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    $18.95 $17.99
    1. A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel
    $6.99 $4.29
    2. The Closer
    $15.99 $10.90 list($27.95)
    3. 4th of July
    $17.79 $13.75 list($26.95)
    4. The Closers
    $13.57 list($19.95)
    5. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
    $17.79 $13.99 list($26.95)
    6. Rage (Alex Delaware)
    $17.13 $13.74 list($25.95)
    7. The Hot Kid : A Novel
    $18.45 list($27.95)
    8. The Broker : A Novel
    $16.47 list($24.95)
    9. Map of Bones
    $17.79 $11.99 list($26.95)
    10. Broken Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)
    $16.50 $12.75 list($25.00)
    11. Countdown
    $17.79 $5.30 list($26.95)
    12. The Innocent
    13. Eleven on Top
    $17.13 list($25.95)
    14. The Historian
    $17.13 $14.95 list($25.95)
    15. The Triumph of the Sun
    $13.97 list($27.95)
    16. Honeymoon
    $14.97 $8.94 list($24.95)
    17. The Da Vinci Code
    $23.10 $17.50 list($35.00)
    18. Angels & Demons : Special
    $16.47 list($24.95)
    19. The Forgotten Man : A Novel (Crais,
    $16.29 $15.75 list($23.95)
    20. A Gladiator Dies Only Once : The

    1. A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel of the NYPD
    by Anthony Cancelliere
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $18.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0595346782
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
    Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 3968
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Following takes place 9am

    June 9th 2002

    Events Are Read In Real Time.

    Detective Jim Clark is a cop on the edge and still nursing the loss of his wife and daughter three years ago. Detective Clark has been deep undercover for the past three months working a Snuff Film case. Jim gets a phone call that his best friend and partner Detective Peter Brown is the suspect of killing his wife late last night. Suddenly Clark is tossed into a frantic search to clear his partners name before Internal Affairs can formally charge Peter with murder.

    When Detective Clark uncovers the truth, about what happened to Detective Brown’s wife the truth it is more horrifying then Detective Clark could have ever thought possible. The deeper the truth goes the more shocking it becomes. Shaking New York City to the bone with one of the most horrible crimes ever committed.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing book
    This book is filled with plot twists and curve balls out of no where. The story takes you on a roller coaster of events that tie into one great ending. Detective Clark is one of the great cops of our time and really makes you care about him and how he is going to save his partner. A few spelling errors and what not, but I didn't even notice since the story, and the action is just so great.
    Anthony Cancelliere is such a great story teller that he is able to take horror and thriller and action mix it with drama and heart break all into once story. He is able to take all these great aspects that I love so much and mix it into one really good story. When the story takes off it really takes off and me as the reader had to buckle my seat belt and really hang on for the ride of my life.
    The side plots are so good and the undertones of friendship and love really make this novel good. The book is about how this detective is going to save his best friend, while dealing with his demons. One part of the novel the main detective is walking back and forth talking to himself trying to talk his way to having a drink. It is really a good look at how booze and drugs really can ruin your life. The messages that the author puts in this novel really make it so much more then just a cop and robber novel.
    What makes this novel really amazing is that it all happens with in 24 hours. By the time the novel is over it feels like the story took place over weeks or months. This book really shows the dark side of the police force and the dark side of what the political world is like. But it also shows what good cops are willing to do to make sure that justice is served.
    This book is really worth the price I paid and if the editor did his job a little better it might be a simply out of this world novel. This book is just really a rare book that is able to mix so many different tones into one 24 plot line. I have so rarely read a book that can do so many things and yet has a solid plot line and works really good. For my money nothing beats this young voice of a talent that is going to making waves in the world of thrillers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hear stopping terror and blood rushing action
    This book is a great novel from a first time author although the book could have used some grammer work. Aside from the editing problems this book was great and it did not appear slow to me. Jim Clark is undercover as Jim Ryder and is trying to uncover a killer making Snuff Films. His partner is a suspect in the murder of his partner's wife. When Jim is called back into duty he is tossed into a whirlwind of action and terror to find the killer. As Detective Clark starts to go down a dark road he finds that the real killer is much worse then he could have ever dreamed. The book really gave a sense of dread as well as taking me on a one hell of a thrill ride.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A little too reel for me
    The book starts out after events that had already changed Detective Clark leaving him a troubled man. He is a former drunk and battling the loss of his wife and little girl. You get the sense right away he is a good man who just needs to keep his head on straight. His partner is charged with murdering his own wife the night before. So Jim is undercover and comes out of it to help find the killer of his parnter's wife.

    While the book is not perfect no one is saying that it is but I found it did not keep me from enjoying it. The story keeps moving quickly kept me guessing as to what was coming next. There were times I was shocked when someone was killed off. If this book had a better editor it would have been simply amazing. Here is a small bi of everyone in the book.

    Detective Jim Clark: A cop on the edge still dealing with the loss of his wife and a drinking problem. We know that Jim can do his job from mentioning cases he had worked in the past. We also know that Jim is a good cop when everyone thinks he should be brought out from under cover.

    Detective Peter Brown: A former football player turned detective is still pretty much a rookie. We know that he is a good man and that he and Jim are like brothers.

    Captain Tyler Anderson: The head of the entire sector Captain Anderson has his own problems. The stress of having a new baby might be getting to him as well as his own drinking problem.

    Captain Patrick McCabe: An evil IAB Captain who is turning the precinct upside down and inside out. Once McCabe gets his gook into the 24th he is going to bring everyone down.

    Detective Allen Hill: A rookie night watch cop called into duty when an office goes down. A good cop who is still just learning the ropes of the police force.

    Charlton Prescott: City Councilman and running for Mayor in New York. Is mixed up in what could be one of the biggest scandals in New York City. Is an old school man and a former detective from the NYPD.

    Halo: One of the most evil and sadistic killers I have ever read in my entire life. This man kills so coldy with no emotion of regard for human life. The torture he brings others is nothing short of evil and I wonder how the author could ever think up this stuff.

    In short the book is good despit the few pimples it has here and there. The story was good and I enhjoyed reading this book very much. The author talks about the evils of drinking and how it could ruin a person as well as how to be true to a friend. Like I said if you need a pure polished novel then this is not for you. If you like to sit back and enjoy the thrill ride then buckle up. This book will take you and drag you along twenty four great hours of action and suspense.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at best
    Although a good first novel, I found this book to be slow and difficult to read due to the absence of an editor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You have to ask.........
    What in the world this author was on when he wrote this novel. Granted there were a few spelling mistakes this was a great book. As far as thrillers go this was a fast paced novel that kept me guessing what was going to happen next. I loved how there were all these different things happening all at the same time. Also the real time aspect was really cool giving a new meaning to tension. I thought as far as making twenty fours fit into one novel this author really did a good job and makes "Time" one of the villians. This was an orignal novel that stood on the line of horror and action. ... Read more

