Extraordinary Powers Hardcover – Feb 15 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Although the plot creaks a bit, Finder's ( The Moscow Club ) pacing, wit and style make this thriller a standout. In a long manuscript delivered to a reporter, Boston patent lawyer and former CIA operative Ben Ellison tells of an adventure that started with the accidental death of his father-in-law, CIA director Harrison Sinclair. After his first wife was killed by the KGB, Ben had shunned his previous employer but when a retired CIA deputy chief approaches Ben with proof that Sinclair was murdered and circumstantial evidence that he had been involved in a huge gold scam with the KGB's last boss, Ben agrees to a plan to clear Sinclair's name. Ben, who already has an eidetic memory, discovers during a high-tech lie detector test that he can also read minds. He hides his new-found power but when his second wife Molly (nee Sinclair) is kidnapped and he himself is almost killed in a Back Bay shootout, Ben sets off lickety-split for Italy, Switzerland, France and Canada. The reunited Ben and Molly outfox unknown foes, uncover numerous secrets that lead to the Very Big secret and a satisfying twist of an ending. The phlegmatic (yet occasionally crazy) Ben is a fine narrative voice, a bit like a Louis Auchincloss character telling an Eric Ambler story. Perhaps because of the CIA's old-boy tradition, Molly doesn't quite ring true but few readers will mind in this whiz of a yarn. 100,000 first printing; 100,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA-A sci-fi espionage caper filled with explosive action. A former CIA agent, who became a patent attorney following his wife's brutal murder, is sucked into the spy business again after an especially powerful MRI turns him into a mind reader. After many fake deaths, double and triple agents, and lots of economic and political sabotage, the story ends with small news clips that hint at the well-being of all major characters (the ones who appeared to have been blown away earlier). In an intriguing end note, Finder relates an interesting historical tidbit about "a fortune in Soviet gold [that] remains missing to this day" that the story is based upon. He also mentions that psychic research has long fascinated the CIA, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Soviet intelligence, leaving readers with ponderable issues to muse over.
Bunni Union, Geauga West Library, Chesterland, OH
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I recommend all of Mr. Finder’s work; ZERO HOUR, HIGH CRIMES. Also, when you see his books, buy it. You will be surprised at how good Joseph Finder’s books are. Please be assured that these books will be some of your best reading at anytime. Check my other reviews [...]
You will not be disappointed
The greatest triumph of the novel is its unpredictability. Admittedly, the beginning gave me what I had anticipated but from then onwards, every thing that goes is never what you expect. Just when you settle down for a respite from the intense action, Finder slaps you in the face and keeps you turning pages at ten pages a minute with another chase, more mind-reading and more uncovering of the conspiracy. A very well-crafted work.
That is where the story succeeds, in capturing your attention and keeping you reading on. The novel is utterly well crafted, the conspiracy completely probable and the action searingly hot. Most notable is the ending which is satisfying and better then at least half of the other books availible. Just when you least expect it, the dazzling suspense starts boiling again.
Like every other book, this one has its flaws, namely the fact that the dialogue is unconvincing. Every one talks in exactly the same way! Finder also tends to occassionaly drift away and end up overwhelming the reader with TOO much detail.
All this aside, Extraordinary Powers is one HELL OF A READ.
The difference is the sci-fi slant that the novel takes, whereby the hero (Ben Ellison) acquires the ability to read minds. It introduces a welcome break from the standard fare and gives the book an interesting twist, without which it might not have been quite the entertaining read it turned out to be.
If I have one critisism of Finder, it's the annoyingly explicit detail he goes to in describing a scene or event. You are bombarded with line after line of irrelevant detail that seems to do little to build characters or locations.
This aside, 'Extraordinary Powers' is an exciting read, with the pace and plot building up steam as the story progresses. As you near the end of the book you'll find it becomes irresistable, demanding that you finish it to iron out all of the plot's wrinkles.
An enthralling, captivating read with a clever plot and engaging characters. Highly recommended
Most recent customer reviews
The story started with a great beginning and compelling premise. However, it soon turned into a boring spy novel. The story line faded and I don't thing I will read Finder again.Published 8 months ago by murphy93
Perhaps his other novels are better, but this was an utter bore. I just couldn't suspend belief long enough to get into the story and thus couldn't care less for the characters... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Eugen
Very fast action paced, I actually can't beleive it was written so long ago!! One of the best from Joseph Finder. Read morePublished 19 months ago by AlphaDelta1968
the story was plausible but the narration and character development did not support the story. It was not believable, it felt like science fiction.Published 23 months ago by David A Chauvin
It's very slow in building up to anything interesting. I had a lot of trouble staying focused and motivated to finish it. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Bella Swann Erotica
Not his best work. It got better as I kept reading but everything I have read of his before is more exciting and more tightly written. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2014 by Jenifer Mohammed, Author of Resurrecting Cybele
Excellent and fast read! I didn't want it to end. I recommend this author very strongly. I am looking at other books written by himPublished on Feb. 6 2014 by sg
I thought his first book was just great so I had high hopes for this one. I would say that it is a bit of a let down but still a very good work. Read morePublished on April 9 2002 by John G. Hilliard
High Crimes is the latest (last?) in Finder's collection of four (to date) outstanding novels which, upon investigation, reveal some of the most enlightening political info and... Read morePublished on July 10 2001 by Daniel S Reynolds