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Public Enemy Mass Market Paperback – April 24, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060765909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060765903
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,194,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After a slow start, Staeger's solid second novel to feature semiretired CIA agent W. Cooper (after 2005's Painkiller) turns into a riveting and timely story revolving around a biological weapons threat. While Cooper explores a botched smuggling job involving stolen Mayan gold artifacts in the Virgin Islands that results in many deaths, Benjamin Achar, a package delivery–company driver, deliberately blows himself up in his garage near Fort Myers, Fla. The explosion releases a deadly virus that kills more than 100 people within two weeks. Enter CIA agent Julie Laramie to investigate the explosion and develop a team to track down other possible sleeper cells. Laramie recruits a reluctant Cooper, her former lover and partner, to assist, even as he continues to look into the killings related to the stolen Mayan artifacts. Superior characterization, in particular the relationship between Laramie and Cooper, which never stops the action, and clear, crisp writing make for a well-above-average thriller. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This sequel to the author's debut novel, Painkiller (2004), brings back its two protagonists, Cooper (the mostly retired CIA agent living in the British Virgin Island of Tortolo) and Julie Laramie (a CIA analyst who, with Cooper's assistance, busted up a Chinese plot to attack the U.S.). Laramie is assigned to work the case of a terrorist who apparently set off a bio-bomb prematurely: Was this an isolated incident or the tip of an iceberg? Laramie eventually joins up with Cooper, and together they again risk everything to keep America safe. This novel is an improvement on Painkiller, which reads a little too much like a screenplay in prose form (Staeger comes from the film business). The narrative is more fleshed out this time, and the two leads don't seem so much like stand-ins for the actors who might play them in the movie. For avid fans of the first book, this one's a must-read, and those who skipped the first should give it a shot, too. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the Virgin Islands almost retired CIA Agent W. Cooper investigates the smuggling of stolen Mayan gold artifacts that turned ugly leading to numerous deaths during a confrontation. At about the same in Fort Myers, Florida, delivery man Benjamin Achar explodes a bomb in his garage killing himself. Almost immediately over one hundred people in the vicinity of his ground zero die as the explosion releases a virus into the air; America has it first suicide bomber on its soil.

CIA agent Julie Laramie is sent to Fort Myers to investigate the deadly Achar incident and to forge a team to see if he had associates or if any other sleeper cell remains in the area. Laramie asks her former lover Cooper to join her team. He hesitantly agrees though he has doubts about working with her and besides he is still on the stolen Mayan artifacts case.

PUBLIC ENEMY is a strong investigative tale that uses police procedural elements to set up an action-packed antiterrorist thriller. The story line is action-packed from the opening scene and never slows down until the final escapade. However, what makes Will Staeger's tale worth reading is the somewhat dysfunctional relationship between Julie and Cooper, which embellishes the plot by enhancing the non-stop action. Readers will fully enjoy Cooper's second appearance (see PAINKILLER).

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pangloss on November 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Staeger's first novel, "Painkiller" was a mile a minute ride through some fast paced action,intriguing characters and exotic locales. "Public Enemy" is a very good book, but doesn't seem to keep up the pace as well as "Painkiller". We still have Laramie and Cooper paired up to fight the bad guys and again most of the action takes place in South America and the Caribbean. Cooper again seems to accomplish the impossible with a bit of help from Laramie. This is a good pair of characters with a lot of potential. I hope we see more stories involving these two. Hopefully future novels will be as fast paced as the first was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on June 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Staeger has created a plot and characters with more twists than a corkscrew. It will keep the reader turning each page, never putting the book down, until the last page is turned.

Benny Achar is a devoted family man who sends his family ahead on vacation. He then loads his SUV with fertilizer, gasoline, and a couple of other things, swallows a vile of deadly virus, and takes out two blocks surrounding his home in a massive explosion. In the next two weeks, over 100 innocent people die.

Julie Laramie is loaned by the FBI to the former head of the CIA, Lou Ebbers. She's placed in charge of a Counter Terror cell and charged with finding out who Achar really is--and what else might be going down. She has a blank check to solve the puzzle--but isn't told all the facts. What she does find, though, is that there may be an army of sleepers out there across America, waiting for the signal to blow themselves up, spreading the virus with a Central American origin to millions of innocents.

W. Cooper is a semi-retired CIA operative who lives in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI). Cap'n Roy Gillespie, Chief Minister of the Islands and former Chief of Police summons "de spy of da island" and asks for his help. The U.S. Coast Guard chased a 150-foot yacht suspected of carrying drugs bound for the US into BVI territory. A gun battle ensued, two of three people on board were killed, and while no drugs were found, $80 million in gold artifacts from Central America were. Cap'n Roy wants Cooper's help in suitably "disposing" of the artifacts for the good of the island treasury. Within three days five people involved with the artifacts are dead, including Cap'n Roy and the skipper of the yacht. And Cooper has no idea why or who is behind it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on October 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have to say that I'm putting Will Staeger on the same list as Clive Cussler and James Rollins. This list consists of authors whose books get my priority when published. I love Staeger's writing style. His novels are fast-paced and highly entertaining. Escapist fiction at its finest. Keep up the good work Mr. Staeger.

I definitely look forward his next novel, which I hope includes Cooper and company.

Highly recommended for fans of Cussler and Rollins.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If Will Staeger is a new author to you, do not read this book until you have read Painkiller. I did not do so, just picked up this book on a whim. Cooper is supposedly a burned out CIA operative. The only way I knew this was from the book cover. The first 100 pages or so, I was totally lost as to the relationships between characters. Cap'n Roy, Laramie, Riley, et al. The only reason I continued to read the book was I had nothing else to read.

Once I picked up on what was going on, vis a vis the characters, it became an enjoyable book. Like most political thrillers, one has to take a lot of the situations on faith. As Tom Clancy once said, "The difference between fiction and reality is fiction has to make sense."
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