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The Wake Up Hardcover – Dec 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (December 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009179465X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091794651
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A minor matter of airport rudeness sets off a major killing spree in Ferrigno's seventh novel, an overplotted affair that features a battle between a former espionage agent, a figure from his spooky past and two L.A. drug dealers. When Frank Thorpe sees a hard-charging businessman humiliate a young Latino peddler at LAX airport, he decides to teach the jerk a lesson. And after using his spy skills to find out that the man is an art dealer, Thorpe sets up a forgery scam that gets the dealer accused of selling phony Mayan art to an ambitious, nouveau riche L.A. couple. Unfortunately for Thorpe, the female half of the couple, the delightfully bitchy Missy Riddenhauser, becomes furious after a local gossip columnist embarrasses her by exposing the incident, and she quickly talks her husband, Clark, a former surfer turned designer drug dealer, into going after Thorpe. The plotting and character writing remains sharp and clever through the first half, and the art angle makes the novel read like a cross between a Ludlum thriller and one of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels. But the plotting careens off track when Thorpe needlessly gets involved with the cartoonish thugs who handle the violent end of Clark's drug business, and those scenes dull the impact of Thorpe's final showdown with a mysterious, dangerous figure from the agent's past known as the Engineer.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Here's another hugely entertaining thriller from the underappreciated Ferrigno. Although the plot, at times, is overly convoluted, making it difficult to keep track of who is double-crossing whom, the novel offers outsize villains; supersmart, rapid-fire dialogue; and a streak of the downright bizarre. Special-ops agent Frank Thorpe has just been let go from the independent shop he has worked at for years. A planned sting backfired, leaving several agents dead. Set to board a plane at LAX for a much-needed vacation, he spots a hard-charging executive backhand a 10-year-old Mexican vendor, which triggers Frank's always seething sense of moral outrage. He decides to give the guy a "wake-up . . . to show him how quickly the storm clouds could roll in on his sunny world." Inevitably, the wake-up proves far more complicated and dangerous than even the canny Frank anticipated. He is soon rubbing elbows with a calculating, drug-dealing social climber; her brainy chemist husband; and their ruthless bodyguards, including a childlike victim of Romanian medical experiments. Another riveting, intense read from the always reliable Ferrigno. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Wake-Up and read this superb thriller! Oct. 12 2004
By David Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Robert Ferrigno's The Wake-Up is the latest in a string of wonderful, off-beat and inventive novels from this Seattle author who knows Los Angeles better that most of the city's denizens.

Frank Thorpe is a black bag expert for a shadowy government agency, the kind of man you call on when you need something illegal done for a good cause. Thorpe is haunted by a mission gone terribly wrong, in which an opponent known only as "The Engineer" killed someone dear to Frank's heart.

Now Thorpe is determined to find The Engineer and extract his revenge. Along the way, he gets involved with a whacked out surfer who runs a drug empire, his social climbing wife, their two viciously cruel bodyguards (one of whom apparently can't be killed), and enough bizarre, funny and original characters to fill two Elmore Leonard books.

Not only is it a delight to read, but Ferrigno's work is also worthy of notice because he doesn't seem interested in following the conventions of the genre. He doesn't have a series character, doesn't use tried and true plots and apparently doesn't care about happy endings or the other "must have" elements that publishers insist on.

In short, he's an original -- and an extremely talented one at that. It's amazing that Ferrigno hasn't become a bigger name on the publishing scene. His books are like a breath of fresh air -- something most of us can use, whether we live in L.A. or not.

Reviewed by David Montgomery, Mystery Ink
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The New Master Aug. 25 2004
By Richard B. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great crime writing is not easily accomplished, but the key to it is easily stated--the feel of total freshness accompanied by absolute fidelity to the genre. The new master of this activity is Robert Ferrigno and THE WAKE-UP solidifies his position. The characters are quirky and engaging, the plot unexpected and clever, the one-liners classic. One line in particular sets a new standard. Unfortunately, it cannot be quoted here. It is a world-weary musing on the degree to which every job becomes just that, something you do because you're paid to do it. The line concerns a service-industry worker for the King of Siam. Check it out and then try to forget it. You won't be able to do so.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
An extremely well-written novel in which everything works Aug. 21 2004
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am, I confess, a sucker for revenge novels, especially for well-written ones. Accordingly, when I discover an extremely well-written novel that deals with settling scores, I find myself ready to press the work into as many hands as I possibly can. The one that I am passing on to you, right now, is THE WAKE-UP by Robert Ferrigno.