    2. The Closer
    by Donn Cortez
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743476980
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: Pocket Star
    Sales Rank: 7392
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    "METHODHe is the Closer -- a remorseless executioner whose modus operandi is terrifying in its brutal simplicity. He captures his prey, tortures them until they confess their sins, and disposes of them as they deserve. His victims have only one thing in common: they are all serial killers. MOTIVEAccompanied by a hardened ex-prostitute who lost her closest friends to a twisted murderer, the Closer is closing in on his ultimate quarry: an ingenious psychopath known as the Patron who must be stopped. For behind the facade of the Closer is a tortured man whose family the Patron slaughtered. MADNESSBut even as the time for his revenge approaches, the Closer may be turning into what he despises most. Because with every violent act of retribution, he fears that he's no longer killing in the name of justice.... HE'S KILLING BECAUSE HE LIKES IT." ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pulls You In and On
    I can't say enough about how much I loved "The Closer". It is written exactly how a great book should be. I was scared. I was enthralled. I was shocked. I was addicted. Most important I didn't have to put on my thinking cap and force myself between the lines. I didn't have to use a thesaurus and dictionary. All I had to do is read and enjoy. That is the sign of a great book. A great book pulls me to read on and I usually finish it in a few days (I finished "Map of Bones" in four days, "My Fractured Life" in three days, and "The Program" in four days).A pretty good book I will finish in under two weeks (I finished "The Da Vinci Code" in a week and a half). This was a great book, every bit as good as "My Fractured Life" and "Map of Bones." It is easy to read and easy to get lost in. I read it in five days.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dot Com Horror Show
    If people like this really exist, then boy, we'd better watch out.The Patron, Road Rage, Gourmet, and Djinn-X, are truly horrific characters.Each of them deserved what they got and more, and it was so much fun knowing they got what was due to them. The Closer is all business and man, what a gruesome business he and his cohort Nicki are in.I loved their relationship although there wasn't any romance, you kind of got the feeling that if the Closer shows up again, he and Nicki will be a romantic killer couple instead of just a killer couple.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ewwww
    This was a great novel one of the best that i have read in a long time. The torture scenes were awesome and the villian was classic. Cortez has a true gift for the disgust I hope that he gets to put more out in the comming years.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good
    I like to keep my reviews short so al I'm going to say is GET THIS BOOK!!! Though its not amazing its still a great, entertainning book. Also check out any Edward Lee or Richard Laymon books@!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very violent book, but enthralling
    This book both captured me and repelled me.

    The concept and storyline are well fleshed out and very clever.The characters are interesting.

    But I can't seem to give this book 5 stars, because of the amount of graphic violence.

    Don't get me wrong.....I read all the suspense and thrillers I can get my hands on, and I don't cringe when Kay Scarpetta is doing an autopsy.But the violence in this book is so intense, so personal, and so extraordinarily over-the-top, that I finally found myself wondering about the author's sanity.

    This is a very entertaining book, but do be prepared to be shocked, and occasionally, perhaps, nauseated.
    ... Read more

    3. 4th of July
    by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $15.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316710601
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 19
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    After losing one of its own, Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club make a courageous return for their fourth and most chilling case ever--one that could easily be their last. A young girl is killed in crossfire after a routine arrest goes terribly wrong, and Lt. Lindsay Boxer has to defend herself against a charge of police brutality. In a landmark trial that transfixes the nation, Lindsay fights to save her career and her sanity.While awaiting trial, Lindsay escapes to the beautiful town of Half Moon Bay, but the peaceful community there is reeling from a string of unspeakable murders. Working with her friends in the Women’s Murder Club, Lindsay finds a link between these killings and a case she worked on years before--an unsolved murder that has haunted her ever since. As summer comes into full swing, Lindsay battles for her life on two fronts: before a judge and jury as her trial comes to a climax, and facing unknown adversaries who will do anything to keep her from the truth about the killings--including killing again. It all comes to a head before the big annual 4th of July celebration on the waterfront at Half Moon Bay.Patterson fine-tunes the tension like never before in this heart-racing new novel in the bestselling detective series to debut in years. ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read the first page!!!!
    Fourth of July is a great read, and I think it's the BEST of the series so far.Alex Cross, watch out.Lindsay Boxer is on your tail.

    The writing in Fourth of July is crisp and powerful. Don't take my word for it, just read the first page!If you love James Patterson books, this one really delivers the rush we've come to expect.Short, action-packed chapters, and it's over too soon.

    This story focuses on Lindsay, but that's okay.Time to get to know this great cop a littlebetter.The opening chapters are riveting.The death of a sad-sack kid leads to a traffic stop where Lindsay and Jacobi are gunned down - and the action never stops.

    The other girls in the Women's Murder Club are largely absent here, and I admit to missing them, but I loved getting a deeper involvement with Lindsay - plus a new member of the Women's Murder Club is a promising addition.

    To those reviewers who don't like James Patterson books, I don't understand why you people bother to review him.For the rest of us, The Fourth of July is an exciting and very satisfying book.The master of the genre is still on top of his form.And I'm looking forward to reading number Five.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Lindsay's story
    Having read the 3 previous novels of this series, I have to say I was disappointed with the 4th.I forgot about Claire and Cindy and when they would resurface along the storyline, I was like "oh yeah, you're part of the story too".It was just about Lindsay, her trial, and trying to solve a 10 year old crime.It was a true JP book:short chapters, twists and turns in the plot, with an unexpected killer in the end.I would definitely recommend it, especially if you've read the previous novels and are planning to continue reading the series.I see some "paths" that could be explored in future novels.

    1-0 out of 5 stars not worth buying
    I read the first three books and this book fell flat.It was so boring I skipped many parts just to finally get to the end.I read the advanced copy and told many of my customers not to buy this book.I recommended The Innocent by Harlan Coben

    3-0 out of 5 stars Gory and Sadistic....Why do I love it?
    As the previous reviewer mentioned Patterson is a love him or hate him type of author.I fall in the latter category.I find most his books to be by an almost nonsensical level of violence and other less specific types of mayhem.I keep reading them because in spite of the lack of character development in his books he is just one of those authors who's work is hopelessly addictive.

    Overall-I have to grudgingly admit that this book is better then Big Bad Wolf.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I can't help it, I like this stuff
    As with all of Patterson's works, 4TH OF JULY is on the same level as ROSES ARE RED and KISS THE GIRLS----all equally good books, especially for the beach. In JULY, Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer is called away from a get-together with her friends Claire and Cindy to follow-up on a crime-scene investigation. Lindsay and her partner Warren Jacobi trail a stolen black Mercedes, seen at two other crime scenes. The plot careens from there in logical but suspenseful twists and turns. The chapters are only a few pages each, so the action shifts all over the place. The one unrealistic aspect of this book that I did not care for was the trial. She had this trial hanging over her head the whole book and yet she never really seemed to worry about it, at least not in the way that most normal people would.All-in-all I found this to be an excellent beach read, the way McCrae's CHILDREN'S CORNER is or perhaps another fun book, A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING.But a word of warning:You'll either love Patterson or you won't.At any rate, JULY is a great place to start----especially this summer. ... Read more

    4. The Closers
    by Michael Connelly
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316734942
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-16)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 21
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    "A city that forgets its murder victims is a city lost. This is where we don't forget," Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch is told by his new boss, as he ends a three-year retirement and rejoins the Los Angeles Police Department at the start of The Closers, the 11th installment of Michael Connelly's Edgar-winning series. Having long ago demonstrated his knack for cracking previously unsolved homicides, Bosch is assigned to the newly re-branded Open-Unsolved Unit (aka "cold case" squad), and charged with resolving the 17-year-old abduction and slaying of a mixed-race teenager.

    Rebecca Verloren, 16, was discovered missing from her Chatsworth home on a July morning in 1988. Her corpse and the gun that ended her life her were later found on a hill behind the house. An autopsy revealed that she'd recently undergone an abortion, and a piece of skin tissue--presumably the killer's--was found trapped inside the murder weapon. Only now, though, has DNA science matched that tissue to Roland Mackey, a dyslexic 35-year-old tow-truck operator with no obvious connection to the deceased. It's up to Bosch, once more partnered with Kizmin Rider, to determine whether Mackey offed Becky Verloren, or was at least an accessory to that tragedy. But the more Bosch and Rider dig into this dusty crime, trying in part to determine whether racial animosity might have been involved, the more pain and resistance they encounter. Becky's white mother maintains the teen's old bedroom as a shrine, while her shattered father, an African-American chef, has vanished into LA's homeless community. Of the two original investigators on the case, one has since committed suicide, and Bosch suspects that the other--now a police commander--is helping to keep the lid tight on some old departmental secrets, perhaps linked to our hero's nemesis, Deputy Chief Irvin S. Irving.

