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The Hostage Rescuer (Hardback)

The Return of a Child into a Mother's Arms

P&S History > Social History P&S History > True Crime

By Darren Franklin, Martin Phillips
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 207
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526761521
Published: 3rd March 2020


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Star review

'A thrilling, gut-churning true story.' The Sun

'True stories are always the greatest adventures. The Hostage Rescuer crackles with energy, intrigue and jeopardy, fuelled throughout by the powerful raw emotion of a parent robbed of their child.' Damian Lewis, Sunday Times bestselling author


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This is the thrilling true story of the recovery of an abducted child against the odds.Two close encounters with death convince the author, Darren, that his career in the sometimes murky world of global private security is not the healthiest. Meanwhile Scottish nurse Diane is on a life-changing route of her own after a Shirley Valentine-style romance on a Greek holiday island. While she moves to Australia to marry her Greek lover and to start a family, Darren escapes a contract on his life and teams up with a former British special forces operative to get into the business of rescuing abducted children. Darren's and Diane's paths cross when Diane's marriage breaks down, her ex abducts their four-year-old son Theo back to the Greek islands and, when all attempts to get her son back via the courts have failed, Darren's company is called in to carry out a daring snatch raid. As Diane waits anxiously in the wings, Darren and his small team must contend with hostile locals, double-crossing police and dubious legal contacts to conduct surveillance on their target, formulate a plan and grab the boy before making their hazardous escape. They can trust no-one. A whole island community is ranged against them, they have their suspicions about their own lawyer and the charity go-between who completes their team is actively leaking details of their plans, putting the entire mission, and possibly their lives, in danger. Set against an all-too-real epidemic of parental abductions, and a background of frequent failed recovery attempts, the action swings from Britain to South America to Australia, to the USA and the Greek Islands on a roller-coaster of drama and emotion from start to finish.

As featured in

International Express 27/05/20

Child recovery agent Darren Franklin has given a gripping insight into the murky world of parental abductions.

Daily Express 21/4/20

Well written narrative delving into the details of rescuing children involved in parental abduction. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get into this story, but once I got to the point where the author detailed a specific rescue I found myself curious and turning pages as fast as I could.

NetGalley, Brenda Yeager

‘True stories are always the greatest adventures. The Hostage Rescuer crackles with energy, intrigue and jeopardy, fuelled throughout by the powerful raw emotion of a parent robbed of their child.’

Damien Lewis – Sunday Times Best Selling Author

Franklin is a security expert who rescues abducted kids, and here he tells in dramatic detail how he goes about his work.
He describes how he was Diane’s last hope of getting her son back. Theo had been taken by his dad and prising the boy from his grasp was not easy.
Franklin and his team face hostile locals and double-crossing cops before making their escape. A thrilling, gut-churning true story.

5 Stars

Natasha Harding – The Sun.

It is written well and the stories are intriguing enough that you don't put the book away and follow until the end.

NetGalley, Denai Piscopo

I found this to be an excellent story with lots of tension along the way about a hostage kidnap situation that builds during surveillance. The author travels from Australia to the staging site in Greece early with the kidnap victim’s mother Diane, to scope things out and see if things will be possible at all or not. They become friends from the extra time spent together, and it’s difficult not to like her and feel for her difficult position It’s kind of bizarre that there are businesses like these available, but they have been made necessary unfortunately, and do have a decent rate of success, at least the good ones do.

The story is well written and stays suspenseful as you wait with Darren, the mother Diane, and the two others who show up to help try to get her son Theo back too. It’s right down to the wire as to whether they will have a chance to get him back, or will they be caught by the father’s family, who are all over the place, looking for anything out of the ordinary, to alert everyone to close ranks and get the boy safely inside until the danger passes. A very interesting look at the inside of a hostage rescue case, and many of stresses and concerns on both sides of it that you may not have realized before.

NetGalley, Valerie Shampine

About Darren Franklin

With a career in the military, police and private security, Darren has adventure coursing through his veins, which is perhaps not surprising. He is descended from a British explorer whose heroic death was the talk of Victorian society and whose name is commemorated not just in Westminster Abbey but in the Oval Office of the White House.

About Martin Phillips

Martin, is a British Press Awards-nominated former national newspaper journalist with 33 years experience in Fleet Street and a string of extraordinary adventures of his own behind him.

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