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.
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.
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!
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.Read more ›
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!
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.