    Understandably rusty after three years sans shield, Bosch makes his share of personal and professional mistakes here--including one that supplies The Closers with a lethal, plot-turning climax. But the greater problem is that Connelly exhausts so much time and effort following his protagonist through the tedium of modern police procedures, that he neglects what readers have liked more about this series in the past: its persistently deft exploration of Bosch's lonely, haunted soul (which remains mostly out of sight in this tale), and the author's frequent flights of lyrical prose (also not much in evidence). Would-be novelists wanting an example of a solidly constructed cop tale need look no further than The Closers. But readers hoping to learn why Connelly is so well-respected in this genre should turn, instead, to previous Bosch titles such as The Concrete Blonde, Angel's Flight, or City of Bones. --J. Kingston Pierce ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Much better than the last
    A return to form is welcome. Bosch is back on the job. The bad guy is not much of a poker player. One hopes this continues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In a word, spectacular!
    Harry Bosch has become one of crime fiction's most fleshed-out characters...and he keeps improving with each novel Michael Connelly writes. Mr. Connelly is a modern master.

    Harry has returned to the LAPD, repartnered with Kiz Rider in the recently created Open Unsolved Unit. He remains a relentless, smart, hard working, compassionate, fundamentally decent detective. He is a complicated character---still seeking justice.

    Harry and Kiz draw a case from 1988...the murder of an eighteen year biracial girl. DNA is available from the murder weapon...and they get an immediate match.

    They both feel there are enough inconsistencies in the match's history to question whether he is the perp.

    As they work the case they uncover the crime's heartbreaking effects for the victim's family. These unsolved mysteries can haunt a department...often defining the police force that cannot resolve them.

    Even with the tools unavailable in 1988, it still takes dogged legwork, cop's instinct and long grinding hours to decipher the case. This is where Michael Connelly excels...the calculated progress of Police Procedure 101.

    The suspense is constant; surprises appear at every turn, the entire cast vibrant in this taut crime thriller. "The Closers" is well executed and well envisioned.

    The plot builds in a deceptive manner...accelerating geometrically as the novel progresses. It ignites in a hushed manner...propelling you to the resolution.

    Mr. Connelly is most adept at setting the hook in a most subtle manner...he hides the clues in plain sight as well as any writer. He makes discovering the solution completely satisfying.

    It is easy to immerse oneself in "The Closers."

    3-0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
    I've been a Connelly fan for a long time. In this book, Connelly has jumped on the bandwagon that's typified by such TV fare as "Cold Case" on CBS and "Cold Case Files" on A&E.

    As a straight procedural, this novel works fine. But in my opinion it's missing the essential elements that distinguished the Bosch series in the past, the complexity of character and noir LA that Connelly so ably presented as such a rich tapestry. In this work, the issues that have driven Harry previously are only at best alluded to - his troubled youth and relationship with his young daughter, among others. As a matter of fact, I found the most moving part of the book to be a one or two paragraph passage relating a phone conversation he had with his little daughter. The victim in the piece is simply a cipher with no persona, a plot device to further the story. I had no feel for her as a person. Even the resolution of the long-running conflict with his nemesis Irving Irving is accomplished in a basically throw-away fashion, and was clever but unsatisfying.

    This is the least fulfilling Bosch novel I've read in a long time - maybe ever, I'll have to think about that. I certainly miss the complexity of Harry's character that we've grown used to; in this work he suffers none of his usual doubts or ambivalence (the traits that make him such a riveting character). However, as a straight procedural it earns three stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another great book!
    I love Connelly's books and this is another great one.Unlike a previous reviewer, I found it a very smooth read.He captures the feeling of LA and the Valley very well.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but.........
    Sorry, but I have to disagree with the starred reviews.Mr. Connelly's plot and characters are very interesting, but has anyone actually read his dialogue out loud?People simply do not talk this way--and real people use contractions!!I became so annoyed with the stilted conversations that I simply could not finish the book, and I was 2/3 of the way through it.Not nearly up to the standards of his earlier works. ... Read more

    5. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies : The New Novel in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375422714
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
    Publisher: Pantheon
    Sales Rank: 17945
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    6. Rage (Alex Delaware)
    by Jonathan Kellerman
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 034546706X
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-24)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 30
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars his best in a while
    I look forward to all the alex delaware books, but some are better than others, and this one is very good. Other reviewers have described the plot; I will just say that it was pleasurably twisty.About a third of the way through the book I thought the solution was obvious, and I was disappointed, but I was wrong!
    A minor flaw is that the book ended too abruptly.It needed a little more of a wind-down.
    There is a hint toward the end of the book that Alex and Allison may be heading for a split and Robin may reappear...Mr Kellerman, if you read these reviews, DON'T DO IT.While one criticism I would level at all of the Alex D. books is that the two female love interests do not have very well-developed characters, as far as they go, Allison is preferable.Robin is kind on whiney.

    5-0 out of 5 stars terrific Dr. Delaware thriller
    In Los Angeles, the call surprises Dr. Alex Delaware because he had no idea that Rand Duchay was God forbid free; a frantic Rand pleads with Alex to see him immediately.Alex agrees thinking back eight years when then thirteen years old Randolph and his friend almost fourteen years old Troy Turner abduct and killed twenty-five months old Kristal Malley.Alex was the psychologist who dealt with the teen murders.Not long afterward someone at the Chino CYA camp for juvenile defenders killed Troy.

    Alex arrives at the meeting place, but Duchay fails to show up.Surprised, Alex, who is to meet his beloved in New York tomorrow, informs Police Lieutenant Milo Sturges about what happened.The cop mentions a murder victim who turns out to be Rand.Is this a revenge killing perhaps the baby's father whose rage was obvious when the state cut a deal with the defense, an idle act, or someone insuring the truth of the infanticide never surfaces?

    RAGE is a terrific Dr. Delaware thriller that grips the audience when Alex recalls (in a flashback) the heinous crime and the reactions of the two teens who committed the murder.Alex is super in this novel especially his asides such as fearing Rand will find another dominant personality to coax him along for a deadly ride.The who-done-it is well designed so that readers know that everyone involved just about believe Duchay deserved death including to a degree Milo and Alex, but they overcome their personal disgust while seeking the killer.Fans of the series will be elated with Jonathan Kellerman's latest tale.

    Harriet Klausner
    ... Read more

    7. The Hot Kid : A Novel
    by Elmore Leonard
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060724226
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Sales Rank: 118
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Before Elmore Leonard abandoned westerns to blaze across the pantheon of bestsellerdom with his hip, stylish thrillers, punctuated with dead-pan humor and dialogue worthy of a David Mamet play, he might have written The Hot Kid; it has some of the same crisp pacing and well-defined, if not especially complex, characters that marked his earlier novels. A show-down between Tulsa oil wildcatter and millionaire Oris Belmont and his 18-year-old son, who's attempting to shake him down, says all there is to say about both men:

    "I don’t know what's wrong with you. You're a nice-looking boy, wear a clean shirt every day, keep your hair combed ... where'd you get your ugly disposition? Your mama blames me for not being around, so then I give you things .. you get in trouble, I get you out. Well, now you've moved on to extortion in your life of crime ... I pay you what you want or you're telling everybody I have a girlfriend?"

    Jack Belmont's blackmail scheme doesn't work, but after destroying his father's property, forging checks in his name, kidnapping his mistress, and joining a gang of notorious bank robbers after his release from prison, he encounters another man trying to get out from under his father's large shadow and create his own, bigger one.Deputy U.S. Marshal Carl Webster, who at age 15 shot a man trying to steal his cows and six years later dispenses equal justice to Emmet Long, the leader of Belmont's gang, now has Jack Belmont in his sights. Webster's exploits have earned him even more celebrity than Jack, who dreams of rivaling Pretty Boy Floyd as public enemy number one.

