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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2010
Andrew Gross has, by now, stepped out of James Patterson's shadow and established himself as a thriller writer in his own right. With Ty Hauck, formerly a detective and now a private investigator, he has created a character with plenty of potential mileage. 'Reckless' is the latest in a series of novels with this character, who this time teams up with treasury agent Naomi Blum when his initial investigations into the death of a former friend quickly lead him towards a major financial plot.

Gross incorporates real events from the global financial crisis into the plot to add credibility, and uses the story to postulate what might have been or what could happen. This is particularly effective. Less realistic are some of Hauck's actions and the willingness of the police to share so many details with him, even though he is a highly respected former officer. But there is no doubt that this is a good read, packed with conspiracies and complex murky financial shenanigans which, whether the reader can follow them or not, still add up to a great story.

There is one nit pick which does continue to grate with Gross's writing, and which slightly mars the reading experience. Is it really necessary for characters to constantly address each other by name within a short conversation? This is particularly true of Hauck's conversations with Steve Chrisafoulis, his replacement as head of detectives, who apparently suffers from short-term memory loss and is unsure of who he is. That is the only possible explanation for Hauck to address him by name at the end of nearly every sentence. Other characters do the same when speaking to Hauck. It seems to be a device for Gross to avoid constantly using the structure 'said Hauck' or 'said Steve', etc, but it's plain irritating and unrealistic.

Apart from the above annoyance, 'Reckless' is still a great thriller with enough twists and turns to satisfy most readers of crime novels. It's not Jeffery Deaver, it's not Patterson at his best, but Andrew Gross is good enough to warrant close attention.
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on 30 December 2011
Book 3, in the Ty Hauck series

As the first chapters unfold, we are slowly introduced to the characters that will take part in this mystery. A major change has Ty Hauck, Mr. Gross's protagonist, moving on from his former job as police detective to an important post at a corporate security firm.

The story begins when a close friend from Ty's past, April Glassman, is found brutally murdered in her home along with her husband and daughter. The firm in a gesture to one of their favourite clients takes on the case and assigns who else but Ty as lead investigator, it is obvious he has a definite interest in finding the reason and those responsible for this tragic incident. Early on into the investigation Ty finds himself in the middle of an ongoing financial conspiracy that has sights set on other targets.

His leads cross those of U.S treasury Agent Naomi Blum and together they follow the money trail, a trail that has them jetting across continents facing danger at every turn, a labyrinth of continuously new information and hazards that all has to be analysed and addressed. What they find at first appears to be a possible terrorist strike against financial managers but later turns out to be something far more sinister involving a much larger scope of the financial community.

In this latest novel, Mr. Gross has spun his own mystery around 21st century events and seasoned it with plenty of frightening conspiracies and global intrigue, a recipe that will please many readers. Although the plotting is somewhat predictable and quite formulaic, the topic is nevertheless quite interesting and the short and punchy chapters make it an easy read. The characterization is based on two main characters; the intrepid hero and the beautiful female agent as for the rest of the cast they are simply fill-ins. The simplified chemistry is definitely not a mind bender, it left me wishing for more, however all that said and done, this fast paced-thriller was an enjoyable read.
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on 15 May 2016
I've given this a four star rating as I think it was fast paced and exciting. I have been reading this author since he teamed up with James Patterson and together they were a good combination. I like him better now he is writing for himself.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 March 2010
This is Andrew Gross fourth novel as a solo author. He has co-written a number of books with James Patterson. I was excited when he started writing his own stuff and really enjoyed his first and second book. His third novel Don't Look Twice however, was a book that I was really disappointed with. I was looking forward to his new release `Reckless' as I thought we may see the return of his brilliant writing and the character Ty Hauck.

This story does indeed bring back Ty Hauck and we find he has now moved on from his career in law enforcement and now works for a private security firm. He soon realises that working in this sector doesn't stop him thinking and behaving like he was still a cop. When a Wall Street Trader is murdered in his home along with his family everyone assumes that it's a burglary gone wrong. But when another trader dies in what looks like a suspicious suicide, things start to go very wrong. Ty finds himself pulled into the case along with Naomi Blum, a US Treasury agent. Naomi is investigating a financial paper trail that go back to the two dead traders. Between them they start to uncover a murky trail that could lead higher than either of them could ever imagine.

