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The Bricklayer: A Novel (Steve Vail Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Noah Boyd
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

“Terrific pace, surprises galore….Move over Jack Reacher, here comes The Bricklayer.”
 —James Patterson


There is a brand new master on the thriller scene. Noah Boyd makes a truly spectacular entrance with The Bricklayer—the first in an explosive new series featuring former FBI agent Steve Vail that recalls the #1 bestsellers of John Sandford and Lee Child. An ex-FBI agent himself, Boyd adds gritty insider knowledge and color to this stunning novel, and the word on the street is The Bricklayer is fabulous. Kay Scarpetta’s creator, New York Times bestseller Patricia Cornwell, calls it, “Dazzling,” while Lee Child himself raves, “Non-stop action and non-stop authenticity make this a real winner.”

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The pseudonymous Boyd, a former FBI agent, fails to bring much convincing insider information to his debut, a routine thriller. FBI deputy assistant director Kate Bannon tracks down Steve Vail, a maverick FBI agent who left the bureau for a new life as a Chicago bricklayer, because she needs Vail's help in apprehending a criminal gang, the Rubaco Pentad, with a grudge against the FBI. The Pentad follows up the murder of L.A. reporter Connie Lysander, who wrote a story critical of the FBI, with ever-increasing demands for money from the bureau to forestall future killings and the setting of sophisticated death traps. When an agent disappears while making a payoff to the gang, he becomes a prime suspect, despite Vail's reservations. Predictable plot elements include the hero's incredible escapes from peril and the growing romantic bond between the laconic Vail and the attractive Bannon. The identity of the person behind the Pentad will surprise few. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A mysterious organization calling itself the Rubaco Pentad is blackmailing the FBI. If the Pentad’s demands for money are not met, high-profile victims will die. Each demand is bigger than the last, and the drop-off instructions are lethally complicated—it’s almost as if the Pentad wants the FBI to fail. But when an agent disappears with the cash he’s carrying, he needs to be found, and fast. The FBI pins its hopes on former agent Steve Vail, who quit rather than compromise his rigid personal code and is now working as a bricklayer. Vail masters cryptic clues leading him to traps worthy of Rube Goldberg’s evil twin, but the logistical implausibilities won’t trouble most readers, who will root for the tough, intelligent Vail while savoring the sexual tension between him and his FBI handler. Boyd is said to be a pseudonym for a former FBI agent, and this fast-paced thriller includes many authentic-seeming details about the Bureau’s bureaucracy. But by creating a character who is allowed to operate outside the rules, the author’s inside knowledge seems like an opportunity missed. --Keir Graff

Product Details

  • File Size: 459 KB
  • Print Length: 404 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061827010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00338QF32
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,557 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average thriller February 27, 2010
Steve Vail is an ex FBI agent, a maverick who didn't like authority. Now he is a bricklayer (hey, that would make a great nickname for him should he choose to get back into the Bureau!...)
The FBI have a problem, their agents are being killed and money is being demanded to make the killings stop. The FBI need someone who is an expert at tracking people, so Deputy Director Kate Bannon is despatched to bring Vail back into the fold..
Cue the FBI being dumb, Vail being very clever, the bad guys being very nasty, some romantic banter between Vail and Bannon all felt a bit forced and a little bit too obvious. Yep, it's fast paced and not `bad' but it does nothing to lift it above the average.
The publishers desperately want this to be the new "Jack Reacher" with a clever loner who does his own thing and come up trumps. But the writing does not match that of Lee Child and Vail is two one dimensional and, just not interesting enough.
So this is okay and I am sure there will be more in the series, but the author needs to settle down a bit and become more comfortable with his set of characters and how to use them.
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67 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding - A Thrilling Story From Start To Finish January 11, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Bricklayer is the outstanding debut novel of Noah Boyd. Steve Vail aka the Bricklayer is a former FBI agent, who had a problem with bureaucracy and chose to be fired than let a cop killer go free. Although his present occupation is that of a brick layer, he is soon called upon when the FBI has exhausted it's resources on a case.

