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Seven Ways to Die Paperback – March 8, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The late William Diehl is the author of numerous fast-paced New York Times bestsellers, including two, Primal Fear and Sharky’s Machine that were made into major motion pictures. Prior to his death in 2006, Diehl had written over 400 pages of manuscript for Seven Ways to Die, and left behind a working outline, notes and chapter drafts. Ken Atchity worked personally with Bill’s widow, Virginia Gunn Diehl, along with his screenwriting partner Michael A. Simpson, to bring this novel to completion. William Diehl was an extraordinarily gifted storyteller who enjoyed an unbroken string of bestselling novels including 27 aka The Hunt, Thai Horse, Hooligans, Chameleon, Show of Evil, Primal Fear (Richard Gere and Edward Norton) and Sharkey's Machine. Seven Ways to Die is more than a worthy final addition to the Diehl canon. For twenty years he lived on Georgia's St. Simons Island with his wife Virginia Gunn, a former Atlanta TV reporter. Diehl, who began writing novels at the age of 50, was strongly influenced by his experiences as a ball turret gunner on a B-24 in World War II--for which he earned a Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal.He met Martin Luther King and took part in the Civil Right movement. He became a staff reporter at The Atlanta Constitution, then the first managing editor of Atlanta magazine. Kenneth Atchity, author of fifteen previous books, is a prolific producer of motion pictures for television and theater, as well as former professor of comparative literature and Fulbright professor of American studies. Atchity, author of fifteen books, has been an editor and manager of bestselling authors for twenty-five years, and responsible for twenty bestselling novels.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: AEI/Story Merchant Books (March 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061560806X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615608068
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,288,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
William Diehl was both prolific and highly talented as a writer of suspense thrillers. He will be missed. His plotting was good and character development top notch. Kenneth Atchity did a fine job. The maze of clues and hints made for an entirely pleasant read. If you want another fine Diehl story, get Primal Fear. I will now be looking for some more Kenneth Atchily works.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Maybe the dynamic killing machine would have been better off sticking to their other passion which took a good dose of creativity as well. I loved Cody, the lead detective ... he is a fine upstanding American Indian who systematically sniffs out bad guys with his special skills, and his dog Charlie is as special as he is. The ones I call "the killing machine" missed their calling; they would have ruled in the porn business. You will see what I mean. Overall it was a good read which kept my interest piqued until the end.
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Diehl was a master storyteller in my opinion. His characters are complex, his plot lines are believable, and well constructed. This story of a Native American NYPD detective captivated me instantly. Micah Cody's ability to communicate with animals aids him in his quest to stop a serial killer. This angle was the main reason I enjoyed the story. The only shortcoming, in my opinion, was the death of Diehl during the story's writing, and being finished by another author. The difference in writing style is immediately apparent, however, the story remains tight and gripping.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was amazing. I didn't want to put it down. I found this book while searching through the kindle freebies. The characters were well developed and the storyline was interesting. It was fast paced and had my full attention. Highly recommended.
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William Diehl had two extraordinary writing careers. After years as a newspaper photographer and journalist, he gave it up at the age of 50 and spent the remaining 30 years of his life penning a series of top notch thrillers featuring clever, intricate plots that were heavy on bizarre sex and substantial amounts of violence. When he died in 2006, he had written a substantial portion of one last novel. Over the next few years, another writer, Kenneth Atchity (with the approval of Diehl's widow), finished the book, based on Diehl's partial manuscript, notes, and outlines. The resulting book, "Seven Ways to Die," is a fitting testament to a masterful suspense writer.

In some respects, "Seven Ways" is a throwback to Diehl's first novel, "Sharkey's Machine," with the benefit of thirty years of improved police technology. In "Machine," a lone Atlanta cop assembled an ad hoc "machine" of fellow cops to solve one complicated case; in "Seven Ways," the New York Police Department has formed an elite unit that solves the spectacular cases the regular cops can't. The unit has a number of forensic, legal, and investigative specialists and is led by a brilliant detective, Micah Cody, the youngest captain ever in the NYPD. Their current case is spectacular. A prominent investment banker has been found murdered in his apartment, bound, naked, and with his body drained of blood. Further, the killer seems familiar with police procedure and is playing games with the evidence to disguise some of the forensic details of the killings.

Cody thinks they've got a serial killer on their hands and he is soon proven correct, as other bodies start turning up, posed in a similar fashion to the first victim.
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Detective writing at its best. New York's finest specialized homicide team headed by Captain Micah Cody work city-wide to bring in murderers. A particularly evil serial killer works to bring in seven bodies in seven days. Fast paced, incredibly detailed and intense, this is a story I will remember. Truly only a master storyteller can weave so many characters into so many subplots and still keep a keen focus of the plot itself (with all its finite components) at the same time keeping the reader entirely engaged (and not confused - amazing, that). Any serious mystery/detective buff has read this or has it on the list to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Micah Cody, the major figure in the novel, has gone from a boyhood on a Montana Reservation to become head of a crack NYPD task force, which specializes in solving homicides that would otherwise disappear into the cold realm of unsolved cases. But this time Cody and his team have met their match--an equally skilled serial killer who seems to be specializing in taunting the police.

But there's more here than merely the pursuit of what appears to be, at the outset, an intelligent, remorseless psychopath. Cody relies heavily on his Native American past in the course of his hunting. Charley, his dog, is a memorable canine who will play a unique role in the story, up to and including its final pages.

As one might expect in a story with serial killing at its core, there are bound to be grisly happenings, in this instance enhanced executions by the perpetrator, revealed mostly second hand on the autopsy table. And, also not unexpectedly, sex plays a role in the drama, with one pressure cooker scene that becomes an important element in the story.

Add to that a bit of woo-woo traced back to Cody's boyhood, a charming love story, and a plot where many readers will spot the perpetrator early on. That last feature, and the fact that the killer combines unbelievable luck with an uncanny ability to deceive, does no real damage to the story line. This is truly a police procedural at its best.
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