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The Devil's Light: A Novel Hardcover – May 3, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451616805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451616804
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In his latet thriller, best-selling Patterson tackles the possibility of a nuclear threat from al-Qaeda. Set just prior to the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the novel opens with shadowy al-Qaeda operative Amer Al Zaroor outlining a plan to steal a nuclear weapon from Pakistan. Young CIA agent Brooke Chandler, who was stationed in Lebanon before his cover was blown, begins to suspect that an attack is coming. He alerts his superiors, who are somewhat skeptical about Brooke�s certainties that the bomb is actually intended for Israel, not America, and that al Qaeda will be deploying it from the heart of Hizbullah territory in Lebanon. Patterson does an excellent job of delineating the very complex politics in the Middle East from all sides, but the result is that the book is more informative than it is pulse-pounding. There is far more talking than action. But the threat Patterson imagines is frighteningly realistic, and the result is a thoroughly engrossing look at a complex and volatile region. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The timeliness and alarming intensity of the topic will make this an especially hot book from the author of eight respected international bestsellers. --Kristine Huntley


“A nuclear bomb is about to explode in a major city whose streets will turn bright with the light of a thousand suns. In this brilliant novel, Richard North Patterson slips into t he minds of the mad and messianic and explores what it will mean for all of us if we allow an apocalyptic nightmare to become tomorrow’s history-bending reality.

THE DEVIL’S LIGHT is more than the provocative ruminations of a master story teller. It is a powerful call to action-lest we find ourselves sifting through the radiated wreckage of a truth told too late.

Masterful and illuminating, THE DEVIL’S LIGHT is Richard North Patterson at his best. You will not want, or be able to, put this story down. It is tomorrow’s catastrophe riding on the ‘gleaming wings of science.’”

—William S. Cohen, former Secretary of Defense

“Impossible to dismiss as mere fiction, THE DEVIL’S LIGHT is a terrifying vision of what very well could bring down our world as we know it. With its real-life spies locked in a deathly struggle, this thrillingly told novel is all too real.”

—Robert Baer, former CIA field officer and New York Times bestselling author

The Devil’s Light will grab you from the very first page and never let go. Patterson’s amazing storytelling is made all the better by his emotionally complex characters. I was intrigued.”

-Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times best-selling author of 206 Bones

“THE DEVIL’S LIGHT dazzles and illuminates, a page-turner that smartly and in breath-taking fashion snaps to life the complexities of the middle east and the struggle of nations and players for power. The books literally barrels along as the stakes grow ever higher. Deeply researched and thoroughly plausible, Patterson's is one of the most intelligent and entertaining thrillers about the world as it is, and the possible world to come.”

—Doug Stanton, author of Horse Soldiers and In Harm’s Way

Customer Reviews

The ending is a bit predictable but it takes too many side roads before it gets there.
So, after reading about half of the book, I finally closed the book for the last time and put it away.
Although it is a fictional story, it describes the situation in the Middle East very well.
M. R. Credi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By rgregg VINE VOICE on May 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Richard North Patterson who has written some great stuff lets this reader down in his newest novel. His timing is a bit off as Bin Laden is now dead but that has nothing to do with what is wrong with this novel.
An amazing concept of stealing a nuclear weapon so Bin Laden can exact revenge on the world on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 gets off to a roaring start with the unfolding of the plan and the dedication of the fanatic who is the key player in Bin Laden's plot.
A strong hero is needed in an attempt to both decipher and thwart the potential disaster and Brooke Chandler is an intriguing and clever lead in this story. His background and his contacts seem to be ideal for matching wits with the terrorists who plan ultimate destruction.
There are good things in this story particularly the reaction of the US government and the population when threats and details begin to emerge. Some of the dialog is crackling and authentic and for a while this is a page turner.
Then....Patterson gets into his preaching mode seemingly detailing decades of history involving the Middle East and Israel, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestine, etc., etc.
His story flashes back and forth in time with some excruciating detailing of the former love of Chandler's past. They apparently spent most of their time discussing Middle East politics rather than the weather, the future or any other topic. These flashbacks and more are confusing and take the reader a long way from the suspense built up in the early part of the story. And Patterson takes time to clearly bash US policy, the Iraq war, Israeli politics and Muslim oppression. His views overwhelm the plot and divert from the drama not in a good way.
The ending is a bit predictable but it takes too many side roads before it gets there. What good have been a great, suspenseful, frightening political thriller gets mired in a mess of unneeded detail, left wing perspectives and confusing rhetoric. Skip this one!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Al Qaeda key terrorist leader, Al Zaroor plans destruction for 9/11/11 that will make the original 9/11 appears like a minor event. He needs a nuclear device, but Al Zaroor knows nuclear bombs left stationary are protected but those moved for purposes of the regional cold war with India is accessible for stealing. He arranges for an incident to heat up the always simmering conflict between Pakistan and India, and has a bomb hijacked while in transit.

