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Briarpatch [Kindle Edition]

Ross Thomas , Lawrence Block
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $12.00 (60%)
Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

A long-distance call from a Texas city on his birthday gives Benjamin Dill the news that his sister--it's her birthday, too, they were born exactly ten years apart--has died in a car bomb explosion. It's the chief of police calling--Felicity Dill worked for him; she was a homicide detective. Dill is there that night, the beginning of his dogged search for her killer. What he finds is no surprise to him, because Benjamin Dill is never surprised at what awful things people will do--but it's a real surprise to the reader. As Newsday said when the novel was first published, "One sure thing about Ross Thomas's novels: A reader won't get bored waiting for the action to start."

Editorial Reviews


-America-s best storyteller.--The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Ross Thomas is ranked as one of the very top thriller writers by his fellow authors, and his readers loudly agree. Two Edgar Awards, and other prizes, only complement the abundant praise that Thomas has received.

Thomas died in 1995, and since then all but one of his twenty-five novels have gone out of print. This should never have happened to the man of whom The New Yorker has said, “Very few...are as consistently entertaining...even fewer can match him for style and power.” St. Martin’s Minotaur is proud to remedy this situation by reissuing Thomas’s novels. So start reading, and prepare to join Ross Thomas’s legions of admiring fans.

Product Details

  • File Size: 682 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312290314
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (January 9, 2003)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FA65GI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edgar Award Winning Mystery January 28, 2000
By A Customer
Ross Thomas is a vastly underappreciated writer who sucessfully blends fast-paced dialog, humor and suspense with unique characters and totally original plot twists. If you're unfamiliar with Thomas, this book is the perfect introduction. If you're already a fan and haven't read this one, you've been missing out. The plot doesn't exactly defy description, but a short synopsis hardly does it justice. Like most of Thomas's novels, Briarpatch tells the tale of murder, politics and corruption. Ben Dill, the likeable-loner hero, comes back to his hometown searching for his sister's killer. The town itself becomes an integral character in the story, and if you are able to guess the identity of the locale, you've solved the OTHER mystery of the book. If you're not already a Thomas fan, you will be after this highly entertaining book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great storytelling. December 19, 2006
Benjamin Dill of Washington, D.C. makes his living as an investigator for an obscure Senate subcommittee. His investigative powers are put to the test when his own sister, a policewoman, is murdered.
Briarpatch is an extremely well written mystery told as a third person narrative. Most of the action unfolds in Dill's hometown, an unnamed city in the southwestern United States.

Just as in all Ross Thomas novels, there is plenty of urbane humor. However, unlike most Ross Thomas novels, the story itself is a fairly mainstream, straightforward one. Missing are the way over-the-top characters and situations Thomas fans are used to encountering.

Briarpatch is a well crafted mystery novel noteworthy for having a very smooth narrative flow, an appealing cast of characters, clever dialogue and an engaging plot. This is a book all mystery fans will enjoy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing, so-so plot September 12, 2005
This was my first Ross Thomas novel. I had heard from friends what a wonderful writer he was and was eager to give him a shot. The writing is truly outstanding. His desciptions left me alternately laughing and shaking my head in amazement that someone could describe things so perfectly.

The plot however leaves a bit to be desired. It is a rather conventional whodunit. It was a bit too straightforward for my tastes and most readers will figure out the ending well before getting there. Having said that it was entertaining and the language Thomas uses makes it well worth taking the time to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding style that is soooooo comfortable to read. February 15, 2009
After only a few pages, I knew that this author was a great writer. There's something very comfortable about reading a Thomas book. His style is so easy and enjoyable to read that it is no surprise that Briarpatch won an Edgar Award.

