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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
In this action thriller, an investigative team has to get through a tangled web of brutal killers to get to the evil Shadowman, a killer so cold blooded and efficient that his mere presence stiffens you in fear. Jim Bishop is the field agent who thinks he's a match for the dreaded hitman, both mentally and physically. He works for Scott Weiss, an ex-cop running a PI agency and a man with uncanny perceptions into the criminal mind.
When Bishop learns that the Shadowman's target is the mysterious Julie Wyant, aka, Julie Angel, a redhead whose beauty tends to intoxicate men's minds, and that the only man who knows her new identity and location is in protective custody in a high tech maximum security prison, he realizes where the Shadowman is going or already is.
Weiss tries to rein his agent in, knowing that he's gotten involved with Kathleen, a married woman, in order to gain intel on her pilot husband who works for Hirshhorn, the murderous leader of a criminal conspiracy and the man who hired the Shadowman. But Bishop's wiles get him into the heart of the operation and defeat any attempt to save him from his own fearless hide.
In the realm of the action thriller, humor and irony are qualities that set a book and its author apart. To illustrate that in this case, here's an excerpt. Bishop had just saved Kathleen from certain death and she saved him from the same fate by grabbing the killer's gun. She holds it on Bishop, the man who has broken her heart.
"Kathleen thought so too, she thought she just might shoot him too. She sure as hell wanted to. She had shot that other man, Goldmunsen, after all, and she had felt really good about it. If she shot Bishop she thought she would feel even more good. Shooting people seemed to work for her. In fact, she was sick and tired of not shooting people."
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on December 11, 2003
It seems the trend these days in "series" novels to make the hero unlikeable. Dan Simmons is doing it in his "Hard" series; now Klavan in the debut novel of his series is doing the same thing with the seemingly inhuman Jim Bishop. Bishop uses women as if they were toothpicks, discarding them once he's done; he has only one real friend and that is his boss, Weiss. But still, Bishop is a man who gets the job done, recklessly if necessary.
Klavan uses the green P.I. (referencing him as the author himself) effectively and the shifts between what's going on with Bishop and Weiss are intriguing. Weiss' character, who has a thing for prostitutes, also finds himself enamored with the enigmatic Julie Wyant, a woman who supposedly jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. But he's sure this beautiful woman is still out there, given a new appearance by the Identity Man.
There's a lot going on in this book: why would this killer Ben Fry want to be imprisoned in a high-tech, no escape prison? Why does he put this mysterious capsule into his thigh?
A very entertaining book, and if the subsequent Weiss/Bishop novels can continue this refreshing change of pace, they should all be dynamite!
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on December 11, 2003
Those of us who eagerly await Andrew Klavan's novels are rewarded again. DYNAMITE ROAD is the latest in a series of thrillers (DON'T SAY A WORD, MAN AND WIFE, THE ANIMAL HOUR and TRUE CRIME, among others) which have that eerie ring of truth, which make them so easy to enjoy and impossible to put down.
Klavan introduces the Weiss Agency with Jim Bishop and Scott Weiss, detectives who live and work in a gritty, rugged world. There is very little sentimentality here and cruel, disturbing things happen and these unorthodox detectives will stop at nothing to achieve their goal, even venturing beyond their client's wishes, once they become involved in this marvelous adventure.
The author clearly is fascinated by the intricacies of flying small planes and the mechanics of flying unifies the story, making this book a must read for anyone with a similar interest.
Klavan has written another exciting book, with a twist. Returning to much earlier days, he has invented characters who promise to return, hopefully in the near future.
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on December 2, 2003
Andrew Klavan, one of this country's most creative writers, wrote Dynamite Road as the first in a much anticipated series following heralded stand-alones including The Scarred Man (as Keith Peterson), Hunting Down Amanda, The Uncanny, True Crime, Corruption, The Animal Hour, Don't Say A Word and Man and Wife. True Crime (by Clint Eastwood) and Don't Say A Word (starring Michael Douglas) were hit movies. If Dynamite Road isn't already on some prominent director's priority list, Hollywood isn't paying attention.
I'm always impressed with Klavan's ability to write fresh material without sounding repetitious or trite so I'm looking forward to the next edition of the Scott Weiss and Jim Bishop show. Weiss is a successful PI and former cop with an active intuitive sense and a fondness for good scotch. Bishop rides big bikes, flies multi-engine aircraft (Klavan is also a pilot so he knows the technology) and handles his women just about anytime he wants to. Julie Wyant, every man's fantasy, doesn't even make a corporeal appearance in Dynamite Road but she'll blow the pages off the first book to introduce her. Meanwhile, ultimate bad-guy, the Shadowman, provides an element of horror that is beautifully crafted without being over-stated. This is a sexy, fast-paced thriller that should draw you inexorably from beginning to end...
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on November 4, 2003
This is ellen in Atlanta - When I learned that Klavan would be starting a series featuring a private investigating firm, I started to worry - I stopped worrying when at the 1st sitting of reading Dynamite Road, I was over 125 pages in! It is wonderful and is gritty, exciting, and the characters are of the old school of PI's and a great start to a wonderful series - long live the Weiss Investigative Firm!
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on December 19, 2003
This is the first novel I've read by Andrew and I have read 130 thrillers in the past year. 10 occupy my "hall of fame" shelf. Dynamite Road makes it 11. In the context of a tough guy mystery, Klavan spins out original gut punching turns of phrase in which I delight. My copy bleeds with yellow highlighter. Ignore, the name Shadowman and read the book for its brilliant simplicity.
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