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Heat (Will Lee) Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Woods's sixth novel in three years is likely to follow its predecessors ( L.A. Times , etc.) onto bestseller lists. In this artfully plotted thriller, ex-DEA agent Jesse Warden, wrongly convicted of a murder he suspects was the work of Dan Barker, his former superior, is offered a chance at a presidential pardon if he will infiltrate the sinister religious cult that has taken control of St. Clair, Idaho. Despite knowing that he will again be under the control of Barker and that two previous agents investigating the cult have vanished, Jesse can't refuse. Going incognito, he gets a job at the town's only business not controlled by the cult and is brazenly seduced by his new landlady, lovely widow Jenny Weatherby. As Jesse sets out to win the confidence of the menacing head of the sect, Jack Gene Coldwater, he comes under close surveillance by Coldwater's two henchmen. In spite of some nearly fatal mistakes, however, he manages to gain the trust of the charismatic and seemingly psychic cult leader. Meanwhile, Jesse marries Jenny, who's pregnant. Faced with the catch-22 of how to deliver Coldwater and his ruthless subordinates to the treacherous Barker, whom he is sure will not come through with the promised pardon, Jesse must find a way to bring himself and his new family to freedom. The ending may strike readers as far too fortuitous, and the pardon premise is old hat ( The Dirty Dozen , etc.), but high melodrama and unexpected twists make this teflon-coated blockbuster business as usual in Wood's practiced hands. $100,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild super release and Doubleday Book Club alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Unjustly imprisoned, bereft of wife and daughter, ex-DEA agent Jesse Warden is offered a daring gamble: if he can infiltrate and destroy a heavily armed religious cult, he can win his freedom. The previous two infiltrators have disappeared; the cult leaders are smart, wealthy, and completely amoral; Warden's landlady is beautiful and sexy. Do you feel you've heard all this before? The plot is so old it creaks, but there is a certain loopy and innocent amiability in the telling, as though the author cannot bear to disappoint his hero. There is much rushing about on all sides, surreptitious communications, hair-breadth escapes, and the inevitable (ever since the Branch Davidians) call-up of the military for the climactic battle. We get just about everything we expect, from fistfights to forged passports, and if several story threads are left dangling, Heat is still a satisfying beach-blanket read.
Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Information Svcs., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Will Lee (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062017500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062017505
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David J. Gannon on March 16, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a frequent flyer (over 170 plane trips last year) and Stuart Woods represents a very significant resource for someone like me. He is a competent suspense writer with a much larger than average portfolio who is popular enough that his books can be found in some quantity in almost any airport bookstore and/or newsstand in America.
There are times you've just got to find something to read in about 4 minutes--in those instances, Woods is a no brainer.
This is not to say he's the best suspense writer around--he isn't. But, as my old man used to say, "Competence compensates for an awful lot..."
With Woods, you know you are getting well conceived, well developed characters. Moreover, Woods understands the mechanics of suspense and uses that knowledge to good effect. If Woods has a failing, it's that his stories are uneven. Good characters and good mechanics don't add up to enough--a credible story line is needed as well. Woods never goes totally off the deep end, but he has been known to stretch credulity pretty badly out of shape.
These are high grade potboilers.
Hest is one of Woods better efforts. Jesse Warden is a hard as nails cop in the pen for planning to rip off the goods from a sting. He's offered an out to infiltrate and do in a Waco like survivalist cult group. I won't dwell on the details--you can well imagine them--and be pretty much on the money. But the characters are superb, the story line tight and consistent, the suspense at high tension level.
If page turning potboilers are your thing, Woods is your man.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one his earlier books and is quite typical Stuart Woods which is in no way a criticism. This one plays more like a John Grisham than some of his other efforts.
Jesse Warden, a former DEA agent, has been sentenced to prison after being wrongly convicted for the murder of his DEA partner. His ex-boss removes him from prison to go undercover in a very small town in the northwest where a man has turned the town into a cult. The DEA is not for sure what the leader's plans are and they want to find out before he can act. Jesse is a likeable but tough character; Woods does a pretty good job of blending his two personalities together. The action is tense and makes you want to continue reading to see what develops.
I am a fan of Stuart Woods and am glad I picked up this older book to read. Looking forward to more from him.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Can I give more stars? I've read all Woods' books and this is my favorite. I've rarely been disapointed with SW,(DIRT), but the none stop action, the clever diologue, the literally gripping suspense makes this an easy A+. I've read it 3 times and bought it as a gift at least 5. When I heard "HEAT" was going to be a movie I was elated, only to be brought back to earth when I found out it had nothing to do with Woods' story. Their mistake.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All of the Stuart Woods books have provided me with a great deal of entertainment. Each is different but weaves in many of the same characters as they age and go through their lives. Some of the lesser characters recur here and there, making each book more interesting. Read them in order to keep up with the movement. Thoroughly enjoyable with many plots about places and matters that I otherwise might not have been overly interested in until reading them in these books. I keep tied for more from Mr. Woods.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The plot is interesting, but the development and conclusion of it is hardly realistic, more like low end action movies, and in my opinion - unworthy of the author. The super-hero is more like a cartoon than a human being; on other hand, his personal choices are very strange ones.
What was that about him getting married to a first woman he happened to meet after being released from the prison, especially under such dangerous conditions? I kept expecting that new wife of his to turn out a setup form the cult leader. If I have written this book, I would have had her a traitor, definitely.
Would a sane man bring his child to such a hornet nest? Was it necessary? With all the intricate preparations for the escape, wouldn't a normal parent hold on until it were safe to take the child?
Well, all Woods' books I had read before, I finished in two days maximum. this one took me more than a week and I am greatly disapointed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Woods is just plain good. He's learned his craft well and is also quite good at developing sympathetic protagonists. As you'll read in books on writing, that is extremely crucial because if readers don't care about the "hero" there's a pretty good chance they will toss the book aside partway through.
The main character has received his just desserts for a crime and that proves that the hero can have faults and failings. But the reader begins to pull for him soon, and as his character is developed, one begins to actually respect the guy. The story line is taut and fresh enough and you just have to find out how everything turns out. And that's what every novelist wants, right? The reader must feel compelled to finish the book. Woods does it right.
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Format: Hardcover
Stuart Woods, bestselling author of Santa Fe Rules and Foreign Affairs, proves once again he’s a great storyteller in Heat. Definitely a one-sitting read.

Jesse Warden is a convicted criminal biding his days in solitary confinement in the Atlanta Federal Prison. He is recruited by his former employer (DEA) to ferret out information in a small Idaho town. Two agents have already been killed in an attempt to infiltrate a dangerous cult called Aryan Universe. In exchange for this good deed—if he lives through it—he will receive a presidential pardon for a crime he didn’t commit.

With a new identity, Jesse drives to Idaho in a pickup truck equipped with hidden cellular phone and some hard cash. St. Clair, appears to be the perfect Disneyesque idea of small-town America. Every house is new paint clean with meticulous lawns and flower beds permanently held in a much earlier era. All is not right in this flawless community. Mysterious disappearances have occurred, but crime is rare due to swift and deadly punishment. The local police station is a high-tech marvel with all the bells and whistles money can buy.

The community’s children are taught at the First Church School where they are indoctrinated to hate people of other ethic groups. There are no excuses for absences and children are encouraged to tell on their parents if they speak against the teachings of the First Church.

Jesse is sent to the widow Jenny Weatherby who rents out one of her bedrooms. Jenny is far from the elderly widow-woman Jesse expected. He falls for her fast.

Another referral results in Jesse’s employment at Wood Products—the only business in town not owned by the cult.
Read more ›
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