Customer Reviews for

Inmate 1577

Average Rating 4
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(75)

4 Star

(39)

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(26)

2 Star

(6)

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(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

A must read, of course!

(Not a native English speaker so please excuse my grammar mistakes)
This is actually my 5th Alan Jacobson novel. I was in the middle of False Accusation when Inmate 1577 came out. And as much as I want to savor and prolong the joy and excitement of reading the new Ka...
(Not a native English speaker so please excuse my grammar mistakes)
This is actually my 5th Alan Jacobson novel. I was in the middle of False Accusation when Inmate 1577 came out. And as much as I want to savor and prolong the joy and excitement of reading the new Karen Vail adventure story, it's just impossible not to devour it in one sitting. Well I've actually read 1/3 of the book now and it's INCREDIBLE!! The thing about a lot of mystery/thriller novel is that even though it's exhilarating while reading, but you soon forget what the whole story was about. Well, at least it was like that for me for a lot of James Patterson novels. Highly entertaining, but not much really stays with you afterward. But definitely not with Jacobson's books. You can tell how much research is put into the novel, and all the relevant info/facts are introduced in the most interesting yet nonchalant manner. And you will definitely have something to talk about to impress somebody.
Well, back to Inmate 1577. The 500+ pages may seem intimidating at first, but it is the ultimate-turner, I guarantee. I love the fact that Jacobson decided to bring back a few characters from previous novels - but you can still read this one with no problems if you haven't read them. Interesting how many male mystery authors these days have female lead in their stories and do such good jobs analyzing their characters and personalities and yet most men still complain how mysterious women are.=P As a woman myself, I wonder how much female insight Jacobson acquire to write Karen Vail - she's the tough yet feminine and delicate at the same time. I have yet to see Karen's delicate side in Inmate 1577 (in the first 27 chapters I've read so far) and can't wait to face Karen's dilemma once more. Now, I'm going back to reading... Should come and finish this review once I finish it and add another star. =)
-----------------------------------------------
I just finished the book. Oh, it's so hard to contain the desire to discuss the plot (especially the ending) with the fellow Alan Jacobson fans!!! all I can say for now is to read it, enjoy it, be enticed and mesmerized by the story! What a rewarding reading experience. Thank you Mr. Jacobson! I really really do hope to meet Vail again soon.

posted by kpotter on July 21, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Pass it up

Where to begin? The book summary reads: "When an elderly woman is found raped and brutally murdered in San Francisco, Vail heads west to team up with SFPD Inspector Lance Burden and her former task force colleague, Detective Roxxann Dixon.

As Vail, Burden, and Dixon...
Where to begin? The book summary reads: "When an elderly woman is found raped and brutally murdered in San Francisco, Vail heads west to team up with SFPD Inspector Lance Burden and her former task force colleague, Detective Roxxann Dixon.

As Vail, Burden, and Dixon follow the killer's trail in and around San Francisco, the offender continues his rampage, leaving behind clues that ultimately lead them to the most unlikely of places: a mysterious island ripped from city lore whose long-buried, decades-old secrets hold the key to their case. Alcatraz. The Rock."

That is pretty much the tale in a nutshell. I have to say that I thought the book, at 420 pages, was way too long and could have been cut down to 300 pretty easily. I also found the author's abbreviations distracting and annoying.

The good: the characters were believable and well defined. There was plenty of history and tourist information in the story - I feel like I've been there even though I've never had the desire to go.

The bad: besides being too long, I found that I didn't care about the characters or what happened to them. They were well defined but lacked emotional tug. The ending was not a surprise nor was there a twist that to redeem the story's weak spots.

Overall, I would give this book a "C".

I received this book from netgalley to read and review. All that is required is my review be honest and written after reading the entire book.

posted by sailaway7289 on August 25, 2011

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    A must read, of course!

