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1. A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel
$15.99 $10.90 list($27.95)
2. 4th of July
$17.79 $13.75 list($26.95)
3. The Closers
$13.57 list($19.95)
4. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
$17.79 $13.99 list($26.95)
5. Rage (Alex Delaware)
$18.45 list($27.95)
6. The Broker : A Novel
$16.50 $12.75 list($25.00)
7. Countdown
$17.79 $11.99 list($26.95)
8. Broken Prey (Lucas Davenport Mysteries)
9. Eleven on Top
$17.13 $14.95 list($25.95)
10. The Triumph of the Sun
$14.97 $8.94 list($24.95)
11. The Da Vinci Code
$16.32 $15.12 list($24.00)
12. Bangkok Tattoo
$16.47 list($24.95)
13. The Forgotten Man : A Novel (Crais,
$23.10 $17.50 list($35.00)
14. Angels & Demons : Special
$16.29 $15.75 list($23.95)
15. A Gladiator Dies Only Once : The
$17.82 $15.89 list($27.00)
16. Velocity
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17. True Believer
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18. With No One As Witness (Thomas
$16.47 $15.25 list($24.95)
19. Watch Your Back! (Dortmunder Novels
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20. Alibi : A Novel

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. 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

3. 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

4. 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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5. 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

6. 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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7. 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

8. 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

9. 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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10. 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.
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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

11. 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

12. Bangkok Tattoo
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400040450
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 515
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

Killing customers just isn’t good for business.”

My mother Nong’s tone reflects the disappointment we all feel when a star employee starts to go wrong. Is there nothing to be done? Will we have to let dear Chanya go? The question can only be decided by Police Colonel Vikorn, who owns most of the shares inthe Old Man’s Club and who is on his way in his Bentley.

“No,” I agree. Like my mother’s, my eyes cannot stop flicking across the empty bar to the stool where Chanya’s flimsy silver dress (just enough silk to cover nipples and butt) drapes and drips. Well, the dripping was slight and is more or less finished (a rusty stain on the floor turning black as it dries), but in more than a decade as a detective inthe Royal Thai Police, I have never seen a garment so blood-soaked. Chanya’s bra, also hideously splattered, lies halfway up the stairs, and her panties—her only other garment—lie abandoned on the floor outside the upstairs room where, eccentrically even for a Thai whore, she has taken refuge with an opium pipe.

“She didn’t say anything at all? Like why?”

“No, I told you. She dashed in through the door in a bit of a state holding an opium pipe, glared at me, said, ‘I’ve done him in,’ rippedoff her dress, and disappeared upstairs. Fortunately, there were only a couple of farang in the bar at the time, and the girls were fantastic. They merely said, ‘Oh, Chanya, she goes like that sometimes,’ and gently ushered them out. I had to play the whole thing down, of course, and by the time I got to her room, she was already stoned.”

“What did she say again?”

“She was tripping on the opium, totally delirious. When she started talking to the Buddha, I left to call you and the Colonel. At that stage I didn’t know if she’d really done him in or was freaking out on yaa baa or something.”

But she’d snuffed him all right. I walked to the farang’s hotel, which is just a couple of streets away from Soi Cowboy, and flashed my police ID to get the key to his room. There he was, a big muscular naked American farang in his early thirties, minus a penis and a lot of blood from a huge knife wound that began in his lower gut and finished just short of his rib cage. Chanya, a basically decent and very tidy Thai, had placed his penis on the bedside table. At the other end of the table, a single rose stood in a plastic mug of water.

There was nothing for it but to secure the room for the purposes of forensic investigation, leave a hefty bribe for the hotel receptionist—who is now more or less obliged to say whatever I tell him to say (standard procedure under my Colonel Vikorn in District 8)—and await further orders. Vikorn, of course, was in one of his clubs carousing, probably surrounded by naked young women who adored him, or knew how to look as if they did, and in no mood to be dragged to the scene of a crime until I penetrated his drunken skull enough to explain that the business at hand was not an investigation per se but the infinitely more challenging forensic task so lightly spoken of as a “cover-up.” Even then he showed no inclination to shift himself until he realized it was Chanya (the perp, not the victim).

“Where the hell did she get the opium?” my mother wants to know. “There hasn’t been opium in Krung Thep since I was a teenager.”

