The Sardinian Hostage

In November 1968 a gang of kidnappers abducted a student in Central Sardinia, against a ransom of 80 million lire (over 50, 000). After four weeks, when his family had handed over 10 million, he was released. His release for this sum was the result of negotiations between the hostage's brother and the bandits. The brother was accompanied to all the rendezvous by the author of this book, who has written a terse eye-witness account of the meeting with the masked men - an account all the more powerful for its restraint.
In the very simplicity of his narrative he enhances the deep element of mystery which surrounds the masked gunmen looming out of the scrub. Beneath the facts - the miles of motoring on bad mountain roads, the cloak-and-dagger business of eluding the police to rendezvous with the kidnappers, the careful dialogues - the author delicately exposes the very nervers of this strange form of human contact in which a man's life and a family's fortune are at stake. And the mysterious twilight world of the bandits - the masks and guns, the deep country, the enigmatic clues left in the road - is in sharp contrast with the reassuring banalities of modern life: the petrol station s and neon signs in the towns, the telephones and transistors.
More than a taut story of true-life suspense, this book is a deeply revealing probe into the intimate realities behind the headlines.

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