Agent X

Agent X

3.9 71
by Noah Boyd
     
 

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“Vail is in the mold of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Robert Crais’s Joe Pike….This guy has movie written all over him.”
Chicago Sun-Times

 

“Fans of Sam Spade and Jack Reacher will feel right at home with this new tough guy.”
Boston Globe

 

“We have a new American

Overview

“Vail is in the mold of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Robert Crais’s Joe Pike….This guy has movie written all over him.”
Chicago Sun-Times

 

“Fans of Sam Spade and Jack Reacher will feel right at home with this new tough guy.”
Boston Globe

 

“We have a new American hero in Steve Vail.”

—Patricia Cornwell

 

Steve Vail, former discarded covert operative and the FBI’s new go-to guy for the toughest jobs, returns in Agent X—the pulse-pounding follow-up to the explosive New York Times bestselling debut thriller by Noah Boyd, The Bricklayer. A former FBI agent himself, author Boyd pulls out all the stops in Agent X—as “the Bricklayer” hunts down an elusive Russian spy in a taut and authentic thriller that rivals the very best of Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Robert Ludlum.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The pseudonymous Boyd's second thriller featuring Steve Vail, a Chicago bricklayer and former FBI agent, suffers from the same defects as its predecessor, The Bricklayer—a flat central character, a numbing abundance of dialogue, and too many improbable investigative epiphanies. Once again, Vail teams with beautiful FBI assistant director Kate Bannon in Washington, D.C., this time to investigate claims made by an informant known only as Calculus. An intelligence officer at the Russian embassy, Calculus says he know the identity of several Americans who are supplying Moscow with secret U.S. military information; he will dribble out the names—as long as the FBI coughs up ,000 per spy. Vail, meanwhile, has other ideas about how to find the treasonous U.S. citizens and squeeze Calculus for more information. In the course of a long and convoluted plot, Boyd, a former FBI agent, offers little about the inner workings of the agency or its investigative techniques. (Feb.)
Library Journal
A Soviet spy is willing to turn over a number of double agents leaking classified U.S. information until Moscow calls him home. Convinced the Russians know about their turncoat, the FBI has limited time to follow the informant's clues to find traitors high within the ranks of American agencies. Former FBI agent Boyd (The Bricklayer) returns with FBI assistant director Kate Bannon and ex-agent Steve Vail in this resurrection of Cold War spy craft. Vail's incredible ease in solving a decade-old kidnapping unrelated to the case, forced banter between characters, and stilted transitions leave this thriller with much to be desired. VERDICT A poorly written, clumsy romance subplot will distract readers from the action, and fans of the genre won't be impressed by crime-solving through sudden hunches and lucky run-ins with characters who handily know more than they should. Not recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/10.]—Colleen S. Harris, Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga Lib.
Kirkus Reviews

Those pesky Russian spies are at it again. So is Steve Vail (The Bricklayer, 2010).

Even though his deep anti-authoritarian streak made him give up on the FBI long ago, Stevehasn't given up on deputy assistant director Kate Bannon. Eager first to squire her to a diplomatic party she never makes it to and then to restore her reputation after what looks like her attempted suicide, he allows himself to get drawn back into the Bureau one last time (yeah, right) in the case of a Russian agent who's code-named himself Calculus. The agent has a list of American informants who've been selling information to the NVR, formerly the KGB, and in the spirit of capitalist enterprise, he wants to sell the list to the FBI, one name at a time. Agreeing to follow the clues Calculus has left to the entry-level mole, Steve quickly finds that Calculus really likes to play—the trail that leads from each informant to the next seems best suited to game-show veterans and Sudoku masters—and that someone (Calculus? the NVR? a player to be named later?) has a penchant for killing each of the informants just in time for the arrival of Steve and his old Bureau friend Luke Bursaw, who's stealing precious moments from the riddle of whether a serial killer of prostitutes has graduated to murdering a vanished FBI intelligence analyst. At length, the mind-boggling treasure hunt lands Kate in jail for treason, doomed to rot there forever unless Steve and company can somehow break her out, identify the real Agent X from among suspects in the Pentagon, the Lithuanian Chess Society and diverse defense contractors, and go after him with condign deadly force. Don't guess what happens, because there's no way you'll be wrong.