I know from her eyes that she is thinking fondly of the Vietnam War, when she was herself a working girl in Bangkok and a lot of the GIs brought small balls of opium from the war zone (one of them being my almost-anonymous father, of whom more later). An opiated man is more or less impotent—which reduces much of the wear and tear on a professional’s assets—and not inclined to argue about fee str
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Are you up for this, farang?
"Cynical" seems a wan description of the world of Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Many readers will have a hard time with Sonchai, who advocates prostitution as a worthwhile way for poor Thai girls to get rich quick, and who doesn't bother to conceal his utter contempt for post-911 America and Americans. If you hold your Western morality dearly, better skip this one.

On the other hand, if you're up for a stylish, sexy, rollicking good read with oodles and oodles of plot, dripping with exotica of every description, then welcome to Sonchai's world. Sonchai's mom, an ex-hooker turned clubowner, and the ever-inventive Colonel Vikorn (with his limo blasting "Ride of the Valkyries" through its sound system at all times) are characters who will make you laugh out loud--that is, when you're not squirming over the moral dilemmas they pose (and then leap past, with the greatest of ease). You may think you've read it all on the moral ambiguity front, but Burdett takes all those wised-up detective stories and raises the stakes to another level entirely. When you find yourself rooting for a young male cop to be successful in his sex-change operation, you'll know Burdett has gotten into your head. It's a great ride! Enjoy!

2-0 out of 5 stars Bite Me Farong !!
Don't waste your time, the author uses the word Farong about every other sentence. I think it is supposed to be funny. There is little here to capture the readers interest. Unless you like being called or referred to as a Farong, save your money. There is a somewhat interesting description of Bangkok and it's seamier side, in fact I think that is the only side of Bangkok you will read about in this book.There is supposed to be a mystery here somewhere, but I didn't think it was worth my time to keep looking for it. Finally after about half way through I gave up. I was luckily able to sell my copy on Amazon at a small loss.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully twisted!
Picked Bangkok 8 and Tattoo up before a recent three day weekend getaway and am I glad I did!What great Irony, cynicism, mystery, all wrapped up in the twisted world of Bangkok's District 8.This book is the sequel to Bangkok 8 so read that first.

Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is investigating the murder of a CIA operative found guttedand mutilated. the number one suspect is a hot little number Chanya who works the local saloon--and Sanchai thinks he is in love love Chanya, or is it lust?The murder of course turns out to be more complicated then it first appears.Sanchi must deal with the rages of his hard nose police captain Vikorn, as he trys to unravel the case, with Chanya slowly giving out her secrets.Mix in CIA agents, Thia army generals, Thai gangsters, Muslim terrorests, all against the funky world of district 8 in Bagkok and you have a wonderful stew of a story!

What I really enjoyed about this Burdetts writting were his characterazation, you can tell he knows Bangkok and its people, at leaste the seamy side of Bangkok.The Dialog is bitting and witty, and the author adds his own great commentary.For a good thriller read in an exotic Local you can't go wrong here or with "Bangkok 8."I also higly recommend "A Tourist in the Yucatan" for another cool thriller in an exotic location.

5-0 out of 5 stars A slice of Thai life in an ironic and cynical thriller!
Picked Bangkok 8 and Tattoo up before a recent three day weekend getaway and am I glad I did!What great Irony, cynicism, mystery, all wrapped up in the twisted world of Bangkok's District 8.This book is the sequel to Bangkok 8 so read that first.

Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is investigating the murder of a CIA operative found guttedand mutilated. the number one suspect is a hot little number Chanya who works the local saloon--and Sanchai thinks he is in love love Chanya, or is it lust?The murder of course turns out to be more complicated then it first appears.Sanchi must deal with the rages of his hard nose police captain Vikorn, as he trys to unravel the case, with Chanya slowly giving out her secrets.Mix in CIA agents, Thia army generals, Thai gangsters, Muslim terrorests, all against the funky world of district 8 in Bagkok and you have a wonderful stew of a story!

What I really enjoyed about this Burdetts writting were his characterazation, you can tell he knows Bangkok and its people, at leaste the seamy side of Bangkok.The Dialog is bitting and witty, and the author adds his own great commentary.For a good thriller read in an exotic Local you can't go wrong here or with "Bangkok 8."I also higly recommend "A Tourist in the Yucatan" for another cool thriller in an exotic location.

