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Eight in the Box: A Novel of Suspense by [Yessayan, Raffi]
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Length: 354 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Defense attorney Yessayan's promising debut nicely juggles a large cast of attorneys and cops, though at times it comes close to sounding like a legal spinoff of the TV show Friends. Someone is killing young women in Boston, or at least young women are disappearing, leaving behind no trace except bathtubs full of blood. The police are pretty sure the victims must be dead, but no bodies have been found. The killer, who's identified for the reader as Richter, is doing something with the bodies that involves embalming, but it remains unclear what he's up to until the very end. Extended forays into race relations, the plight of the poor and questions of legal responsibility tend to slow the action. Hopefully, Yessayan, who doesn't stray beyond the conventional bounds of the legal thriller/serial killer subgenre, will strike out in his own direction next time. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The television series Law and Order meets the city of Boston in this first novel. A serial killer drains the blood from his victims, leaves it in the bathtub, and then removes the body from the scene. Newly promoted to homicide, Detective Angel Alves wants to prove his worth to his superiors, even at the cost of his marriage. Assistant District Attorney Conrad Daget struggles to juggle the hundreds of cases piled on his desk and still help officers and attorneys catch this elusive maniac. First-novelist Yessayan provides a deeper, more complex look inside the criminal-justice system than we usually see on television, and he holds our interest with a cast of full-bodied characters. The plot begins to fall apart a bit near the end, but Yessayan saves the best for last and redeems himself. For a better read, ignore the jacket blurb, which gives away too much. --Jeff Ayers

Product Details

  • File Size: 741 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Publication Date: June 24, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001BAO428
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,301 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Quido VINE VOICE on May 3, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved "The Eight". That comment alone causes readers who appreciate fiction writing for the writing caliber, as opposed to the plot, to groan aloud. "The Eight" is an oversized (500+ pages) novel, a first time effort for author Katherine Neville, whose later works are far less popular. "The Eight" on the other hand, is much beloved and widely read.
Neville's prose is typical of first time authors. Characterization can be thin, dialogue can be unrealistic, the romance altogether too passionate to be believable. What distinguishes this work, and what has given the book its cult following is the plot, the plot, the plot, the PLOT!
The premise takes two parallel events, in two different timeframes (the '70's and the late 18th century) and weaves the stories together. Both are quests for the mystical Montglane chess set, an Indian relic, once a gift to Charlemagne. Neville's got an imagination that knows no bounds, and she draws dozens of historical figures into the plot mix, both in this century and that. Catherine the Great plays a role, as does modern-day despot Muhammar Khaddafi. The Montglane chess set, like Tolkien's "The One Ring", has mystical powers, and must be prevented, by an innocent, from falling into the hands of those who represent evil and anarchy.
Part fairy tale, part romance, part historical fiction, part suspense novel, "The Eight" is unforgettable for its complexity and the peek into the mind of a great storyteller. You won't soon forget it!
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Format: Paperback
This review is going to contain a lot of criticism of The Eight. So, before I begin let me stress that we chose this as a book club selection and with the exception of one member everyone enjoyed reading the book. If you came here looking for something with a global conspiracy plot and sharp research a la the Da Vinci Code, then you will find what you are looking for with The Eight. The prose is at least not much worse than that of Dan Brown.

The frustrating thing with the novel is that Neville has presented a complex and clearly well-researched book. As a reader, I was rooting for her on that basis alone. This book has been compared to The Name of the Rose, but that comparison is not just. Eco is a master wordsmith with a degree of control and quality that Neville comes nowhere close to exhibiting. However, the quality of her plotting is such that if she does resolve some of her writing issues, then she could justly be placed above airplane literature.

The first and largest quality problem with the Eight is the freshman feel of the prose. There are places in the book where it is so badly written that it distracts from the reading experience. For example, she has a habit of using heavy-handed foreshadowing ("little did I know that in two days I would...") that is particularly irritating.

The second largest issue is the incomplete character development and strange plot cul-de-sacs. I actually do not believe that this is a quality issue. I have read in interviews with Neville that the original manuscript was more than 1200 pages long. I suspect that we are missing a number of plot points that would have made some of these characters much more complete and some of the transitions much less abrupt.
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4 Comments 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's hard to add to the list of superlatives about this book!!
Katherine Neville has woven a wonderful story(?) that continues to haunt me - even almost 10 years after reading it for the first time (and I've now read it 8 or 10 times). It is marvelously inventive, historically (mostly) accurate, and provides wonderful bases for some of the most intriguing conversations.
I've passed this book on to most of my male relatives and friends - who all think I'm nuts when I insist they read a "chick" book, then come to me three days later absolutely amazed how much they liked it!
If there is one weakness, it is that the modern-day characters could be more fully drawn - but that's relatively minor when compared to the intricacy of the story and the wealth of detail Ms. Neville provides.
All I can say is try it! I'm sure you'll like it!
(By the way - wouldn't this make a great computer game, a la "Myst"??)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is by far the best book I ever read. I ALWAYS recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read. It not only teaches you a little about history but you don't even realize that you are learning while enjoying the amazing plot!
Katherine Neville is brilliant as is her story in The Eight. The book combines two interwoven plots and keeps you interested in both of them! This is one book that I never wanted to finish. I fell in love with the characters and felt that this book could go on and on and not bore me one bit.
This is the story of the Montglane Chess set, supposedly a gift to Charlemagne that held unimaginable power within, when he played he became obsessed to the point of near destruction. Upon his death his sons fought over the set which ends up getting built into the walls of an abbey to protect it as well as the world from it's power. The story takes place in two eras. One where they many historical figures are after the set which is being split up across the world and then in the 1970's when the set is being searched for (again).
Catherine Neville deftly weaves these two stories together, along with historical facts and wonderful characters.
I could read it over and over again (and I have - I think I just finished it for my 7th time)and still enjoy it. The writing was superb and the plot was original!
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