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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tense thriller
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...
Published on May 3, 2011 by Harriet Klausner

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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing so called thriller from a great writer
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...
Published on May 20, 2011 by rgregg


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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing so called thriller from a great writer, May 20, 2011
By 
rgregg (Marina Del Rey, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Devil's Light: A Novel (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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WORST PATTERSON BOOK EVER, May 13, 2011
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Sure Richard N. Patterson may know his history and I've enjoyed all his books until this point; However, this book is a confusing mess....one 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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tense thriller, May 3, 2011
This review is from: The Devil's Light: A Novel (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most confusing book I've read, June 12, 2011
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This is the first book I've read by this author & probably the last. The characters were so confusing and never could quite catch the story line. I wanted to quit reading it about 1/3 of the way through, but am about 3/4 way through and still have no idea what is going on. I'm really read for this book to be done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Last RNP Novel I Will Ever Read, August 21, 2011
By 
cureholder (Las Vegas, NV) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Devil's Light: A Novel (Hardcover)
Since the early 1990s, I have always named Richard North Patterson as my favorite working novelist. Although not as prolific as some of the bestsellers, he consistently turned out a superior product--well-written, gripping fiction with believable characters, intriguing plots, and imaginative endings.

Then came Conviction. A bit less of a thriller than his previous books, and seeming more about preaching RNP's aversion to the death penalty than telling a story. Still, serviceable.

Then came The Race, basically a short story with no development.

Then came Exile. Terrible, all about RNP's politics, with barely a story to hold it together, and a "plot twist" only a child would not see coming hundreds of pages in advance.

Then came Eclipse, more political preaching, this time without even an attempt to tell a story.

Then came The Spire. RNP tried to go back to the procedural thriller, but alas, his previous books had seemingly left him unable to write. A hack job, complete with a "plot twist" even more obvious than that of Exile.

Then came In The Name Of Honor. While it is the only readable book by RNP since 2003's Balance of Power, its allegedly "stunning plot twist" was so obvious by page 129 that I sent an email to a friend openly predicting what would transpire, and spent the next 150 pages just waiting for the obvious twist to be revealed so the story could progress.

Finally, The Devil's Light. I swore that this would be my last try with RNP. Life is simply too short to waste time on the garbage he's been churning out for the past eight years. I truly hoped The Devil's Light would change my mind.

Instead, it turned out to be his worst yet. I defy you to make heads or tales of ninety percent of this book. At one point, I was convinced I had inadvertently re-read several chapters, as Brooke Chandler, the main character, wanders in and out of a dozen meetings in which the other person droned on about Middle Eastern history and refused to help Chandler, and Al Zaroor (the main bad guy) drives through a dozen checkpoints at which he is convinced his nuclear-bomb cargo will be discovered, only to belatedly learn that the person with him had bribed the guards in advance. Just stupid stupid stupid. And boring. And pointless. And, hard to believe for RNP, very badly written.

As for the one plot twist, it isn't so much predictable as it is unbelievable, implausible, and pointless, almost a deus ex machina without an actual problem to resolve. When it occurs, your thought will be, "Are you kidding?"

As so many reviews here have said, I finished this book only so it wouldn't remain unread. I was sick of it 50 pages in, and knew that RNP had wasted his last chance with me. As I turned the last page and it finally ended, I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing I will never have to endure another one of his books.

Sorry, Mr. Patterson. Your old stuff was great, but you ran out of gas eight years ago, and you show no signs of even recognizing the problem, let alone fixing it. I'm done.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patterson spends too much time proving he did a lot of research, June 9, 2011
By 
Bill Garrison (Oklahoma City, OK USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Devil's Light: A Novel (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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not up to RNP's standards, May 27, 2011
By 
Ken Malley (San Ramon, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Aside from the fact that the book was released the day after OBL was killed, thus making the premise implausable, this book seems as if a high schooler wrote it for RNP. I regret to say this, as I have bought each of his previous works the day they have come out. This one, is horribly written and reeks of RNP's politics. For example, every ten pages or so we are reminded that the US war in Iraq was misadvised and/or that Israel is bad. OK, we get it, RNP needs to establish his liberal creds after writing the soldier-orientated work previosuly. And how many books does he have to write with ill-fated romances? Come on. Stick to what we expect!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's Light, November 25, 2011
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This review is from: The Devil's Light: A Novel (Hardcover)
THE DEVIL'S LIGHT by Richard North Paterson is one of the most compelling novels I've read that deals with THE MIDDLE EAST'S complexities. I have never been able to understand how the world tolerates HAMAS, HEZBOLLAH, encouraging their people to strap bombs to themselves and going into buildings and killing themselves and innocent people. The PALESTINIANS are JORDANIANS--they have a country. Paterson's research allows someone like me, not extremely politically astute, to gain some insight into the ARAB LEADERSHIP. Not valuing HUMAN LIFE makes dealing with this leadership to arrive at a peaceful coexistence improbable. ISRAEL, as described in his book, has contributed more to the quality of human existence and deserves to live in PEACE. This book is more than a worthwhile read. A. J. MARCUS
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dazzling work of global suspense, May 11, 2011
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Devil's Light: A Novel (Hardcover)
Richard North Patterson has enjoyed several decades of success writing in a number of different genres. Initially gaining acclaim in the legal thriller arena, he has spent recent years exploring political dramas, military court potboilers and straight-out murder mysteries. With the release of THE DEVIL'S LIGHT, he was required to explore a combination of challenging topics ranging from intelligence, counterterrorism, nuclear proliferation, espionage, the complexities of Lebanon, and the nature of al Qaeda and Hezbollah.

