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A Maiden's Grave

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  6,611 ratings  ·  369 reviews
A school bus carrying eight deaf school-girls and their teachers brakes suddenly on a flat Kansas highway. They should never have stopped. Waiting for them are three heartless men just escaped from prison — each with nothing to lose. And now, with the girls as their hostages, they have everything to gain. They make their stand in an abandoned slaughterhouse, and it is ther ...more
Paperback, 419 pages
Published September 4th 2001 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published October 1st 1995)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  6,611 ratings  ·  369 reviews

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Three convicts escape from a state prison in Kansas and the horror begins when they intersect with a school bus carrying deaf students and two teachers on a lonely road. They're trapped in an abandoned slaughterhouse while federal and state law enforcement surround them and hostage negotiations ensue.

This was a harrowing story and a psychological thriller as the main leader for the felons isn't your typical escapee. The tangle between federal and state officials complicate the situation as duel
Carl Brookins
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one terrific thriller, children. It is not a cozy, or a whozie. There are no Uzis, international terrorists, or high-tech missiles. This novel takes a whole six pages of the first chapter to rear up from the page and grab you by the throat. And it doesn't let go until well after page 422.

You're in Kansas, rolling across fields of amber-waving grain. On a school bus with a group of deaf children, aged seven or eight to seventeen. You are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Three escaped
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not expect that!
This book reads like a runaway juggernaut travelling at 150 kph. Look out it's about to crash.
I have read quite a lot of Jeffery Deaver over the years but they have always been one of his serial books, Lincoln Rhyme or Kathryn Dance. This is the first time reading one of his stand alone novels.
What pace, what tension, what a great read.
I've had this book for years and always thought, "ye one day I might". How wrong can you be?
A school bus with mixed age students and two te
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book because I had been having dry spell with anything with even a touch of romance in it, and I was desperate. I thought I need to read non-romance to get my mojo back. And boy, did I choose the right book to do the job.

This book was TOP NOTCH suspense! I was on the edge of my seat and bed all the frickin' time ... from the moment where Lou Handy and two of his friends took hostage of eight deaf girls along with their teachers ... to that very end (and god damn that ending!). The
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy S***!! This was one intense nail-biter!! Supenseful, exciting, and unpredictable, I don't know how else to describe this book!

8 young girls and their teachers from a special school for the deaf are riding on a School Bus down a road in Kansas, and the bus is hijacked by 3 vicious criminals, and the girls and teachers are taken as Hostages and are brought to an abandoned slaughterhouse. FBI Hostage Negotiator Arthur Potter is called to the scene, and asks the criminals their demands. The lea
Janie Johnson
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-challenge
This having been my first experience reading Deaver, I was just a little apprehensive. I did not know if I would like his work or not. I know I kept basing my thoughts on the movie The Bone Collector, and I loved that one. So I figured I would plunge in and get started with A Maiden's Grave. I was not disappointed, but I must say, I was frustrated from time to time.

This was a nicely flowing, unpredictable tale. It had me pretty much hooked from the first page. It wasn't necessarily fast paced, b
Christopher Sworen
A Maiden’s Grave is a 1995 crime novel written by the one and only Jeffery Deaver.

A school bus with deaf girls stops at an intersection where a car crash has occurred. It was caused by three deranged escaped convicts, who soon take the students from the bus hostage and hold them in an abandoned slaughterhouse located on an isolated road in the middle of Kansas, waiting until all their demands are fulfilled. The man assigned to deal with the situation is FBI agent Arthur Potter – a negotiator who
Pamela Mclaren
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy smokes! This is one of those books that was slow for about 15 pages and then the reader began a roller coaster of a wild ride.

A group of deaf girls and their teachers are traveling to a special program when they see an accident at the side of a road. Naturally the stop and attempt to help the two victims but they quickly see that they aren't alive and weren't killed in an accident but murdered and now they have become kidnap victims, held as hostages by three escaped convicts. Convicts tha
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sort of over the top American crime thriller that I simply don't read these days. Multiple plot lines that are highly unbelievable and groups of (largely) guys brandishing their weapons in a hostage situation. Not something I'd read...

However ☺️I did find it very hard to put down! It is crazy stuff and some aspects of it are frankly silly. However the major characters are well worked and the pace is very well maintained. I really did get into this. The end in part took me by surprise
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An action packed psychological thriller full of devious twists and despicable characters. Highly recommend this book and am eager to read more by this author.
James Pettifer
Apr 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I found this a hard book to rate - tossing up between a 3 or a 4. It was well paced and well read but just felt a bit too rough around the edges. In looking, it is one of Deaver's earlier works and perhaps he just didn't have the experience to be able to provide the polish that his later books have.

That said, I still was drawn through the story and wanted to finish it.
Maggie Shanley
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Edge of your seat, horrific, bloody thriller! When you reach midnight and you only have 140 more pages to go, you might as well change your alarm now. You will not be able to put this one down....and you shouldn't. Deaver keeps the plot twisting and turning until the last page!
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most disturbing Jeffery Deaver novel I've read so far... Edge of the seat stuff.
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Hostage barricade dramas are very interesting. How the negotiator plays the hostage takers has always been very interesting to me. In this case Deaver creates a very interesting cast of characters dealing with such a situation. The behind the scenes of hostage negotiators was very interesting and I don't know how much of it is a result of Deaver's imagination and how much real intelligence has. In fact, I would be concerned, if I was a negotiator, of some of the tricks used becoming common knowl ...more
Nov 12, 2012 rated it liked it
The man is good. That was my first thought after finishing A MAIDEN’S GRAVE. If you want to learn how to plot a novel, then you’d be hard pressed to find a better author to learn from than the master himself. And he knows how to tackle damaged characters, not just emotionally damaged, but physically damaged, scarred to the point that you’re only left with pieces, and the pieces don’t seem to fit together the way that they should.

