These stories all have a kidnapping or hostage, or an attempt is made in that direction, or have a missing person.
“The Weekender” by Jeffrey Deaver
The narrator and Toth are driving fast on an empty road. There’s no cops yet. They’ve just come from robbing a drugstore, and it didn’t go well. Complications led to them taking a hostage. They see pulsing lights up ahead. They turn off and head for a town that Toth knows where they can find an empty house and wait it out.
This story can be read in the preview of The Best of the Best American Mystery Stories: The First Ten Years. (52% in)
“Cold Moonlight” by Carla Neggers
Ryan Taylor, a former Navy SEAL, is out in the Vermont snow looking for Marissa Neal, daughter of the vice-president. He rounds a corner and sees Elijah Cameron, a Special Forces soldier. Cameron spotted Marissa, but then someone shot at him.
This story can be read in the preview of Love Is Murder. (45% in)
“Chip Assassin” by Mark Gardner
Josephine and Doug investigate the scene of a murder. The potato chip killer has struck again, leaving a sour cream and onion this time.
This story can be read in the preview of Stories on the Go: 101 Very Short Stories by 101 Authors. (87% in)
“How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped” by Katherine Mansfield
Pearl Button is swinging on her front gate while her mother does her weekly ironing. Two women come by and start talking to Pearl. They lead her away with them.
This story can be read in the preview of The Best Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield.
“The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim”
Poirot, Hastings, and Japp discuss the big story of the day—the disappearance of Mr. Davenheim, the well-known banker. He left his house last Saturday and hasn’t been seen since. Poirot is challenged to solve the case without leaving home. He says he could, provided the facts were presented to him.
“Baby Wilson” by E. L. Doctorow
Lester had gotten together with Karen against his better judgment. Now, a year later, she introduces him to their baby, Jesu. He still has the band from the hospital around his wrist. Lester wants her to take him back to the hospital she took him from. Karen won’t hear it and continues with her fantasy. Lester goes to a diner and talks to Brenda about the situation.