Derek Chapman hitches a ride and later realizes he has unwittingly assisted in what he has dreaded and anticipated—his own kidnapping.
From Kirkus Reviews, 25 April 1977:
"...a well-paced suspense story with a believably varied cast and enough close interaction to give the adventure a little more than plot interest. The central character is superrich Derek Chapman, and very early on he is kidnapped from near his prep school along with four relatively poor townies who just happen to be waiting at the same bus stop. The kidnappers, a man and a woman, are brutal and increasingly desperate, and the five teenagers—one black, two female—alternately bear up, bicker, scheme, despair, and even neck (if that's what you call it when your hands are tied behind your back) as they are beaten, imprisoned, shot at and shifted from a speeding van to an isolated cabin to a burning boathouse to a remote water tower..."