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Chasing the Dime [Mass Market Paperback]

Michael Connelly
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2003
The phone messages waiting for Henry Pierce clearly aren't for him: "Where is Lilly? This is her number. It's on the site." Pierce has just moved into a new apartment, and he's been "chasing the dime"--doing all it takes so his company comes out first with a scientific breakthrough worth millions. But he can't get the messages for Lilly out of his head. As Pierce tries to help a woman he has never met, he steps into a world of escorts, websites, sex, and secret passions. A world where his success and expertise mean nothing...and where he becomes the chief suspect in a murder case, trapped in the fight of his life.

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From Amazon

Henry Pierce is about to become very rich--as soon as his firm, Amedeo Technologies, gets an infusion of capital from a big backer. But the brilliant chemist's workaholic habits are disrupted when his lover, the former intelligence officer of his company, breaks up with him. Lonely and dispirited, he moves into a new apartment and gets a new phone number that attracts a lot of callers, but not for him. His new telephone number seems to have previously belonged to one Lilly Quinlan, an escort whose Internet photo arouses Henry's curiosity, especially when L.A. Darlings, whose Web page features the beautiful young woman, can't tell Henry how to find her. With the same single-mindedness that made him a high-tech superstar, Pierce pursues his search for the missing girl, motivated by his guilt over the disappearance years earlier of his own sister, who, like Lilly, was also a prostitute (and ultimately the victim of the Dollmaker, a serial killer from Connelly's 1994 novel The Concrete Blonde.) But that motive is too thin to support Pierce's sudden abandonment of his career at such a critical juncture, even if forces unknown to him are setting him up for a fall. Despite those holes in the plot and a less than compelling protagonist, the novel succeeds due to Connelly's literary and expository gifts and his more interesting secondary characters. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The copy on the galley of Connelly's slick new thriller doesn't mention Hitchcock, but most reviews probably will, with the novel's many surprises and "wrong man" plot line. Even the opening echoes Hitch's North by Northwest, in which Cary Grant's mistaken interception of a bellboy's page leads to disaster; here it's nanotechnology entrepreneur Henry Pierce's getting a phone call that triggers the trouble. The call is for a prostitute, Lilly, and it's the first of many; turns out that the Web site on which she advertises, L.A. Darlings, has Pierce's new home phone number next to a photo of gorgeous Lilly. But when Pierce visits the Web site's offices, he learns that Lilly has vanished. Where has she gone? His search to find the missing woman-prompted by his insatiable curiosity and by memories of his tragic, long-ago hunt for his sister, also a prostitute-draws Pierce into mortal danger. It also pushes him into conflict with the law, for when the cops cotton to Lilly's disappearance, Pierce becomes the number one suspect-serious bad news for this scientist whose company is being visited by a major investor in just a few days. Connelly's plotting is shrink-wrap tight, his characters-particularly Pierce, whose impulsiveness is balanced by his measured applications of the scientific method to analyze his plight-are smartly drawn. It's the rare reader who will be able to finger the villain behind all the mayhem. While very entertaining, however-this is the perfect book for a long airplane ride-the novel lacks the moral resonance and weight of Connelly's most impressive works, such as City of Bones.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What do nanotechnology (making molecular-sized devices), call girls, pornography, going public, and extortion have in common? They're all part of a most unusual crime story in Chasing the Dime.

Instead of following noir homicide detective Harry Bosch on the track of a violent criminal, this book is about Henry (don't call me "Hank") Pierce, a genius CEO who has cracked the code on an amazing new technology and who is poised to capitalize on his success by selling off a piece of the company to a "whale" investor. A typical lab rat, Pierce has let that fixation on amazing science destroy his relationship with the love of his life. After moving out, he's thrown off kilter by repeated calls to his new telephone number by men at local hotels looking to hook up with Lilly Quinlan. Intrigued, Pierce has to know more. That decision turns his over-sized IQ into learn-on-the-job bit of amateur detection. Despite being warned to get back to the lab, Pierce pushes on. Will curiosity kill the lab rat?

This story seems odd. Most people don't pick up Michael Connelly books to read about molecular biology. In addition, having a scientist become fixated on a call girl he's never met seems weird. I almost didn't keep going. I would rate the book's first half as a two-star effort.

Connelly hits his strike, however, after mid point in the book, and the plot becomes surprising, interesting, and irresistible. Be patient. The five-star second half lifts the weak beginning (which should have been edited down quite a bit) into an above average story.

But if you are looking for Harry Bosch (or a reasonable facsimile), you won't like this story very much.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Henry Hears a Who Jan. 22 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Chasing the Dime" was Michael Connelly's twelfth novel, was first published in 2002 and was only his fourth book not to feature Harry Bosch. Instead of Bosch, the central character is Henry Pierce, a scientist based in Los Angeles. Pierce, it seems, is something of a genius : he's the founder and the brains behind Amedeo Technologies, a company that specialise in the development of molecular-based computing. The company already have several patents in the field, though they believe they're on the verge of something huge with their Proteus project. Pierce is also a very focused and very cautious researcher, though the word `paranoid' is also occasionally used about him.

