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Where The Dead Lay: Frank Behr series 2 Paperback – 16 Sep 2010


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Where The Dead Lay: Frank Behr series 2 + City of the Sun: Frank Behr series 1 + The Contract: Frank Behr series 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (16 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055215623X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552156233
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 961,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Levien is the new must-read thriller writer" (LEE CHILD)

"This is American thriller writing at its rocket-fuelled, roller-coaster best" (DAILY MAIL)

"Levien's writing shines in his depiction of the bad guys. They don't come to life so much as walk in your front door, sit down on the edge of your bed, and put a gun to your head... Where the Dead Lay delivers on all counts. It is crime fiction at its finest" (CHRISTOPHER REICH)

"David Levien has placed himself among the best writers in the field" (ROBERT CRAIS)

Review

Levien is the new must-read thriller writer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Oxley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
I caught David Levien's debut novel `City of the Sun' last year and found it to be a classy read by an experienced storyteller: Levien cut his teeth co-writing screenplays for big Hollywood movies such as `Ocean's Thirteen' and `The Runaway Jury'.

The discipline of writing for the big screen has taught the author to quickly establish mood and character and endowed him with the ability to set a scene in a few words. He writes short, punchy chapters and this helps move the story along at speed.

His PI is an ex-cop called Frank Behr, and he's both big and very tough. In temperament he reminds me slightly of Harry Bosch, and the fact that no-one seems to like him much (although they DO respect his abilities) underlines the similarity. He's a guy who gets things done; he doesn't over-think a situation when he could be in there sorting it out with his fists. When comparing him with the crime genre's hard men, I'd say that Joe Pike or Jack Reacher would take him, but he'd definitely give Dave Robicheaux a run for his money!

Behr has a haunted past: if you read `City of the Sun' you may recall a significant event had led to Behr suffering from overbearing guilt, going off the rails and being drummed out of the police force as a result. It also led to the inevitable dissolution of his marriage.

This sequel finds Behr arrive for his early morning jiu-jitsu session to find Aurelio, his Brazilian instructor, shot dead, with police already working the crime scene. Behr decides there and then to identify those responsible. But this isn't a paying job and he's short of cash.

Big break: he's invited by a high-end detective agency to locate a couple of their missing operatives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aidan J. McQuade on 4 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback
Frank Behr, Indianapolis private investigator and protagonist of David Levien's previous novel "City of the Sun", investigates the murder of one of his few friends, Aurelio, a jiu jitsu trainer and former mixed martial arts champion. The investigation leads him into contact with a local family of criminals with ambitions to establish themselves, through ferocious violence, in the big leagues.

Behr has many attractive features as a character - courage, loyalty and intelligence to start with, but he is also morose, humourless, angry, emotionally distant and rather inarticulate on any subject other than armed or unarmed combat. These are believable and understandable characteristics for a person with his life history, but they do not make him the most enjoyable protagonist to spend a novel with.

The plot is some consolation, and there is a significant compulsion for the reader to see how all the pieces fit together. However there isn't that much else: one learns little of the city (Indianapolis) in which the novel is set, or contemplate few moral dilemmas that may be associated with the investigation of violent crime perpetrated by professional criminals. Still its an entertaining, though violent, crime novel, good for a bleak holiday.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Daniell on 11 Aug 2009
Format: Hardcover
David Levien really has got a great character forming here. Frank Behr, an ex policeman, who would love to get back on the force. Has demons to deal with, but still has a level-headedness about him. I think in this book we get to learn a lot more about him, and I personally like his back story.

This book sees Frank Behr dealing with a variety of situations. First we see a friend of his is murdered and he wants to find out who is responsible. We then see a private detective agency want him to find two of there own investigators, he turns this down but ends up having his old police colleague asking him to help out. With the chance of him perhaps getting his foot back in the door of his old job, and with the current situation with his relationship with his partner also in the story, I feel we get a lot better picture of his character. Like his style of writing, where we start with various stories that all eventually merge.

This is a great read and lets hope he can keep this level of writing up for his next book.
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By Alex Eavis on 6 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
I had high hopes for this book but to honest it was nothing new. I didn't take to Frank Behr at all as a character and no way is he the 'new' Harry Bosch. David Levien has a long way to go before he can be classed together with Michael Connolly! The story itself lacked something. I can understand wanting to revenge the murder of a friend but although all the right words and phrases were there I didn't feel any real emotion. Even when dealing with the personal issues with his girlfriend Susan I still didn't get the sense that Frank was connected to any of it. I also thought that the violent aspect of the storyline didn't add anything and didn't really need to be quite so vicious.
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By Kentspur VINE VOICE on 24 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
This isn't bad, but it's not that great either.

Plus points, I finished it; it's not set in LA or New York; there are a couple of good jiu jitsu bits in it.

Weak points, the central character is a slab of cliche. Clearly the marketing push is towards 'the new Jack Reacher' and this guy is huge, taciturn, tortured, but - also - very dull. Reacher has some sly humour engendered by his British author; this guy (and I've forgotten his name already and I finished the book this morning) has none. In the bits with his pregnant girlfriend, I just think he's an utter wimp - step up, my friend; grow a pair, as Jeremy Kyle would say - and his back story (developed in the first of the series), which is pretty good, does not feature until very near the end so we don't get to share why he's so hesitant/scared to commit/broken. The story is coincidence laden. So much so that the author has to put in a laugh out loud funny paragraph about how 'everything in a case comes together' in a mystical kind of way to try and mitigate against the absurdity of two disparate stories - magically - fusing into one. The main villains are also under-whelming. Hellish familes are easy to write and should be fun, but Mr Levein drops the ball with this lot. Less Ma Parker's boys, more Ned Flanders'.

In fact, I was a little under-whelmed with Mr Levein. I do not agree with another reviewer saying the dialogue is good - it's not, compare and contrast with Robert Parker or James Lee Burke - and the fact that he's a Hollywood screenwriter doesn't impress me at all. If you consider he was responsible for the awful Ocean's Thirteen, I'm not sure it's something he should be putting on his resume.

Fair's fair, though. I finished this. It held my interest long enough for me to get to the last page, hence three stars.
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