The Siege

A Psychological Thriller

Fiction - Literary
276 Pages
Reviewed on 03/20/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

James Hanna roamed Australia for seven years before settling on a career in criminal justice. He spent twenty years as a counselor in the Indiana Department of Corrections and recently retired from the San Francisco Probation Department, where he was assigned to a domestic violence and stalking unit. His short stories have appeared in many journals and received three Pushcart nominations. His books, all of which have won awards, are available on Amazon.

The Siege is James' first published novel. It's a character driven book that depicts a hostage standoff in a medium security prison--a standoff precipitated by the privatization of prison services. While a counselor at the Indiana State Farm, James experienced first-hand the effects of privatization: an array of cut-rate services that frustrated both inmates and staff and brought the facility to the edge of a riot. The anger and fear of this experience is captured in The Siege.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

The Siege (A Psychological Thriller) by James Hanna is a fiction novel that follows a prison takeover. The Siege will appeal most to an audience of adults who enjoy prison fiction with all of its raw grittiness. The story takes place in The Indiana Penal Farm where one hundred prisoners hold twelve guards hostage in the laundry room. In an attempt to defuse the situation without any loss of life, a dorm counselor, Tom Hemmings, has been brought in to talk the prisoners down. However, with the inmates divided into different gangs and tension building quickly, will Tom Hemmings be able to keep everyone alive and safe?

The Siege by James Hanna is a well-written psychological thriller with a realistic feel. While the book itself is fiction, it is clear that the author has done research into prisons due to the true-to-life feel of the inmates and the prison environment. The Siege reminded me a lot of a negotiator with the hostage situation, and emergency services relying on one person to save the day. I found Tom Hemmings to be my favorite character; he was well developed over the course of the book, and I liked his determination in the face of uncertainty and danger. Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading The Siege by James Hanna and I enjoyed the fast pace and realistic grittiness of the plot!