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The bricklayer
Noah Boyd
Adult Fiction BOYD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The pseudonymous Boyd, a former FBI agent, fails to bring much convincing insider information to his debut, a routine thriller. FBI deputy assistant director Kate Bannon tracks down Steve Vail, a maverick FBI agent who left the bureau for a new life as a Chicago bricklayer, because she needs Vail's help in apprehending a criminal gang, the Rubaco Pentad, with a grudge against the FBI. The Pentad follows up the murder of L.A. reporter Connie Lysander, who wrote a story critical of the FBI, with ever-increasing demands for money from the bureau to forestall future killings and the setting of sophisticated death traps. When an agent disappears while making a payoff to the gang, he becomes a prime suspect, despite Vail's reservations. Predictable plot elements include the hero's incredible escapes from peril and the growing romantic bond between the laconic Vail and the attractive Bannon. The identity of the person behind the Pentad will surprise few. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A highly skilled operative leaves his government organization, having become fed up with its bureaucracy and incompetence, but is lured back for a specific project with promises of autonomy and resources and because his country needs him. Will the basic premise that launched Lee Child's ex-army MP Jack Reacher to best-sellerdom work for Boyd's ex-FBI agent-turned-bricklayer Steve Vail? When a mysterious group murders five "FBI enemies" and demands millions to stop the killing spree, FBI deputy assistant director Kate Bannon recruits Vail, who's just foiled an armed bank robbery in Chicago, to help crack the case. He embarks on a nonstop chase, following leads, avoiding dangerous booby traps, and weeding out decoys that are too obvious or too neat, to a predictably inclusive finish with a bit of romance. Verdict While Vail's physical skills are amply displayed, his comparable mental feats depend too much on "2 a.m. messages" that provide answers to difficult problems. This aspect of Vail, along with a rather hasty final wrap-up, lessens the appeal of this projected series opener. Still, Child's early outings also had shortcomings, and Boyd may become stronger as he progresses, so it's worth getting in at the start.-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Steve Vail
Male
Fired from the FBI for insubordination; started a new life as a bricklayer.
FBI agent

Kate Bannon
Female
Tracks down Steve Vail to help her apprehend a criminal gang.
Assistant deputy director of FBI



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