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Manner of Death (Alan Gregory) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The spirit of D.B. Cooper--the legendary hijacking parachutist--hovers over Stephen White's latest book about Colorado psychologist Alan Gregory, and this jaunty ghost gives the outing even more stylish substance than usual. By adding elements of Cooper's crime and disappearance (with a large amount of cash) to a story of medical malpractice and resulting revenge, White--a practicing Colorado psychologist himself--pushes the envelope of what's real and what's fictional to the advantage of both.

After attending the funeral of a former colleague from his days as an intern, Gregory is accosted (and has a tempting Mexican lunch spoiled) by a pair of edgy ex-FBI agents now working for a high-ticket private security firm. They believe that the colleague's "accidental" death on a hiking trip is really part of an attempt to wipe out everyone who was part of a particular team in a psychiatric unit at the University of Colorado's Health Services Center in Denver in 1982. As members of that team, Gregory--and his former lover, Sawyer Sackett--are among the few remaining survivors and the next likely targets. Overhearing this news causes a waitress to drop two platters of green chili burritos in a messy clatter.

D.B. Cooper becomes an important part of the story as Gregory, his prosecutor wife, Lauren (whose multiple sclerosis leads to some unusual and important observations), their cop friend Sam Purdy, and the two ex-FBI agents zero in on possible suspects--one of whom has an abnormal fascination with the hijacker's life. White spends a tad too much time on Alan's past history with the mysterious Sawyer, but in general his narrative engine runs smoothly and powerfully toward its satisfying and largely unexpected conclusion. Other Gregory books include Critical Conditions, Harm's Way, Higher Authority, Private Practices, and Remote Control. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The invigorating twists and turns of practicing psychologist White's (Privileged Information) new Alan Gregory thriller drag readers over rugged Colorado terrain, past a gauntlet of eccentric characters spawned by the Rocky Mountain lifestyle, through the most intimate details of the protagonists' lives, leaving them gasping at the switchback ending of this chilling stalker novel. Attending the funeral of a former colleague, Boulder psychologist Alan learns from two quirky ex-FBI agents that this is the latest in a string of clueless murders targeting the entire group of students, supervisors and staff who shared Alan's clinical psychology residency some years earlier. Only Alan and his former lover, Dr. Sawyer Sackett, now survive, and they are undoubtedly next on the killer's hit list. Alan's wife, Lauren, a prosecuting attorney afflicted with multiple sclerosis, is threatened as well, but throws her considerable skills fully into the fray. Alan's friend on the Boulder police force, Detective Sam Purdy, provides police clout, FBI equalizing and protection for Lauren. The pros go after former patients, but Alan and Sawyer snoop best, tracing a lead involving legendary hijacker D.B. Cooper and some truly disturbed suspects. White conveys his love for Colorado and his profession while delivering an evaluation of the mental health industry. Martinet shrinks and caring analysts get equal billing, while both the promise and limitations of psychology are cleanly spelled out. A newly honed sense of humor adds zip to White's prose without detracting a mite from the menace and gore. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild selections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Alan Gregory (Book 7)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451197038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451197030
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of suspense novels, including Dead Time and The Siege. He lives in Colorado.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By P. Connors on March 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Regardless of what some of the naysayers write about this novel here at Amazon, this book is a true mystery and a thriller all wrapped up in a neat and tidy package. Once again, Stephen White has done an outstanding job of providing a dilemma for Dr. Alan Gregory and the people he loves.
In this installment in what has rapidly become a very popular series, Dr. White reprises all of the characters fans of these books expect to meet again within the covers. White also introduces the legend of D.B Cooper into the storyline, not as a foil or complication, but as an inherent part of the plot and as a possible explanation for the murders and other mysterious deaths that are part of this story.
Oh yes, there are killings galore in this novel. The author makes use of a past love for Alan Gregory and does a masterful job in his use of flashbacks to explain where Alan Gregory was in 1982 (long before he met his wife Lauren, or Sam Purdy or even his first wife). His first love came while he was a psychology intern at the teaching hospital in Denver. It was there that he met Dr. (MD) Sawyer Sackett. The love affair that developed ended badly and Sawyer left without notice or apology. It has taken years for Dr. Gregory to get over her and when we flash back to the present, Alan and his wife are forced to confront the possibility that a former patient may have been killing off all of the staff members who treated him so many years before.
