Private Screening

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Want a great way to reward your employees, entertain your clients or just impress your friends? Book your Private screening now! Your Details First Name. Last Name. Group Name. Group Size. Zip Code. It turns out that all the major characters are linked, and through a series of flashbacks from different perspectives we are introduced to Tony Lord, attorney for Harry Carson, ex-Vietnam veteran, who was Kilcannon's assassin.

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Lord had been responsible for getting Carson off despite his obvious guilt. Lord, anxious to do the best he can for his client, begins an investigation into the lives of former Vietnam vets. On the surface, Carson appears to have killed Kilcannon because the senator, as a student, had been resisting the war while Carson was in Vietnam active duty. There was never any question of his guilt; he shot Kilcannon on stage in front of thousands.

John Damone, Stacy's manager, had also been in Vietnam and had been a friend in Carson's unit. He was responsible for Carson's hiring at Stacy's concert where Kilcannon was killed. Lord thinks Carson was driven insane by his experiences in Vietnam. Take your pet cat and start lobbing hand grenades all around him -- by nightfall you've got a different cat. It seems they both had been part of a CIA special assassination squad.

A subplot that appears to have no relation, but ultimately has a terribly crucial part, is the kidnapping of the Parnell's son many years before. Parnell had refused to pay ransom for his estranged son, whom he believed might have had a bizarre relationship with Alexis. In any case, the son disappears and is presumed dead.

Most of the book is a long flashback into the trial of Carson and the interpersonal relationships that developed because of the trial. Patterson builds the tension very nicely and the careful reader can begin to suspect who the culprit is, although the end of the book throws a nice curve. Very very weird. Readable, interesting, a page turner, but a major scenario of the plot is too fantastic for me.

I know I sound a bit schizoid in that I liked the book, but I had a major problem in suspending disbelief yes, I'm using a phrase recently applied by a fellow admirer of RNP - James ; if you read my reviews, you will learn this is a frequent feature of my critical assessments. Tony Lord is a likable and lovable character, which is a good thing because he is our hero.

He is a divorced Very very weird. He is a divorced father of a seven year old boy who is darling. The ex-wife is a stupid bitch who is one of those women more intent on vengeful commentary than on providing as comforting a home as possible for her son. Thankfully, Lord has visiting rights and he is able to maintain a loving, caring relationship with his vulnerable son.

His day job is that of a private practice defense attorney. The story begins with a murder of a campaigning Senator, James Kilcannon, who wants to be President. He is on stage with his girlfriend, a rock star, Stacy Tarrant, when he is shot. The shocking death is played out in front of thousands of fans who came to Tarrant's concert so there is no question of who done it - a PTSD afflicted, ex-Vietnam vet, Harry Carson, who worked as a stage hand.

Lord is hired to defend him and he decides that the insanity defense is not only the best course of action, but the correct answer as to the actual cause of the murder, believing that Carson thought he was killing someone in Vietnam. A year later, two unrelated people are kidnapped and an extraordinary demand is made for their safe return. Alexis Parnell, wife of a rich businessman, and John Damone, manager of Tarrant, are being held captive by a hooded madman, Phoenix, demanding five million dollars from Colby Parnell and Tarrant each to be distributed to needy NGO's which would be determined by the American public calling in their votes and suggestions.

If his instructions are not followed, Phoenix will broadcast their murders live on TV frequencies. Phoenix transmits his conversations with the FBI live on news shows, as well as by telephone. This is too, too ridiculous for me. As if the police or FBI or American television stations would show announced, scheduled live executions of kidnapped victims on the air.

As silly as this is, it's not the wackiest part of the plot. That designation actually must go to the part of the story where the masked man demands Tarrant give a rock concert in the same arena where Kilcannon was shot, and sing while her fans donate the requested five million dollars as in a telethon. The fans, of course, know that they are attending a kidnapping funding telethon, because it was announced on the news. I was guffawing at this point. However, the writing is exciting; it's the concepts I couldn't quite swallow. The book is quite straightforward, actually, no intentional laughs built in.

It has a fast and exciting conclusion, with shooting, fighting and life-and-death struggling, including a beach locale of big, moody ocean breakers crashing ashore in darkness! Bonus scene of nudity, too!

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Seriously, it's not a bad book, an easy entertainment for a few days, and a well-written thriller, if you can ignore a plot contrivance where I found myself imagining a universe where a modern America is comfortable with ancient Roman-type live theater entertainments of real sadism, sponsored by CNN and psychopathic criminals, the middle-class audience of nine-to-fivers happily buying hot dogs from wandering vendors.

Is this a possible future though, in a decade of movies showing gushing body parts on cable TV? Maybe this book isn't so funny, after all. My book club chose to read the second book in the series--who does that? So, of course, I had to read the first book first. Now I'm dreading the second book. The writing style was convoluted. I felt like he left out necessary details when transitioning from one plot to another. Even within a scene, he made assumptions of the reader that weren't supported. I felt like his style would have made a better movie--where the visual would fill in the blanks.

I didn't like Tony Lord's character--I didn't My book club chose to read the second book in the series--who does that? I didn't like Tony Lord's character--I didn't fee like there was enough development to justify a sudden, random affair or other actions he took. I also didn't like the premise of the conflict--many aspects were unrealistic and ridiculous. He did a good job of creating suspense regarding who Phoenix was--he balanced the two possible suspects well and I liked the final twist. Feb 16, SueChor rated it liked it.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

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To view it, click here. Lots of plot twists, maybe too twisty at times, but overall an absorbing read. Some well-developed characters, but some very one-dimensional, eg. Was it only to give him the excuse to stray? Great Bay Area location.

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A lot of coincidences, convenient for moving the story along. Entertaining, but not that serious. Would read another, but when I need escape reading rather than reading for enlightenment or depth. Sep 13, L rated it really liked it. Predictably not as good as the Second book, this first novel in the duo was still quite good.

Some of the characters are repeats, but well tied together into the second book. There's a little suspension of disbelief, but still really good light reading. It's funny that the second book is actually a flashback into Tony Lord's origins, where as this first book is basically a standalone story.

Apr 27, Marcia Shimshak rated it really liked it.

The beginning of this book was okay but then it picked up speed. I really did enjoy it! Jan 16, Del III rated it it was amazing. This book was suspenseful and very entertaining, you never knew who the villain is until the end. Oct 17, Tina Maria rated it did not like it. Could not get into this book at all!

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Only read about 50 pages Mar 03, MaryAnn rated it liked it. Decent story but too many predictable situations. RNP's books all take the same path with different story lines. Feb 04, Noreen rated it liked it. Prelude to the Kilcannon trilogy. Good but not as good as the trilogy. One of his best I have read many of RIchard north Patterson's books and they have always kept my interest. I really like his new character Tony Lord and enjoyed all the twists and turns this book offered.

I hadn't realized that this particular book had gotten past me. I thought I'd read all of RNP's earlier works. As it turns out, I somehow missed this first Tony Lord novel. What follows is the trial of the shooter who Tony Lord defends. That story is interwoven as a wonderfully written flashback story with a present day abduction.

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