The Bricklayer - Steve Vail, Bk 1 Author:Noah Boyd A woman steps out of the shower in her Los Angeles home and is startled by an intruder sitting calmly in her bedroom holding a gun. But she is frozen with fear by what he has to say about the FBI -- and what he says he must do.... — A young agent slips into the night water off a rocky beach. He's been instructed to swim to a nearby island to ... more »deposit a million dollars demanded by a blackmailer. But his mission is riddled with hazardous tests, as if someone wanted to destroy him rather than collect the money....
Vail has resigned himself to his dismissal and is content with his life as a bricklayer. But the FBI, especially Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon, needs help with a shadowy group that has initiated a brilliant extortion plot. The group will keep killing their targets until the agency pays them off, the amount and number of bodies escalating each time the FBI fails. One thing is clear: someone who knows a little too much about the inner workings of the Bureau is very clever -- and very angry -- and will kill and kill again if it means he can disgrace the FBI.
Steve Vail's options -- and his time to find answers -- are swiftly running out.
Noah Boyd's The Bricklayer is written with the bracing authenticity only someone who has been a crack FBI investigator can provide. And in this masterful debut Boyd has created a mind-bending maze of clues and traps inside a nonstop thrill ride that is sure to leave readers exhilarated and enthralled.« less
This may be the single most poorly written book I have read this year despite the ardent recommendations of the clerk at Borders.
I don't know if the author read both Hemingway and Robt Parker and tried to mix the two, or if the author is just plain inept. The dialogue was laughable it was so bad.
On my worst days, I can do better, and trust me, that's not a compliment!
This is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in ages. The Bricklayer is an FBI caper that is plotted carefully and well written. It has no foul language that I can recall, and that is a mark of a good writerone who has the vocabulary to tell a tale without a steady stream of obscenities. Further, the dialogue is clever and reminds of books and movies of the 50s where nuance and suggestion take the place of graphic details of sex. Another real plus, the storyline is excellent, probably because the author is ex-FBI and is thus aware of the inner-workings and the bureaucracy of the agency.
The FBI is, as might be expected, stumbling around an extortion plot in which they are being extorted!! A former agent (now a bricklayer) is called back duty to catch the extortionists. He is a maverick, fired because he did his job rather than follow orders. He is a true anti-hero who excels as a superhero, reading the clues, chasing all the leads, and solving the issues to the pleasure of the Director of the FBI and the consternation to the bureaucrats in between the two. The author was an FBI agent for twenty or more years, now dividing his time between working cold cases and writing. I have already put Boyds next book on my wish list.
Intriguing just for the intricate plot alone, this book about an ex-FBI agent, once fired for insubordination (and you can see why) and now lured back to find and trace a horrific gang of killers who have targeted the FBI's reputation in the U.S., allows the hero, Steve Vail, to engage in a dialogue with his female FBI asst. director, Kate Bannon, that is the best I've read between two professionals on a killer job they both want to complete
successfully, who happen to both be young, intelligent, and attracted to each other. Marvelous detective work here.
Bruce - reviewed The Bricklayer (Steve Vail, Bk 1) on
The first novel written under the nom de plume Noah Boyd has all the cliche's one can find in an FBI thriller - the renegade kicked out of the bureau because he can't follow rules but is sucked by in on a big case for his unique and superior talents, sexual tension with his female FBI partner, still unable to play by the rules....and throw in some witty dialogue. Having said that, the story Boyd weaves is very original and is a page-turner. Steve Vail, the bricklayer, must match wits with a criminal mastermind who sends him chasing one deadly clue after another. I gave this book 4.5 stars. There was a note on Amazon that Paul Lindsey, author and former FBI agent who wrote his last two novels under the pen name Noah Boyd, has passed away. His last novel "Agent X" reintroduces Steve Vail in a final FBI thriller.
Surprisingly good. Very well written with well drawn characters. The Bricklayer (the lead character) is a real charmer. I would definitely recommend this novel for anyone who likes fast-moving, smart, funny, well-thought-out plots and nifty characters. There is a high death rate, however, typical of this genre.
Outstanding characters and excellent plot line. I'd say that Noah Boyd is in the same league as Lee Child and his Reacher series. Unfortunately The Bricklayer is Boyd's first novel, so I'll just have to wait for the next one to be published.