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Box Nine Paperback – January 1, 2000


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Paperback, January 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Oldcastle (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901982270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901982275
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,597,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This won the publisher's Mysterious Discovery contest for best first crime novel and for the most part the story moves winningly indeed. In a city very much like Worcester, Mass., detective Lenore Thomas is teamed with a Chinese linguist as part of a police task force tracking down the makers and dealers of a new drug that induces murderous rage. Another detective, the mayor's mistress, is told to give inside info on the force's progress to her lover. Lenore's twin brother, Ike, a mailman, starts to find grisly objects in an unused P.O. box. As Lenore closes in on Cortez, boss of the city's tenderloin, she and the linguist begin a torrid affair. There's some wonderful local color, a large and varied cast of characters, some gore, a little steamy sex and a bloody climax. Unfortunately there are also a few improbable events (Ike's plain-Jane boss submitting sexually to a drug lord who calls himself the Paraclete), a tendency to pretension (Lenore: "Memory has never brought you comfort?" Cortez: "Not that I recall") and the Paraclete's not very surprising identity. But there's also real talent here. O'Connell's a definite discovery. BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

The winner of Mysterious Press's first ``Mysterious Discovery'' contest introduces Lt. Lenore Thomas, of Quinsigamond, Mass., whose undercover duties in drug-infested Bangkok Park are interrupted by news of Lingo, a powerful new drug that acts on the brain's language centers with the effect of ``speed, Spanish fly, and a Berlitz course''--and also reduces its consumers to psychotic rage. While Lenore is following the tracks of Lingo--together with linguist- neuropsychologist Dr. Frederick Woo--her depressive twin brother Ike, a postal clerk, is faced with a mystery of his own: Who's sending a series of grisly packages--a dead fish, a bundle of severed fingers-- to unrented Box 9 at his substation? Though both twins find unlikely romance (Lenore with Woo, of course, Ike with supervisor Eva Barnes), their story is clearly heading for a powerfully fatalistic climax. Strong stuff, all right: O'Connell gets so deep inside his small- town cast that it's a relief to turn the last page. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Jack O'Connell's first novel, Box Nine, won the Mysterious Press Discovery Award. His second novel, Wireless, was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the top ten crime novels of 1993. O'Connell is also the author of The Skin Palace and Word Made Flesh. His latest novel, The Resurrectionist, was chosen by Amazon.com as one of the top-10 SF novels of 2008. The winner of Le prix Mystère de la critique and Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire in France, the novel was also nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. O'Connell lives in Worcester, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "imdateless" on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Box Nine by Jack O'Connell is a riveting crime story following the fall from grace of a detective and her brother as they fight with the complexities and complications that linguistics has to offer. In his other book I reviewed earlier, Word Made Flesh, Mr. O'Connell uses linguistics and the semantics of a semantically deprived linguist to embark on a journey where the word is made flesh. In this story, he follows again in the path of logic, semantics, and meanings, but this time focuses on the supersensory experience that might be experienced by people with hyper sensitive language centers of the brain. Whereas the other story was one of depravation, this one is full of overindulgence, rancid sensual stimulants, and over the top characterization of the main players. He continues to use the jumping back and forth between scenes to keep the pace moving smoothly forward, and twists the end around his little finger like a wedding band on a trailer keeper. A very interesting read, and a book that will keep you wondering about the boundaries of language and reality, and where the line between them blurs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jack O'Connell's Box Nine succeeds in many departments: It has an evocative and original setting, snappy dialogue and a super female lead that oozes charisma. And although the idea of a synthetic and brain-enhancing drug (Lingo), sweeping the streets and changing a culture is a nice idea, I don't think he pulls it off with much conviction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karen Kirsch on May 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Jack O'Connell is one of my favorite authors I love the Combat Zone and all of its quirky, demented characters. Postal Service...Box 9... it doesn't get much better then this if you like very unusual settings and characters. I've just had a taste of his newest, "Word Made Flesh," and am already intrigued. Jack, you've made my next week of reading!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Lenore Thomas is one of the most memorable characters in recent fiction - a powerfully intense figure who dominates an equally intense debut novel. O'Connell creates a world - and a drug - that make an indelible impact on the reader.
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