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Icon [Kindle Edition]

J. Carson Black
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Hollywood superstar Max Conroy is A-list all the way—one of the few actors who can guarantee box office blockbusters on opening weekend. Max has it all: the devil-may-care charisma, the stunning movie star wife, and a sizable personal fortune that grows along with his legend.

When Max escapes from a rehab center in Arizona, disoriented and longing to return to his blue-collar roots, he becomes the target of a motley group of kidnappers planning to cash in by holding him for ransom. Max not only outsmarts them; he evens the score. Little does he know that a far more dangerous and merciless enemy is coming for him. But this time, he has an ally in the smart and beautiful sheriff’s deputy Tess McCrae.

For years, Max drifted through an easy superstar life, untethered and without purpose. But as he fights for his life, something turns inside him. He’s ready to live again—on his own terms. He will destroy those who’d rather see him die like an icon than live like a man.

Product Description


"Icon rocks from start to finish. Its thumping action propels a story that's suspenseful, ironic, and full of surprises. J. Carson Black has created a leading man to root for in Max Conroy – and the most chilling pair of villains I've come across in years." - Meg Gardiner, author of Ransom River

Icon is a smart thriller that had me hooked from the start. J. Carson Black has outdone herself. I loved it!” – John Rector, bestselling author of Already Gone

About the Author

J. Carson Black is the best-selling, critically acclaimed author of eight books, including the Laura Cardinal crime fiction series. Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Black has found inspiration for her writing in everything from real-life horrors to the headlines screaming today’s news. She is currently working on her next thriller.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 577 KB
  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455886467
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (12 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005WWC5WM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #135,941 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

As witness to the ongoing changes in publishing, J. Carson Black knew she had to raise her game. She'd always read and studied the best authors in her genre, but to survive, Black knew she must grow. And so she determined to expand beyond her comfort zone and write a big thriller.

A political junkie, J. Carson Black loved the cable TV news circus--the media's mad scramble to find sensational stories. So when a suspected child-killer's plane landed with all the pomp and circumstance of the space shuttle in Boulder, Colorado, Black took note. As it turned out, John Mark Karr did not kill JonBenet Ramsey; he'd merely played the media and fed their insatiable 24/7 appetite. This was the New American Way: celebrity for its own sake.

That seed grew into into J. Carson Black's thriller THE SHOP.

Using social media, Black has made friends who share her passions and interests. Some of these friends are experts in their fields: homicide detectives, retired military, military analysts, a computer forensic expert, and even a Navy SEAL. Over time, these friends grew to trust Black and gave her entree into their world, and THE SHOP is the better for it.

A Tucson, Arizona native, J. Carson Black has also written ICON, a thriller set in the New West.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read 16 July 2012
By Old Timer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the second novel I've read recently by J.Carson Black, the other one being The Shop which I believe was a sales success. Of the two I much prefer this one. It is more tightly-written, less rambling, than The Shop, and the notion at the heart of it is much more believable than the massive conspiracy of the earlier book. I'm sure we can all accept that grubby little people do the most appalling things for money, including murder, because such things occur around us all-too frequently in the real world. So the villains behind the events described in Icon are for the most part credible.

Less credible, much less credible, is the lady assassin Shaun and her child assistant, who leave a trail of death from near the beginning until right up to the end. But I accept them as entertainment characters, murderous clowns perhaps, because none of us want a thriller to be a dull tale of everyday routine, and Icon is certainly not dull.

Our hero, if that is the right word, is Max Conran, a drying-out movie star on the run from an addiction recovery clinic. Max's movie career - he has played the male lead in vampire series, so you put a real world name to him - is past its peak, which he is cool with, but his handlers are not. They want him back, alive to appear in a new movie, or dead to enhance his value a la Michael Jackson etc.

So a merry romp ensues, with the action being much less believable than the central premise. But who cares, it's a fun thriller, almost a comedy, and I think most readers will enjoy it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Read From J Carson Black! 8 Jun. 2012
By Mrs. L. Evans VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As with her previous novel 'The Shop' Ms. Black has the knack of introducing many facets of the story at once and then gradually unravelling them and linking them together.

Protagonist Max Conroy- a major Hollywood star - has gone to the Desert Oasis Healing Centre to be treated for alcohol and drug addiction but he escapes from there to a small Arizona town where local Deputy Tess McCrae comes to his aid when there is an attempt to forcibly bundle him into a limousine.

We find that Max is hallucinating after being brainwashed - why should such a thing have been done to him and why would the Centre make further attempts to track him down to take him back at all costs? Max is not going quietly as he senses something is very wrong.