    We’re in the early 30's here, just as a dust cloud is rolling across the Oklahoma plains--the days of Bonnie and Clyde, when gangsters captured the public attention, and Leonard makes good use of place and time. His minor characters are much more interesting than his protagonists, especially the women, and the writing shows occasional flashes of his trademarked ironic humor. But it's not as cool--or as hot--as even his most dedicated readers are used to, and there's barely a trace of the bizarre plot twists and unlikely coincidences that define his most recent caper novels in this one. --Jane Adams ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars
    Elmore Leonard has written many a novel in a variety of settings. This one came as somewhat a surprise. 1930's of Oklahoma. Prohibition, gangsters, bank-robbers. What Leonard has done is write a novel that will bring you back and relive life in this era. An entertaining novel that you'll likely read through in a day or two. Great characters and a good plot that will please most Elmore Leonard fans.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Hot book
    My first Leonard book was GET SHORTY.Most people know the movie, but you really have to READ Mr. Leonard to get his style (very Hemingwayesque) with its short sentences and pared-down style. As usual, an excellent cast of characters is at hand, and Mr. Leonard's great handling of situations and plot devices is matter-of-fact and right on. If you enjoyed the writings of Jackson McCrae, think his BARK OF THE DOGWOOD or possibly some of Hiassen's works such as SKINNY DIP, then this one will work for you.I know it did for me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling story of crime and punishment
    Carlos (Carl) Webster sees his first murder at fifteen. A year later, he kills his first man--a cattle rustler trying to steal his herd. When he turns eighteen, he joins the marshall's service. Carl gains a reputation as a man who keeps his cool, but who shoots to kill. Jack Belmont is just a bad guy. When he was a kid, he let his sister nearly drown. Later, he tried to blackmail his father, kidnapped his father's girlfriend, and blew up one of his father's oil storage tanks. Louly Brown had a crush on Pretty Boy Floyd, but he never paid much attention to her. Her brief career as a gun moll doesn't last long when the police, led by Carl Webster, track down the man she's running with.

    Set in prohibition America and the depression, THE HOT KID explores a period of American history when Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and Pretty Boy Floyd were active, when gangsters were romantic, and when mobs ruled cities. Author Elmore Leonard spins a deceptively involving story about men who don't say much, who live larger than life, and who keep their cool.

    In Leonard's stories, no one is completely good and conventional morality is badly bent. While no one is good, there are those who are completely bad. It is a compelling and disturbing world. Leonard ups the emotional intensity as Jack increasingly disorganizes in his attempt to carve out a place for himself in a world where criminals glory in becoming America's Most Wanted.

    Warning: THE HOT KID is hard to put down. I sat down to read it and pretty much didn't do anything else all day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not a western, masterful crime fiction
    I'm not into westerns so I was a little worried when I heard Mr. Leonard's new novel was set in Oklahoma, especially when I knew that Mr. Leonard starting in the writing biz writting hack westerns.Have no fear, this is a crime novel just set in 1930's Oklahoma -- think "Oh Brother where art thou" mixed with "Mixed with Get Shorty"well, not exactly but lets just say the book still has a certain hipness even though it is set 70 years ago.Mr Leonards trademark is his ability to develop real characters that jump from the page, and this is the case in the HOT KID.Both ends, and the middle, of the good/evil spectrum are explored here against the rough and tumble times of depression era Oklahoma.This and a "Tourist in the Yucatan" have been been my favorite thriller reads of 2005!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A masterful tale told by The Master
    I have come to the conclusion that there is no reliable measure by which the magnitude of Elmore Leonard's ability can be gauged. He was at one point referred to, with some accuracy, as America's most popular unknown author. He is no longer unknown; he has, in fact, created his own subgenre of sorts, inhabited by tough guys, clever guys, and tender and tougher women. One can never predict what is going to happen in an Elmore Leonard novel, or even what he will pick as subject matter from one work to the next. At a point when an author of his stature, of his talent, could phone in a reliably entertaining work, Leonard continues to test, and stretch, the boundaries that he previously marked off.

    So now Leonard favors us with THE HOT KID, a work set in the Oklahoma of the 1930s. It is Leonard's most ambitious, and arguably best, work to date, rich in dialogue, characters, and subtle contrasts. Leonard focuses primarily on Carl Webster and Jack Belmont, two men of not-dissimilar backgrounds with divergent career paths. Webster's father is a career Oklahoma pecan farmer who became wealthy quite by accident when oil was discovered on his land. Belmont's father deliberately sought oil and found it, becoming a millionaire by arduous and dangerous trial and error.

    Both men seem to have their respective courses set in their teen years --- Webster's through a chance encounter with an outlaw, Belmont's through a family tragedy that he precipitates out of misfeasance at best and malfeasance at worst. They each fashion a rebellion of sorts against their fathers. Webster rejects his father's gentle entreaties to continue the family pecan farm business by becoming a U.S. Marshal. He quickly grows famous for his killing of a notorious bank robber, as well as his code of honor. Belmont, for his part, also rejects his father but in a more heinous manner. He blows up one of his father's oil derricks, then by turns attempting to blackmail him and kidnapping his paramour, before embarking on a bankrobbing spree throughout Oklahoma and Kansas.

    It isn't long before Webster is on Belmont's trail. Belmont, however, wants to be Public Enemy Number One, and the quickest way for him to acquire that title is to hunt Webster.

    Part of Leonard's appeal always has been his ability to breathe characters upon the printed page, and he never has done so more sharply than on the pages of THE HOT KID, etching good and evil in bas relief and highlighting where the boundaries meet and blur. Leonard also subtly paints the rise and fall of fortunes in Oklahoma --- a trajectory that played itself out over the course of a decade --- against the backdrop of a tale of easy money, easier women, and rough justice. This is a masterful tale, told by The Master.

    --- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
    ... Read more

    8. The Broker : A Novel
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $18.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385510454
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-11)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 219
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    9. Map of Bones
    by James Rollins
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060763876
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Sales Rank: 39633
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    10. Broken Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)
    by JohnSandford
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0399152725
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Putnam Adult
    Sales Rank: 27
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Lucas Davenport confronts a living nightmare, in one of the scariest Prey novels yet from the number-one bestselling author.

    The "Big Three" are a trio of inmates locked up in the Minnesota Security Hospital over the years, each a particularly vicious serial killer, each with his own distinct style and propensities. Everybody feels much safer knowing that they're behind bars. Except . . . there's a new killer on the loose. And his handiwork bears a disturbing resemblance to some of the finer points practiced by the Big Three, details that never even made the papers.

    Davenport and his team quickly home in on a possible suspect, a man named Charlie Pope, who was released from the same hospital prison a few weeks earlier, and who now seems to have cut himself free from his court-imposed ankle bracelet and disappeared. But is he really the one? And why do the Big Three look so agitated?

    Brilliantly suspenseful, consistently surprising-once again, Sandford has outdone himself.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Lucas Davenport Winner!
    Lucas Davenport is once again on the trail of another vicious and twisted serial killer.And John Sandford once again makes it a fascinating tale, despite his usual serial killer formula.The story is full of red herrings, misdirection, and an over-the-top amount of blood and gore.Nevertheless, I couldn't put it down until the last page.Fortunately, Lucas' wife and kids are out of the country, leaving Lucas free to risk his life once again.The Davenport series suffers when Lucas is too domesticated!Bonus:Lucas' list of the top 100 rock songs of all time; and a very complete list it is!
    Highly recommended!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best of Prey
    I enjoyed this novel very much. It was suspenseful and exciting. it was everything that the last novel wasn't. just when you thought you knew who the killer a rug was pull under you. I highly recommended this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Clever intricate plot &suspense, but tons of violence & gore
    We just finished racing through Sandford's latest Lucas Davenport novel, "Broken Prey", 17th in the "Prey" series.As in most, there is a horrible serial killer on the loose; Davenport tears himself away from the increasingly political duties he has in his newest position; and he and sidekick Sloan really are engaged throughout the whole battle to find the perp.The plot is so complicated it is not easily summarized.The story involves the hunt for someone with connections to the St. Johns' institution for the criminally insane; and first one perp then another is the sure suspect.Finally it becomes clear a sick but clever brain lies behind the masterminding of the crimes and their cover-ups and red herrings.