Unfortunately, Pierce's obsession with Proteus has cost him his relationship with Nicole James. Nicole has also stepped down from her position as Amedeo's Director of Competitor Intelligence following the relationship's demise. Pierce, meanwhile, has moved out of the house they shared on Amalfi Drive and is now renting a sparsely-furnished apartment. Worse luck, his new phone number is being bombarded with calls for a woman named Lilly. From the nature of the calls, it's pretty obvious what Lilly does for a living and, before long, Pierce has discovered she advertises her `services' on a very popular website. Pierce also suspects that, rather than having retired early, something may have happened to her. Therefore, rather than just changing his number, he decides to try and find her. Naturally, this decision brings him nothing but trouble...

"Chasing the Dime" is an enjoyable and very easily read book. The one (possible) weak link with the story was Pierce's decision to start looking into Lilly's disappearance - rather than just changing his number and forgetting about it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing July 14 2004
Somehow a novelist has to convince the reader that the events described in the tale could or did happen. This is extremely important in a mystery/suspense/spy/action book. The writer utterly failed to do that here.
Yuppie genius, Henry Pierce, on the brink of wealth and worldwide fame (dare we hope, a Nobel Prize?), receives some calls for a prostitute named Lilly on his new phone and rather than get his number changed, he races off to find Lilly and "save" her. Bah, humbug. His reason is that his own sister was a runaway, years ago, and was murdered because he failed to help her. This is supposed to be the psychological motive, I suspect. If one can accept that premise, the rest of the book is all right, I suppose, even if it is populated with several of the characters from "Pulp Fiction."
Paranoia, I might add, is too facile in creating suspense. It has been used and abused in too many other works of fiction. Ludlum was/is probably the master of the art. That's why I quit reading Ludlum a few years ago. I couldn't tell one book from another.
Pierce comes to suspect and distrust everyone, his business partner, his ex-live-in, his secretary, etc. It got a little tiresome, and when he finally got to the real villain, I no longer cared very much.
I'll try another Connelly book, but I have misgivings after this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but a decent effort June 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Being a huge fan of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series, the few books he wrote that didn't feature the popular detective, to me were not his best work. Maybe that's just my bias though...Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this novel, just not to the same extent. It just felt like it was missing the magic.
In this book Henry Pierce is a chemist who owns a computer technology company that is working on a modern day innovation to the computer world that would have huge consequence. In the midst of his life-changing discovery, his longtime girlfriend leaves him, putting him in a bit of a tailspin. Always being a workaholic, but now knowing he has noone to come home to beings to affect him. This makes him react to a random wrong number to his phone in a very odd way. Suddenly he's getting wrong numbers in the multitudes for a girl named Lilly, who is obviously a hooker. Finding the mystery of who is Lilly and what has happened to her irresistable, before he knows it Henry is tangled up in a mess he may not be able to get out of alive. Still, risking his career and company that he's worked his whole life for- is something he's willing to do. It's an obsession.
I do agree with some of the other reviewers in asking the question WHY Henry puts everything on the line for this woman he has never met. However, I do think the book goes at trying to explain that to some degree- whether you buy it or not. I did enjoy the character of Henry, finding him fascenating. And for at least over half of the book the story was pretty thrilling, keeping you wanting more. However, there were a few slow periods, that I think could have been fixed with editing. All in all, I'd say this book was worth the read, but if you really want to get into a great Connelly novel to also read Blood Work (the only non-Bosch book I truly enjoyed), Lost Light or The Last Coyote. Really- any Bosch novel you pick you can't go wrong!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Weaker than Harry Bosch ... but better than most!
Henry Pierce, a brilliant scientist on the cutting edge of nanotechnology, biotechnology and quantum computers, is about to become very, very rich when his company Amadeo... Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2009 by Paul Weiss
2.0 out of 5 stars And your point was . . . ?
A friend lent me this book, and I just don't know why. I didn't buy the premise, found the characters unsympathetic, and was waiting for someone to grab the protagonist by the... Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by P. T. Hill
2.0 out of 5 stars A poorly written page turner
"Chasing the Dime"... By page 86, I believe I counted at least eight references to the title. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Trenton Pomeroy
1.0 out of 5 stars Total waste of time
It's difficult to fathom how Connelly's editor(s) let this one pass. It's a totally ridiculous and formulaic book. Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by Bruce J. Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't-put-downable
Implausibilities and thin motives aside, this is one heck of a good read. It's basically a grab bag of some of the best elements of Crichton' "Disclosure" and Grisham's... Read more
Published on May 27 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Just plain STUPID...
Anyone with the smarts that Pierce had in this book would not have been that stupid to sacrifice ..."chasing the dime" for a waste of his "time".. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by The TT
5.0 out of 5 stars Nanotechnology for Dummies
(...) This is a great read, fast-moving, "can't put it down" type book. Sure, there are some implausibilities, but what novel is totally realistic? Read more
Published on April 27 2004 by Kris
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Fast Compelling Read
Michael Connelly knows how to write a sleazy character and there are plenty of them to draw from in this quick read that leaves Harry Bosch's personal world but not the seedy... Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by Diana F. Von Behren
4.0 out of 5 stars Chasing Big Bucks
Brilliant 35 year old scientist Henry Pierce is head of his own research company and is on the verge of patenting a discovery which will provide a quantum leap forward in medicine. Read more
Published on April 14 2004 by binnsie
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