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Rock, Paper, Scissors: A Novel of Political Intrigue Hardcover – 16 Jul 2001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; First Printing edition (16 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684823438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684823430
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,659,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Joseph Finder author of "High Crimes" and "The Zero Hour" Steve Samuel's first novel is a lightning-paced, pulse-pounding, palm-sweating thriller -- I couldn't put it down.

About the Author

Steve Samuel is a corporate lawyer. He graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Albany and attended law school at Boston University. He lives with his wife and children in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Helen Edward on 28 Dec. 2000
Format: Hardcover
An awe-inspiring federal agent heroine with a lifetime revenge motive finds herself caught in a highly realistic web of Arab political strategy and corporate ambition at the uppermost level. A security alert and a kidnapping trigger smart Sarah to use every shred of her ingenuity and instinct to unravel the power sources, their motivations and allegiances. This leads her to the very top of the US administration and only her resourcefulness and courage enable her to defend herself against their relentless pursuit, outwitting every latest technological hacking and tracking sophistication of the twenty-first century. Gripping from the first page to the last, this highly researched novel takes us convincingly behind the scenes of foreign policy and big business with a heroine who captures our sympathy and admiration. The book is vigorously and intelligently written. Recommended for a fast exhilarating read - you will not re-surface until the last page unfolds the final clues of a completely captivating intrigue.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 76 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Good first novel, looking forward to the next. 10 Mar. 2001
By Richard Bray - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Did not read this in the airport waiting for a plane, but on the bullet train to Hiroshima, and I could not put it down!
Steve Samuel - new author on the block - has made a good start with his new book, and looks a credible challenger to the military/ political techno-fiction genre that Tom Clancy, Larry Bond and others seem to be struggling in now, and could even reach the level of John Grisham or Robert Ludlum.
He has a good plot, and some strong characters; Sarah makes a credible secret service agent, seeking the truth about her father, while Jack Montgomery and Buck Perry represented the epitomy of the evil military-industrial complex that dominates US policy and industrial thinking. Sam Baldwin, though was closer to Citizen Kane than Jack Welch, and too much the omnipotent industrial mogul. Passing references to the Warren commision and past presidents made you wonder if would you would get to really know who killed Kennedy as you read through the book.
His knowledge of modern computer systems and techonolgy was up-to-date (take note Mr. Clancy!) and glimpses of what the NSA/ FBI and others could and probably does do were accurate. References, though unnamed, were made to Echelon system and the Dictionary programmes that the NSA/ GCHQ computers use, as well as the TRW birds looking down upon us, and vacuuming all our communications into their voracious buffer memories.
The plan to smuggle bombs (or missiles) to the Middle East to get rid of the mother of all despots was a litle weak, with no mention of delivery systems - if they were bombs who and what would deliver them, and if they were missiles who would fire them? Maybe I missed it, but the Middle East aspects of the book were probably the weakest part. There was plenty of room there to extend and further the plot, but the characters there just ended up as the region's sterotypes.
The rogue special forces agents were running true to form and training, and providing an interesting twist to the tale, but the usual "ex-special forces-now-available-for-hire" types who cleaned up the mess were only two dimensional. What is it about American's fascination with special forces, name tags and ID cards?
The ending was too quick, and the contents of the anonymous letter at the end should have been integrated and developed into the book, and gradually revealed. The decision not to launch based on Middle Eastern instability following the loss of the Tikriti leader was too quick, and needed to be more convincing, after all it's a big deal. Steve could really have done with another 200 pages to fully develop the characters and the plot, and provide a more lasting ending to the book.
But all in all, it's a good book, hard to put down, quite tightly written. Sarah looks a promising candidate for a sequel, and I look forward to his next novel, hopefully a fuller one.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave..."Sir Walter Scott 11 April 2001
By Christian - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Nowhere is this quote by Sir Walter Scott more true than in Steve Samuel's first political thriller, "Rock Paper Scissors". Beginning with the chilling opening scene in which a three year old girl witnesses the cold-blooded and brutal murder of her father, and racing along till the very last page, "Rock Paper Scissors" is an adrenaline rush of a book!
