Book Reviews of City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1)

City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1)
City of the Sun - Frank Behr, Bk 1
Author: David Levien
ISBN-13: 9780385523660
ISBN-10: 0385523661
Publication Date: 3/4/2008
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 22

4 stars, based on 22 ratings
Publisher: Doubleday
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

17 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Though this was a good read and I don't regret having picked it up, ultimately there was just something.... lacking. The premise is obviously a gripping one - child disappears while on paper route and the parents' attempts, with the help of PI Frank Behr, to find out what happened - but the way it unfolds is rushed and somewhat hackneyed (perhaps reflecting the author's screenwriting background).

The early scenes between the husband and wife post disappearance are well done, but later scenes with just the wife come across as afterthoughts or throwaways. As does, in fact, the presence of many of the secondary characters, especially Behr's former boss at the police department. It was as if Levien was following some formula that "required" there to be a petty, semi-competent, vindictive authority figure for his lead to bang heads with. The romantic aside was equally by-the-numbers and forced. If this is indeed to be a series, there will be more than enough time to delve into Behr's romantic / social life.

Frank Behr definitely has promise as a series lead, but I believe the gushing comparisons reviewers have been making to Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch and Robert Crais' Elvis Cole are a bit premature. A better comparison in my opinion would be Lee Child's Jack Reacher (complete with Behr's 6'6" size), though Behr has in no way proven himself (yet) to be as emotionally complex or intellectually sharp as Reacher.

The bottom line is that Behr simply did not have enough of a chance to shine in this book, with the secondary characters taking up more space than necessary, at the expense of Behr's development. I hope next time out Levien trims the excess character baggage and lets us really get to know our intended hero.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 77 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is one of those unusual books you can't put down, yet you don't want it to end. The action is fast-paced, the suspense builds by the chapter, and there are complex, very real characters you come to care about. I'm delighted to discover this author, and will be looking for more from him.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was an EXCELLENT thriller! I haven't previously read anything by David Levien, but I'm going to check out and see if he has any other titles.

I was a little leery of the story at first, since it deals with the disappearance of a child, but the characters are so real and engaging that I was quickly sucked into the story.

This is a read that kept me up late to finish it, and I highly recommend it!
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 217 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is phenomenal yet heart-wrenching. The subject matter is a tough sell especially if you have children but the way Levien handles the subject and how engaging the characters are, pulls you into the story. I could not put this book down !
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is one of the best books I've read about our children stolden and shipped off to Mexico. I think more of this is true than not
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This story was so riveting, I couldn't put it down and read it in two days. David Levien, the author, makes you feel you are living the story. What lengths would a parent go to in order to find their missing child? Great book!
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 735 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent book! Every parent's nightmare ... the son disappears while on a paper route. This book so realistically depicts parents who will do anything at all to find him.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 685 more book reviews
This was my first book read by this author and I really enjoyed it, already ordering the next books in the series. The character development is great, it is not overly wordy and filled with items just for the sake of verbiage. It is filled with excitement and thrills and sums up nicely at the end without going into a separate story of the aftermath.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 281 more book reviews
Pretty good thriller and a fast read, but the ending is a little too predictable. I think I'll pass on the rest of the series for now.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 69 more book reviews
liked this book
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 49 more book reviews
I could not stop reading this book. The story of a missing child and how it affected his parents. Then they hire detective Frank Behr and the action begins!
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 2194 more book reviews
this is second time reading this book--well written about the subject of stolen children being sold. The characters are so real you feel like you can see them.

Frank Behr is a 'fired' policeman turned investigator, after a boy goes missing for a year the parents turn to Behr for answers and the answers he finds sends him to Mexico, but along the way him and the parents get to know each other and respect each other in a way he never expected.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 58 more book reviews
This first book by writer/screen writer/producer David Levien was, for me, outstanding. The key was the relationship that built between the main character and his client. The story line is about a parent's worst nightmare come true and the "at all cost" efforts of hoping to undo that nightmare. I really liked this book and the author co-wrote the screen plays for Rounders, Ocean's 13, and others and he's retained the option on this book for future filming.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
This was an EXCELLENT thriller! I haven't previously read anything by David Levien, but I'm going to check out and see if he has any other titles.

I was a little leery of the story at first, since it deals with the disappearance of a child, but the characters are so real and engaging that I was quickly sucked into the story.

This is a read that kept me up late to finish it, and I highly recommend it!
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
It is rare treat to read a novel of this superb rank. The subject of missing children is certainly not one would normally select. Not for the faint of heart, but this book is a real eye opener.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
I enjoyed this storyline immensely as a diversion from the normal storyline of similar genre books. I was drawn into the well-written lives of the characters, and while there may have been more "bloody" scenes than the book needed, it was an interesting journey to discover how far into the darkness of humanity some people will delve in order to, perhaps, absolve an old guilt.

What left me dissatisfied with this book was the ending - or lack of it. I turned the page looking for closure after the good guys came out on top, and the book was over. I was expecting at least a little bit of at least hope of some happily-ever-after or resolution for the victims in the story, and felt that the author just dropped the story without an ending.

For that disappointment, I couldn't rate the story more than 3-1/2 stars.
reviewed City of the Sun (Frank Behr, Bk 1) on + 366 more book reviews
This book covers a very dark subject and I was hesitant to read it beyond a couple of chapters. To the author's credit, he covers the subject well but doesn't go into intimate detail. A young boy disappears while delivering newspapers. Fourteen months later the police have nothing so the family hire a private investigator with a deep understanding of losing a child. Fast paced and interesting!