    (Not a native English speaker so please excuse my grammar mistakes)
    This is actually my 5th Alan Jacobson novel. I was in the middle of False Accusation when Inmate 1577 came out. And as much as I want to savor and prolong the joy and excitement of reading the new Karen Vail adventure story, it's just impossible not to devour it in one sitting. Well I've actually read 1/3 of the book now and it's INCREDIBLE!! The thing about a lot of mystery/thriller novel is that even though it's exhilarating while reading, but you soon forget what the whole story was about. Well, at least it was like that for me for a lot of James Patterson novels. Highly entertaining, but not much really stays with you afterward. But definitely not with Jacobson's books. You can tell how much research is put into the novel, and all the relevant info/facts are introduced in the most interesting yet nonchalant manner. And you will definitely have something to talk about to impress somebody.
    Well, back to Inmate 1577. The 500+ pages may seem intimidating at first, but it is the ultimate-turner, I guarantee. I love the fact that Jacobson decided to bring back a few characters from previous novels - but you can still read this one with no problems if you haven't read them. Interesting how many male mystery authors these days have female lead in their stories and do such good jobs analyzing their characters and personalities and yet most men still complain how mysterious women are.=P As a woman myself, I wonder how much female insight Jacobson acquire to write Karen Vail - she's the tough yet feminine and delicate at the same time. I have yet to see Karen's delicate side in Inmate 1577 (in the first 27 chapters I've read so far) and can't wait to face Karen's dilemma once more. Now, I'm going back to reading... Should come and finish this review once I finish it and add another star. =)
    -----------------------------------------------
    I just finished the book. Oh, it's so hard to contain the desire to discuss the plot (especially the ending) with the fellow Alan Jacobson fans!!! all I can say for now is to read it, enjoy it, be enticed and mesmerized by the story! What a rewarding reading experience. Thank you Mr. Jacobson! I really really do hope to meet Vail again soon.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The latest Vail police procedural is a fabulous thriller

    In 1955 in Northfield, New Jersey, the police are on the scene of the murder of Sally MacNalley with her seven year old son Henry as the witness. Her husband Walton arrives and is arrested for the vicious homicide, but a jury found him not guilty. However, his life is shattered though he tried to raise his son.

    In the present in San Francisco, SFP Inspector Lance Burdon leads the investigation into the rape, sodomy and murder of an old woman. FBI profiler Karen Vail is sent from DC to San Francisco to assist Burdon and his partner Detective Roxxann Dixon on the vicious homicide of the octogenarian. The FBI agent does not want to return to California after the recent Napa Valley mess (see Velocity and Crush), but does. In spite of the efforts of the trio, the ruthless psychopath rapes and kills other victims. The clues lead to Alcatraz, a tourist attraction for decades, but still the Rock for its surviving former inmates.

    The latest Vail police procedural is a fabulous thriller as the sarcastic profiler and the dedicated serious cops struggle to end a psychopath's brutal killing spree. Although serial killers are a too frequent breed in the sub-genre (including the Vail case The 7th Victim), readers will relish this action-packed tale as the Fed, and the locals play cat and mouse with a vicious lunatic.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    This is a must read!!!!!What are you waiting for?

    Wow Inmate 1577 exceeds all of my expectations. I was hooked on the Karen Vail series from the start with The 7th Victim. I was not able to stop reading the series. I read the first three books in a week and proceeded to tell everyone that I knew to read this series. Then when I heard Inmate 1577 was coming out, I marked my calendar and waited expectantly for the book. Now it's here and once again I could not stop reading this book. Alan Jacobson knows how to write novels that not only hold your attention, but they compel you to rush home from work, skip dinner, and lose sleep until they are finished. Then you just wow I wonder how long we have to wait for another one. Keep writing these books and hurry up, your readers are waiting. I have this book in hard cover and am purchasing it in Kindle and Nook version for my friends that I turned onto the series.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    Jacobson's best yet

