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Dire Means Paperback – October 12, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Priorities Intact Publishing (October 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615292496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615292496
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,134,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Dire Means grabbed me from the very first page [...] a haunting novel that will stay with you well after you have finished reading it."
-Feathered Quill Book Reviews

"The story whips into the fury of a hurricane... You will be turning pages and ignoring everyone around you." 
-Spare Change News

From the Author

I know you're afraid. I don't blame you. Let's be honest, Dire Means could overwhelm you. Several characters use unfiltered profanity when angry or hurt. And suppose the plot is too intense, you slam the book shut halfway through and flee your favorite reading chair for emergency psychological help? The book's $4 price would have set you back the cost of an ice cream sundae, right? Relax. This doesn't need to happen. Use Amazon's Look Inside feature to read a more-than-generous sample. If this doesn't make your purchase feel safe enough then just go enjoy your ice cream instead. I won't be upset. I won't even know ... unless we meet some fine day and you get all fidgety when I ask what your favorite scene was.

Dire Means is not a sermon and will satisfy readers whether they have sympathy or criticism for homeless people. The story examines what would happen if fear, rather than brotherly love, motivated kind acts. Is the reason for kindness important? 

The idea came to me after I gave money, through my car's window, to a homeless man. As I drove away, I wondered why altruism has never succeeded in completely eliminating homelessness. "Love your neighbor" is a message preached weekly from church pulpits across the nation. Still, homelessness persists and grows. Nonprofit organizations make noble attempts to help, but the problem expands quicker than they can chip away at it. While contemplating the futility of a thorough solution, I became obsessed with a concept that would become Dire Means. If appeals to public kindness haven't succeeded, what if someone harnessed terror to make adherence to the Golden Rule the only practical way to feel safe?

Customer Reviews

It was too long or maybe it just seemed to be.
A Customer
It's very well written, with lots of plot twists and surprises, and yet absolutely everything ties in.
Cara Drake
I cannot put his books down after I begin reading.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Woolf on December 9, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Because I am a voracious reader of mysteries and suspense, I'm pretty discerning about the genre. And I have been known to say, "Oh, it was a good try", and put the book down never to finish it. This is not just a good first book, it's a great read. It's been a while since I've awakened in the middle of the night glad to be awake. Why? Because I knew I could pick up the book and continue reading.
Geoff Neill has combined social commentary, terror, interesting and thoughtful characters, and vivid descriptions of a great part of the country. Though totally engrossed in the story, the author made me think twice about what I consider my helpful and meaningful approach to dealing with the homeless. So, a page-turner that piques my conscience, makes me eager to return to the book. What more could one want? I look forward to Mr. Neill's next book. Do read it - you won't be sorry!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ErickinOKC on December 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I found Dire Means thanks entirely to the Storybundle.com Mystery & Suspense bundle earlier this year - something I bought intending to give as a gift to my mother-in-law, an avid mystery reader. While I find myself more easily satisfied in a good history book or sci-fi piece, something made Dire Means stick out among the other books in the bundle and I found myself hanging onto it even while letting the others go on as gifts.

Dire Means grabbed my interest immediately. The first six or so chapters detail something happening without an explanation. Suddenly, the book changes settings and writing styles completely to begin a character story about someone previously unmentioned. I spent the remainder of the book juggling two fascinations: 1) who is this new character and why do I find myself relating to him so much; and 2) how in the world does this character get tangled up in what transpired at the beginning of the book? The result of the two fascinations combining was an inability to read a magazine, preview another book, watch a TV show at night or listen to music on the treadmill in the morning until I had completed this book.

Geoffrey Neil's writing style was easy to read, his story was easy to care about, his characters were easy to love and hate (depending on the character, of course) and his narrative moved at just the right pace and chapters broke at just the right places that I was never bored and always telling myself, "Well, I can't stop here! One more chapter..."

I've said nothing to the plot or morals of the book, both of which I loved. Get Mr. Neil's book - as well as his latest, "HR", as I have just done - and enjoy the ride. He'll surely be a great author to follow as he continues to work and grow.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Saunders on February 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Author: Geoffrey Neil
Unspoken of by most, but known by all is endemic problem of our homeless citizens. Some are there by choice and some by circumstance, but it is a social ill that we each look upon differently given our upbringing, environment or social status. People will ignore, help or scorn the ragged man sitting on the corner asking for help. "Will work for food" or "Stranded Need Help" or simply "Homeless" scrawled on a ripped piece of cardboard in an attempt to gain a dollar from a passerby. Even if you choose to ignore them the choice may be taken from you. You may be confronted, outside a grocery store or on any sidewalk, with the question, "got any spare change?" Sometimes it's polite and sometimes it's confrontational and sometimes it can become frightening. Either way, the homeless exist and remind us of all that we personally have to lose. They scratch a guilty conscious and they make a person ask, "have I done enough?"
What if? Dire Means is a story of one possible solution for the problem of the homeless. What if you were confronted by a ragged man asking for a dollar? What if you were less than kind? What if that homeless person carried a concealed camera and taped you. What if you were then abducted, held until you starved to death then your body unceremoniously dumped on a street with a CD strung around your cold dirty neck? On the CD is a video of your transgression and a warning that if the homeless are not taken care of many more citizens will meet the same fate. This is exactly what is happening in Santa Monica, California. An entire month of disappearances and now the bodies are showing up, all starved and all sporting a CD of their last interaction with a homeless person. Can a society be extorted in to finding a solution?
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan C. Williams on June 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title says it all. The plot in this well-written book is quite unusual and compelling, with some terrifying heart-thumping moments. The first few chapters caught my attention right away but seemed disconnected at first, then it all started coming together in a way that made perfect sense, yet surprised me. I spent several years working with the homeless, and so much of this resonated with me, both the goodness of people who want to help, and the contempt felt by many toward the homeless. I read all day; couldn't stop until I finished. Then read the sneak preview -- the prologue of next book, Human Resources, and just ordered it on Kindle as it was intriguing and featured one of the characters from Dire Means. Can't wait to get into it. Hope there's more coming from this author!
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More About the Author

Geoffrey Neil, his beautiful wife and talkative son live in Los Angeles with a useless, ungrateful fish that Geoffrey threatens at least once daily.

Writing novels has proven to be a grueling process for Geoffrey, but he can't break the obsession even though he likes sleep, TV and people more than keyboards. His stories use disturbing implications more than graphic depictions to provide a satisfying thrill with little blood --a tactic many readers find equally assaulting on the senses. Geoffrey's overactive imagination and genuine fear of almost everything are tools that help him write novels, but also get him wound tighter than an eight-day clock. His wife calls him the mayor of Stress Town.

Geoffrey is busy working on his fourth novel. Go try one of his books. It will make the poor guy feel better ... and that could save a pathetic fish.

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Dire Means
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