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Aphrodite [Hardcover]

Russell Andrews
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 2 2004
Bestselling author Russell Andrews returns with a new thriller about a small-town cop who must get to the bottom of one of the greatest conspiracies of his time.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Robert Ludlum meets Dashiell Hammett in this gripping, wildly plotted thriller by the author of Gideon and Icarus. In the sleepy town of East End, New York, former homicide cop Justin Westwood is trying to escape the tragedy of his past by consuming scotch and writing traffic tickets for the local police department. The murder of a young reporter (disguised as an accident), however, catapults him out of his stasis and into a complicated investigation. A terrified witness tells of a blond killer, whom readers first met in the book's opening pages murdering another young woman. As Justin investigates, it seems that the police and the FBI are always one step ahead of him, and that folks with any connection to the case start turning up dead. Signs point to a sinister fountain-of-youth project run by a mysterious, all-powerful cabal, which the reporter had accidentally uncovered. If Westwood penetrates the secrets of the Aphrodite program, he's sure to be their next victim. A smalltown cop does battle with a great conspiracy: the plot may sound conventional, even hackneyed, but Andrews sustains white-hot tension throughout, bolstered by enough surprises and body blows to satisfy even a hardened mystery/conspiracy buff. The suspense flags slightly at midpoint, but elsewhere the pace is fast, the dialogue sharp, the characters skillfully drawn and the familiar, heady whodunit action cleverly handled.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* From the author of Gideon (1999) and Icarus (2001) comes another thriller that's propelled as much by its characters as its plot. In a small Long Island town, a newspaper reporter is found dead, apparently murdered. Justin Westwood, a member of the local police force who would much rather keep to the background, reluctantly gets involved in the investigation. His problem: find out how the victim's last story, the obituary of a little-known Hollywood actor, could possible have led to her murder. Soon Justin is up against something much bigger--and much weirder--than he could possibly have imagined. The story is solid, but it's the lead character who elevates the novel above your typical thriller. Justin--the small-town cop in a town without murder, who clearly knows his way around a homicide investigation--keeps us flipping the pages as fast as we can. As we watch him solve the mystery, we're working on a puzzle of our own: Who is Justin, and where did he come from? Top of the line. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to Put Down April 12 2004
Justin (Jay) Westwood of Providence, Rhode Island, was a legendary crime-solver, until the Mafia murdered his daughter before turning their guns on him. Left for dead, Jay managed to kill the intruders, stopping the rape and murder of his wife. One year later, his wife committed suicide, bringing to an end the life Jay knew. Added to this mess is Jay's father, who blames Jay for the loss of his granddaughter.
Six years later, Westwood is a cop in the resort town of East End Harbor on Long Island, NY, where his days are spent writing traffic tickets and putting up with the scorn of two, twenty-something, summer cops. Westwood is mocked for being out of shape and spaced out, while he drowns each day in booze and fogs his mind with old song lyrics. Crime is so rare in East End Harbor that police carry cell phones instead of guns. But everything changes when the dead body of a reporter is found.
At first glance, the reporter's death looks accidental, but Jay is nagged by something not quite right about the murder scene. Against his better judgment, Westwood investigate, and happens across a witness that saw the murder. Fortunately, the murderer is not aware of the witness, until bratty cop Brian gives a television interview, and he, too, turns up dead.
Jay takes the witness, Deena Harper, and her daughter Kendall on a race to outwit the killers, determined to keep them alive while unraveling the puzzle of more unlikely murders that keep cropping up:
• Cranky movie buff, Wallace P. Crabbe
• The mistress of a prominent government official
• Nursing home residents who coincidentally have the same niece or nephew, one of which is missing and the other dead after the FBI is called in.
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4.0 out of 5 stars be prepared for some twists March 23 2004
Police detective Justin Westwood has a painful past he is trying to escape. He has come to East End Harbor to take a low-level position with the police department there. He is content writing parking tickets and his after hours drinking. A reporter for a local Long Island newspaper is murdered. Justin is sucked into the investigation of her murder. The reporter was well-liked and respected. The most controversial piece she had written recently was an obituary with seemingly wrong facts in it. There are several deaths that seem related and Justin works to solve the puzzle.
