense and unknown elements that leave you wondering what’s going to happen.

Along with this, there is a great couple of chapters at the very end that I promise you you’ll want to keep reading for.

Hostage characters – 4.25/5

Often with thrillers, the characters can sometimes be a little one-dimensional as they’re purely there to fill the space of a character in the often far more interesting plot itself.

Mina isn’t particularly interesting as a character but the relationship between her and her husband is and his story is quite interesting. Without too many spoilers, he’s essentially been keeping a secret from the family which you’re led to believe is one thing at the start but then turns out to be something else which he feels is worse to tell the family.

Along with this, because Sophia is adopted and has special educational needs, there are a lot of discussions about how difficult it has been for them as parents. This is an interesting element to add as Mackintosh could have easily just put in a picture-perfect child but instead chose to add another dimension by making Sophia a little more interesting.

Hostage final rating – 4/5

Hostage is a brilliant thriller. If you’re someone who has a fear of flying, then you may be all right here as it never really feels that tense. However, there are other elements going on, her daughter being in trouble mainly but also some clever chapters in which we hear anonymous accounts from some of the passengers which added intrigue. It’s a really interesting thriller that will have you wanting to know what’s next. It’s not going to change your life but if you enjoy a good thriller with a time limit, this may keep you happy.

Pick up a copy of Hostage by Clare Mackintosh here.

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