    As with all these tales, Sandford writes compelling stories that keep the pages flying - suspense is taut throughout, and a couple of major mis-directions provided unusual interest and entertainment.However, it seemed that the language and graphic violence, gobs of it, in this book were really over the top - which in the final analysis was a distraction for us.We feel obliged to warn potential readers of the extreme blood and guts all over this work.Nonetheless, we have no doubt from some of the early returns that Broken Prey will be another Sandford hit, best seller, and popular entry in this long running set.We did enjoy immensely the intricate plot, but wish we could have escaped much of the gore.

    2-0 out of 5 stars No Mystery
    For anyone who has read the Prey series, you will know who the killer is long before he is "revealed." A bit formulaic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Davenport does it again !
    In this thriller,Davenport&comp. are hunting an especially vicious prey-a serial killer of monstrous brutality-and a sick but perfectly smart mind.
    As soon as you jump on their wagon,you will be taken for a ride you'll not soon forget-literally scratching the pages as you hope and pray with the team that they shall be in time,save the victim,get the killer....
    If there were 10 points for suspense,this would be the book. ... Read more

    11. Countdown
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553803425
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 400
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    IRIS JOHANSEN, who has more than twenty-five million copies of her books in print, has won many awards for her achievements in writing. The bestselling author of Blind Alley, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, No One to Trust, Body of Lies, The Search, Final Target, and many others, she lives near Atlanta, Georgia, where she is currently at work on a new novel.

    From the Hardcover edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not even a good beach read
    During the week, my job requires me to travel.I pass the time listening to books on tape.I have listened to several of her books, and I have enjoyed them.In this recent book, I was so bored with the characters and the plot that I constantly rewound the tape to keep up with the weak story mind wandered.I kept listening for the problem in the story but it didn't happen until the middle, and then the terrorists were injected into the story.The thread was so weak; I kept waiting for another plot to develop.It never did. I thought I had missed something so I rewound and listened again.I didn't miss anything; the main problem was weak and the subplot was weaker.

    I guess I will have to add her to my growing list of writers who have gone so commercial that they publish, publish, publish with no thought to the content.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not good enough
    I have to say I am getting very bored with the direction Ms. Johansen is taking the Eve Duncan series. First of all, on the cover it states that this is an Eve Duncan story, which is not. This is a Jane Maguire story just like Blind Alley was. Second, this story was filled with nothing more than the sexual tension between Jane and Mark Trevor. If I wanted that, I would buy something with Fabio on the cover. I think Ms. Johansen needs to get the story back on track with Eve, Joe and Bonnie.

    5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic action-packed thriller
    Jane MacGuire, the adopted daughter of forensic sculptor Eve Duncan, is almost kidnapped and her friend is murdered before her eyes.The roommate who betrayed them is killed in a suspicious hit and run.Trevor, who she hasn't seen in four years since they caught a serial killer in the ruins of Herculaneum, the ancient city destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius' eruption, brings them to the castle he is renting in Aberdeen, Scotland.Dr. Reilly, a brainwashing specialist, wants Jane who is the mirror image Cira, a slave girl who escaped with a treasure when Herculaneum was destroyed.He also wants the gold and coins that she smuggled out the day Vesuvius blew.

    Grozak, a hate filled racist who detests the United States is prepared to go to any lengths to kidnap and delver Jane and find the gold and coins and bring them all to Reilly if he will brainwash people into becoming suicide bombers for an attack on the United States that will make 9/11 seem small in comparison.Trevor who cares about Jane is determined to protect her just as he intends to stop Grozak from carrying out his plan.Jane joins the mission to stop the man knowing it might coast her everything if they fail.

    COUNTDOWN is a fantastic action-packed thriller where the stakes are high and failure could result in the death of millions.Over the course of the Eve Duncan forensic thriller series Jane has evolved from a street wise delinquent into a beautiful headstrong adult who will do whatever it takes to save her country.Trevor, an ex-mercenary operating on both sides of the law, meets his match in Jane and their relationships promises to intensify in future novels.Iris Johansen has written another winner that is heading for the New York Times bestseller list.

    Harriet Klausner

    4-0 out of 5 stars I'm the only one who can save the world
    I've been buying these books as soon as they come out, but I'm about to start passing them by. All of the female characters have a common attribute -- they seem to believe that they alone are capable of confronting the evil adversary and saving the world. In this installment, never mind that the CIA and Homeland Security can't do the job, Jane isn't about to let the bad guys get away with being bad. Come on Iris. It's too far-fetched to continue having these amateur characters assume such epic responsibilities.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good story, but something was missing....
    I have read the whole Eve Duncan series and although I found COUNTDOWN to be a very good story there was something missing.It was fast paced and I read it quickly, but it revolved around Eve & Joe's adopted daughter Jane, and I was really disappointed that they were hardly ever mentioned.I hope when she writes the next one she brings them back because I really like those two characters. ... Read more

    12. The Innocent
    by HarlanCoben
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0525948740
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
    Publisher: Dutton Adult
    Sales Rank: 58
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Matt Hunter made a mistake when he was 20 years old and paid for it with a four-year stint in prison that left him with a determination never to be locked up again. Finally, his life is back on the promising track he was taking before he accidentally killed a man: He has a good job, a newly pregnant wife he adores, and is about to close on the home of their dreams. Then he gets a couple of bizarre photos on his cell phone that seem to show his wife in a compromising position with a black-haired stranger. But before he can sort out who sent the anonymous pictures and why, he's running from the law--especially from the cop who was his best friend in grade school, and a sharp young detective who's stepped right into the middle of an FBI investigation spurred by the discovery that a dead nun who wasn't who she claimed to be is somehow mixed up in Matt and Olivia Hunter's life. Coben deftly wields a complicated plot involving a missing stripper, a dead gangster, an incriminating videotape, and a couple of agents who aren't quite who they seem to be, while Hunter manages to hold onto his faith in Olivia despite her clouded past and uncertain future. Like all Coben's protagonists, (including the hero of his popular series starring sports agent turned detective Myron Bolitar) Hunter is a nice, middle-class New Jersey boy who's still the innocent of the title, despite the miscarriage of justice that sent him to prison. Or was it? That's the moral question at the heart of this tightly constructed thriller, which will no doubt shoot directly to the top of the bestseller list, and deservedly so. --Jane Adams Exclusive Content

    A Bit of Bolitar: An Exclusive Essay by Harlan Coben

    Beloved series character Myron Bolitar appears in a new short story included with Harlan Coben's latest thriller, The Innocent. In this exclusive essay, Coben shares his thoughts on Bolitar's return.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (38)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a good one!!!
    I have read all these reviews up until today regarding this book and find most of them very true. This is a great book. A fast read as with all of cobens novels. I had seem him when he visited a bookstore in NJ the day the book came out. He was very excited about the release. When I brought the book home that night I finished it in 5 hours. I liked it alot. Still my fav's are Tell No One and Gone for Good. But this is up there. Its not confusing and I didn't think it was convoluted either. It just a fun read and worth the while to read, eventhough it will be a short while. THANKS HARLAN!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Man, this guy can tell a tale!
    Coben manages once again to spin an amazingly engaging yarn about hapless Matt Hunter who, while in college on a typical undergraduate pre-law trajectory, goes to a fraternity party where his best friend gets into a fight.Hunter, very reluctantly enters the fray late when his friend is getting the bejesus beat out him.Hunter does not want to fight and in fact regards his reluctance as cowardice.But intervene he does and with catastrophic results.He accidentally kills another boy who was also uninvolved in the fight.

    The story resumes 9 years later with Matt out of prison working as a para-legal in a law firm and married to a woman who can only be described as perfect - perfect in every way for our Matt.He can barely believe his good luck.

