- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805087737
- ISBN-13: 978-0805087734
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 110 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Spire: A Novel Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
This thoughtful if less than suspenseful thriller from bestseller Patterson (Eclipse) charts the impact of the brutal murder of black coed Angela Hall at Caldwell College in Wayne, Ohio, on gifted athlete Mark Darrow, who discovered the body and later became a nationally renowned lawyer. Mark's best friend was convicted of the crime, but many aspects of the trial troubled Mark. Lionel Farr, Caldwell's provost and Mark's former mentor, offers Mark the post of college president 16 years after Angela's murder. Mark agrees to return to Caldwell, now struggling with the suspected embezzlement of $900,000 from its endowment by its current president. With Lionel's support, Mark investigates both the embezzlement and the old murder. Patterson evokes the quiet schism between town and gown in Wayne as well as the fragile relationship between blacks and whites, while Mark's probing hits exposed nerves with fatal results. (Sept.)
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Top customer reviews
That said, I was so thrilled to see him putting out a book that didn't harp on political issues, that I bought The Spire. I really enjoyed it and finished it in less than a day. It was maybe a little slow, and the character development a little thin, but compared to his last efforts, this is a masterpiece.
If you love Patterson, you'll like this book. But do not expect it to be in the same league as Eyes of a Child and Degree of Guilt.
It became too obvious and the writing kept my interest only because I wanted to find out if I was right....and I was. Very disappointing after the finally sculpted writing in "Exile." I look forward to Patterson's next book in the hopes that he will go back to his tight writing. He keeps your interest and his characters are always well written but this was too obvious. I wanted to be wrong and to be surprised but i was neither. I gave it 3 stars because it did hold my interest.
Patterson is an excellent author who may be succumbing to his publishers' desire for more books that are written too quickly. How many good authors have been ruined by the temptation of "give me five books in five months for an advance of $5,000,000?
The book opens with Mark Darrow, the central character, standing in the grass courtyard of his alma mater, Caldwell College, which is located in a small town in Ohio. He is reflecting on a shocking tragedy that happened sixteen years previously, while he was a student there. His best friend was convicted of a terrible murder of a young black female student from town, who was there on a scholarship, as was Mark. Because of this event, once Mark finished college, he could not bring himself to return.
Mark is a successful attorney, living in Boston, and credits his mentor and father figure, Dr. Lionel Farr, for giving an impoverished football player with mediocre grades an opportunity to achieve things he could never even dream of. When Dr. Farr summons him back to the school, Mark feels that he can't turn him down.
What occurs next is a psychological thriller, packed with suspense , another murder, and lots of plot twists, that takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. Everytime I thought I had figured things out, another plausible explantion would present itself, and cause me to totally change direction.
I have a girlfriend that drives me crazy when she reads a book or watches reality shows....she is constantly going to the end of the book to find out what happened, or going on line to see who won or was kicked off a show...I am totally opposite; in that I love the suspense and like to find out if I am right or not at the end of a book or program. Well, I have to admit, that with this book, I was skimming chapters ahead, trying to find out what was going to happen! That is a VERY rare occurance for me...and while I did not flip to the end, I certainly was tempted!
In the author's afterward and acknowledgements, he wrote that he had not written "a psychological suspense novel intensely focused on characters, story and setting" in over ten years. Mr. Patterson, please don't take so long with the next one, although I must admit, it was absolutely worth the wait! It was a true masterpiece.