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The Bricklayer
Noah Boyd

Harper / Harper Collins
August 2010/ ISBN 9780061827020

Reviewed by Bob Walch


This debut thriller introduces Steve Vail, a former FBI agent who couldn’t follow the rules, so he is now a skilled mason. Vail slips back into his former investigative role when he is coerced to match wits with a killer who is knocking off the good guys with impunity.

At her wits’ end, Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon can’t afford to lose any more agents so she calls in the one person who she thinks might be able to checkmate the agency’s clever adversary. Also, if Vail’s highly unorthodox approach doesn’t get results and he makes a serious misstep, no one is going to really miss this maverick.

What follows is a somewhat uneven - but still entertaining - novel that is filled with quite a few surprises as the Bricklayer charts his own course in bailing his former bosses out of a very precarious situation.

Already compared to Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, this new hero has received some highly complimentary reviews. The Bricklayer has been called “dazzling” by Patricia Cornwell, “terrific” by James Patterson and “a real winner” by Lee Child. Yes, this is a mostly satisfying read, but I think I’ll wait for the next couple of installments of this new series before I move Steve Vail into Reacher’s chair!

Reviewer's Note:

Reviewed 2011
© 2011