    But the bliss doesn't last long after Matt receives on his mobile phone a picture of his wife wearing a blond wig in a compromising situation.BAM!!Matt and we are off to the races.And what a wild ride it is!

    Coben is simply the best contemporary writer that I've come across who grabs your interest and simply will not let go.The old cliche about not picking up a book unless you have the time to complete it is actually true of Coben.He is a master at creating suspense and intrigue.

    Coben's characters are always ordinary and manage to find themselves in extrordinary circumstances that would bedevil anyone.Coben creates characters and situations that nearly anyone could relate to which is to a large extent why his books work so well.Ordinary people getting caught up in overwhelmingcomplicated unfathomable situations.

    Coben is an amazing story teller and this book will deliver.I heartily recommend it to all.My wife loved it as much as I did.

    4-0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Stars!
    In my humble opinion, Harlan Coben is one of today's best mystery and thriller writers and stands above all of the rest.I agree with another reviewer who said that Harlan on a bad day is still better than many on their best days.

    Having said that, The Innocent, wasn't Mr. Coben's greatest endeavor to date.While still a page turner, his novels are becoming formulaic and you just expect twists and turns.

    This is a story of a guy(Matt)who was convicted of murder, spending 4 years in jail when, in actuality, it was an accidental killing and "our hero" was just trying to stop a barroom brawl.Usually I can go with Mr Coben's flights of fantasy, but he lost me right here, in the beginning.Matt's family could afford a good lawyer and in today's world, Matt would be a lawyer himself "with a past."Matt's wife has a past of her own unknown to Matt.Using the old picture in a cell phone trick, Coben is off to the races and doesn't stop until the last page. The pace is fast, there are some surprising twists (although I had many of them figured out), but I never did "warm up" to the characters.The truth of the matter is that while I certainly wanted to see what happened, I really didn't care enough about the characters for it to matter if the ending was happy or not.

    From another author, this would be a very good story.From Harlan Coben, it is only good.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Less than his best
    I did not care for "Just One Look" and had high hopes for this one. I was disappointed. Coben is good but this is simply not up to some of his best in the past.
    You will be entertained with a tangled plot but perhaps I expect too much.
    Lots of surprises and a review of the plot would take multiple paragraphs. I would not discourage your reading the book, just know that it is not up to par in my opinion.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Coben at His Best
    In the first twenty pages all you get is an innocent murder "you" committed, a nun with breast implants, a Reno stripper, FBI agents who don't look good and more is still to come!Coben gets the reader enthralled immediately.

    This is a mystery with several intertwined mysteries going at once and several characters proceeding in several directions, yet also all entwined - a delicious mix, especially when stirred with good writing.At times, Coben came perilously close to overdoing it, but he never passed over the razor thin line between head-scratching and hair-pulling.The plot worked and did not get over the top.

    We have the ex-con, who really isn't a con, a county inspector, the FBI, and an Amazon private detective, all in the hunt (with a few helpers to boot) for what first appears to be a murder, then two murders connected, then a third.All get tied together in the end.At about page fifty, the reader is afraid he has at least some of it solved.Fear not.Nothing is as it seems.

    Simply put, this is a great mystery with twists and turns taken by a few different threads.

    What adds to this book is Coben's characters.They all have depth, a rarity in a genre where one is happy if the main character has some depth.There is not a single cardboard cutout character.They all have feelings, flaws and strengths.This book actually has three characters you want to root for, yet they are not perfect, nor even close to it.For that reason, there are times you really have to doubt them - which just adds to the mystery.The primary bad guys are not all bad.Their motivations are understandable, which makes them human.

    This is a page turner and great mystery.Highly recommended, I think this is Coben's best and certainly much better than his last. ... Read more

    13. Eleven on Top
    by Janet Evanovich
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $26.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312306261
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-21)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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    14. The Historian
    by Elizabeth Kostova
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316011770
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-14)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 61
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    Book Description

    DESCRIPTION: In this riveting debut of breathtaking scope, a young girl discoversher father's darkest secret and embarks on a harrowing journey across Europe to completethe quest he never could -- to find history's most legendary fiend: Dracula. When a motherless American girl living in Europe finds a medieval book and a package of letters, all addressed ominously to "My dear and unfortunate successor..." she begins to unravel a thread that leads back to her father's past, his mentor's career, and an evil hidden in the depths of history.In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright:a hunt that nearly brought her father to ruin and may have claimed the life of his adviser and dear friend, history professor Bartholomew Rossi. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler, the historical Dracula, have to do with the 20th century? Is it possible that Dracula has lived on in the modern world? And why have a select few historians risked reputation, sanity, and even their lives to learn the answer?So begins an epic journey to unlock the secrets of the strange medieval book, an adventure that will carry our heroine across Europe and into the past -- not only to the times of Vlad's heinous reign, but to the days when her mother was alive and her father was still a vibrant young scholar. In the end, she uncovers the startling fate of Rossi, and comes face to face with the definition of evil-- to find, ultimately, that good may not always triumph. ... Read more

    15. The Triumph of the Sun
    by Wilbur Smith
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312318405
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
    Sales Rank: 369
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    It is 1884, and in the Sudan, decades of brutal misgovernment by the ruling Egyptian Khedive in Cairo precipitates a bloody rebellion and Holy War. The charismatic new religious leader, the Mahdi or "Expected One," has gathered his forces of Arab warlords in preparation for a siege on the city of Khartoum. The British are forced to intervene to protect their national interests and to attempt to rescue the hundreds of British subjects stranded in the city.

    Along with hundreds of others, British trader and businessman Ryder Courtney is trapped in the capital city of Khartoum under the orders of the infamously iron-willed General Charles George Gordon. It is here that he meets skilled soldier and swordsman Captain Penrod Ballantyne of the 10th Hussars and the British Consul, David Benbrook, as well as Benbrook's three beautiful daughters. Against the vivid and bloody backdrop of the Arabs' fierce and merciless siege these three powerful men must fight to survive.

    Rich with vibrant historical detail and infused with his inimitable powers of storytelling, THE TRIUMPH OF THE SUN is Wilbur Smith at his masterful best.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Starts with a bang ... ends with a whimper
    I can modestly claim to understand Mr. Smith's style for storytelling, considering I have followed his books written in the 60s through today. I immensely enjoyed the earlier books - Shout at the Devil, Hungry as the sea, Goldmine, Cry Wolf etc.

    Lately Smith seems to have lost his touch for the exotic and has become more mainstream. Triumph of the Sun displays his usual brilliance in the beginning - however the latter half dissolves into a standard formulaic action adventure you get to see from Hollywood only too frequently.

    Smith also seems to have stopped trying to keep his characters in, well character. Case in point, Rebecca Penbrook, our vestal, pure heroine seems to degenrate into a slutty tramp as the story unfolds. I was particularly put off by her 'awakening' with the creepy Mahdi after her capture. While I applaud Mr. Smith's confidence in his deep insights into the female sexual psyche, I seriously doubt if women think with their 'quimmies', as he puts it, all the time, which is what our dear Rebecca seems to do. If we wanted a detailed description of what Rebecca does with the Mahdi's 'essence' in her mouth, we always have Harrold Robbins or Erica Jong.

    I am waiting for a book with the classic Smith touches of elephant hunts, lions roaring and crocodile snapping off people's legs in the Zambezi.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A page turner
    I consider Wilbur Smith as Africa's all time best writer or novelist. The Triumph of the Sun just goes to add to the accolades from his other bestselling novels. This great historical fiction is set in The Sudans when it was gripped by the rebellion against the ruling Egyptian Khedive and the British by The Madhi or "Expected One" who in 1881 deemed himself a religious prophet who Allah had chosen to purify the Islamic faith, a rebellion which saw the creation of a vast Islamic state from the Red Sea to Central Africa by preaching the omnipotence of the Qur'an, utilizing internal class struggles, and by successfully organizing his "ansar" or military.