Bin Laden announces to the world his team has the bomb and will use it on an American city to commemorate the tenth anniversary. While Pakistan denies the loss of a WMD, the CIA, HSD, and DOD take the terrorist at his word and try to protect America. However, CIA field operative Brooke Chandler thinks it is a hoax as he believes the target is Tel Aviv with the goal being America (and the Israelis) reacting like it did to 9/11/01 by attacking a nation; this time Iran. Chandler fails to sell his argument so he lines up his retired former boss Carter Grey to prevent 9/11 all over again.

This tense thriller makes a powerful plausible argument that history repeats the same mistakes, but worsened by stronger weapons. The gripping story line is at its best with the set up of the brilliant credible terrorist plot that extrapolates from the real world such as America's ports not very secure. The tension is somewhat deflated when the plot turns to the two Americans trying to thwart the scheme as that follows a pre-ordained path though exciting. Still this poignant tale grips the reader from story to finish with a reasonable premise of what Al Qaeda plans to celebrate their greatest triumph.

Harriet Klausner
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Jones on May 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sure Richard N. Patterson may know his history and I've enjoyed all his books until this point; However, this book is a confusing never knows who or what decade the book takes place. Someone take away his dictionary and return his story's to San Francisco!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Garrison VINE VOICE on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
THE DEVIL'S LIGHT, by Richard North Patterson, is a complex political thriller about what would happen if Al Qaeda got its hands on a bomb, and the race against time to stop the destruction of the world as we know it.

The novel opens with Osama Bin Laden planning a massive attack for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Plans are made to procure a nuclear weapon and then to drop it on an unknown city. CIA agent Brooke Chandler is working in Washington DC after blowing his cover on a mission in Beirut. Through a mentor, he is brought in on the investigation, and is soon engaged in a mad chase to prevent the terrorists from destroying a major city and causing a nuclear war.

There's no point in elaborating on the plot other that to say it is extremely well researched, and that is the main problem of the novel. Throughout the beginning of the novel, and even later, characters give long talks about the history of violence in the middle east. Conversations exist only to inform the reader about the differences in Shia and Sunni, or how Hezbollah came into existence. I enjoyed the learning, but education doesn't equate to great storytelling.

Patterson is a liberal intellectual. As a "right-winger", I've still enjoyed all of his novels. On the political issues, he's about as fair as can be expected. But, this book might be too timely, too heavy, or too political to be enjoyed. It definitely isn't light reading, and Patterson seems to put a bit more blame Israel for causing much of the violence. I'm not judging his opinions, but just giving my opinion on what he's written.

Overall, this book is good because of the knowledge and research it took to write it. It isn't good because of the same reason. Patterson is at his best when he can spend several chapters exploring the depths of his characters. Instead, it is wasted here exploring why Israel is hated by everyone else in the middle east.
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More About the Author

RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON is the author of The Spire, Eclipse and fourteen other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Dr. Nancy Clair.

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