There are many prominent characters in this story such as: the aforementioned Tess now promoted to Detective, Jerry - Max's manager, Gordon White Eagle - 'guru' of the healing centre, who just happens to be Jerry's brother, Dave - Max's longtime friend and stunt double, Talia - Max's trophy filmstar wife and lastly the very scary Shaun - a woman who could be mistaken for a man who has an equally scary little boy with her. These last two being described as a bear with her cub, such are their animal instincts.

The plot is unusual and very interesting and moves along at a rate of knots - this was a book I really enjoyed.

After I read her previous book I said I couldn't wait for the next one - same here!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rough and tumble of an entertaining thriller. 4 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Icon is the first of J Carson's Black's books I have read and this one has set me thinking about looking at others. A sharp, chaotic and brutal tale without being prurient in the descriptions, told in a swift economic style that still manages to pack detail in.
Basically Max Conroy is a troubled high profile Hollywood star whose agent Jerry and current wife agree he is worth more to them off dead. Jerry's brother a `quack' health guru Gordon is brought in to set the scene at his health spa and the very unhinged Shaun and her `adopted' 12 year old boy companion hired to do the killing. But things go wrong.
For a start Max is quite resourceful and quick witted for a burnt-out case, he escapes and by good fortune meets up with new to the area deputy sheriff Tess, also quick on her feet and wits and possessed of a phenomenal memory which plays a pivotal role in her interventions.
From the very start this is a tale of folk whose plans keep going astray through the distractions and quirks of other characters. Jerry a failed screen writer's plot runs like a script only a not very good one, Gordon is self-obessessed and Shaun does not obey orders very well at all. There is a nearly but not quite comic diversion when three local hicks recognise Max and try to do their own kidnap, which once he gets his bearings Max controls quite well to his advantage.
Lots of chases, escapes and captures, a growing body count and relevant sub-plots all set in the oppressive heat of rural Arizona, told in short punchy chapters, this was an enjoyable read which suggest a possible follow up; at least another couple of books featuring Tess McCrae an alert and very likeable character.
As for Shaun, the efficient killer but crazy lady, well she just begs a prequel all of her own, although I doubt if it would be a comfortable read.
If you like quick packed thrillers or fancy a change I reckon you will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast and furious! 19 Jun. 2012
By Alison Petrie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After a relatively slow opening, "Icon" picks up dramatically and moves at a very fast pace. Found myself reading it and mentally casting actors in the various characters, thinking that Bruce Willis in his mid 30s (remember "Die Hard") would have been a good bet for Max Conroy.

I think what really got my interest was the fact that it was a hit woman, making a new turn on a somewhat over used scenario. Also, despite reading many books of this genre, I have never come across an assassin's apprentice as detailed in "Icon".

The book romps along, coming to a satisfactory conclusion, where wrongs are righted and the bad guys get a come uppance. It also leaves the door open for a sequel so it will be interesting to see if the Max Conroy concept has legs!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow burning thriller
There are lots of threads to this story, that lead to an exciting and intense ending. At first I found it difficult to keep up with the way the story flitted between the different... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Catherine Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 6 months ago by Ann
4.0 out of 5 stars Icon, a fast paced thriller.
A complex, fast moving plot which demands a fair amount of effort from the reader. More than once I had to retrace my steps through the book to figure out exactly what had just... Read more
Published 6 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of the celebrity circus
This book has all the ingredients : suspense, murder, terrifying car chases, and the familiarity of celebrity: the thing we all crave and yet which few of us would survive, in that... Read more
Published 11 months ago by hellkatjen
4.0 out of 5 stars Action packed book Icon by J Carson Black
This book took me straight into the story which is action packed from the start. A very enjoyable read. I will add her to my reading list.
Published 11 months ago by Mr. Graham Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars my best read this month
a very good story i am enjoying reading it may it continue to the very end william will look forward to the next one
Published 12 months ago by William Stenson
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Great book, great character, great read. Well written and pulls you in from the first. Would highly recommend if you like a book that is enjoyable.
Published 19 months ago by fiarra
3.0 out of 5 stars Likeable
Having read this authors work before, J. Carson Black can certainly tell a story and this book is no exception. Read more
Published on 29 Dec. 2012 by Andy Edwards
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely-paced, average ending!
Having never read any other books by the author, I was overall impressed with this novel. A story with plotlines incl. Read more
Published on 3 Oct. 2012 by oldstuff
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing considering her other writing
Icon was a great disappointment to the extent that I didn't get more than a quarter of the way through before I had to put it down as unreadable. Read more
Published on 4 Sept. 2012 by ratscat13
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