5-0 out of 5 stars terrificThai police procedural
In Bangkok, Nong, part owner of the Old Man's Club, calls her son Royal Thai police detective Chai Jipleecheep and her partner, Chai's superior Colonel Vikorn to inform them that one of their ladies, Chanya killed a visiting American.While Nong thinks killing customers is bad for business, Vikorn informs Chai that the homicide was an act of self defense without visiting the crime scene or interviewing the woman who has confessed.Chai persuades his boss to come to the hotel room where the murder occurred.The victim not only had his penis removed, but possessed an interesting Visa that allowed multiple reentries over the next two years.In other words Mitch Turner was from the CIA.

Vikorn knows self defense or homicide means the CIA, the FBI, and the Thai government will be all over them from head to toes.Instead Vikorn, needing to protect his investment decides to throw the blame on Al Qaeda, which will make the Americans happy.While Vikorn tries to con the Yanks and his superiors, Chai conducts inquiries into the homicide because he has problems accepting that even an opium dazed Chanya would commit mutilation.

This Thai police procedural is a wonderful tale starring an interesting detective trying to remain honest when surrounded by corrupt individuals including his mother.The secondary cast provides insight into the society as well as set an amoral tone to the tale that only seemingly Chai counters.The official inquiries are cleverly designed to occur below the radar screen of the Americans seeking the Al Qaeda connection.Fans of exotic locale who-done-its will enjoy this fine tale and seek Chai's previous solid investigative tale (see BANGKOK 8).

Harriet Klausner
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13. 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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14. 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

15. 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

16. Velocity
by Dean Koontz
list price: $27.00
our price: $17.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553804154
Catlog: Book (2005-05-24)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 33
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars exhilarating suspensethriller
Four years ago in Napa County Billy Wiles' fiancée Barbara fell into a botulism-induced coma.She has resided ever since at the Whispering Pines Convalescent Home.

Following a shift tending bar, Billy finds a note on his windshield that states "If you don't take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work.. You have four hours to decide. The choice is yours".Billy shows the note to his pal police officer Lanny Olsen, who tells him to forget it because it is just a sick joke.However, the note writer batters a lovely blond schoolteacher to death, chosen because Billy failed to officially go to the police.Other notes follow, offering deadly choices for Billy to select or not select.Billy ponders why him wondering if perhaps Barbara's twin sister Dardre could be the psychopath; she covets the $3 million that her sibling won in a legal suit.If he is right could Barbara be the next target followed by Billy.

VELOCITY lives up to its title as the pace accelerates at rocket speed and the INTENSITY of the suspense grows with each moral decision that Billy using all his wiles makes or not makes.The exhilarating story line is a parable of modern society as the President with Congress for instance "chooses" in a sense who gets what type of healthcare and who does not indirectly impacting who lives.Dean Koontz is at his best combining his trademark suspense with a thought provoking issue on who will live and who will die and why.

Harriet Klausner

Dean Koontz at his best!!! I was on the edge of my seat until the very end of this gripping thriller that scared the "lime-green capris off me."This author is a master at his craft. His main character, Billy Wiles, a "thirtyish" bartender and former writer, leads a rather contented life until he is faced with a life-altering choice. Your heart will go out to Billy ... but WHY? Well, find out for yourself--if you dare!
I highly recommend this novel by the MASTER.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another hit for Koontz
Billy Wiles is a loner, but he's contented with his life.He has friends and of course interacts with his co-workers, but he isn't attached in the normal way.Then it starts.A non-cryptic note on his car giving him an insane option (see the back cover of the book).He talks to a friend who is a deputy and shows him the note.Both feel the note is a prank.But is isn't.The threat is carried out.Worse of all, Billy gets another note giving him a similar option.....Eventually, Billy finds evidence that ties him to the murders...evidence he hides.And then there is Barbara, Billy's comatose fiancee who babbles seemingly nonsense sentence fragments that may or may not be so much babble.

Velocity is another trip into the insane world of Dean Koontz.
True to the Koontz style, the reader soon finds himself rubbing shoulders with the characters...experiencing their tension, doubts, and terror.

Koontz' recent novels, Odd Thomas, The Taking, Life Expectancy, The Face, and In the Eye of the Beholder all seem to have the same tension present throughout the works.Velocity is no different.

Dean Koontz writing in 2005 is not the same author he was.His fiction has evolved (is evolving).I find the change refreshing. ... Read more

17. True Believer
by Nicholas Sparks
list price: $24.95
our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446532436
Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 60
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an unforgettable love story that explores the deepest mysteries of all those of the heart.