    Here's a math equation for you: (2 compelling stories) x (1 true historical backdrop) = Inmate 1577 This is not an easy review to write, but only because it is very hard to talk about Inmate 1577 without spoilers. I'll give it my best shot. I've enjoyed all of Alan's novels, but Inmate 1577 shows that he has taken his writing to a new level. This book was not just written, but crafted. Alan Jacobson takes two compelling stories--happening fifty years apart--and rather than having them suddenly come together and make sense at the end with a big explosion, these stories very slowly and deliberately begin to converge. Although the connection begins to emerge around the middle of the stories, the end is still one that will leave the reader stunned. Be ready to say to yourself, "I didn't see that coming!" I don't usually read a book a second time; there are too many books that I want to read for that luxury; but I may re-read Inmate 1577 again in order to see what clues Alan provided that I totally missed. Alan has done a very thorough job in this finely honed novel. The character development, particularly of Inmate 1577, is very complex and near perfect. Couple that with how well Alan has intertwined the stories with the most famous escape from Alcatraz and you have a true work of art. One of the nice things about Alan's books is that the chapters are short so you can pick up and put down the book at convenient times. The problem with Inmate 1577 is that almost every chapter is a mini-cliffhanger and putting it down is just not that easy. This is a highly recommended read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    Excellent Book. Alan went above and beyond on this book.

    It gets you from page 1, you can't put it down because you want to finish and find out if your guess was right on who donnit....
    Highly recommend purchasing and reading this book, you will not be disappointed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Excellent read!

    What a great story! I really enjoyed this book. It was quite captivating and well written. You'll really learn to like the characters and it is an easy read. I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Love the Karen Vail Series

    Can't wait for the next installment....just read, you will not be disappointed. Hard to put down!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Great read!

    Totally enjoyed this book on so many levels highly recommend starting at the beginning of the series if you enjoy FBI profiler stories, this is a great one i'm not one to re-read books, but this one I just might.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A Must Read

    Highly recommended...it will make your heart beat fast in anticipation!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    Fast read

    A little slow in the beginning but picks up rather quickly. Great mystery and figured it out by the end wiyh so many clues throughout.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    this book got me hooked on this series.

    this book got me hooked on this series.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    I've read 3 of Alan's books and this is my favorite so far. I ca

    I've read 3 of Alan's books and this is my favorite so far. I can't wait
    to start Hard Target, though I'm sad Karen Vail only makes a couple
    cameos in it and isn't the star of the show. She is THE STAR of the show
    in Inmate and is awesome. Keep up the great work Alan! I want more than
    1 AJ book a year!

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    An Excellent Novel!

    What connection exists between an incarcerated bank robber in the late 1950s and a present day serial killer? You'll find out in Alan Jacobson's latest novel featuring profiler Karen Vail. This one combines a clinical procedural investigation with a tragic story of how prison changes a man.
    1958-three years after being found not guilty of the murder of his wife, Walton McNally and his young son are trying to find a solid life for themselves. McNally goes from job to job because even though he didn't commit the crime, but because he was on trial for it, taints him in the eyes of employers. Desperate straits lead him and his accomplice son into robbing banks. After the second robbery, his son escapes, but Walton is caught and imprisoned in Leavenworth penitentiary where he learns all too quickly the realities of prison life. When a couple escape attempts fail he is sent to Alcatraz. There, he finds life even worse.
    Present day-FBI profiler Karen Vail is assigned to the heinous homicide of an elderly woman in San Francisco. Teaming up with the local investigators and a newspaper reporter, she scrambles to put together leads to the killer.
    With more bodies discovered on a daily basis, more clues are gathered, but Vail is unable to hone in on the killer. One of the investigators is kidnapped and the killer starts playing word games. Can Vail decipher the clues and what connection they might have to a closed prison on a desolate island in the middle of the bay?
    If you like puzzles and conundrums and the slowly unraveling of clues, you will enjoy "Inmate 1577." All the pieces are there for the reader to put together, but watch out . . . there might be a surprise or two. This is an excellent novel with some graphic descriptions, but a few real life people thrown in to make it a very worthwhile read.

    Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Beta" for Suspense Magazine

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    Outstanding - Best so far

    More twists, more sarcasm, more bodies, typical Karen Vail. Mr. Jacobson gives us the best book of the series in Inmate 1577. Once you start reading you will find it difficult to put down.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Thrilling

    The author weaves two separate events from the past to the present and it's in the present that we find Vail and the team looking for a connection between the brutal murder and rape of two elderly women and their husbands. When more victims are found, sifting through the clues trying to find a link between them and Karen's profile will be the key to finding the killer. This fast-paced, action-filled drama kept me turning the pages as I could not put this book down. With so many twist and turns, this thriller kept me guessing and oh man, I did not see that coming when the killer's identity was revealed. A great story that has me waiting for the next chapter in Karen Vail's journey.

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  • Posted September 24, 2011

    Great Read

    My first Alan Jacobson book but won't be my last! Can't wait to read more by this author.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    Super thriller from page 1 !!!!

    Alan Jacobson's latest thriller, Inmate 1577, is by far his greatest work to date-and that's quite a statement since Jacobson's novels have been one of the best kept secrets in publishing for nearly a dozen years. It's clear that Jacobson has hit his stride and that Inmate 1577 elevates him to a new level, but there's something about Inmate 1577 that sets it apart. The question was, What? Inmate 1577, which brings us another helping of the irresistible (and irascible) FBI Profiler Karen Vail, is told in two tracks, one taking place in the 1950s and 1960s, and the other in present-day San Francisco-and they alternate. Switching back and forth between time periods is hard to pull off, but Jacobson somehow makes it work to great effect. The first story deals with the downward spiral a man's life takes when his wife is murdered and he is arrested for the crime. He's found not guilty, but he's become such a pariah that he can't get a job. With a young son to support, he turns to bank robbery, a decision that proves catastrophic. The present-day story takes place in San Francisco, as elderly men and women are murdered in different parts of the city. FBI Profiler Karen Vail is sent to assist the SFPD, and ultimately, this storyline lands on the infamous island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, and merges with the storyline from the past. I've always believed that the research authors put into their books can be important, but the detail in Inmate 1577 goes above and beyond, making the story that much richer and believable; in a way it almost reads like nonfiction because you truly believe you're watching history unfold before you. And in a sense, that is what's happening. Jacobson cleverly brings together a real event that occurred on Alcatraz back in 1961-2 and inserts his character into the action-all while remaining true to the facts of the actual event. I've coined a phrase that I have been using for the group of writers who incorporate a huge number of true events and locations in their novels, making it a cross between fiction and non-fiction: I call it fact-fiction. I believe Steve Berry has used it the most, but Alan Jacobson is among a core group who have used it to such a great extent that it beckons the reader to look into all different aspects of the book in more detail, almost following in their research footsteps. I applaud Jacobson and these other authors for this gift and dedication to some very hard work and research, which they do on their own dime solely for the purpose of telling a terrific story that enriches the reader's experience. Inmate 1577 is one such novel. I'm finding that Jacobson and his ilk (Steve Berry and Jon Land come to mind) have opened a giant gap between themselves and the tired old hands, in terms of style and quality of their writing. The elders have become stuck in a rut and put out almost the same novel with different names; nothing is new, and you know what is going to happen before you even start reading. I pray that Jacobson never spins his wheels into such a rut. Jacobson's novels are works of art-and Inmate 1577 is, quite simply, a masterpiece.

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Read this before touring San Francisco!

    Jacobson continues the fun and murders started in previous novels. This one did not disappoint. The reader continues guessing about the bad guy all the way along the story. It did remind me of the bus tour of San Francisco I took many years ago. All the high points manage to squeeze in a murder. it seemed that a real appreciation depended on the previous novels. Knowing and reading them would add a lot to the depth of this story, even though there is enough here to keep you reading until much later than you intended. I am usually through Jacobson's stories in one or two nights. Inmate 1577 dose sort of give away the end, just a little. Always feel like I am peering over an FBI profiler's shoulder with Jacobson. but that is the point, isn't it? Read before visiting San Francisco. Did Jacobson receive discounts at the various attractions? It's a great read for a dark and stormy night.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Suspense Filled

    Just finished reading this book last night. I couldn't put it down. I got to the end of a chapter prepared to stop, but I couldn't because I HAD to know what was about to happen next. I'm looking forward to reading more of Alan's books. As a matter of fact, The 7th victim is next on my list :)

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