It's been a while since I have read anything closely related to a crime novel. I gave up on them a few years ago because it seemed like they were all the same. So, when I got a chance to review this book, I almost passed because it was about crime and the FBI. I'm sure glad I decided to give it a chance. Steve Vail, the bad boy of the book is a really enjoyable guy, as long as you enjoy someone who has no respect for authority, and does things his own way. I found the character of Steve to be enjoyable. He's the type of guy you can have a beer and watch a game with. The relationship between Steve and Kate, his temporary FBI handler is one of mutual respect and admiration, as well as sexual overtones. The author provides an excellent storyline to showcase Steve's special character traits.

The story is fun, exciting, and nonstop from the very beginning. I read the book within a few days, and found it hard to put down. I can't even comment on the literary skills of the author because the story was so good I didn't pay much attention to things like punctuation. The Bricklayer has made me a fan of Noah Boyd, and I look forward to reading a lot more about Steve Vail in future books.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Noah Boyd's thrilling 390-page novel "The Brick Layer" is spellbinding and destined to be a best seller. After reading just a few pages I was hooked and could not put it down. I found myself completely enthralled, flipping pages and hypnotized by this fast paced superbly written novel.

No doubt, Steve Vail is a new character that will be the center of many more exciting suspense novels to come. An ex-FBI agent turned bricklayer, his reputation for being able to find anyone is second only to his legendary inability to trust authority.

Someone naming their self or selves Rubaco Pentrad -maybe 5 domestic terrorists connected with the FBI's involvement with the Ruby Ridge and Waco incidents--who seem to have both an affinity and aversion to the FBI is killing well-known people in California, Utah, Pennsylvania and demanding cash while warning the FBI that any disclosure on their part of the activities will result in more murders and greater cash demands. The person or group may be getting inside information from the FBI or be the work of a rogue agent or worse.

At wits end, the FBI uses newly promoted, attractive and persuasive Assistant Deputy Director Kate Bannon to seek out the services of rebellious Steve Vail and his unique abilities. Reluctantly accepting Kate's offer Steve Vail puts his talents in motion as the plot twists, turns and thickens while millions of dollars exchange hands and the body counts mount.

This author's skill at keeping the reader on the edge of the chair furiously flipping action packed pages is worthy of far greater than 5 stars. It is a rare find that I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Dave
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is an easy read, in that there aren't any surprises in terms of the kind of book it is: Within a few pages, it's obvious that everyone is a stereotype, all of the characters are like cardboard cutouts, and the only question is how the plot will materialize. There is nothing subtle here, nor any character development.

Is it a wretched book? Not completely. The pacing is relatively well done, and you don't have to worry about missing anything because you're distracted. It's not quite a 'beach read' as it's fairly large and heavy but not very long. And at least it's not pretentious!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average February 9, 2011
By M-J
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was very hard to get into. I had considered giving up but it got more interesting about pg. 75. It did keep my interest the rest of the book, but was somewhat predictable. I wouldn't recommend it to a friend and will just donate the book to my local library.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 13 days ago by John l. Sullivan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Pretty good plot and the Bricklayer is a stud
Published 28 days ago by karlae
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived quick
Good book. I have read and this one was a gift.
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Great book. Looking forward to reading Agent X. Couldn't stop reading.
Published 2 months ago by S. Mallory
4.0 out of 5 stars Really love it. I love Steve Vail character because he ...
Really love it. I love Steve Vail character because he defies the system and not letting bureaucracy to stop him from fulfilling his goal. I feel sorry for Mr Boyd death. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lyrica (nick name)
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent. Well written.
Published 3 months ago by Marilyn Dort
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that I loved so much I gave many copies as presents
A book that I loved so much I gave many copies as presents. Sad that the author is no longer with us. A lost talent for sure.
Published 3 months ago by Rosanne Glickman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this book and the next one as well Agent X. Don't miss them.
Published 3 months ago by David W Putnam
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good first novel. Predictable in some areas. Still really good.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to put down once started I love the characters in it and makes...
hard to put down once started I love the characters in it and makes you want to read more. Noah Boyd is a very good writer.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Noah Boyd is a former FBI agent who spent more than twenty years working on some of the Bureau's toughest investigations, including the Green River Killer case and the Highland Park Strangler case (which he's credited with solving). He currently works on cold cases when he's not writing. He lives in New England.

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