As a science journalist with a regular column in Scientific American, Jeremy Marsh specializes in debunking the supernatural.A born skeptic, he travels to the small town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, determined to find the real cause behind the ghostly apparitions that appear in the town cemetery.What he doesn’t plan on however, is meeting and falling hopelessly in love with Lexie Darnell, granddaughter of the town psychic.Now, if the young lovers are to have any kind of future at all, Jeremy must make a difficult choice:return to the life he knows, or do something he’s never done before take a giant leap of faith.But his choice is only the beginning, for their story takes the most unlikely twist of all, one that will finally make Jeremy a TRUE BELIEVER. ... Read more

Reviews (66)

3-0 out of 5 stars very disappointing - no emotional involvement at all
This was an enjoyable book, and would have received a much higher rating from me had it stood alone. However, as a Nicholas Sparks book, I was holding it up to some very high expectations set by his previous masterpieces, and quite frankly, it fell very short. It simply wasn't up to the calibre of his previous books and lacked the very qualities I love most about his writings. It reminded me of a Danielle Steel novel rather than something from the deeper, more engaging, Nicholas Sparks.

In a word, the story was superficial. The supernatural premise that drew the characters together was ridiculously hokey, and pitting New York city-life against life in sleepy small town America didn't capture my interest the way it could have had it been presented better, with more exciting characters and plot development.

Noticeably absent: there was no deep emotional connection between the two protagonists. Even though I easily buy into the soulmates, meant-to-be concept of love-at-first-sight, I did not find the romance and coming together of these two characters to have that kind of depth or energy. I'm not convinced they truly belong with each other, or their relationship will last much beyond the end of the story.

As well, there was no emotional connection between the characters and the reader. There wasn't a deep passion for me to feel alongside them. I didn't grow to care for them as people nor did I become as emotionally invested in their relationship, as I have with other Nicholas Sparks characters. These two will be easily forgotten, whereas Noah/Allie, Jamie/Landon, Theresa/Garrett, Paul/Adrienne, Miles/Sarah, and all the others have continued to live in my heart long after I put those books down and moved onto other reading material.

On the positive side, there were flashes of Nicholas Sparks's brilliance scattered throughout the book. His use of vivid descriptions and attention to detail was impeccable, as always. The dialogue flowed naturally, with the right blend of wit and seriousness, and sounded realistic (very important to me in a romance novel, as most don't have this quality and instead use incessant and annoying bickering so the conflict/tension comes across as abrasively hostile instead of deep and abiding love).

All-in-all, although I was sorely disappointed, it was still a pleasant story and worthwhile reading. I hope Nicholas Sparks goes back to novels that draw the reader into an emotional investment into the characters and their story, with their bittersweet tragic endings (or even happy endings as in The Wedding). I prefer to feel strong emotions and intense passion when I read a Nicholas Sparks.

5-0 out of 5 stars the greatest Nicholas Sparks book yet
I love all of Nicholas Sparks' books, but this one i couldnt put down. Great storyline, and you really won't be able to stop reading it. Once i finished it i wanted to read it all over again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not his best work
I am a huge Sparks fan, but this book was not writen by the Nicholas Sparks that I once knew.It was long.I had trouble staying focused, but I will say that it had a good end to it, it just took forever to get to that end.If you are a Veronica Haddon fan then you will never get through this book.It is just not up to the standards of Whispers of the wicked saint, but it is worth the read, If you still love nicholas sparks.

4-0 out of 5 stars Yeah, it was good...
I thought this was a good book, and the way the two characters fell so quickly for one another (in a matter of days) reminded me of Nights in Rodanthe (which is my fave).Nicholas Sparks has done it again, with another novel that shows that miracles can happen when you least expect them, and that love conquers all.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Sparks disappointment
Oh how I waited with bated breath for Nicholas Sparks' new release! And oh how disappointed I felt as I struggled through this "Danielle Steel"-like book. The Notebook and Message in a Bottle rank as 2 of my all time favorite books. True Believer, however, did not make a true believer out of me. The whole story was unbelievable from the very beginning. Too much for me to believe that 2 people that have just met can instantly know that they are in love, oh please. There is no depth to this book. The characters are implausible, shallow, and very predictable. It seems as thought Mr. Sparks is trying to follow a formula that he thinks will sell, a la Danielle Steel. He should spend more time visiting the truth in life and love-as in The Notebook-and less time giving us this pulpy mess, and expecting us to swallow it... ... Read more

18. With No One As Witness (Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers Novels)
by Elizabeth George
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060545607
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 80494
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Book Description

Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley
takes on the case of his career.

