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Remote Control (Alan Gregory) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1998

3.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
Book 5 of 19 in the Alan Gregory Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In his fifth book about intrepid Colorado psychologist Alan Gregory, Stephen White zooms in on Gregory's wife, Lauren--an assistant district attorney who has multiple sclerosis. Protecting a friend targeted by anti-abortion terrorists, Lauren shoots at a man during a snowstorm and sets off a blizzard of recriminations. As usual, White makes the evolution of a convoluted plot as believable as the rocky landscape. Previous Gregory adventures available in paperback: Harm's Way, Higher Authority, Private Practices, Privileged Information. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In his fifth Alan Gregory novel (following Harms Way, LJ 2/1/95), White unwinds a tightly constructed thriller involving attempted murder, high technology, and politics. Psychologist and amateur sleuth Gregory here plays a supporting role to his new wife, Deputy D.A. Lauren Crowder, who's charged with shooting a man to protect her law intern, Emma Spire. At the center of the story is Emma, a media darling for her courage years earlier when her surgeon general father was assassinated for his freedom-of-choice views and died in her arms. Desperately trying to protect her privacy, Emma finds herself vulnerable to unimaginable violation after becoming romantically involved with high-tech wizard Ethan Han, and she turns to Lauren and Alan for help. White shows sensitivity in his characterizations, in dealing with Lauren's multiple sclerosis, and in giving a D.A.'s view of what an arrested person endures. He has another top-notch page-turner here.?Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P. L., Va.
Copyright 1997 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 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (March 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451191692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451191694
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Julia Walker VINE VOICE on June 18, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Alan Gregory is a durable hero. He's been shot, stabbed, pushed off of cliffs, almost pushed off of cliffs, stalked, variously assaulted, and attacked by at least one wild animal. And yet he remains a mensch - tiresomely physically fit and over-addicted to healthy living, perhaps, but still a mensch. He admires his wife, cherishes his friends, and generally respects his patients. He loves his dogs, present and past. The supporting cast is equally attractive/compelling: Lauren Crowder's independent intelligence and relentless bravery, Sam Purdy's common sense and generosity, Adrienne Arvin's dementedly charming chutzpah, Diane and Raoul's wit and whimsy, all serve to anchor the series. And the presence of Grace in the later novels promises to develop into a great child character, possibly rivaling Lucy Karp in the early Gruber-authored Tanenbaums. The incidental characters are vivid and generally believable, almost without exception. Some authors are better at male characters than female, or the reverse, but White is excellent at people, all people. Most of the books are first-person narration by Gregory, but White can shift to third-person with aplomb.

Aside from the great characters, the plots of this series are outstanding. We learn about a private end-of-life corporation, cold-case volunteer groups, the Mormons, DB Cooper, the cult of personality, Grand Canyon adventures, and the fallout from the JonBenet case, all without stretching the seams of the community based in Boulder, CO. When the plots call for suspense, the books are literally terrifying, real white-knuckle reads. White is witty and insightful and the very best craftsperson of the English language I've read in years.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a long time White fan, I read this book shortly after it was released. I raced through it and my overwhelming reaction was "weird." I recently checked out the tape for my husband to read and decided to give the book a second chance. I suspect that the slower pacing of the tape forced me to pay attention to the many details that make this book make sense. The cyber part of the book is still pretty weird but now the mystery worked.
Alan Gregory's wife, Lauren Crowder, has center stage in this book. She's befriended Emma who has been blessed/cursed with Kennedy-like fame after the assassination of her father, the Surgeon General. Emma gets involved with a computer whiz and things start to turn ugly. The book is written in alternating chapters of present time and short-term flashback. In the present time, Lauren is standing outside of Emma's house during a blizzard. She fires her gun to warn off a stranger. The stranger is shot. Lauren is arrested -- and then goes into a medical emergency. Did Lauren shoot the stranger? What's going on in the first place?
This book is complicated. Alan and Lauren, who I normally love, are caught up in hiding too many secrets to be believed. Their refusal to confide in old friend, detective Sam Purdy, stretched their credibility considering all he's been through with them. Still, there are some truly page-turning moments and some good laughs along the way. The vision of the electric pink "bunny" on the snowplow is wonderful.
Bottom-line: This is definately NOT a book to read cold-turkey. Readers are strongly encouraged to have read at least two of the previous four Alan Gregory novels before attempting Remote Control. Then, my advice is to read this one slowly. It's not White's best work but can be a good read with the right approach.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Actually not sure if I should write a review, as part of the book was missing due to problems while trying to use my Kindle on a motel wifi network --download issues. But most was there, definitely enough that I can say it seemed like much more amateurish writing than other books I've read in the Alan Gregory series. I don't consider White to be one of the great authors ever, but the other AG books I've read have at least been entertaining & diverting. The last one I read --Cold Case-- was told in the 1st person from Gregory's pov (I can't recall if the others were, too), & even if it did get fairly ludicrous at the end, it held my interest enough that I stayed up too late finishing it. "Remote Control" is written in a sort of revolving omniscient 3rd person narrator, & it was a bit jarring & very flat....it felt like White was writing down ideas for how the book would go, then just decided to hand the outline over to the publisher instead of going to the effort of actually writing the book. I just could not get into the book, didn't care enough to worry about whether the whole thing was there or not.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephen White, Remote Control (Signet, 1997)

Remote Control is very much one of _those_ mysteries, the kind that makes you read a couple of paragraphs at every stoplight. (Please control the urge to read while driving.) By now, we should all be familiar with White's cast of characters (Remote Control is the fourth Alan Gregory, psychiatrist-turned-don't-wanna-be-detective, novel) and his method of dropping loads of bricks on us when we're not looking, and slipping the clues in while we're still rubbing our head and cursing the building contractors. This time around, White gives us a self-absorbed technowhiz entrepreneur, a law-student intern with a recently-dead Senator father who falls head over heels for him, his abrasive partner, and a parallel thread running through the novel at the end of everything, where Alan's wife Lauren is being interrogated for the shooting of an unidentified man. Problem is, no one, including Lauren, is sure she actually shot the guy.

Yes, it all comes together perfectly (think Memento, except that both threads are moving forward-- one just moves more slowly than the other). White is one of those guys who writes good, clean, fun mysteries that are on the level of the big guns, but never gets the press they do. If you haven't yet picked up a Stephen White novel, give him a shot next time the New York Times Bestseller types are between books. *** 1/2
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