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Nine Hardcover – October 8, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (October 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743223896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743223898
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,138,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

A drug kingpin on the FBI's Most Wanted list is found hanging upside down over a bathtub, his corpse drained of blood. The killing looks like an organized-crime payback hit--until another Ten Most Wanted criminal is found similarly strung up, and then another. Soon Detective Alex Brandon of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department is grappling not only with a testy partner and a complicated home life, but also with a band of brilliant vigilantes whom the public starts to regard as heroes.

Alex Brandon is almost too good to be true, with his penetrating blue eyes, his steely toughness, his politeness, and his tenacious smarts. But Jan Burke--best known for her well-regarded series featuring reporter Irene Kelly--is such a sane, intelligent writer that Brandon and the book's many other characters come vividly alive. She's also a fine craftsman of individual scenes, many of which are perfectly paced little dramas or comedies. Nine's gripping, multithreaded plot is sometimes too complex for its own good, and the climax tips into melodrama, but overall the reliable Burke, a past winner of the Edgar and other mystery awards, has produced another winning read. --Nicholas H. Allison

From Publishers Weekly

Award-winning mystery author Burke (Flight; Sweet Dreams, Irene) takes a break from her Irene Kelly series to test the waters of stand-alone mainstream thrillers, and proves she can swim with the sharks in this tale of vigilante justice. The members of Project Nine, an exclusive club of deranged boys, create havoc for homicide detective Alex Brandon, the L.A. Sheriff's Department and the FBI, since their gruesome project involves eliminating the outlaws on the FBI's Most Wanted List. Brandon has a dark family history, to say the least, and grimly tolerates his partner, Ciara Morton, a good detective with a bad attitude. The leader of Project Nine, Everett Corey, began assembling his task force including Cameron Burgess, Morgan Addison and the delightfully vain Frederick Whitfield IV at Sedgewick, a rich kids' reform school in Malibu. The team's hero, haunted genius Kit Logan, whose nightmarish past includes the killing of his stepfather, serial killer Jerome Naughton, attended the same school. Ninth on the Project's list of targets is yet another Malibu alum: Kit's friend Gabe Taggert, whose involvement in a botched robbery/ homicide has driven him into hiding. Gabe's sister Meghan has history with both Everett and Kit, further complicating the mix. Brandon was involved with the Naughton case 10 years earlier and has dealt with some of the Sedgewick boys; while this makes him uniquely suited to solving the case, it also puts him at risk. Burke does an excellent job with her diverse, bustling cast which includes Spooky, a 13-year-old firebrand in Kit's care, and Chase, Brandon's troubled nephew providing plenty of background without short-changing the absorbing and inventive plot.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Plot too twisting and convoluted.
Nevertheless, Nine is an exciting story and I postponed several activities so I could find out the ending, which has a great buildup and a surprise twist.
Silver Springer
Jan Burke always writes a good story. they keep you turning the pages, could hardly put the book down. look forward to reading her next one.
Robert Jenn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Fernandez VINE VOICE on April 1, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a big fan of the Irene Kelly series and at first was a little reticent of reading a novel by Jan Burke that did not have Irene as the main character. Luckily I discovered that my fears were completely unfounded and that the quality of this novel is as good as the rest of Burke's work, if not better.
Four young men are the main participants in a group called Project Nine, whose mission is to take justice into their own hands by killing the criminals that are listed in the FBI's Most Wanted list. The members of the group are all former Sedgewick students, which is a school well known for harboring rich kids who have had problems in various areas (school, trouble with police, etc). The murderers use a very distinct method, and detective Alex Brandon finds clear similarities with a previous case in his career. The killer in that prior case ended up being murdered by his stepson, Kit, who was only eleven years at that time.
The author not only presents a highly interesting and complex plot in terms of the reasons behind the actions of the characters, but also does an amazing job in depicting Alex and Kit, and also in intertwining elements of their personal life into the story. Each time I grab a book written by Jan Burke I find myself surprised not only by the highly entertaining stories she creates, but also by the outstanding quality of her writing. This is probably why she has won numerous prizes, including the prestigious Edgar Award. This work has convinced me: besides waiting for the next Irene Kelly novel, I will grab anything this author writes!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By b mcb on October 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Good character development - there's Alex, a homicide detective, with complicated family relationships. He investigates a murder where a large numeral 9 is left painted on the wall. Gripping plot -- the 9 goes on to be a 7 and 8 -- there's a serial killing in progress. What could NINE mean? Jan Burke develops great scenes showing how and why all the little individual pieces tie together into a Project Nine. A surprising twist adds to the flavor of the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on December 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It happens. You start a book with high expectations for whatever reason --- the inside cover summary, a friend's recommendation or, heaven forbid, some nebbish reviewer --- and you're disappointed. The converse also happens, however. You're not expecting much when you crack the binding on the book and the next thing you know you're halfway through the story before you even think about putting it down --- kind of like being abducted by aliens, without the probes, if you will.
That's the sort of out-of-body experience I encountered when I picked up NINE by Jan Burke. I wasn't really familiar with Burke's previous work, more by accident than by design, so I approached NINE with a tabula rosa impression, an impression that is now indelibly etched into my memory. NINE is as complex and gripping a thriller as you may well read this year.
The premise of NINE revolves around an unknown perpetrator or perpetrators who are dramatically and theatrically murdering the individuals listed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. The first, a drug kingpin who executed a potential witness against him, along with the witness's family, is strung up and left to die with his lifeblood draining from him. The mourners who attended this gentleman's demise could be counted on the end of one stump. The unknown individual who hastened his journey to the other side of the veil is quickly heralded as a hero. As the remaining individuals on the FBI's list are dispatched with efficient and creative rapidity, the public is enthralled. Detective Alex Brandon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is not among the cheerleaders, however.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Silver Springer on November 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Edgar and Agatha award winner Jan Burke has done it again with this exciting tale of serial killers who are applauded as heros because they systematically torture and kill some of society's worst criminals. Always one step ahead of the police, a band of villains take out even worse villains in particularly gruesome ways. Along the way, we meet Kit Logan, who killed his stepfather who was brutually murdering women in the same way the FBI's most wanted criminals are being killed. Kit, who has never psychologically recovered from his abusive childhood ,is on the trail of his long time friend Gabe, on the FBI list for suspected murder. Not only does Kit want to protect Gabe but also his beautiful sister Meghan, who Kit is secretly in love with. Meanwhile Sheriff Alex Brandon, in charge of the case, finds very few clues until Kit tips him off on connections leading to the murderers. As loved ones of both Alex and Kit are put in harm's way, the clock ticks away valuable time while the killers are making their final grandstand.
The characters of the good guys Kit, Meghan, Kit's ward,Spooky, Alex, and his nephew and uncle are well drawn; we come to know and like them. On the other hand, we don't learn much about the bad guys and their motives--why are they doing this and what are they trying to achieve. Nevertheless, Nine is an exciting story and I postponed several activities so I could find out the ending, which has a great buildup and a surprise twist.
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More About the Author

I'm the author of crime fiction novels and short stories. You can find out more about my writing on my Web site.

I'm also the founder of The Crime Lab Project, which works to increase awareness of the problems facing public forensic science labs in the U.S.

I live in Southern California with my husband, Tim, and our two dogs, Cappy (in the photo above) and Britches.

I want my epitaph to read, "Had a great time, thanks for inviting me." I hope not to be in need of that any time soon.

Oh yeah -- I'm a lifelong night owl. As another night owl once said, don't go to bed on the same day you've awakened.

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