Initially the story trundled along as I got to grips with the characters that were introduced and the detailed storyline. I can honestly say that although I enjoyed the book, there seemed to be a major key to the story missing, I just can't tell you what it is. The characters were as good as before and Ty in particular is a well written and really likeable character. Naomi is also written incredibly well. I just found myself checking who people were a second time which is unusual for me. The story becomes quite in-depth in some parts and I would say that this is not the sort of book you can 'go back to'. You have to concentrate on the story and people so that you don't lose pace with it. Overall I would give the book 3.5 out of 5 and say that it wasn't a bad read. I do on the other hand think that Andrew Gross can produce much better material than this.
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on 8 February 2011
First Andrew Gross I have read, picked up on a whim in library. I guess I was pulled in by the jacket blurb by Lee Child - an author who is very good - claiming this novel was "An Automatic Must-Read". Trouble is, I'm not sure why Lee Child thinks this unless it is to emphasize the gulf in quality between his novels and those of Mr Gross. I quite like the fact that the novel pulls in many actual recent events around the global near-collapse of the banking systems in Europe and the US. References to Fanny Mae, AIG, Wall St. institutions etc. all give a sense of the now. Which is a problem because this novel will become outdated by late 2011 and thus consigned to the dust heap.
It is standard fodder for the growing shelves of books out there latching onto the "Dan Brown-meets-thriller-meets mystery-both-modern-or-ancient" genre. We've an ex-cop - Ty Hauck with a beautiful intelligence officer - Naomi Blum - (all a bit cliched) struggling with retirement who latches onto a murder of a prominent banker (with whom he has a personal attachment through his own bereavement classes) uncovering a classic novel scenario of terrorist wanting to destroy the western world that currently dominates the fictional outpourings in all shops. Throw in a Serbian assassin, an erudite sleeper agent in the financial world, and Peter Simons, the corporate head who has serious designs on global power and money with this persistent ex-cop - who reminds me somewhat of Officer John McClane - and you've the well-trodden plot that has our heroes chasing the bad guys across the world both physically and electronically to uncover a plot to bring down the Western Banking systems.
As fast as Ty and Naomi catch each of those responsible they are murdered, forcing them on an explosive trail, where they are being hunted by the murderous O'Toole, that leads them to the highest echelons of the White House. Along the way we have shootouts on trains, fights in Serbia, passion in hotel rooms - almost a guide to writing a standard thriller of this type.
It's fun, there's no denying it. A mix of everything that is necessary in a thrilling chase across the globe. As readers we are taken for a ride that is Jason Bourne in style and it's a great waste of time on a train ride, flight or even a beach. It's not as good as Lee Child despite that author's recommendation, but it is not bad.
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on 13 December 2011
Since 9/11, the lazier of the US thriller writers have been handed a new enemy on a plate, and it seems to drive any originality out of the window. This must be the 10th book I've read recently where we have some Arab conspiracy somewhere.

More disturbing is the racism it seems to give vent to. The US participants in this plot do it for the money; the only personal fact we have about the Arab main man is as he is about to sleep with a 14 year old virgin, as if this rather than money is what motivates Arabs. It seems to be pandering to a US xenophobia and grates on the British ear.

The plot is dull; the motivation hackneyed and one could see every move pages before it happened.

It beats me who agrees to publish this rubbish.
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on 3 March 2015
You get the impression books like this are written to a formula and churned out on a production line. So be it. The product is very readable and the plot develops well with a good number of twists and turns. This isn't meant to be a literary classic and I can't understand folk who knock books like this for their lack of literary sophistication. This is meant to be an easy to read thriller and it delivers what it sets out to do. It is one of the better thrillers of it's genre and I enyoyed it.
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on 18 November 2014
This is the first Andrew Gross book I've read, and it'll be the last. For me the main impediment to enjoying the plot was some of the frankly incomprehensible US jargon - one of the reasons I usually avoid American novels - not to mention the inconsistencies. For instance, towards the end of the book, some government security guy was referred to as Frank Bruni, then the second time time he appears he's called Anthony Bruni. Sloppy editing. I persevered to the end, but by about halfway through I ceased to care about any of the characters.
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I have really enjoyed ALL Andrew Gross previous books including the co authored ones but Reckless was a massive let down, far too detailed and whilst the plot was current I felt the ending was not believable. Either stick to fiction or if you do want to stray into current affairs then make the plot and ending believable.
Come on Andrew, judging from the other books you have written you can do better!
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on 25 September 2012
Anyone who can manage to get beyond the opening sentence of Chapter 1 deserves a medal. The writing is formulaic at best. The 'Prologue' is merely an excuse to introduce the main character and provide tedious backstory with the finesse of a truck dumping asphalt at the side of a road. The quality of writing is what you might expect from a novice who has never read a thriller on their entire life...
... and the opening sentence of Chapter 1 clinched it for me.
Quote: 'They entered the house through the sliding glass doors in the basement, which Becca, their fifteen-year-old, sometimes left ajar to sneak in friends at night.'
Who are 'they'? Some intruders up to no good? But if so, how does their daughter Becca fit into the grand scheme of things? Or are there perhaps two different 'they's - the intruders and Becca's parents?
To fall flat on your ass in the very first sentence of your novel doesn't bode well.
The guy cannot write coherent English to save his life. How this ever got past an editor's desk then published is beyond me. Another turkey from James Patterson's 'novel writing' factory farm says it all.
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