When it comes to spellbinding suspense and page-turning excitement, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George always delivers. As the Wall Street Journal raves, "Ms. George can do it all, with style to spare."

In With No One as Witness, Elizabeth George has crafted an intricate, meticulously researched, and absorbing story sure to enthrall her readers. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley is back, along with his longtime partner, the fiery Barbara Havers, and newly promoted Detective Sergeant Winston Nkata. They are on the hunt for a sinister killer.

When an adolescent boy's nude body is found mutilated and artfully arranged on the top of a tomb, it takes no large leap for the police to recognize this as the work of a serial killer. This is the fourth victim in three months but the first to be white.

Hoping to avoid charges of institutionalized racism in its failure to pursue the earlier crimes to their conclusion, New Scotland Yard hands the case over to Lynley and his colleagues. The killer is a psychopath who does not intend to be stopped. Worse, a devastating tragedy within the police ranks causes them to fumble in their pursuit of him.

... Read more

19. Watch Your Back! (Dortmunder Novels (Hardcover))
by Donald E. Westlake
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892968028
Catlog: Book (2005-04-18)
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Sales Rank: 4551
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Even thieves can be good guys...kinda
Watch Your Back is the first John Dortmunder book I've ever read.If this is any indication of Donald Westlake's ability, then I will be reading some more soon.He has shown that he is one of the masters of the "caper" novel.I have no idea how Watch Your Back compares to Westlake's other books, but I found it greatly enjoyable, if a bit uneven at times.There's no mystery involved, but there's a lot of fun, along with the coincidences that make novels like this enjoyable.

The back room of the O.J. Bar & Grill is the usual meeting place for John Dortmunder and his gang of thieves make their plans.When their usual fence, Arnie Albright, comes back from Club Med with information about an apartment loaded with riches but empty of anybody else, they try and get together there to finalize everything.Unfortunately, it looks like the Mob is moving in on the bar, and Dortmunder can't have that.Preston Fareweather is a filthy rich man on the run from a pack of ex-wives, staying down at Club Med and cruelly toying with women and everybody else who comes near him.His apartment lies empty most of the time, and makes a perfect target.But Dortmunder can't get his mind off of the O.J, and works to rid it of the Mob as they get the heist ready too.Everything comes together as both the Mob and Fareweather learn that you don't mess with John Dortmunder.

This book would probably be shelved in the mystery section of the book store, but it certainly isn't that.This is a classic caper novel, and Westlake does it with style.Dortmunder is a fun character, though he isn't exactly the main character.Watch Your Back (and, perhaps, Westlake's other novels?) is more of an ensemble piece, with Dortmunder just being the lead guy.He is the one who insists that something needs to be done with the O.J, but otherwise Westlake treats him as just one of the many colourful characters in this novel.And there are quite a few of them.

Probably the funniest for me was Tiny, the big man who orders a limo when he needs to go places because taxis are too small for him.He can be rough when he needs to be or when he's irritated (which is why the others don't want him to find out about the bar until he is safely away from there). He's also quite matter of fact with a hint of menace behind his tone.When he speaks calmly, that's when you'd better watch out.He has a cute relationship with Judson, the new kid on the block.He sort of takes Judson under his wing with some advice, especially about not volunteering too often.He was probably my favourite character in the book.

That's not to say he was the only good one, though.The rest of the gang definitely have their moments too.They all speak in a distinctive way which makes them identifiable and they reek of New York City (which is a good thing, since the series is set there).Westlake manages to catch all of their voices perfectly.Especially fun is when they're talking on cell phones and have to talk around what they mean because they don't want anything incriminating going out on a wireless.

Where the book falls down slightly is in the bad guy department.The situation with Preston down at Club Med is amusing for a while, but I found the book dragging a little bit when he was around, which is hard to do with chapters this short.The character was supposed to be annoying, but Westlake didn't quite walk that fine line between annoying and fun to read about and just annoying.The whole Florida sequence with Preston just sat there on the page.On the other hand, there are the Mob characters, who aren't really shown much.Unfortunately, when they are around, they are bad Sopranos imitations.Granted, the comparison is slightly intentional (the back cover blurb actually says that the main Mob character is a "would-be Tony Soprano"), but Westlake takes the parody a bit too far.There is not a lot of bad language in the book, but whenever the Mob characters are on the page, the f-word is featured almost twice a sentence.I found that the parody fell flat.

