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The Bricklayer Paperback – 29 Apr 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007312148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007312146
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘Noah Boyd brings his FBI experience to this dazzling thriller. The pace is frenetic, the action is unique, and the drama intense. We have a new American hero in Steve Vail’ Patricia Cornwell

‘The Bricklayer has terrific pace, surprises galore, and snappy dialogue in the appropriate places. Even better, it has a real hero. Move over Jack Reacher, here comes The Bricklayer’ James Patterson

‘Non-stop action and non-stop authenticity make this a real winner’ Lee Child

‘The Bricklayer is lots of fun, plenty smart, and great escapist reading. And Steve Vail is a magical agent. If I had my way, I’d read stuff like this every minute I’m not on deadline.’ Seymour Hersh

From the Author

You were an FBI agent for twenty years and your intimate knowledge of the Bureau lends unusual authenticity to Steve Vail’s characters and the novel’s investigative details. Have your former colleagues read The Bricklayer and did they recognize their world in it?
Agents who have read my books tend to thank me for my vengeful mistreatment of Bureau managers, who are the ever-present obstacles for my heroes. Just like real life. Vail’s strength is his disregard for authority and ability to think outside of the box.

Do you see yourself in Steve Vail?
I see myself as a very average person who was raised by a very pragmatic British-born grandmother. Her common sense helped me develop my ability to solve problems creatively.

Were any of the other characters in The Bricklayer based on your former colleagues?
Vail’s partner, Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon, is rather sexy… Kate is a composite of a number of women agents and policewomen who I have known. Most of characters are amalgams of people I have encountered in my life.

Did you plot out every twist and turn in the novel, and there are quite a few of those, before you began to write and did your characters ever surprise you?
No, I more or less let the plot unravel as I go along. I’m always surprised when I hear a writer say that the characters surprise them. I have had the advantage of knowing the best and worst in the human race and pretty much know what my characters strengths and weaknesses are as soon as their name hits the page. The mysterious organization that is blackmailing the FBI, the Rubaco Pentad, comes up with some ingenious and potentially lethal instructions for Vail to follow.

Are you a fan of cryptic puzzles yourself?
I’ve always liked puzzles. I think that’s why I always like math—not that I was very good at it—I just liked the challenge. Figuring out a puzzle has always been a small accomplishment for me.

Had you always wanted to be a writer? What made you start writing The Bricklayer?
I never gave any thought to being a writer until I was retiring from the FBI. In fact, at one point in college, I failed English. I started writing to let the public know what was happening inside the Bureau.

Which authors have inspired your work?

My favorite writer has always been John Steinbeck. However, I don’t really read much in my genre. My favorite thriller of all time is The Day of the Jackal. Besides the realistic and overwhelming plot, it is still the best-written thriller I have read. I usually reread it before starting a new book. The Bricklayer is, I hope, the first of many books featuring Steve Vail.

Without spoiling the plot too much, please could we have a sneak preview of what he gets up to next?
Vail flies to Washington, D.C. to spend New Year’s Eve with Kate. However there’s been a kidnapping of a seven-year-old boy that has to be resolved first. (And that’s just the first chapter.) Then the director of the FBI summons the two of them to work on an extremely complex spy case, one in which Vail cleverly finds all the answers, which unfortunately results in Kate being arrested for treason.

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