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The Outside Man [Mass Market Paperback]

Richard North Patterson
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 12 1982
The outside man is society lawyer Adam Shaw. A northerner in a southern town jealous of its secrets, he finds the dead body of his best friend's wealthy wife -- and his friend is missing.
In a world where wealthy people will stop at nothing to maintain a genteel image, Shaw must gamble his career, his marriage, and his very life in a passionate quest for the real murderer -- and learn the shocking truth about his own past and future . . . .
"A classic detective story." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Rich, complex, beautifully written." -- The New Republic
"Richard North Patterson seems destined for celebrity status, alongside Scott Turow and John Grisham, as an acknowledged master." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Perhaps the murders were fated when I met Kris Ann, then moved with her here, to Alabama. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars HE'S A REAL NOWHERE MAN March 1 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book, but it pales in comparison to Patterson's later works. Adam Shaw is a young lawyer employed in his father-in-law's firm who is asked to drop off a document to his friends, Lydia and Henry Cantwell. Shaw finds the murdered body of Mrs. Cantwell, and then discovers the document he was delivering was the latest edition of her last will and testament. The prime suspects in the murder are the husband whose alibi is he was out of town for the night, and their psychotic son, Jason, whose girlfriend says he was with her all night.
Nothing is as it seems from this point; there's much more than meets the eye in all of the characters' secrets and so forth. Eventually three people end up dead by the time the crime is solved. The true culprit is somewhat of a surprise, although the character's presence in the book is never really likeable. The showdown at the end is somewhat contrived, but it serves its purpose.
If you're a true Patterson fan, this book will please you but savor his later efforts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of twists and turns Jan. 21 2001
By Shorty
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is the first one that I read by Richard North Patterson and I will definately look to read more. In this book we are immediately faced with a murder and the main character Adam Shaw who finds the body. Shaw also becomes the man on the quest to find out who murdered the wife of his best friend.
This book involved many characters and many plot twists. Just as you and Adam Shaw think that you have figured out who the murderer is, you are proved wrong. This book is masterfully crafted. Towards the conclusion of the book, when you learn what exactly transpired it gets slightly confusing, but if you slow down it will make sense. I think it would be better enjoyed if you have a few long sittings to read it, rather than what I did with about 15 minutes a night since that made it tougher to have consistency.
All-in-all, this was a suspenseful thriller which I would recommend that you should read. And if you don't choose this particular book by Richard North Patterson, find another by him. I definately will keep reading his books.
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By A Customer
Sex,Money, Power and racism you get it all with this Patterson novel. He does a fairly decent job of developing his characters and everyone and I mean everyone is a suspect. He developes motives for some of the characters which are inconsistent with the real story. He attempts to get you involved with what it's like living in the south but does not do a very good job. His main character (who is a lawyer) is 10% lawyer and 90% cop who is definately out of his element. His ending is great as are most of his novels, however there are other Patterson novels I would suggest (Degree of Guilt, Silent Witness), however if you are a hard core Patterson fan (as I am) you'll enjoy classic Patterson In "The Outside Man".
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Patterson's best effort, but worth reading Dec 23 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read all of Patterson's other books prior to reading The Outside Man and I would consider this to be the weakest of the lot. If you like Patterson's books, it is certainly worth reading; however, I would recommend reading his other books first, particularly Caroline Masters (AKA The Final Judgement) and Protect and Defend. If you are unfamiliar with Richard North Patterson, he writes gripping, complex legal/political thrillers. His earlier books, of which The Outside Man is one, tend to be looser and harder to follow. I had some difficulty keeping the characters' names straight and kept having to flip back to the beginning to refresh my memory regarding who was whom.
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3.0 out of 5 stars His Weakest but the better Patterson! May 31 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of his early books, a bit scattered in character development and missing his usual insightful dialogue. He mixes past and present in the same paragraph/scene and you must re-read parts to figure out where he is in the story line.
Shaw basically spends the entire book in his car chasing the plot twists back & forth! There are so many minor bits & pieces that pop back up, it's a book that needs an index. I've read most of his stuff but this one almost doesn't come together till late. Not his best but he's good enough to make it worthwhile...
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