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4.2 out of 5 stars80
4.2 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 25 July 2007
As a huge fan of James Patterson's novels I was delighted to see that one of his co-authors, Andrew Gross has began to write solo novels.

In this solo debut (I hear he has signed a three-book deal), 'The Blue Zone' begins when business man Ben Raab is arrested and investigated by the FBI for racketeering. Because of this, high-profile Columbian mobsters are after Raab and his family, so the FBI place them in a protection program, giving them new identities and a new life. However, Raab's oldest daughter, Kate decides not to enter this program and carries on her normal life just without her family and is then driven into a terrifying world of paranoia, not knowing what kind of person her father really was.

After a slowish start this novel then explodes into one of the most exciting and suspense-filled thrillers I have ever read. The style is very similar to Patterson's with it's short chapters, sharp dialogue and fast-paced, non-stop plot twists and action. The characters are all well written and made me feel like I couldn't trust anyone.

This is a great solo debut that I was a little wary about reading as a few of Gross's lastest books with Patterson were some of the weakest (Lifeguard and The Jester in particular) although 2nd Chance, 3rd Degree and Judge & Jury were all excellent. I highly recommend this book to any fan of the crime thriller genre and it is a perfect summer or holiday read that can be read quickly, finished and enjoyed, leaving you looking forward to Gross's next novel.
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VINE VOICEon 4 September 2007
The story could have done with some tighter editing and there were sections that while interesting could have been left out and not missed but this story of betrayal and family loyalty is interesting.

Ben Rabb is arrested for racketeering and taken into the Witness Protection Program with only his adult daughter, Kate, on the outside.

When a case agent is tortured to death and Kate's father disappears the bodies start to mount and no-one is sure who you can trust, or what the truth is in the situation.

It was almost a tiring read as change after change was thrown at me, but it kept me reading and I did want to know what happened next and what was going on. It's not a bad read, but not a great read either.
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on 22 May 2011
Mr Gross has some great ideas for stories but does not seem able to deliver the writing to back them up. Perhaps learning at the feet of the very lazy Patterson who appears to do little but produce skeleton plots for other people to flesh out for him has led to this. This book would measure some 250 pages in a normal font size and, I'm afraid to say, the twists and turns were telegraphed to an extent which made it laughable.
Mr Gross, Patterson is able to do this now because he has made a name for himself on the back of some excellent thrillers, you are not in that league and, therefore, not able to sit back on your laurels just yet. A book delivered by publishers to make a fast buck and not one which I would recommend to others. I am not looking forward to your next one which I bought at the same time, a lesson I will learn from.
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on 13 May 2014
I never give up on books and carried on until the end, but it was painful.
Kate the main character was so tiresome; I don't like grown women talking about "daddy", which she continued to do even when she knew the truth about him; so unbelievable.
Also she had diabetes just to fit in with part of the storyline. Managing to go 2 days without insulin, never suffering any hypos when she forgot to eat; author check your facts about this condition.
Can't recommend this novel at all and I won't be reading anything else by this author.
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on 23 February 2010
Successful businessman Ben Raab is arrested and forced to witness against the mob. He and his family is put into the witness protection program, except for the oldest daughter Kate, who decides tostay on the outside. It's not long before Kate starts to think someone's after her. And soon her father goes missing and the case agent in the witness protection program is murdered.

"Blue Zone" has a pretty good plot and it's certainly a light, quick read but it never gets as "tense and chilling" as the blurb from James Patterson on the cover would have you believe. Gross doesn't seem to think too highly of the reader's attention span as he constantly tells us what's just happened. For example, on page 168, after we've just been told that Raab is missing and the case agent has been murdered: "A wave of anguish swept over Kate. Her father was missing. His case agent had been brutally murdered.". Then two pages later, "Her father was missing. Margaret Seymour was dead." These are just two examples and it gets a bit tiresome and silly after a while.

Overall, a decent but not great thriller that probably would have worked better as a movie than as a novel.
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VINE VOICEon 27 September 2007
OK for when your brain is dulled by hot sun, lapping waves etc but other than that, pretty awful. Devoid of any real characters or meaningful plot, I was, frankly, glad to get to the end. He's got the short chapter idea from Patterson and, yes, that makes for easy, bit-at-a-time reading, but more than that, I don't think so.
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on 28 December 2010
I've never read anything by Andrew Gross before but I assume the name is a pseudonym for someone like Barbara Steele or Jackie Collins. Yes, it was a thriller but it was full of cliche-ridden soul-searching romantic mush and badly written in a stilted Mills and Boon style. I had to force myself to get to the end but I so wish I had never started it. No redeeming qualities whatsoever. Ridiculous plot twists, annoying and irritating in style; a book for a 14 year old girl maybe.
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on 5 May 2014
Witness Security takes a tightly knit Jewish family into protective custody when Dad is caught laundering money for the Colombian drug cartel and does a deal with the Feds.

But it seems that some family ties are stronger than others.

A little hard to believe. But take a step back from disbelief, it's worth a readWorth
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on 18 May 2014
An extremely good mystery with many good characters built up. The plots are many and varied. Usefull for those, like me, who guess the three quarters of the way through. This makes the suspense continuer throughout the book.
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on 11 May 2014
A great book that had me gripped from almost the start. In the style of James Patterson this is a must read. Kept me chilled and in suspense with a surprise twist at the end, that I was not expecting.
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