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Comment: 100% Guaranteed. Mild bumping to cover corners and edges. Pages are clean and unmarked. Stain on page foreedge.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Priorities Intact Publishing (October 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615292496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615292496
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,077,861 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

"Great opening! It really established the tone and drew me in ...a very interesting idea here --timely and unique."
-Writer's Digest

From the Author

I know you're afraid. I don't blame you. Let's be honest, Dire Means could overwhelm you. 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 price would have set you back more than an ice cream sundae, right? Relax. This needn't happen. Use Amazon's Look Inside feature to read a more-than-generous sample. Skim through some reviews (ignoring any that are less than 5-stars). If this doesn't make your purchase feel safe enough then just go splurge on the sundae instead. I won't be mad. 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 was my first novel. I daydreamed about this story for two years before I began typing and finished the manuscript three years later. This book is not a sermon and will satisfy readers that blame homelessness on the homeless and those who see the homeless as victims. The story idea came to me after I gave money to a homeless man in Los Angeles. The guy's response was memorable. As he accepted the money through my driver's side window he pointed up and said, "An angel just saw you do this." As I drove away, his odd reply got me thinking about the homeless situation in America. I wondered why altruism has never succeeded in completely eliminating homelessness. Brotherly love is encouraged weekly from church pulpits across the nation and nonprofit assistance organizations do their best to chip away at the problem, yet the problem persists and grows. By the time I got home I had become obsessed with a concept that would become Dire Means. If appeals to public kindness haven't succeeded, what if terror made practicing the Golden Rule the only practical option? Would the reason for kindness matter?

More About the Author

Geoffrey Neil, his fabulous 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 tries to prioritize sleep, TV and people over keyboards. His books provide a satisfying scare without gruesome depictions, 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. Go try one of his books. It will make the poor guy feel better ... And that could save a pathetic fish.

Customer Reviews

I cannot put his books down after I begin reading.
Anne T. Simon
If you have been, or are homeless, you should read this book because you will find yourself saying, "Yeah, I've been there; I know what this feels like."
Marc Goldfinger
This book is a very well written thriller that will keep you focused as you read it.
Ian Lane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 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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14 of 14 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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14 of 16 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?
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Edwards VINE VOICE on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
A long time ago I had just a few kids and a LOT of extra time on my hands. I'd finish probably a minimum of 2 books per week...in my SPARE time. Now I'm older, I have MANY more kids and my time is just plain non-existent these days (or at least it SEEMS that way) and if I finish a book in a single MONTH I consider myself lucky. Here's the interesting part: back when I actually HAD time, I could hardly afford to buy very many books, so I was really careful in what I purchased...and I almost NEVER took a chance on an author I was unfamiliar with. Jump ahead a few decades and now I have virtually zero spare time, and yet with the help of amazon.com and my radio book club, I have books coming at me left and right--many are simply GIVEN to me, without my even asking for them.

Such is the situation with Dire Means. Mr. Neil is the 3rd author to contact me in the last 4 weeks via email asking if I would be interested in giving his novel a shot. He had done his homework and found my profile here at amazon and based on the novels I had already read and reviewed, decided Dire Means was similar enough to other such books that I may enjoy it, too. Years ago I never would have agreed to such a proposal. NEVER. However, that was before I had been contacted by David S. Michaels about his novel Red Moon - A Novel. I took a big chance reading a book by a guy I had never heard of before. Boy was I glad I did! Red Moon remains to this day my all-time favorite adventure novel of Fiction. Since then I have had an entirely different opinion regarding novels written by people I had never heard of before...and I suggest more people give these types of books a try.
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