Other than the Mob, Westlake's prose fits the genre perfectly.It serves its purpose, moves the story along, and occasionally comes out with a zinger (the old woman minding her own business in the airplane is a perfect example that I won't spoil, but look for it if you read the book).The story is told in a breezy way that moves quickly.You won't be spending a lot of time on this book.However, I think that's the point.The chapters are short, the type is big, and the book is only 320 pages.Light and breezy can be fun too, and Watch Your Back is definitely that.

The only other minor problem could just be a symptom of the genre itself, and thus won't bother fans.The storylines tie together with a massive series of coincidences that, while fun, strain the disbelief a little bit.I laughed when they happened, but in hindsight, the ending suffered from too much happenstance.Check your brain at the door when you get to the ending, and you will enjoy it too.It would have meant more and been even funnier if we had gotten to know the Mob guys a bit better (and if they hadn't been bad parodies instead of real characters).

All in all, Watch Your Back is a really good book.Enjoyable in all the right places and with a few not very annoying faults, you'll have an entertaining time reading this book.

David Roy

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious.
This is a very funny book. It's the latest installment in the series about John Dortmunder, who's misadventures in crime never cease to amuse.

Summary, no spoilers:

Arnie Albright is New York fence who comes up with the plan for the perfect crime. Whileat a Club Med, he meetsbillionaire and jerk extraordinaire, Preston Fareweather. He is mistreated by Fareweather (who isn't?), and decides to get revenge.

Fareweather is hiding out from process servers who are trying to contact him at the behest of four angry ex-wives. He has not been to his New York apartment in over two years, and doesn't plan to return anytime soon.

Arnie contacts his buddy, Dortmunder, and they decide to round up the usual gang, and burglarize Fareweather's apartment and steal his BMW....since he isn't around.

As usual, with any Dortmunder scheme, anything and everything goes wrong. Enter New Jersey mobsters, mishaps at the OJ (Dortmunder's favorite bar), and the newest member of the gang, a naive but enthusiastic 19 year old named Justin. And of course the important lesson that timing is everything.

This book is highly recommended. It's funny and satisfying, and you are left with a big smile on your face when you finish the last page. Westlake at his best.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Watch Your Back!" becuase no one else is....
Watch Your Back!A Dortmunder Novel
By Donald E. Westlake
Mysterious Press
April 2005
ISBN # 0-89296-802-8
310 Pages
$24.95 US
$33.95 Canada

John Dortmunder and crew are not happy they can't meet in the backroom of the O.J. Bar & Grill as usual. Everyone around knows they meet there to plan their jobs, but they can't because outsiders have taken over. Outsiders that, beyond their strange taste in clothes, have the regulars quaking in fear and the barman, Rollo, scanning the want ads. The outsiders have to be dealt with and Dortmunder has to figure out a way.

He also has to figure out a way to deal with a proposition from Arnie Albright. Arnie is their usual fence and has just returned from having his attitude adjusted on an island resort. While it could be questioned whether the intervention worked, there is no mistaking the genius of Arnie's proposed target.

While on the island resort, he met an incredibly rich and obnoxious man by the name of Preston Fareweather. Mr. Fareweather, beyond being obscenely rich and a pitiful human being (even Arnie thinks he is a jerk) is hiding from his five angry ex-wives and their process servers. Instead of being at home in New York in his penthouse apartment dealing with the problems he has created, he is on the island laying waste to the various gold digging trollops who decide to spend time with him. Arnie proposes Dortmunder and crew should take down Fareweather's penthouse and for steering them the work, he wants thirty percent.

It's a great deal and despite being almost too good to be true, one that Dortmunder and crew can't resist. So, they split their time with planning the job and working on how to handle the problem at the O. J. While Dortmunder may feel that everything is under control, before long it is very clear that things aren't, if they ever really were. Madcap hijinks ensue as both storylines gradually weave together with a definite sense of poetic justice.

Fans of Donald E. Westlake no doubt know and appreciate what is in store in this entertaining read. For those who don't care for a strong amount of humor, to the point of madcap variety at times, this read is definitely not appropriate. For everyone else, this is an enjoyable and entertaining novel that will have you chuckling from start to finish.

