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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.

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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
1.0 out of 5 stars Contrived and clunky July 9 2004
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 unbelievable twists and turns. Sad that it was so contrived and the strings so visible, could have been a fun read in the hands of a better writer.
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars First time reading this author March 11 2004
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. But the last couple chapters just kind of fell apart, and as other reviewers have stated, it 'wrapped up TOO neatly' with no plausability at all. Left me feeling like the author lost interest and was just anxious to finish the book. How disappointing. I will try his other books but will certainly be wary this time. I read 2-3 books a week minimum so am always looking for good authors.
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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. The first two titles had a mystical feel to the mystery found in the book. This one was more of a main stream tale, and the concepts presented were almost Michael Palmerish.
The story is about a small town policeman, down on his luck, who stumbles onto a murder conspiracy involving the F.B.I., Persian War vets and ethics in medical development. The yarn moves quickly and it will certainly keep the reader's attention, just not to the extent that the previous works did.
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2.0 out of 5 stars ..... groan Jan. 20 2004
By A Customer
A predictable and not very polished piece of genre fluff. Not a sophisticated piece of writing and pretty silly, at best. I'd say a beach read in paperback but certainly not a highly rated novel. And the cute conceits (lobster newburg is his agent and a gimmick at the conclusion) are painful.
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