The protagonists in this book were very well developed and engaging. The plot is somewhat complicated, but very suspenseful. It made for a page-turning book after a few slow beginning chapters that set up the story. I liked that though there were a lot of characters and a more complicated plot than a standard whodunit, it was still easy to follow. The ending was a bit of a letdown so I can only give APHRODITE an qualified recommendation. It is still one of the better thrillers I have read lately.
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Having loved Andrews' last book, Icarus, and also liking his first book, Gideon, very much, I couldn't wait to read his new book. Aphrodite doesn't disappoint in terms of being fast-paced and exciting. However, it doesn't compare to Icarus (in particular) in terms of providing pulse-pounding suspense, credible plot twists and turns and an ending that keeps you guessing until the last page. Aphrodite is about a small-town cop "with a past" who uncovers a crime that involves a conspiracy that can have devastating consequences unless he can put a stop to it. Similar to his previous books, Aphrodite grabs your attention from the first page. However, I found the plot dragged too much during the middle of the book and I had some credibility issues with some of the characters, particularly the relative ease with which the hero is able to uncover and stop the major conspiracy. So, while I found Aphrodite to be an enjoyable read, I cannot give it a 5-star rating (as I gave Andrews' other books) because the plot was somewhat predictable without many surprises. Further, I found some of the characters to be unbelievable and not too well-developed (particularly the cop's girlfriend's daughter, who is too glib for her age). If you're willing to suspend belief a little more than you usually do in reading a thriller, I think you'll find Aphrodite to be a good, entertaining
-- but not very memorable -- book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars delightful police procedural Dec 31 2003
In East End, Long Island local reporter Susanna Morgan dies in what seems to most of the police department as an accident. The one hold out who knows a murder was committed is former big city homicide cop Justin Westwood. However, Justin would prefer to ignore his gut and keep writing silly traffic tickets and drinking alcohol as he never recovered from a family tragedy.
Still once one a homicide cop one is always a homicide cop (sort of like the marines). Justin begins scrutinizing what he realizes was set up to look lie an accident. His inquiries lead to wealthy mad scientist Douglas Kranston who works on developing a Fountain of Youth elixir to arrest the deterioration of aging. Justin also finds the Feds seem to hinder his investigation and any one he finds remotely linked to the reporter's death is killed. He begins to believe that a powerful conspiracy to control the Aphrodite project is planning to make him the next victim if he is not ultra careful.
Not just conspiracy buffs will appreciate this delightful police procedural as the investigation is top rate and the support cast well written to make the town seem real and more important the anti-aging project genuine. However, the key to the tale is Justin, who might be dead before he finds redemption. His actions keep APHRODITE from turning banal and turn the novel into a powerful and enjoyable story.
Harriet Klausner
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Contrived and clunky
I read this book in the book because I was looking for a new thriller writer, but this one (whoever he is, Andrews is a pen name) rides like a car with unbalanced tires, reeling in... Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by "joeytwotoes"
3.0 out of 5 stars First time reading this author
I was really enthused when I started reading this book - the plot and characters were terribly interesting and I could not put the book down. Read more
Published on March 11 2004 by maryzeus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite Russell Andrews, but still interesting
After having read the first two titles (Gideon/Icarus) by this author (actually Russell Andrews is a pen name) I was delighted to find that Aphrodite had hit the shelves. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2004 by Gary Turner
2.0 out of 5 stars ..... groan
A predictable and not very polished piece of genre fluff. Not a sophisticated piece of writing and pretty silly, at best. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Tale
I'm normally annoyed by authors who seem to be writing a script rather than a novel, but in this case, with the author being a scriptwriter, it was understandable. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004 by Queenie
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars
Russell Andrews will satisfy most thriller fans with this scientific thriller. It was well paced with a good storyline. Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2004 by Konrad Kern
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic reading
I have read the two previous books by Mr. Andrews and could not wait for this one to be published. I was not disappointed!! Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
O.K., I admit it; I approached this new "Russell Andrews" novel with some trepidation. See, I started reading the first book because I was a big fan of David Handler and he was one... Read more
Published on Dec 30 2003 by S. Berner
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