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STEP ON A CRACK by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge


Available from:
Literary Guild
Doubleday Book Club
Book-of-the-Month Club

Join Book-of-the-Month Club for a great deal on STEP ON A CRACK

“‘Whoever you are,’ Mason said into the phone, ‘listen to me…. In five minutes time, starting now, you will either release the hostages or you will be killed. The only guarantee I will give you is this. If you lay down your weapons right now, and let everyone out, you walk away with your lives….Tell me now. Are these the last five minutes of your life?’

Mason was making a very bold move…. [H]e’d just gone ‘all-in’ on the very first poker hand. If pressure was gasoline, Mason had just dropped a five-thousand-pound daisy cutter.

‘If this [person],’ a voice replied with equal starkness after a short pause, ‘isn’t off the line in five seconds, the president joins his wife in the after-life. Five…’



Mason was clutching the phone; he didn’t seem to be breathing.

And nobody else was doing anything either.


I had been a good negotiator, but I hadn't done it in three years, and this was a precarious time to dip my toes back into the pool.

But Ned Mason had just crashed and burned, and like it or not, rusty or not, as secondary negotiator, it was my job to step in.


I stepped across the bus and pulled the phone out of Mason’s hand.

‘Hi.’ I said calmly. ‘My name’s Mike….’”


Meet NYPD homicide detective and hostage negotiator Michael Bennett. He’s got 10 kids ages 3 to 12 and his wife, Maeve, is dying of cancer.

As if his life isn’t stressful enough, a hostage situation breaks out at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Men dressed as monks have infiltrated the funeral of the beloved First Lady, taken the high-profile guests hostage, and locked the sanctuary. They claim they’ve got enough bombs to blow a crater in midtown Manhattan if their demands aren’t met. A mastermind known as the Neat Man is behind it all, and everything is unfolding just as he planned.

Now Michael’s been pulled in as lead negotiator, and the clock is ticking his life away…in more ways than one. Explicit violence.

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