Not too far into this story, Alan is informed that one of his former colleagues has died under suspicious circumstances. Upon further investigation, he becomes aware that there hasn't been just one death among his former interns and residents, but many.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Redding reader on January 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Denver Post reviewer Carol Kreck stated in her review that "Stephen White's 'Manner of Death' pulls readers along like a steam train. Don't crack this thing unless there's nothing else to do, because once started, nothing else is going to get done." I couldn't agree more, so I set aside a Sunday and read the book in one sitting, which makes it easier to keep track of names. I have read all Stephen White's mysteries and like them very much: Alan Gregory is a likeable, believable hero as is his wife Lauren. I was dismayed to read the Kirkus review above and find that it contains "spoilers": events that don't happen until more than 200 pages into the book. Also, Dr. Arnie Dresser's funeral took place in Evergreen, not Denver. I strongly recommend this book!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "hbbarney" on February 8, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you go to the Q. & A. section of White's web page you can read about his not really knowing what will happen in one of his books until the characters reveal that to him during his writing. Manner of Death was a good example of that revelation. The first 350 pages offered little in support of the culmination of the novel. If as a reader you hope to be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together along the way, you are out of luck here. There are no pieces to put together until the very end and unfortunately those that do get put together at the end are not at all intriguing or memorable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Sausser on February 1, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The first half of this story was a little slow, but the pace picked up considerably by the half way point. The emergency plane landing was absolutely breath stopping. White is an expert with characterization and these characters were very colorful. I was glad to see Lauren play a bigger role in this story. Once the plot was established, the suspense was well maintained to a satisfying conclusion. An enjoyable read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Kuschel-Toerber on January 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of Stephen White's Alan Gregory novels so far, I always look forward to the latest annual instalment. "Manner of Death", as always, is a well-written book: an exciting story and character developments.
Checking in with Alan Gregory and the other returning characters in the series is always a bit like visiting friends. It's amazing how Stephen White has managed to hold up the high standards throughout the years. "Manner of Death" is even better than its two predecessors!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on June 5, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I definitely don't expect much from books I pick up while waiting for airplanes, but I found this book interesting and genuinely frightening. Even after I made it off the plane, I had to finish reading before I attended to other business. It asks what would happen if a group of people you knew were being killed one by one and you had the distinct idea that you were next, but nobody could prove that murder was involved? There are holes I could pick in the plot, but I should say that they didn't bother me while I was reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Collier on August 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This was my first Stephen White read and I was thoroughly entertained. Just enough clinical sophistication melded with psychological suspense kept it interesting and believable. Although the time it took White to develop the relationship between Dr. Gregory and Sawyer in the beginning of the story could have been condensed and probably would have had the same effect. All in all, I would recommend reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Boulder psychiatrist Dr. Alan Gregory is a bit melancholy as he attends the funeral of Dr. Arnold Dresser, who died from a fall while climbing Maroon Peak near Aspen. Alan and Arnold were trained at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and stayed in touch though they were never close friends. After the funeral, Alan returns home to take his spouse, Lauren Crowder, who suffers with multiple sclerosis, out to lunch. At the restaurant, a funeral attendee, Dr. A.J. Simes, intrudes on Alan and Lauren when she provides them with privileged information that someone plans to kill Alan and has murdered Arnold.
Alan soon learns that the staff, students, and management who shared Alan's residency are being killed. Apparently, only he and his former lover Dr. Sawyer Sackett are left from the class of `82. No motives and no evidence exists. Alan, Sawyer, and Lauren know they must uncover a serial killer before they end up in harm's way. <PThe Alan Gregory thrillers are some of the best psychological suspense tales on the market today. However, the seventh book, MANNER OF DEATH, is the best novel to date because Stephen White injects jocularity without defacing the critical conditions that confront the lead trio. Mr. White paints a frightening yet promising picture of psychology that adds to the tale. Even higher authorities than this reviewer would tell readers that the Gregory mysteries are all worth reading, but especially this newest entry.

Harriet Klausner
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