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Primacy: A Thriller Hardcover – September 1, 2011

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


An "appealing debut thriller... Those with an interest in animal rights will be particularly enthralled." -- Publishers Weekly

"This is a strong bet for thriller fans." --Library Journal

"[T]he novel starts strong and never lets up. Author J.E. Fishman has an excellent sense of pacing, and while the expected genre conventions are met, Primacy feels fresh and often unexpected..."

"[S]tarts fast and never lets go. reads fresh and excit­ing. Mr. Fishman's pac­ing is flaw­less and the nar­ra­tive superbly enter­tain­ing. The writ­ing style is intel­li­gent and the action sequences are beau­ti­fully executed." --Man of la Book blog

"a magnificent job"..."This debut novel is a marriage of medical thriller, along the lines of Robin Cook, to fear on a scale you have never experienced, as typically brought to readers by Michael Crichton." --Suspense Magazine

''Fishman is a deft, fluent writer who's great at turning out intricate action scenes, and he gives us appealing characters--even the chimp grows on you--to boot. A hokey but entertaining thriller that's more fun than a barrel of overgrown monkeys.'' --Kirkus Reviews

''The brilliant part about Primacy isn't how fast-paced or quick-witted or tightly plotted it is--though all that kept me turning the pages--but how, beneath all the ape fur, beats a real human heart. You'll read J.E. Fishman for the action, but you'll remember him for the soul.''
--Shya Scanlon, author of Forecast

''Primacy propels the reader across continents, oceans, and into the human heart on an electrifying search for answers to life's most fundamental questions.''
--Richard Cox, author of The God Particle and Rift

''J.E. Fishman's writing is compelling and intelligent and loaded with all of the things that keep a reader in his seat - visceral action, razor-sharp dialog and meaningful stakes.''
--Brad Listi, author of Attention. Deficit. Disorder and founder of The Nervous Breakdown

''Primacy earns J.E. Fishman entry into the ranks of established thriller-writers. Primacy mines the philosophical and comes up with a gem in the same vein as The Day of the Dolphin. Although it was written to entertain, and does so admirably, it also calls us to quiet contemplation of our concept of, and relationship with, the 'lesser beings' known as animals that share our world.''
--Paul Clayton, author of Calling Crow and White Seed

''J.E. Fishman has written a provocative, pedal-to-the-metal thriller with hairpin plot twists and complex characters grappling with tough questions about our species' place in the increasingly unbalanced natural order. It's a smart book. Just as important, it brims with what some Africans might call bolingo.''
--Bob Sipchen, Editor-in-Chief of Sierra magazine and winner of the Pulitzer Prize

''A great thriller has to be intelligent - your head must race to keep pace with your terrified heart. A great thriller must take you deep into an exotic locale you knew nothing of, and turn you into an expert on the landscape. Primacy is a great thriller.''
--John Hubner, author of Somebody Else's Children and Monkey on a Stick

''This book should come with a medical warning. I nearly burned my fingers turning the pages. And it'll almost break your heart.''
--Greg Olear, author of Totally Killer

''A meditation on the institutional cruelty of animal testing that lurks within the bones of a stirring thriller, Primacy deftly juggles serious themes while taking readers on a daring ride into the heart of darkness. Hang onto the rollbar!''
--Sean Beaudoin, author of You Killed Wesley Payne

From the Author

I'm proud to announce that Primacy has received Honorable Mention in the 2012 Commercial Fiction category of the Eric Hoffer Award for Books.

From the U.S. Review of Books, associated with the Hoffer Awards:
"With terrific chracters, especially the bononbo, this story leaps into action....This is clever and intelligently written, but first and foremost a highly entertaining and visual read."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Verbitrage; First Edition edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983380902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983380900
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,883,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.E. Fishman is the Amazon-bestselling author of three critically acclaimed novels: the science thriller PRIMACY, the wisecracking mystery CADAVER BLUES: A Phuoc Goldberg Fiasco, and the financial thriller THE DARK POOL.

His police thrillers under the heading Bomb Squad NYC are the first series based upon the heroism of the NYPD Bomb Squad, the nation's oldest, busiest and most technologically sophisticated unit of its kind. With technical advice provided by NYPD Bomb Squad Commander Lt. Mark Torre, the series begins with A DANGER TO HIMSELF AND OTHERS, followed by DEATH MARCH, THE LONG BLACK HAND, BLAST FROM THE PAST, and BOTTLE ROCKET.

A former Doubleday editor, Fishman also occasionally blogs for The Nervous Breakdown and the Huffington Post. He divides his time between Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and New York City.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Scott Proctor VINE VOICE on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
J.E. Fishman has written a fantastic first novel. Fishman combines well-drawn characters with an engaging, timely and intriguing plot against a backdrop of cutting-edge science.

As someone who began their career as a scientist, I found Primacy to be realistic, authentic and meaningful. As an avid reader across a host of genres, I found Primacy to be a great read... it draws you in with its story line and characters and keeps you engaged with its probing of morality and a possible future state for the field of science.

