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The Resource The bricklayer, Noah Boyd

The bricklayer, Noah Boyd

Label
The bricklayer
Title
The bricklayer
Statement of responsibility
Noah Boyd
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Member of
Review
  • A mysterious organization calling itself the Rubaco Pentad is blackmailing the FBI. If the Pentad’s demands for money are not met, high-profile victims will die. Each demand is bigger than the last, and the drop-off instructions are lethally complicated—it’s almost as if the Pentad wants the FBI to fail. But when an agent disappears with the cash he’s carrying, he needs to be found, and fast. The FBI pins its hopes on former agent Steve Vail, who quit rather than compromise his rigid personal code and is now working as a bricklayer. Vail masters cryptic clues leading him to traps worthy of Rube Goldberg’s evil twin, but the logistical implausibilities won’t trouble most readers, who will root for the tough, intelligent Vail while savoring the sexual tension between him and his FBI handler. Boyd is said to be a pseudonym for a former FBI agent, and this fast-paced thriller includes many authentic-seeming details about the Bureau’s bureaucracy. But by creating a character who is allowed to operate outside the rules, the author’s inside knowledge seems like an opportunity missed. -- Graff, Keir (Reviewed 01-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 106, number 9, p48)
  • The pseudonymous Boyd, a former FBI agent, fails to bring much convincing insider information to his debut, a routine thriller. FBI deputy assistant director Kate Bannon tracks down Steve Vail, a maverick FBI agent who left the bureau for a new life as a Chicago bricklayer, because she needs Vail's help in apprehending a criminal gang, the Rubaco Pentad, with a grudge against the FBI. The Pentad follows up the murder of L.A. reporter Connie Lysander, who wrote a story critical of the FBI, with ever-increasing demands for money from the bureau to forestall future killings and the setting of sophisticated death traps. When an agent disappears while making a payoff to the gang, he becomes a prime suspect, despite Vail's reservations. Predictable plot elements include the hero's incredible escapes from peril and the growing romantic bond between the laconic Vail and the attractive Bannon. The identity of the person behind the Pentad will surprise few. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed November 2, 2009) (Publishers Weekly, vol 256, issue 44, p36)
  • A highly skilled operative leaves his government organization, having become fed up with its bureaucracy and incompetence, but is lured back for a specific project with promises of autonomy and resources and because his country needs him. Will the basic premise that launched Lee Child's ex-army MP Jack Reacher to best-sellerdom work for Boyd's ex-FBI agent-turned-bricklayer Steve Vail? When a mysterious group murders five "FBI enemies" and demands millions to stop the killing spree, FBI deputy assistant director Kate Bannon recruits Vail, who's just foiled an armed bank robbery in Chicago, to help crack the case. He embarks on a nonstop chase, following leads, avoiding dangerous booby traps, and weeding out decoys that are too obvious or too neat, to a predictably inclusive finish with a bit of romance. VERDICT While Vail's physical skills are amply displayed, his comparable mental feats depend too much on "2 a.m. messages" that provide answers to difficult problems. This aspect of Vail, along with a rather hasty final wrap-up, lessens the appeal of this projected series opener. Still, Child's early outings also had shortcomings, and Boyd may become stronger as he progresses, so it's worth getting in at the start.—Michele Leber, Arlington, VA --Michele Leber (Reviewed October 15, 2009) (Library Journal, vol 134, issue 17, p70)
  • Pseudonymous Boyd makes a blistering debut with the tale of a disgraced former agent who rescues the FBI from a murderous extortionist.First the Rubaco Pentad slays a tabloid TV reporter who'd done an expos of the Bureau, demands $1 million or it will kill an unnamed politician, and executes the FBI agent carrying a dummy package with no money. Then it murders a Utah state senator (also a prominent FBI critic) and this time wants $2 million; the agent and the package—now containing real cash—disappear en route to the drop. When the Pentad kills a defense lawyer (also known for his anti-Bureau stance), Assistant Director Don Kaulcrick brings in Steve Vail, fired five years ago for refusing to give evidence against an incompetent superior because it would have led to the release of a cop-killer. Presently working as a bricklayer in Chicago, Vail agrees to join forces with the FBI so long as he's not reinstated and not paid and can have the assistance of new Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon. Learning that Vail's on the case, the Pentad demands that he deliver the third package: a duffel bag containing $3 million. Vail jumps through every hoop and survives every booby trap; the payoff gets delivered, and he gathers some telltale clues that set him on the Pentad's trail. Deflecting the advances of Bannon and a Los Angeles ADA, he focuses manfully on the case, realizing at length that virtually all the evidence has been planted, "and we're still being played like a whorehouse piano." Boyd, identified by his publisher as a former FBI agent, provides the inevitable cat-and-mouse game between Vail and the Pentad's chief with enough jolts to create a legion of fans for this novel, trumpeted as the start of a series.Highly formulaic—the Rube Goldberg plot makes Jeffery Deaver's twisty thrillers seem models of realism—but irresistible red meat for connoisseurs of action thrillers. (Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2009)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
336090
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Boyd, Noah
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Steve Vail novels
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Private investigators
  • Extortion
Label
The bricklayer, Noah Boyd
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
390 p.
Isbn
9780061827013
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2009019613
System control number
(OCoLC)320954001
Label
The bricklayer, Noah Boyd
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
390 p.
Isbn
9780061827013
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2009019613
System control number
(OCoLC)320954001

Library Locations

    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
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      33.387732 -84.816797

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