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City of the Sun: Frank Behr series 1

City of the Sun: Frank Behr series 1 [Kindle Edition]

David Levien
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Product Description


The most impressive crime debut of the year ... grips from the off Evening Standard Relentless suspense that will not let you out of its grasp, and a cast of characters who are so utterly real you'll forget you're reading fiction. David Levien's novel is moody, riveting, and special HARLAN COBEN Heart-stopping suspense and a heartbreaking story LEE CHILD The best thing about this high-gloss, high-concept thriller is that it is actually a proper, well-written book, not merely a treatment in disguise, which delivers on its initial promise and packs an unexpectedly hefty emotional punch Guardian Gripping ... Levien's skill is to chart the emotional plight of the parents within the twists and turns of a fast-moving and complex plot Mirror


Hard, mean, beautiful, touching -- a dazzling novel... David Levien has placed himself among the best writers in the field.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 609 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 059305931X
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (4 Sep 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS218
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,513 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost In The Machine 17 Aug 2008
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One hesitates to give too much detail of the plot in a review of a thriller, but a swift peer at the jacket will tell you that Paul and Carol Gabriel's son has disappeared. We know pretty soon that this is not going to be a happy story and the opening chapters take us into the world of private grief and public service indifference. Enter (to our great relief) a latter-day Philip Marlowe, with more than a little of Moose Mulloy; a private dick determined to find out what has happened for reasons of his own.

What follows is a nicely argued plot, which unravels most satisfactorily, surviving even the unlikely move of the victim's father riding shotgun with the detective. The author thanks a number of law-enforcement operatives for taking him through the methodology, and the result is a good whodunit that follows a twisted (in all senses) route to the source. The hunters do not escape completely unhurt, but then Marlowe was always getting sapped, though they do use up a generous part of their feline nine lives.

I read it in one session, you may find yourself doing the same.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Thriller 2 Nov 2009
I am a great fan of this genre and as a result I tend to be highly critical of books which do not come up to scratch.

There are no such concerns when it comes to City Of The Sun. As mentioned in another review, the style of writing at the start takes a bit of getting used to. It's a bit different from what I am accustomed to but the style changes as the book goes on.

The characters have real substance and are developed with great skill by Mr Levien. There is plenty of action and suspense in the book and the story is well thought out and different from the normal missing person fare.

When I had finished this book I immediately ordered Where The Dead Lay, the 2nd book in the series. I cannot recommend David Levien highly enough and if you are a fan of Harlan Coben, Dennis Lehane, Robert Crais or Lee Child, then you will not be disappointed with Levien. Yes, he really is that good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magic 6 May 2014
Equal to the best detective novels of the past twenty years; no difference between Crais's Voodoo River et al, and David Leviens': waiting for the fourth...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fine thriller, would make a great film 4 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's every parent's nightmare - a child abducted without trace, and over a year goes by with no word or tangible lead. That's the set up to a suspense thriller that feels very atmospheric and cinematic from the start. That makes sense because Levien found success as a script writer before this novel was published. The private detective, following in the footsteps of so many great literary characters from crime fiction, is an ex-cop called Frank Behr. Tough, big, quick to act, not liked by many - he just gets on with it. I was hoping to meet him again, and I see there are two further novels following the success of this one. Frank's first outing and his alliance with the missing boy's father builds to a great and exciting last scene and a satisfying climax. I'm really surprised this hasn't been optioned and turned in to a film yet. Well worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 22 Jun 2010
By MarkW
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This story gripped me right from the start - and builds steadily to a very satisfying conclusion. The main characters are interesting and have depth, and as the story progresses we learn more about them and they continue to develop throughout. Minor reservation that things generally seem to work out rather fortunately as they follow the leads - but so engrossing and well written that it was not an issue for me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling 22 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jamie Gabriel gets on his bike before dawn to deliver newspapers in his suburban Indianapolis neighborhood. Somewhere en route, he vanishes without a trace. Fourteen months later, Paul and Carol Gabriel hire a private detective. He begins an unrelenting quest for answers. Levien does not shy away from unpleasant realities and the implied violence against children is an essential element to the plot.

City of the Sun is an enjoyable and suspenseful read with a satisfying, if somewhat improbable, close.
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Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
City of the Sun tells the story of a kidnapping of a young boy Jamies, and the effect it has on the devastated parents, Carol and Paul, and the private detective, Frank Behr, who they hire.

It took me a couple of tries to get into this book. The first 25 pages are off-putting for two reasons: firstly, the self consciously stylised short sentences and present tense that Levien uses, and secondly, the horrible language used by Jamie's two kidnappers. However on page 25 the present tense magically disappears (with no explanation!), the writing improves and we hear much less from the two kidnappers, who only reappear occasionally throughout the book with their unpleasant thoughts and swear words making up just a very small part of the narrative.

So what is the book like once it gets going? Simply put, it is excellent. Gripping and absorbing, so that I didn't want to put it down. The plot is pretty standard: grieving parents find the police to be useless so hire a gritty, no nonsense PI who has issues of his own relating to losing a son himself. But there's a reason plots like this are so often used, and that is that they can be brilliant when done right. And here, it's done right.

Paul and Carol's characters are beautifully written: their grief, anger and confusion are portrayed very well alongside their painfully broken marriage. A scene where Carol breaks down in a yoga class had me crying. And Behr is perhaps the character that we get to know best, and he is excellent: strong, silent, dedicated - everything you'd want in a PI if your son had gone missing. Even the smaller characters, like the kidnappers and those they work for, are written brilliantly, and jump off the page.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and strong read in Lehane mode
This is a very good book by any measure. The main plot line is one any parent would identify with - the loss of a child - and this is built up well and great empathy is forged with... Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2010 by GilesB
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sound Thrilling Yarn
Great plot and believeable characters make this an enjoying read.
A suspenseful journey of modern fiction. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2009 by scoon2
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, fast paced read
This book had me hooked from the very beginning, where a young boy is snatched whilst doing his paper round. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2009 by JM
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but uninspiring
By a weird co-incidence, I watched "Ocean's 13" the night before this book found its way to the top of my reading pile. Read more
Published on 24 May 2009 by Andrew Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping until the end
This started off at a reaspnable pace but became unputdownable just halfway through.

This is a story of a couple who have lost their son and are willing to endure... Read more
Published on 20 April 2009 by Dr. Babus Ahmed
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining thriller
City of the Sun is a decent thriller. The opening reels you in and the plot unfolds at a steady pace. Read more
Published on 16 April 2009 by Little Miss
4.0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING AND GOOD, BUT....
Having finally got round to reading this, I really enjoyed it. I found it very readable, very gripping and the story was told in logical steps. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2009 by J. R. Daniell
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Is David Levien the next Harlan Coben? 5 28 Nov 2008
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