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Manner of Death [Mass Market Paperback]

Stephen White
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 13 2000 Alan Gregory (Book 7)

The past resurfaces in ways that are as intimate as they are frightening when Dr. Alan Gregory and Dr. Sawyer Sackett-a woman he once loved-are plunged into the private nightmare of a killer who knows about the terrifying power of mind games.

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Manner of Death + Critical Conditions: An Alan Gregory Thriller + Harm's Way
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Product Description

From Amazon

The spirit of D.B. Cooper--the legendary hijacking parachutist--hovers over Stephen White's latest book about Colorado psychologist Alan Gregory, and this jaunty ghost gives the outing even more stylish substance than usual. By adding elements of Cooper's crime and disappearance (with a large amount of cash) to a story of medical malpractice and resulting revenge, White--a practicing Colorado psychologist himself--pushes the envelope of what's real and what's fictional to the advantage of both.

After attending the funeral of a former colleague from his days as an intern, Gregory is accosted (and has a tempting Mexican lunch spoiled) by a pair of edgy ex-FBI agents now working for a high-ticket private security firm. They believe that the colleague's "accidental" death on a hiking trip is really part of an attempt to wipe out everyone who was part of a particular team in a psychiatric unit at the University of Colorado's Health Services Center in Denver in 1982. As members of that team, Gregory--and his former lover, Sawyer Sackett--are among the few remaining survivors and the next likely targets. Overhearing this news causes a waitress to drop two platters of green chili burritos in a messy clatter.

