Manner of Death Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 2000
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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.
Alan soon learns that the staff, students, and management who shared Alan's residency are being killed. Apparently, only he and his former lover Dr. Sawyer Sackett are left from the class of '82. No motives and no evidence exists. Alan, Sawyer, and Lauren know they must uncover a serial killer before they end up in harm's way. <PThe Alan Gregory thrillers are some of the best psychological suspense tales on the market today. However, the seventh book, MANNER OF DEATH, is the best novel to date because Stephen White injects jocularity without defacing the critical conditions that confront the lead trio. Mr. White paints a frightening yet promising picture of psychology that adds to the tale. Even higher authorities than this reviewer would tell readers that the Gregory mysteries are all worth reading, but especially this newest entry.
Most recent customer reviews
One of the reasons I like Stephen White's book so much is his continuity of characters, and his development of characters. Read morePublished on May 15 2001 by twisesq
Having read all of Stephen White's Alan Gregory novels so far, I always look forward to the latest annual instalment. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2001 by C. Kuschel-Toerber
This book was really cool. In my opinion, it is the best of all the Alan Gregory series and I have read them all. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2000
I definitely don't expect much from books I pick up while waiting for airplanes, but I found this book interesting and genuinely frightening. Read morePublished on June 5 2000 by frumiousb
Like all Stephen White's Books this one is exciting and gets your attention right away. The dynamics of the story seemed to carry me along. Read morePublished on April 17 2000 by J.E. Johnson
When I read this book I was compelled to read and never stop. There were scenes that kept me on my feet for days. Read morePublished on April 4 2000 by Lauren Leipold
I'm a reader who enjoys trying to "put the pieces together" as I make my way through a good mystery. Read morePublished on April 2 2000 by Eddie Finn
If you go to the Q. & A. section of White's web page you can read about his not really knowing what will happen in one of his books until the characters reveal that to him... Read morePublished on Feb. 8 2000
I am a big fan of Stephen White. It's so neat to read an author who writes a continuing character. The book to me never ends, I just have to wait awhile for the next book to be... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2000