    Against the backdrop of the Mahdi's war that led to the capture of the Khartoum, the death of General Charles George Gordon and the temporary loss of British influence, are the figures from the Courtney and the Ballantyne families that featured in Wilbur Smith's other books, amazing characters that gave the historical fiction that spice that made this story so great.

    To have a better feel of the story, I suggest you also read Wilbur Smith's other books such as "When the Lion Feeds", "Blue Horizon" etc. One thing I am sure is that whether this is your first Wilbur Smith novel or just another, you are certainly going to enjoy the story. Just like DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, the message in this novel resonates today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better Cover available
    Just to let you know you have a choice in covers. The European/ South African cover is a beautiful wrap-around photograph evoking the scorching North African desert.

    This is the copy i bought instead from ... Read more

    16. Honeymoon
    by James Patterson, Howard Roughan
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $13.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316710628
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-14)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 593
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    Book Description

    The honeymoon is over--now the murders can begin. America*s #1 thriller writer returns with his sexiest, scariest novel ever. Hotter than The Beach House and scarier than Kiss the Girls, James Patterson*s explosive new thriller introduces a bride who is beautiful, talented, devoted--and deadly.When a young investment banker dies of baffling causes, FBI agent John O*Hara immediately suspects the only witness, the banker*s alluring and mysterious fianc*e. Nora Sinclair is a beautiful decorator who expects the best, and will do anything to get it. Agent O*Hara keeps closing in, but the stronger his case, the less he knows whether he*s pursuing justice or his own fatal obsession. In a novel so compelling it reads like a collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, James Patterson unveils surprise after surprise that will keep readers guessing until the last deadly kiss. ... Read more

    17. The Da Vinci Code
    by Dan Brown
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $14.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385504209
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-18)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 6
    Average Customer Review: 3.48 out of 5 stars
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    With The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown masterfully concocts an intelligent and lucid thriller that marries the gusto of an international murder mystery with a collection of fascinating esoteria culled from 2,000 years of Western history.

    A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu's grandfather's murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself. Brown (Angels and Demons) has created a page-turning thriller that also provides an amazing interpretation of Western history. Brown's hero and heroine embark on a lofty and intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries--from the nature of the Mona Lisa's smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. Though some will quibble with the veracity of Brown's conjectures, therein lies the fun. The Da Vinci Code is an enthralling read that provides rich food for thought. --Jeremy Pugh ... Read more

    Reviews (2922)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much More Than A Super Suspense Thriller!!
    Once I began this extraordinary book, I could not put it down. "The Da Vinci Code" is so much more than a gripping suspense thriller. Dan Brown takes us beyond the main plot and leads us on a quest for the Holy Grail - a Grail totally unlike anything we have been taught to believe. With his impeccable research, Mr. Brown introduces us to aspects and interpretations of Western history and Christianity that I, for one, had never known existed...or even thought about. I found myself, unwillingly, leaving the novel, and time and time again, going online to research Brown's research - only to find a new world of historic possibilities opening up for me. And my quest for knowledge and the answers to questions that the book poses, paralleled, in a sense, the quest of the book's main characters. What a trip! What a read!

    A violent murder is committed in the Louvre Museum. The museum's chief curator, who is also the head of a remarkable secret society that has existed since the death of Christ, is found dead and gruesomely positioned on the floor near The Mona Lisa. In the minutes before he died, this very complex man was able to leave clues for his daughter to follow. The daughter, a brilliant cryptographer, along with a famed US symbologist, follow her father's codes and leads, hoping that he will, through his death, finally tell her what he wanted to confide in her while he lived. The secret society included members such as: Leonardo Da Vinci, Boticelli, Gallileo, Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, Jean Cocteau, etc. These folks really Did belong to this society, which Really existed! This is when I first began my online search.

    The mystery, or mysteries, take us through England, France and far back in time. We learn about the secret of the Knights Templar, and the symbolism in many of the world's most treasured paintings, as well as architectural symbolism in some of history's most sacred churches. Of course, we also learn who committed the murder and why - although this is almost secondary next to the real epic mystery the novel uncovers.

    If there are flaws in the plot, I was too busy reading to discover any. That is probably the sign of a terrific book! The writing is excellent and the characters are a bit on the super-hero/heroine side, but who cares? Is what "The Da Vinci Code" proposes true? Well, the research is correct. The historical events and people explored in the book are real. But no one knows the Truth...nor will we ever, probably. I think that some things are meant to be a mystery. With all the world's diverse religions and each individual's belief in what is Divine - the Truth would have to destroy the beliefs, hopes and lives of many of the world's population. So, perhaps, in the divine scheme of things, there are many more Truths than one. Don't take the book too seriously. Just read it and enjoy!

    3-0 out of 5 stars ...and scene.
    Readers of Laura Esquivel will recognize in Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code" the same initially inspired meeting of physical science and the arts that formed the basis of her "Swift as Desire." In her novel, Esquivel forged a strong connection between the unlikely fields of telegraphy (as a literary endeavour) and astronomy. In Brown's novel, he begins with an interesting plot that utilizes some actual mathematical patterns in Leonardo DaVinci's masterpieces. Unfortunately, it is a meeting that gets similarly bogged down by the middle with its own premise. While Esquivel gets tied up in romantic psuedoscience, Brown gets attached to a single religious metaphor that eventually turns into a (seeming) political agenda.

    This is a murder mystery in a sense, but feels for the most part like a treatise on women in Christianity. The implications of the so-called "sacred feminine," a religious devotion to female... um... well, we never quite find out why women are so great..., are both too heavy handed and light-weight, and lose their force by the 12th chapter. The conclusion has little to do with the evidence set up throughout the book; and in the last hundred pages, the main character is interpreting almost everything as a symbolic womb. Much like the soundtrack to "Eyes Wide Shut," a movie Brown references in "The DaVinci Code," he takes an interesting premise and beats his audience over the head with it, rather than letting them discover it gradually for themselves.

    There is an influx of new information preceding each chapter's remarkable discovery that detracts from what was an interesting, cryptologically-centered premise with good evidence. I suspect this has something to do with the critical praise that has elevated the novel to "a work of genius". This is not without merit. There is much promise here, and much passion that is just a little too latent, that I couldn't help feeling at points like I was reading a laundry list of cool things that Brown wanted to address at some point. He waits until a critical juncture in the events before unloading vast quantities of symbolic history on his reader- some of which is questionable in its accuracy- and then pulls his characters through it almost as an afterthought. There is much made of the goddess worship by the main character, but in the end this same character spends more energy mentally undressing churches than he does discerning the unique qualities of his inevitable love interest. In the end, we know that she is as smart as he is and has nice legs, but their attraction is a mystery. For all we can tell, they get together because he's a guy and she's a gal and they have matching diplomas.

    That said, the beginning of the book is very good- there are some genuine laughs and intriguing questions that get misplaced. Brown conveys a genuine love for the work and the tangents it takes him on that ultimately prevents you from judging the glaring problems too harshly. Unfortunately, you get a sense that Brown is lost for most of his brainstorming session, and ends up at the last forty pages needing to end the book and not wanting to.

    For more in depth pondering of these questions, read anything by Kurt Godel, or maybe even come back to Dan Brown in a few years. The book was entertaining and I'd be interested to see what more he can add with his current influence.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure
    My wife read this book first and enjoyed its mysteries, revelations and pacing, but was uncomforable with its portrayal of Christianity. I share her feelings, but we both agree the novel is worthwhile as a guilty pleasure. The book is cleverly and expertly done. The use of real historical organizations, such as the Priory of Sion, Opus Dei, and Knights Templar give it a serious, true-life sense. The fact that larger-than-life historical figures like da Vinci were involved with -- and even led -- The Priory of Sion gives it wonder. And author Dan Brown has cooked up a clever premise in which the foundation of Christianity would be shaken if the "truth" were known. And so the chase is on, with a symbologist, a cryptologist, and eventually a Royal historian solving riddles and rhymes in their search for the Holy Grail, with the French and eventually English authorities nipping at their heels as they are blamed for an increasing number of murders.