A big thank you to Renee Supriano of the Time Warner Book Group for providing a review copy. It is appreciated!

Kevin R. Tipple © 2005

5-0 out of 5 stars ironic crime caper
The family of New York fence Arnie Albright is so fed up with his obnoxious nasty personality that they stage an intervention and send him to the resort island of Club Med in the Caribbean to get a personality transplant.There he meets Preston Fareweather.The wealthy venture capitalist has been living on the island for three years to avoid being served the subpoenas, injunctions and other legal papers from his four ex-wives who have banded together to get even with Preston and take him for all he is worth.

While on the island, he treats Arnie so terribly that when he returns to New York he decides to have his revenge on the man who made him feel worthless.He contacts Dortmunder and explains that Preston has a penthouse with exclusive art and antiques easy to rob because nobody lives there.Dortmunder and his crew accept the job but they get sidetracked when the mob takes over the O.J. Bar and Grill, their meeting place.While Dortmunder is fixing that problem, his ex-wives lure Preston off the island and he is heading to his penthouse at the same time Dortmunder and his crew plan to rob the place.

Donald E. Westlake scores again with another deliciously ironic crime caper where criminals are trying to steal from one another.Preston, a white collar crook, is no different than his mob counterparts or Dortmunder and his misfits.The screw-ups outwit both the mob and the venture capitalist through some hilarious maneuvers.WATCH YOUR BACK is a crime thriller that will have readers chuckling out loud.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Westlake, Be Prepared to Laugh
You have to wonder how John Dortmunder manages to get through life without stepping in front of a truck or something else. On the other hand we have to be glad that he hasn't (so far at least) because it's nice to see someone whose life is more screwed up than ours. It's probably also a good thing that he's a crook. If he were just the standard hourly worker or whatever it is that would suit his mental capabilities, reading wouldn't be nearly as much fun. We can only hope that the real crooks out there are in the same class.

In this, the 12th Dortmunder novel, he's collected the usual misfits to go out after an art collection. Then it turns out that their favorite watering hole, where they plan their capers has mob trouble.

So the task is simple, rob the art while throwing the mob out of the bar. I'll leave it to you to find out how they do this, well, how they plan to go about doing it, well, never mind, just be prepared to laugh a lot. ... Read more

20. Alibi : A Novel
by Joseph Kanon
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080507886X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 1224
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the bestselling author of Los Alamos and The Good German comes a riveting tale of love, revenge and murder set in postwar Venice

It is 1946, and a stunned Europe is beginning its slow recovery from the ravages of World War II. Adam Miller has come to Venice to visit his widowed mother and try to forget the horrors he has witnessed as a U.S. Army war crimes investigator in Germany. Nothing has changed in Venice-not the beautiful palazzi, not the violins at Florian's, not the shifting water that makes the city, untouched by bombs, still seem a dream.

But when Adam falls in love with Claudia, a Jewish woman scarred by her devastating experiences during the war, he is forced to confront another Venice, a city still at war with itself, haunted by atrocities it would rather forget. Everyone, he discovers, has been compromised by the Occupation-the international set drinking at Harry's, the police who kept order for the Germans, and most of all Gianni Maglione, the suave and enigmatic Venetian who happens to be his mother's new suitor. And when, finally, the troubled past erupts in violent murder, Adam finds himself at the center of a web of deception, intrigue, and unexpected moral dilemmas. When is murder acceptable? What are the limits of guilt? How much is someone willing to pay for a perfect alibi?

Using the piazzas and canals of Venice as an enthralling but sinister backdrop, Joseph Kanon has again written a gripping historical thriller. Alibi is at once a murder mystery, a love story, and a superbly crafted novel about the nature of moral responsibility.
... Read more

Reviews (12)

3-0 out of 5 stars Great Style - OK Story
The story centers on Venice just after World War 2. The description of the politics of the era was quite interesting. I found the authors' writing style very enjoyable and quite descriptive.On the down side, the story can have you feeling anxious and apprehensive at times. In addition, you might just feel that the author should have wrapped it up and ended it sooner.

3-0 out of 5 stars 3 Stars for Atmosphere
I've loved Joseph Kanon's other books; he really is a good writer, and I'll buy his books again.But in this case, to paraphrase a wag's comment on a weak Broadway musical, you come out humming the scenery.The setting and era are irresistable, but the story is both murky and weak, and there was little movement for the characters.If you'll buy anything that takes place in Venice (as I will) least wait for the paperback.