D.B. Cooper becomes an important part of the story as Gregory, his prosecutor wife, Lauren (whose multiple sclerosis leads to some unusual and important observations), their cop friend Sam Purdy, and the two ex-FBI agents zero in on possible suspects--one of whom has an abnormal fascination with the hijacker's life. White spends a tad too much time on Alan's past history with the mysterious Sawyer, but in general his narrative engine runs smoothly and powerfully toward its satisfying and largely unexpected conclusion. Other Gregory books include Critical Conditions, Harm's Way, Higher Authority, Private Practices, and Remote Control. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The invigorating twists and turns of practicing psychologist White's (Privileged Information) new Alan Gregory thriller drag readers over rugged Colorado terrain, past a gauntlet of eccentric characters spawned by the Rocky Mountain lifestyle, through the most intimate details of the protagonists' lives, leaving them gasping at the switchback ending of this chilling stalker novel. Attending the funeral of a former colleague, Boulder psychologist Alan learns from two quirky ex-FBI agents that this is the latest in a string of clueless murders targeting the entire group of students, supervisors and staff who shared Alan's clinical psychology residency some years earlier. Only Alan and his former lover, Dr. Sawyer Sackett, now survive, and they are undoubtedly next on the killer's hit list. Alan's wife, Lauren, a prosecuting attorney afflicted with multiple sclerosis, is threatened as well, but throws her considerable skills fully into the fray. Alan's friend on the Boulder police force, Detective Sam Purdy, provides police clout, FBI equalizing and protection for Lauren. The pros go after former patients, but Alan and Sawyer snoop best, tracing a lead involving legendary hijacker D.B. Cooper and some truly disturbed suspects. White conveys his love for Colorado and his profession while delivering an evaluation of the mental health industry. Martinet shrinks and caring analysts get equal billing, while both the promise and limitations of psychology are cleanly spelled out. A newly honed sense of humor adds zip to White's prose without detracting a mite from the menace and gore. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild selections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Continuing the Trend Dec 6 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Clinical psychologist-cum-sleuth Dr. Alan Gregory returns, this time facing a nameless, faceless entity who is stalking him. Why? No one really knows, but all of the fellow clinicians and physicians Gregory trained with are dead...except one. And she happens to be his ex-lover, whom Gregory's wife, ADA Lauren, knows nothing about. Along for the ride again is prickly detective Sam and a pair of ex-FBI agents who are the only ones who believe the stalker is real. But how do you pursue a criminal whose identity remains shrouded in mystery? One who changes his M.O. so frequently, a pattern cannot be established. One thing is certain, however. His vicious cycle of murder is rapidly increasing.
Full of great action sequences and thoughtful musings, this novel perpetuates White as one of the great psychological/medical thrill writers of the past 10 years. Not to be missed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Gregory saves the day, again! May 16 2001
By twisesq
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of the reasons I like Stephen White's book so much is his continuity of characters, and his development of characters. His books are so much more interesting when read in the order in which they were written, because of how much character development White does along the way. In Manner of Death, our hero, Alan Gregory, finds himself the target of one of his former patients, who has set out to kill the entire team of psychologists who he had contact with many years ago. Alan is one of the last members of the team surviving, and the culprit is hot on his tail. The true identity of the stalker is completely up in the air until the final chapters, when we are shocked to learn who it is, and what the killer's connection is to D.B. Cooper, the only successful airplane hijacker in U.S. history. This is yet another fast-paced fascinating thriller by White, and it was a pleasure to read. My only criticism is that the ending (the last 3-4 chapters) seemed rushed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner from Stephen White!!!!!! March 7 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Regardless of what some of the naysayers write about this novel here at Amazon, this book is a true mystery and a thriller all wrapped up in a neat and tidy package. Once again, Stephen White has done an outstanding job of providing a dilemma for Dr. Alan Gregory and the people he loves.
In this installment in what has rapidly become a very popular series, Dr. White reprises all of the characters fans of these books expect to meet again within the covers. White also introduces the legend of D.B Cooper into the storyline, not as a foil or complication, but as an inherent part of the plot and as a possible explanation for the murders and other mysterious deaths that are part of this story.
Oh yes, there are killings galore in this novel. The author makes use of a past love for Alan Gregory and does a masterful job in his use of flashbacks to explain where Alan Gregory was in 1982 (long before he met his wife Lauren, or Sam Purdy or even his first wife). His first love came while he was a psychology intern at the teaching hospital in Denver. It was there that he met Dr. (MD) Sawyer Sackett. The love affair that developed ended badly and Sawyer left without notice or apology. It has taken years for Dr. Gregory to get over her and when we flash back to the present, Alan and his wife are forced to confront the possibility that a former patient may have been killing off all of the staff members who treated him so many years before.
Not too far into this story, Alan is informed that one of his former colleagues has died under suspicious circumstances. Upon further investigation, he becomes aware that there hasn't been just one death among his former interns and residents, but many.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Get Not Absorbed Jan. 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of Stephen White's Alan Gregory novels so far, I always look forward to the latest annual instalment. "Manner of Death", as always, is a well-written book: an exciting story and character developments.
Checking in with Alan Gregory and the other returning characters in the series is always a bit like visiting friends. It's amazing how Stephen White has managed to hold up the high standards throughout the years. "Manner of Death" is even better than its two predecessors!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Darn Good Aug. 25 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was really cool. In my opinion, it is the best of all the Alan Gregory series and I have read them all. It's not for those who have trouble with names and who have short memory spans. There are so many characters that you need to have the ability to keep up. I most definitely recommend it to all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Successful suspension of disbelief June 6 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I definitely don't expect much from books I pick up while waiting for airplanes, but I found this book interesting and genuinely frightening. Even after I made it off the plane, I had to finish reading before I attended to other business. It asks what would happen if a group of people you knew were being killed one by one and you had the distinct idea that you were next, but nobody could prove that murder was involved? There are holes I could pick in the plot, but I should say that they didn't bother me while I was reading it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but NOT a thriller June 1 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Stephen White book and probably my last (based upon other reviews that has said that this is his best book to date).
While the writing style is good (i.e., things flow together), in this book he didn't do what it takes to build a suspensful novel whatsoever. The fact that the killer is after the main chacacter seems to be a sidebar rather than the mainline.
Also, at times, the characterization seems to be inconsistent. Sometimes the main character is cracking jokes in his head which you get to read but then in similar situations he's all business with the same people -- this made it difficult for me to identify with the characters when they seemed to have different personality traits with each chapter. It might come down to the fact that the author is trying to throw a little sardonic humor in but some of the other areas are being edited out?
I'll try one more older novel (I picked up a lot of his works at garage sales) but if it's like this one, they are all going.
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