Ferrigno has gone from hitting his stride with last year's SCAVENGER HUNT (in the running for the MWA's Best Mystery Novel of 2003, even as I write) to racing at a full gallop with THE WAKE-UP. This is one of those novels in which everything works, at least narratively. Things go badly at times for Frank Thorpe, the flawed but sympathetic hero of the piece, but it just serves to keep things interesting from first page to last and to keep the reader consuming all of those pages in between.

Thorpe is a very smart, very dangerous government operative who makes an error in judgment that costs him dearly --- not only with respect to his job but also in his personal life. The object of his error, and his resultant enmity, is a man known only as The Engineer, who seems to have disappeared after shattering Thorpe's career. Thorpe, still haunted by his judgment lapse, is about to leave southern California for a much needed change of scenery when he witnesses an arrogant, casual act of rudeness and cruelty visited upon a young boy. Thorpe's anger at The Engineer needs some diversion --- at least until he can locate The Engineer himself --- so he makes it his business to avenge the boy.

The author of the rude act is Douglas Meachum, a self-important art dealer who tends to regard everyone as objects living in his world. It doesn't take long for Thorpe to interject himself into Meachum's world and give him a mild shock to the system, or what Thorpe refers to as "the wake-up." In doing so, however, Thorpe soon finds himself involved in a dangerous game with a designer drug manufacturer, his business-minded, social-climbing wife, and their psychotic but strangely endearing enforcers. And The Engineer, interestingly enough, is once again about to intrude into Thorpe's life in a very bad way.

Ferrigno's novels have always possessed a unique edginess tinged with a dark humor, and THE WAKE-UP is no exception. As a result, anything can happen in a Ferrigno book; in THE WAKE-UP anything, and everything, does. This is the book that will move Ferrigno's name to the 'A' List of a multitude of readers.

--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I've all his books. This one was the best so far Sept. 14 2004
By Mike V. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
So often, we hear that so-and-so just does not write like they used to.

Not so with Mr. Ferrigno.

Excellent book.

Sometimes, his work is a little overly surreal to me, sometimes the characters are a little under-developed (though I loved ALL his books) but this one ties it all together really well.

There were a couple things that I did not see coming, though I should have. I like that.

For fans of hard boiled mysteries, you will really enjoy this latest work.

The character of Frank is by no means anyone we have never met before in crime fiction, but he's Ferrigno's version of the "black ops guy lives with us" and it's a great version.

Thoroughly enjoyed it and I recommend it highly.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I loved it! Sept. 22 2004
By BookLover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a fantastic, breezy, thoughtful crime novel. I've never read Ferrigno's works before but now I intend to. A colorful, eye-catching cover houses a story about redemption and revenge, with some of the most realistic, human dialogue I've read in a "noir" novel. The characters are what makes this story stand out (although the hook of administering a "wake-up" to a real scumbag drives the plot). Thorne (our lead) is an incredible character. He's too real to even be iconic. The sadness that permeates his existence immediately makes him likeable, even as he sticks up for the little guy and has a righteous sense of justice despite the fact that he is a professional killer (he boils over when an innocent acquintance is murdered). The burgeoning love story between Thorne and his sexy and down-to-earth neighbor Claire is provocative, flirty and engaging. I almost wanted more scenes of them together. While the subplot involving Thorne's revenge on The Engineer (who killed Thorne's lover and teammates years before) could have been more climactic, the beautiful dialogue, lack of pretense, and multi-layered, believable characters make this book an absolute must-read for fans of mystery, thriller and even romance novels. Anyone who loves great writing should read this book right away.

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