2-0 out of 5 stars Alibi, maybe, but no excuse.
On about page 200, this novel is suddenly full of very, very interesting possibilities, none of which Joseph Kanon decided to explore. For the man who wrote such sublimely atmospheric books as "The Good German" and "Los Alamos," "Alibi" is a colorless dud.

The choice of location and period are intriguing--Venice immediately following WWII. Unlike so much of Italy, Venice was physically untouched by the war and so retains its beauty as if nothing had ever happened. But of course, a great deal did happen as Adam Miller discovers when he meets Claudia Grassini, a Jewish survivor of the war. Adam's widowed mother has moved to Venice where she has rekindled a relationship with Gianni Maglione, a pre-war suitor. Claudia tells Adam that Maglione is a former Nazi sympathizer, which he accepts.

How much more interesting it would have been if Adam had been wrong about Maglione! But he isn't, and between the uninteresting characters and spongy plot, "Alibi" bobs briefly before sinking into a canal.

If you haven't read Kanon's earlier period thrillers, go get them. For those of us who were looking forward to his next book, we just have to keep waiting.


Protagonist Adam Miller, a former U.S. investigator of war crimes, opens his story by saying "After the war, my mother took a house in Venice."That she did and, to a great degree, was able to carry on as if World War II had never interrupted her life.She resurrects her relationship with Dr. Maglione, and joins the whirl of wealthy expatriates who seem to believe it has always been carnival time in Venice.

Miller comes to Venice to visit his mother, hoping to forget the atrocities that have become so familiar to him.For a while, it seems that Venice has remained untouched by war.It's as beautiful and mysterious as ever.He does suspect that Dr. Maglione is more attracted to his mother's checkbook than to her, but there is more to come.

Often alone, Miller meets Claudia, a Jewish woman who has been deeply scarred by the war, not physically but psychologically.They fall in love.All is well until she meets the good doctor and accuses him of having collaborated with the Nazis.

When a murder occurs Miller is forced to examine what he really believes is right and wrong, who is telling the truth and who is being deceptive.

Venice is a particularly appealing backdrop for this part mystery, part love story, and all intriguing novel.Holter Graham provides a splendidly controlled, always articulate voice performance of this arresting portrait of postwar Venice.

- Gail Cooke

4-0 out of 5 stars "It's Venice. Nothing has been real here since Napoleon."
Setting this novel in Venice immediately after World War II, Joseph Kanon creates a stimulating mystery that turns the city itself into a major character. Venice, unlike other areas of Italy, has not been damaged physically by the war, and life is returning to normal. The political atmosphere, however, remains turbulent. Aristocrats, businessmen, and politicians who cooperated with the fascists and Germans are still in power. Partisans who fought the fascists and Germans regard many of these people as traitors and want justice. The Communists are making inroads into society with their promises of reform.

Into this milieu comes Grace Miller, an American widow, and her son Adam, just released from the US Army as part of a de-Nazification team in Frankfurt. Grace is about to marry Gianni Maglione, a Venetian doctor, and Adam wonders about Gianni's past. Soon Adam meets Claudia Grassini, a young Jewish woman who survived internment in Fossoli, and they begin a passionate affair. When Claudia is introduced to Gianni at a party, however, she recognizes him immediately, telling Adam that Gianni betrayed her very sick father to security forces rounding up Jews.

Using his past army connections to get further information about Gianni, Adam investigates, but violence soon changes the focus of his energies, and the nightmare involving Adam, his family, and Claudia intensifies. Adam's extreme introspection as he helps the police investigate broadens the scope and focuses attention on important themes of crime and justice, and Claudia's vulnerability as a result of the Holocaust gives added poignancy to her similar self-examinations.

With a setting so vivid that one cannot imagine the story taking place anywhere else, the reader sees Venice shining, but beneath the surface it is a decaying city, literally sinking under its own weight. War crimes, hate crimes, crimes of passion, crimes committed for altruistic reasons, and crimes committed in self-defense all play a part in the plot. Kanon also raises questions about the punishments, if any, associated with these crimes. Are some crimes less "serious," or even justifiable, if they balance the scale of justice? Is the murder of a criminal excusable? Does justice depend on who wins? Ultimately, a chase scene through the canals of Venice, leads to a stunning conclusion, filled with twists, though whether justice is truly served remains an open question. Mary Whipple ... Read more

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