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The First Secret of Edwin Hoff Paperback – March 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Watch Hill Books (March 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983980705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983980704
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,951,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A.B. Bourne was employee #119 at Akamai and worked closely with Danny Lewin to persuade big companies like IBM, Oracle and HP to do strategic deals with their start-up. She also ran the IPO, which raised $234 million in October 1999, then one of the most successful IPO’s in history. Annie graduated from Yale College in 1990 and the University of Michigan Law School in 1996, then worked for the law firm Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo in Boston from 1996-1999. She lives in Massachusetts with her family, consulting for start-up technology companies.

More About the Author

I was born in New Haven, CT in 1968 and graduated from Hopkins Grammar School and Yale College, majoring in History, playing soccer, and making some of the best friends of my life. Growing up, I had many jobs, including: newspaper girl, waitress, lab technician and skate surgeon (the slimy, spiny fish kind), and environmental consultant, in Paris, D.C. and San Francisco. So I did the obvious--went to law school and decided to write books.

By 1999, I had finished my first thriller and found an agent, but no publisher. I also was an associate lawyer in Boston, watching so many of our clients create valuable companies from scratch that I was itching to join one. At Café Trieste on Telegraph Hill in SF, with dark rings on the covers of Fast Company, Inc. and Red Herring, and a few shots of cappuccino courage, I made a big change. Soon I learned of Akamai Technologies, Inc. The company had just spun out of MIT, and was racing to catch the crest of the dot-com wave, hiring like mad. It did something important--it invisibly sped up websites that were slow, or crashing, when anything interesting happened on them. Working there, in the headiness of the tech bubble and with one person in particular, inspired THE FIRST SECRET OF EDWIN HOFF.

Now I write books and, ever bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, consult with technology start-ups. My husband and I live outside Boston with our kids, our 80-lb. dog Dash, and our tomatoes, which Dash likes to lure, trap, and ultimately, make confess.

So why write thrillers? I trace it to two pivotal moments:

The first: Mrs. Feinberg's eighth grade English class. We were reading Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. I was slightly behind in my reading when the class discussed a key character's true identity. I won't spoil it for you here; I still feel the profound disappointment of missing the chance to discover that twist with Pip. Ever since, I have loved the thrill of confronting an authentic surprise on the page. Edwin has a few in store for you; I hope you enjoy them.

The second: lunch with a lawyer who had recently published his first novel. I shared how I wanted to write a smart thriller, like John Grisham or Scott Turow, one day. Then he gave me the best advice, however unvarnished, on how to write a book: "Talk is cheap. Apply butt to chair."

So this is what I have done, nearly every day for at least an hour, for the last several years. The First Secret of Edwin Hoff is my first book to be published. The Second Secret is already plotted.

Customer Reviews

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I can't wait to read about Edwin's next adventure!
WB
To know that this character was inspired by a real person and real events gave the story that much more intrigue.
M.B.
The plot is great and the tension keeps increasing until the end.
Mario

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Halley Suitt on February 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bourne's book is so exciting. I literally did run into people in the streets around Kendall Square and MIT on the way to work, because I couldn't stop reading it. If you are interested in any of the following, you'll love this book: great thrillers, homeland security, 9/11, entrepreneurs, terrific characters, counterterrorism, IPO's, internet billionaires or books you just can't put down. I wish she would write a sequel with any of the characters from this book in it, or just a book that focuses on any of the events that Edwin Hoff was ever part of -- part of making happen, or better, part of keeping from happening. He is a true hero who saved millions and never took a bow.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M.B. on September 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can't wait for the second secret Edwin Hoff! Bourne had me glued to this thriller that moved along a face pace, weaving characters in and out of the plot and taking me deeper and deeper into their web but especially allowing me to come to know the main character, Edwin Hoff, who I look forward to following in his future missions. To know that this character was inspired by a real person and real events gave the story that much more intrigue. I am hooked on Hoff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mhk on April 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Agree with all the above raves. This is a taut, intricate tale of intrigue, very well told. A real page turner that's a pleasure to read. moreson kaplan
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Al D. on April 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't even think of buying this book unless you have some available time for the next few days! For if you find you need to sleep, have impending deadlines, and so on, you will find them totally overridden by the compulsion to continue with this amazing novel.
I stayed up far too late, missed far too much work, neglected far too many things--when two days later the book ended and released me from its jaws. Great characters, plot line, totally engrossing, 100% recommended!
And I'm also very glad I read it. Most enjoyable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandy MacMullen on March 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
The First Secret is a terrific book. Actually, Annie Bourne had me after the Prologue and the rest was a roller coaster of icing on the cake. I didn't put this down until I had finished; I simply ignored my family and other responsibilities for a long day so that I could get to the last page.
The really neat thing about this is that it's hard to describe to you who the protagonist is, there are so many intriguing characters and plot angles. Sure Edwin Hoff is the title character and he gets a lot of the air time, if you will. But there are at least three other very important lead-type characters. My personal favorite is Marly, who doesn't even matter in the first third of the novel.
Bourne does really well in mixing a variety of expertises. She has some first hand knowledge of the whole explosive dot.com world but has done her homework well for the rest of it. (To look at her on the book jacket, I can't imagine that she has actually done Navy Seal training, for example.) Edwin Hoff himself is a sort of Jason Bourne-like character, without that paranoia of most Ludlum novels. There is lots of action, high-tech gadgetry, chase scenes involving different elements of The Law. And there are twists that you don't see coming (but that then make sense after Bourne has brought them out.) You can actually ask yourself, "I wonder if this really happened?"
Do yourself a favor; get this book. And then block out a chunk of time because you'll need it. Other parts of your life can take a back seat for a little bit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book was worth every moment of stolen time it took to finish. I am a big fan of the genre and found Edwin Hoff has a rare combination of very human and believable characters with enough 007-ish gadgets to give it an edge, as well as making it both realistic and remarkably entertaining. Bourne added a fair amount of historical details from the late 90's and clearly had an insider's view of the dot com world at the time, which for me served as a mini-education for a world I knew very little about (always a bonus to learn something while you're having fun). I found I was completely immersed while reading Edwin Hoff and could not stop thinking of the characters for quite a while after I finished. Living in the Boston area, it was also great fun to picture the scenes of action engagingly described in the novel. Now I just have to wait for the sequel...
Bottom line- get this book and read it, now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Whitney L. Johnson on January 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
The First Secret of Edwin Hoff is a terrific thriller, with a strong theme of redemptive and hope.

A friend recommended this to me on Friday; I was finished by Sunday.

I.Could.Not.Put.It.Down.

Movie please---
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alisa on January 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This thriller was impossible to put down- even with my toddler climbing all over me while I read it at times! The suspense of Edwin's next move kept me on the edge of my seat. Characters who initially seemed inconsequential to the plot came back with a bang. The references to Boston brought me back to a fascinating time in the historic Internet boom. I look forward to seeing what's in store for Edwin in the Second Secret. LONG LIVE EDWIN!
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