A three-ring carnival of counter-espionage, game-playing and summary justice whose many beautifully choreographed action sequences will make you forget how obvious its premise is, and how absurd its details.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061827037
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/26/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
255,277
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Noah Boyd is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Bricklayer and a former FBI agent who spent more than twenty years working some of the Bureau's toughest investigations, including the Green River Killer case and the Highland Park Strangler case (which he's credited with solving). He currently works on cold cases when he's not writing. He lives in New England.

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Agent X 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Tigerpaw70 More than 1 year ago
Also published under the title "Last Chance to Die" Book 2 in the Steve Vail series Former FBI Agent Steve Vail and Assistant Director Kate Bannon are back. This second instalment to "The Bricklayer" works perfectly well as a stand-alone title although to understand where the characters come from, it is always preferable to read books in sequence. This is definitely for the dye hard lovers of espionage. In a blurb: Steve is asked to return to the FBI by Director Bob Lasker to handle a particularly challenging and sensitive case involving Kate Bannon, former confrere and Steve's sometime love interest. She was rumoured to have attempted suicide but the director was never really convinced and would like to prove it. Steve agrees to help and immediately digs into the mystery and the deceit behind Kate's incident. Steve and Kate work together on leads that take them deep into the political world and the dark and dangerous underground of foreign espionage involving the Russians. My thoughts: This second novel is a fast-paced and intricately detailed thriller giving an overview on how a FBI Agent may proceed in solving high-profile cases. The author presents us with a challenging story and a smart-alecky lead character, Steve, who had no trouble recognizing that the Russians had moles working within the FBI. Navigating a maze of hidden codes and deciphering the names of the rogue agents became his priority, a delicate operation, one he exceled at, a real cat and mouse game to get to the agents before the Russians eliminate them and silence their mission. I enjoyed most of the story, although, I admit losing some focus along the way. The plot is loaded with puzzles and plenty of action; some are repetitive and border on the silly side at times, nevertheless, the storyline is nicely written and is an entertaining read. My favourite of all the characters is Kate Bannon, she is far more engaging and intriguing than the wild card lead protagonist. It was also fun to follow the hot and cold romance between Kate and Steve; the dialogue between them is rather peppered with sarcasm making it an interesting relationship.Overall, the story is a well-rounded with a little something for everyone who is attracted to the world of thriller novels. This series may come to a sudden end with the sad and unfortunate passing of its author.
boonduggy More than 1 year ago
Excellent sophmore title. If you enjoy John Cory by DeMille or Steve Berry's Cotton Malone you will enjoy these books. Smart, fast paced and funny. Highly recommmend.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Noah Boyd has now written two novels involving Steve Vail, his everyman answer to Jack Reacher. If you can only read one of the books, then read the first, The Bricklayer. Much of what was novel and fun in that book becomes old and tedious in the second. The Kate-Vail relationship has so many ups and downs that I lost interest. The little trick the author created wherein Vail keeps coming up with new clues that others couldn't also caused this book to go for some 390 pages. A few less clues and he still would have had a really good book at 300 pages. My suggestions: fewer surprise clues, and end the Kate-Vail mess.
jan-fort More than 1 year ago
Intelligently written, suspenseful, totally engaging.  It was hard to put down.  
NH62 More than 1 year ago
Noah boyd has hit a character that holds you in place waiting for what he does next. Exciting and entertaining. I read the first in this series The Bricklayer and couldn't wait for this second in the series. This series is worth your time. You won't regret it. I can't recommend it enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit of a letdown. The first one was better, but if you like Byzantine plotlines, this is your guy. He's created an intriguing main character, but the guy is a little on the phenomenal side. Still in all, this is entertaining stuff. if you like Dick Francis and Robert B. Parker and Michael Connelly but are up for something a little more challenging, you might enjoy this. Just be prepared to work a little.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better start early to read you will not be able to put down . The very Best .
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