    But what starts out as a fascinating cerebral adventure with a near literary tone can't quite hold that highminded course. What commences as wine and filet mignon dwindles to cola and hamburger. Maybe that's what happens when you cross the channel. The richest parts of the book come when we are in the head of the protagonist, Robert Langdon -- especially at the beginning, when he sees a historical, even ancient, symbolism in practically every object that meets his eye. These roots of our now familiar symbols are fascinating. But when the chase is on and ongoing puzzles need to be solved, they become tedious and even simplistic. The "difficult" clue concerning Sir Isacc Newton and an orb? Duh! And the "unseen" bad guy was all too obvious. Plus, I don't really think the French and English police are as dumb, naive and comical as this book would lead you to believe. However, when Ron Howard and his "Brilliant Mind" team produce the movie, as I've read they will do, I'm sure a lot of these discrepancies will be ironed out. Hopefully, the movie will hold to that rich Mona Lisa atmosphere the book so promisingly begins with. I have faith.

    As for the attack on Christianity, when He was arrested Jesus told Peter to put up his sword. Because, if He needed to, He'd bring down legions of angels to kick butts. That's good enough for me. Meanwhile, everyone should enjoy The Da Vinci Code and take it for what it is -- a work of fiction built from elastic facts, like looking at clouds and seeing myriads of differing visions. Anyway, Langdon's true insights on symbols are worth the price of admission.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, its fiction, don't shout abt lack of authenticity
    I am in no way connected with the history of art or the birth of Christianity, so had an open mind while reading the book. Hey, its a work of fiction, leave it at that, don't worry abt the lack of authenticity.

    The book offers an interesting read, but is jumpy at places when Langdon thinks abt what he taught in class or a penitentiary, when in fact facing a grave situation. May be the author added this for suspense and to keep the reader guessing.

    Having said this, am appalled at the one star reviews, hey the guy has used some imagination, give him credit for that!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Middleweight Page-Turner
    Brown's latest thriller is all the rage this season, and it's a pretty good page-turner. The curator of the Louvre is murdered and intrepid Harvard scholar Robert Langdon (you met him in Brown's last book) meets up with another European girl (this time she's French instead of Italian). Hijinks follow. The historical research is wide, without ever being deep. But it adds a fun veneer of deep mystical somesuch to the plot. Leonardo da Vinci, secret Vatican cabals, Opus Dei, mystical this-and-that. It makes for a fun read.

    As other critics have pointed out, the facts of the book are often muddled and inaccurate, suggesting the research may have been done by one of those credulous sorts who always believes the last thing he reads. The characters are paper-thin cutouts, mere devices who grab hold of the plot early on and cling to it for dear life. The dialogue is silly and predictable. The author's irritating penchant for hanging on to clues and half-clues, doling them out slowly is a device of the B-grade pop mystery novel. Like its predecesors, this book is sort of a middleweight version of Umberto Eco's towering novels. Not too challenging, but it keeps the pop public entranced, sells a bunch of copies, and lets us all feel like we're initiates into some secret society. Bravo -- a lot of fun ! ... Read more

    18. Angels & Demons : Special Illustrated Collector's Edition
    by Dan Brown
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743275063
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Atria
    Sales Rank: 450
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    It takes guts to write a novel that combines an ancient secret brotherhood, the Swiss Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a papal conclave, mysterious ambigrams, a plot against the Vatican, a mad scientist in a wheelchair, particles of antimatter, jets that can travel 15,000 miles per hour, crafty assassins, a beautiful Italian physicist, and a Harvard professor of religious iconology. It takes talent to make that novel anything but ridiculous. Kudos to Dan Brown (Digital Fortress) for achieving the nearly impossible. Angels & Demons is a no-holds-barred, pull-out-all-the-stops, breathless tangle of a thriller--think Katherine Neville's The Eight (but cleverer) or Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (but more accessible).

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.

    Brown seems as much juggler as author--there are lots and lots of balls in the air in this novel, yet Brown manages to hurl the reader headlong into an almost surreal suspension of disbelief. While the reader might wish for a little more sardonic humor from Langdon, and a little less bombastic philosophizing on the eternal conflict between religion and science, these are less fatal flaws than niggling annoyances--readers should have no trouble skimming past them and immersing themselves in a heck of a good read. "Brain candy" it may be, but my! It's tasty. --Kelly Flynn ... Read more

    Reviews (1490)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Angels & Demons - The Best Book Ever
    The story starts with a mysterious murder of a famous Scientific Researcher at CERN. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and an ancient anti-Christian cult's symbol branded upon his chest. Harvard symbiologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the scene of crime. He is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati which was dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and deviating from the blind religious faith of the Vatican, is alive and dangerously active! Leonardo Vetra's final discovery- the antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared, only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new Pope. Langdon and Leonardo's adopted daughter, Vittoria, start on an impossible journey and a frantic search throughout Rome's catacombs, secret archives, churches, to stop the dangerous game played by the illuminati. Read this amazing book by Dan Brown to find out more!

    3-0 out of 5 stars An Unfair Depiction of Everyone
    This book is an unfair depiction of Arabs, Catholics, scientists, security officers and anyone else open to naming.The Oriental assassin (wow, that's new) r*pes all his victims, the Catholic camerlengo leaves Langdon to almost certain death, scientists are referred to as creators of demonic horrors like nuclear weapons, and other characters are simply so blatantly stupid it's offensive.Of course, Dan Brown is a master of unfair depictions--the NSA in Digital Fortress is made to seem like a deceptive entity rather than an agency devoted to the safety of human life in America, and in a similar case victimizes the Delta Force in Deception Point.This book is exciting and fast-paced, and all the architecture mentioned in Rome exists, but being a Dan Brown book, it might make you a bit angry at times, at least as long as you live on Earth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
    This book is an amazig architectural and historical romp through Rome.If you love travel or Rome, pick this up today!Ironically,the author gives a full and rich account of the Catholic church and it's inner workings including the selection pf Popes.Very timely stuff!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A new look at the Vatican
    This book gave me another point of view about the relationship between science and religion. I have always thought that science doesn't need religion, and that to religion, science is just a nuisance.This book taught me otherwise. There could be circumstances in which science proves an aspect of religion. This book made me want to go to the Vatican City and see all the churches mentioned in the book. It would be interesting to see how much of the book is accurate.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Copacetic Book
    I recommend reading William Bramley's "The Gods of Eden" before taking on this book.It gives you some background for a lot of the things that pop up in there.The general themes of the books have nothing to do with each other, but the information is related. ... Read more

    19. The Forgotten Man : A Novel (Crais, Robert)
    by Robert Crais
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385504284
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-15)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 20780
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    20. A Gladiator Dies Only Once : The Further Investigations of Gordianus the Finder (Gordianus the Finder)
    by Steven Saylor
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312271204
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
    Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur
    Sales Rank: 1370
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Second compilation of short pieces featuring Gordianus the Finder, filling in the gaps between the novels Roman Blood and Catilina's Riddle.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars fine anthology
    These nine tales all written in the past decade take place in Ancient Rome in the middle of the first century BC and star Gordianus the finder whose clients provides him with plenty of work (payment is a different story).The cases vary and those "hiring" Gordianus are as wild a group as any detective (make that a finder) might imagine working for.The stories are fun mostly because they provide a deep look at Ancient Rome and the eccentricity of the support characters.Gordianus is his usual witty self, matching and trumping opponents with his intelligence and humor especially the asides.Though not quite as strong as the novels (see THE JUDGMENT OF CAESAR), readers will find each contribution is well written and fun to read.

    Harriet Klausner
    ... Read more

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