Utilizing the precarious political theater of the Middle East, and more specifically, the uncertain future of Saddam Hussien, Samuel has woven an incredible first novel. Painting his characters in broad strokes, he allows the reader to enjoy the spectacle of politicians with much more than the public eye in mind.
Years after she's seen her father gunned down, Sarah Peterson, now a top secret service agent, is horrified to accidently uncover a plot that could feasibly destroy life on Earth. This knowledge puts her in the crosshairs of some of the most powerful people in the world...and it's a nail-biting trip to find out if she will win out over the deceit of those she's put in charge of protecting. "Rock Paper Scissors" is well-written and perfectly executed. Although it reaches for and misses in some of its imagery, overall, it's a fantastic escape!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
You will like this heroine 19 Nov. 2001
By Bev White - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This novel kept me interested from the start. The main reason for this is the heroine, a federal agent. She is the type of character you can see having a recurring role in future books. At least I hope she does. A strong, powerful woman in a male dominated environment is sometimes a good thing. When is the sequel coming out?
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I wish there were TEN stars! 5 Jan. 2001
By Terry Mathews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you've been waiting for a new voice to fill the void left by Ludlum's laziness, Follett's failures, and DeMille's dame-chasing detective, look no further than Steve Samuel.
In this debut, Samuel has crafted a story with every essential element necessary for a heart-pounding thriller!
He's got a cracker-jack Secret Service agent with a tragic past -- he's added really powerful bad guys with their own evil agenda tied to international bad guy Saddam Hussein -- there's the kidnapping of a very rich and powerful man's only child -- and he's even given his readers an insider's look at the true seat of power within Washington's beltway.
The terms "page turner" and "heart stopper" are overused in the publishing world, but they're the words that come to mind after finishing this story!
I read the book in one sitting -- didn't plan it that way, but once started, I could not put the darn thing down.
I'm very curious to know how quickly Hollywood will snap up the film rights! It'll make a blockbuster, for certain!
Buy this book. Then, tell all your friends and relatives to buy the book. The reading world needs more writers like Steven Samuel!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
RPS -- a kid's game no more... 4 Mar. 2001
By Victoria Tarrani - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rock, Paper, Scissors is one of those rare books by a first time author that takes the reader on a thrill ride. The book is not filled with similes and metaphors, one of my personal pet peeves; instead the writing is clean, distinct, and clear. Authors to whom I compare the writing are David Balducci (Absolute Power), Tom Clancy (The Hunt for Red October), and John Grisham (A Time to Kill).
It is a cold winter's afternoon...and I was hooked in the prologue.
A three-year-old child sees her father murdered while he is pushing her in a swing. Having been strapped into the swing for safety, she is left to dangle long past midnight. Why did the ruthless assassin not kill the only witness to his crime? She was not part of the contract. However, children become adults and traumatic scenes such as this are part of their character. Steve Samuel's character development is perfect; Sarah Peterson is smart, talented, observant, and uses her skills as if they were a sixth sense. She is able to see the danger in various situations, which catapults her to the top in the FBI, and ultimately face to face with her father's killer.
Along the trek, Samuel shows a detailed knowledge of the political inner workings of the FBI, white house staff, and CIA. His knowledge of world politics is as prescient as Tom Clancy's in the mid-1980's book "Red Storm Rising" (the Soviet Union was dissolved).
Sarah Peterson discovers that corruption and murder are hidden behind both corporate and political doors. When she learns the secrets behind the kidnapping of a billionaire's daughter the answers bring about the assassinations of some of her FBI associates. Reluctantly she joins forces with Sam Baldwin (the billionaire) to unravel the plot and find the missing daughter before chaos destabilizes the middle east. This is the reason behind the crime, and it is frightening and plausible as the logic is revealed in impeccable writing.
Enjoy this one -- it is a five star keeper.
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