Short Stories About Kidnapping, Hostages, Missing Persons or Home Invasions

These stories have a kidnapping or hostage, or an attempt is made in that direction, or have a missing person. In some stories, a person might be held in their own home. See also:

“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)

“Victory Lap” by George Saunders

Alison Pope, a teenager, daydreams about turning down potential suitors. She looks down on the boy next door, Kyle, whom she used to hang out with as a kid. There is a knock at Alison’s back door. Meanwhile, Kyle, who lives in a regimented household, comes home and finds the chore that’s been left for him. Eventually, he notices a van pull up outside.

This story can be read in the preview of Tenth of December: Stories(13% 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.

“Free Radicals” by Alice Munro

Nita, sixty-two, lives alone now that her husband, Rich, who was almost twenty years older, has died. They thought she would be the first to die, as she was diagnosed with cancer. Sympathy for her has fallen off because Rich was buried cheaply without a funeral service, as he wanted. She’s very aware of his absence and hasn’t gone through his things yet. They fell in love while Rich was married to his first wife, Bett. One day, when Nita opens the door for some air, she gets a visit.

“In the Deathroom” by Stephen King

Fletcher is brought into a deathroom—they don’t call it that, but he can tell. A guard leads him roughly to a chair. There are three people sitting behind a table—Escobar, Heinz and an older woman. Escobar tells Fletcher that he will soon be on a plane back to America. He just needs some information first. He asks about Fletchers role as an informant, to the benefit of a Communist insurgent named Núñez. Fletcher tries to maintain his composure under the extreme stress.

“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.

“The Girl With the Blackened Eye” by Joyce Carol Oates

A woman relates what happened to her when she was fifteen, something she never talks about. She hasn’t told her husband or daughters, or anyone who knows her now. She was walking through a mall parking lot to a bus stop when a man started talking to her. He knocked her unconscious and threw her into a vehicle. He drove them to a cabin in the Sonoma Mountains.