I recommend Primacy to all readers. It reads with the pace and excitement of a bestseller, yet the themes of the book stick with you like a classic. Few books, and even fewer authors, strike such a balance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patricia C. on September 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Fast paced and full of action, Primacy is an unusual kind of thriller as it takes place in the world of animal testing and raises interesting moral questions along the way.
Fishman made chimpanzees characters a full part of his novel and it works fabulously. Full of humor, action and suspense, it is a very entertaining read and has all the elements of a good movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harry W. Kendall on September 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Primacy by J. E. Fishman is packed with suspenseful drama, subterfuge, and incredible demonstrations of man's inhumanity to men/women and animals. Yet, it is a shot of adrenaline into the advocacy of animal suffrage. Fishman successfully utilized techniques of the objective reality of journalism and the subjective reality of story-telling. Extensive descriptions, many of them rainbow colored, multi sub-plots, and strong character motivation in a roller-coaster sequence of events heightens the work's immediacy until the final moment mission is accomplished. Harrowing moments of horror and gore a degree or two beyond ghastly really induces fingernail biting. But the perpetrators inhumane misdeeds are avenged; Fishman masterfully illustrates the old adage--payback is a mad dog. Evil men die unmercifully. Like best sellers must do, Primacy creates its own world, occupying recognizable places in specific time and space: New York City environment, and the African city of Kinshasa and its surrounding jungle. Yes, Primacy is scary, but it is balanced by a spiritual strength and will power that cements a strong personality of moral persuasion in it central character. Liane Vinson draws like-minded persons to her side in the battle of justice versus the amalgamation of vicious corporate power, govenment, and high stake politics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wendy L. Hines VINE VOICE on September 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Liane Vinson is a veterinary technician in Pentalon, a big animal testing laboratory. After two years, she has been promoted to the primate lab. A pair of bonobo twins captures her interest, Bea and Isaac. They begin to mimic Liane and speak who at first is unclear what they are speaking but soon realizes it is not only their own form of dialect but is decipherable.

When testing is done on the twins, Liane knows that they are on the verge of a scientific breakthrough. But when one of the twins undergoes surgery, Liane questions her own boundaries and decides to escape with Bea and return her to Africa.

Her journey is tumultuous. While worrying about her mother, who desperately needs a kidney, to her new love interest, veterinarian Mickey Ferrone, Liane's life suddenly got rocky. Being chased by Pentalon security, the CEA of Pentalon, agents of the U.S. government, as well as Folks Against Lab Testing steers Liane and Mickey toward her old lover Corey, an eco-fanatic.

Spanning several continents, a vast array of eccentric and versatile characters and an important moral dilemma at the heart, Primacy is a heart-thumping scientific thriller. We know there are animal research labs, but what really goes on behind those closed doors? If it's anything like depicted in Primacy, it will haunt you. But what if it saved someone's life? There are many questions brought up in Primacy and much food for thought. Bea will capture your heart, and the pace is quick and the writing keen. Highly recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Man of La Book on September 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Pri­macy" by J.E. Fish­man is a fic­tional book which cov­ers a lot of ground, both geo­graph­i­cally and sto­ry­wise. The book is par­tially about ani­mal test­ing and con­tains some dif­fi­cult pas­sages, how­ever it's worth the effort.

Liane Vin­son is a researcher in an ani­mal test­ing facil­ity for Pen­talon in Farm­ng­dayle, LI who just got a pro­mo­tion to work in the mon­key lab . How­ever, one of her favorite pri­mates, a bonobo called Bea, starts to dis­play the abil­ity to speak.

Bea becomes an asset to ani­mal rights group and a lia­bil­ity to Pen­talon and the gov­ern­ment. Endan­ger­ing her own life and that of her neigh­bor, the vet­eri­nar­ian Mickey Fer­rone, Liane tries to save Bea from cer­tain death and bring her back home from which she was abducted.

"Pri­macy" by J.E. Fish­man starts fast and never lets go. The story revolves around a research ape, type bonobo, who has devel­oped the abil­ity to speak. This great ape, named Bea, doesn't talk in full sen­tences, but a word here or there. How­ever it is enough for Liane, the book's hero­ine, to risk every­thing to save her.

While the book could have eas­ily been rehashed as a genre type it reads fresh and excit­ing. Mr. Fishman's pac­ing is flaw­less and the nar­ra­tive superbly enter­tain­ing. The writ­ing style is intel­li­gent and the action sequences are beau­ti­fully executed.

When I first started to read this book I thought "not another ani­mal friendly book" and was wait­ing for the inevitable tirade to come about ani­mal test­ing and our treat­ment of our fel­low planet dwellers. To my sur­prise that tirade never came and the dis­cus­sion of the moral and eth­i­cal issues on both sides is han­dles very well.
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