This was no easy task and one that was only accomplished through Patterson immersing himself in Middle Eastern culture and having the luxury of penning this novel during a turbulent time in the world media where the Wikileaks disclosures brought previously unpublished, top-secret military information to light. Too much info is not necessarily a good thing --- and the characters in THE DEVIL'S LIGHT are faced with that same dilemma.

Osama bin Laden is still alive and well, and his deadly vision of the destruction of both the Western world and Israel remain tops on his agenda. His inner circle includes skilled plotters who have the proven ability to mastermind worldwide terror in little to no time. Bin Laden studied world economics, and one of his right-hand men, Zawahiri, is a physician. Bin Laden and al Qaeda are now allying with jihadist groups in key countries. Many of their previously planned assassination attempts have gone unfounded --- like the attempt to kill then-Vice President Al Gore during a trip to Saudi Arabia. Or putting a team of Bangladesh rebels aboard Air Force One to blow it up while then-President Bill Clinton was traveling on it. Quite simply, their goal is our complete psychic devastation.

No one understands this better than CIA operative Brooke Chandler. While stationed in Lebanon on an assignment, things went terribly wrong and resulted in the death of fellow operatives and contacts. He has since been sidelined and called back into action by his mentor, Carter Grey. When Grey and members of the President's Department of Defense intercept Bin Laden's latest threat --- the promise to eliminate a major Western city via nuclear attack on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 --- they know that Chandler has the skills and motivation to quickly infiltrate the terrorist circle and find the nuclear warhead that Bin Laden's allies are attempting to smuggle out of Pakistan.

Chandler has direct ties to the 9/11 attacks of a highly personal nature. His best friend, Ben, was working in the World Trade Center and was one of the thousands of victims who lost their lives on that fatal day. In the wake of that tragedy, Brooke's long-term relationship with an Israeli woman named Anit Rahal slowly disintegrated and the two separated --- expecting to never again cross paths.

Meanwhile, Bin Laden's deadly plan is being brought to life through the deeds of one of his loyalists --- a man named Al Zaroor, who was thought deceased by the U.S. Intelligence services. The threat to eliminate a major Western city is only a ruse to divert the U.S.'s attention from the real attack. The actual plan involves detonating a nuclear warhead over Tel Aviv, completely leveling that city and bringing Israel to its knees. Bin Laden feels confident that with Israel eliminated, his Western enemies will be powerless to stop him as the rest of the world will lose all faith in the United States' ability to protect their allies.

It is all Chandler can do to convince the powers-that-be in Washington, D.C. that the threat is not against the Capitol or even NYC --- but aimed directly at the heart of Israel. He is cut off from all contact and sent in deep cover on the run throughout the Middle East to try to use every skill and intelligence tactic he can muster to find where this nuclear warhead is being smuggled and stop Al Zaroor before he can set off this devastating bomb. Can one man take on the limitless resources of the world's largest terrorist organization and avert their planned apocalypse?

Where other recent novels fictionally recount or predict terrorist threats that are apparently "ripped out of today's headlines," Richard North Patterson has taken a far different approach. Much of the action in THE DEVIL'S LIGHT involves human interaction, acts of intelligence and counter-intelligence, and no pointless car chases and senseless explosions. Patterson exhibits his patience and skill as a writer by drawing the reader deep under the covers of modern-day espionage and terrorism and, in return, has provided us with a dazzling work of global suspense.

--- Reviewed by Ray Palen
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his other books, May 9, 2011
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This review is from: The Devil's Light: A Novel (Hardcover)
The author's command of the history of the Middle East is as usual outstanding. When I compare this book to EXILE,which I think is his absolute best work, I am disappointed.The ending is preordained and not unusual.You expect what you get. Except for the history, the rest is uninteresting. Maybe I'm a bit jaded as I started the book one day after Bin Laden was killed.
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The Devil's Light: A Novel
The Devil's Light: A Novel by Richard North Patterson (Hardcover - May 3, 2011)
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