Story starts with a bang when Dill receives a call that his sister, a policewoman in his hometown, was killed with a car bomb. Dill is an investigator for a Senate subcommittee and his professional and personal affairs get all tangled up when he goes home to bury his sister. This mayhem includes murders, politics, corruption, secret deals, etc. interweaved over more than 300 pages of brilliant storytelling

Author al-Qaeda Strikes Again
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Better Whodunnit December 3, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Let's face it, we live in a YOUTUBE/A-D-D world where attention spans last about as long as...hey, is that a shiny quarter? Where was I? Oh yeah, it's about where we are at but not where we have been or how we got here. Ross Thomas took the talent and time to turn out truly good and entertaining books, this one in particular. Is BRIARPATCH a great book? Well, that's subjective because what's great to some, sucks for others.
All I know is that when I get tired of the popular mystery or thriller writers of the day-this day- I go back and find a John D. MacDonald or Ross Thomas to enjoy reading again. A well written book with unique or interesting characters and convincing plot twists, not to mention insight to the ridiculous human experience is usually enough to do it. If you haven't read a Ross Thomas book then find one and see if you don't enjoy it and grin as you do. If you haven't read him in awhile then re-read and discover him all over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Murder under the broiling sun July 10, 2013
A policewoman is killed when her car explodes, and her older brother flies home from Washington to bury her and look into the slaying. The neighborhoods of the unnamed Sunbelt city (actually the author's home town, and not in Texas) makes a colorful background, with 100F degree days counterpointing the brother's painful trek through the siblings' past, trying to uncover which acquaintance or conspiracy did her in. Her recent assignments seem somehow to mesh with the brother's investigative work in DC, though her police colleagues are oddly closemouthed. The tension remains high throughout, but never quite peaks until the quick sharp climax. Good, but, despite its Edgar, not great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Crime/Detective Novels I've read! February 23, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Crime/Detective novels. this one is extra good. In addition to having a good complex plot, with interesting characters that draw the reader onward in a "I don't want to put this down" mode… The writing is just superb! In addition to propelling the story along - descriptions, ideas, and even occasionally a little observational philosophy are presented therein that had me stopping and re- reading a passage to marvel at this author's turn of phrase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is this a roman a clef? October 8, 2010
I picked this up because I was on a quest to read some Edgar Award winners. I thought it well-written and fun. But no one has noted this story, with minor changes, is set in an unnamed 1980's Oklahoma City (Ross Thomas's hometown) and gives a cynical history of the city and especially its wealthy neighborhood Nichols Hills. This fact should make it a must-read for OKC residents to suss out what thinly disguised landmarks and personages pop up in the tale.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Edgar voters did right in voting BRIARPATCH the best mystery novel...
In BRIARPATCH, Ross Thomas finally got all his writing skills working together. The grotesques are there, in force, but for a reason, not just tossed in so Thomas can show off his... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Gregory Koster
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for mystery fans
This was a great read. I'd recommend it to any mystery reader.
Published 26 days ago by Callie Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Ross Thomas is one hell of a writer
Although Thomas died nearly twenty years ago, his books, which I just recently discovered, are terrific. Clever plots, fascinating characters, witty dialog- what's not to like?
Published 4 months ago by AzBruin
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern noir, outstanding writing, thought-provoking plot. How is it...
This really is a classic of the genre. It's intelligent and the writing is excellent. The tangled plot may have you going "Aha! Read more
Published 7 months ago by wxwax
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery Can Be Great Literature . . .
If you are reading Ross Thomas.
His characters are more than Dickensian; his themes are more than Shakespearean. Hyperbole? Give this book a read.
Published 8 months ago by Jim Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Thomas' best
I've never read a Ross Thomas book I didn't thoroughly enjoy. This particular one was a real treat. I thought the character development and the plot line in this story were... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Bill H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced, Interesting
I loved reading this book. It was well-paced, interesting and kept you wondering who did it right up to the end. I like books that offer a little surprise.
Published 12 months ago by Brooks Emerson
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the great mystery writers
I'm a latecomer to Ross Thomas and heard about this book in an interview with some pundit on NPR listing the best mysteries of all times - on NPR. He was right on the money. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Henry Arthur
5.0 out of 5 stars WHY I LIKE ROSS THOMAS
Ross Thomas is just what I need when I choose to read thrillers. He writes very well; his plots are complex and intelligently developed; his humor is a surprising and nice... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Lynn M. Matherne
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great Who Dunnit!
This is my first Ross Thomas book and I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style. He is very descriptive of the characters, but in blunt way. Read more
Published 14 months ago by J R Costner
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