This novel is filled with enough twists and turns to keep you guess
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't know why I don't read Deaver more often. Although he, by far, isn't my favorite author he is amoung the, oh, say, top 5 and I've yet to be disappointed by anything of his that I've read. When I picked up A Maiden's Grave for a few dollars I fully expected to have a 'meh' attitude about it, going on the synopsis-but I figured, hey, it should be entertaining enough and if not I'm only out a few dollars. I was pleasantly surprised to often find myself unwilling to put it down because it was ...more
This book is one intricate study in plot, character psychology, negotiations (on so many levels), politics, character development, power moves ... I could go on and on. Bottom line is, it's one hell of a story that kept me riveted to the very messy, satisfying end.

Several reviewers have commented they didn't believe the Arthur/Melanie attraction. But the author gives the reader such an incredibly woven background and insight on both characters, their psyches and where they are at this moment in
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers
Great book dealing with a hostage situation and an FBI hostage negotiator. Lots of twists and turns. You will not want to put this book down. Deavers’ has created a masterpiece with this novel!
Diane Houdeshell
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This is closer to a 3.5. I enjoyed the majority of the book, but did not like the ending. I also found the relationship between Art and Melanie to be unrealistic.
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeffery Deaver- A Maiden’s Grave (Signet 1996) 4.75 Stars

A Maiden’s Grave is the first Deaver book that I have ever read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I will likely be reading a lot more of his novels in the future. In this particular novel, Arthur Potter is called to negotiate with a group of hostage takers that have captured a group of deaf students. Being a federal hostage negotiation agent he must fight to get the support of state officials who would rather have control of the situation for p
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: facebook-reviews
Mr. Deaver spins a master plot with "A Maiden's Grave". It's not at all about his expertise in Forensic investigations. This story is about Hostage Negotiations. And what a ride it was. This is a book to be savored. Don't speed read or you may miss out on the exotic taste of the game of psychology interspersed with a steady battle of wits.

There is also a very mature romantic angle in the plot. Not too overt, not the stupid puppy passionate romance but more of a serene yet strong romance between
Jeff Brateman
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Classic hostage negotiator story, with weird twists. So near the end of this book, I was thinking that it was pretty stupid. It just was like all sweet, the type of ending to make you go "awwwww" and bat your eyelids. But that was not the end, thankfully. If it was, I would've thrown this book into the trash immediately. I now plan to wait a few days to send this book into eternal damnation with the rest of the love story in this book, rather than immediately cast it to the depths of unknown per ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is one good psychological thriller! A bus with 8 deaf student, two teachers is being held hostage by three escaped convicts. One convict comes up with the idea to kill one girl per hour until authorities cut them a deal. This tale definitely had me on the edge of my seat. Lots of twists and turns and I just couldn't put it down.

Note: This was a book that I received from a member at

Nov 22, 2012 rated it liked it

I like Jeffery Deaver's books a lot but I always get the feeling that he just drags the story for too long, that it could be cut short without missing any of the good parts.
In this book a bus with deaf young girls and 2 teachers is hijacked and the all book deals with the negociation to get them out. There are no easy ways and a good crime/thriller book doesn't have only good things happening, all the good people surviving and living happily ever after. The negociation is hard and a lot of th
James Russell
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rashmi Pant
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jeffery Deaver is one of my favourite authors and this book does not disappoint either. As a plot it is very simple... 8 deaf girls are taken hostage in an old slaughterhouse in Kansas by three criminals who have escaped prison. Arthur Potter, the FBI's best hostage negotiator is called in. A what a fantastic job Deaver does in keeping the momentum taut and gripping. Definitely a good read!!
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Incredible heart palpitating suspense that never lets up right until the very last page !!! Haven't read many Jeffery Deaver books in awhile. I was certainly missing a lot. He is a master story teller ! Wish I could give the book TEN stars ! Even though it's from 1995, do not miss this super charged masterpiece of suspense. Truly amazing plot and characters. Just over 415 pages it's a grand slam.
May 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
DNF. I don’t know why but I found this book a real struggle...the whole story just seemed so slow and dull, a repetition of what had occurred before. Maybe hostage thrillers just aren’t my thing but it got to a certain point and I asked myself, do you care what happens at the end of this? The answer was unfortunately a no so I stopped.
Donna Zeno
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was much too long, too many characters to keep track of, too much unnecessary information about sign language, too many times Melanie went into her music room. Was the scene with Bear and Melanie really necessary? The twist was good, but I figured out the ending after that. Books really don't need to be over 400 pages.
Thomas Strömquist
Just before "The Bone Collector" there was "A Maiden's Grave" and it is about just as thrilling. Some escaped convicts capture a school bus of girls from a deaf school and threatens to kill them one by one. A negotiator fights the clock.
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#1 international bestselling author of over thirty novels and three collections of short stories. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He's received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world.

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