Blown Away

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A phantom bomber with a signature "Spring" bears a well-nursed grudge against New York City. To wreak vengeance on the city he holds responsible for his thwarted academic career, Spring launches a campaign of terror. His goal is purely revenge, but he is soon intercepted by a lowlife with higher aspirations: getting the city to fork up $5 million in exchange for no more bombings. Relying more on old-fashioned policework and Becker's instincts than on the kind of state-of-the-art technology employed by the ...
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Overview

A phantom bomber with a signature "Spring" bears a well-nursed grudge against New York City. To wreak vengeance on the city he holds responsible for his thwarted academic career, Spring launches a campaign of terror. His goal is purely revenge, but he is soon intercepted by a lowlife with higher aspirations: getting the city to fork up $5 million in exchange for no more bombings. Relying more on old-fashioned policework and Becker's instincts than on the kind of state-of-the-art technology employed by the eccentric bomber, Becker and FBI Agent Pegeen Haddad must track down the elusive Spring and his abettor before more lives are lost - and before the city caves in to Spring's demands.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
More daring and destructive than the real-life Unabomber, another unstable ex-professor brings New York City to its knees in this sixth and riveting John Becker thriller from Wiltse (Bone Deep). Cunning Jason Cole is holding the city hostage, blowing up routes in and out of Manhattan and demanding millions. Legendary FBI agent Becker heads the team that must stop him. But Cole has a knack for enlisting unlikely helpers that are hard to trace, from drug-addled Bronx hood Defone Lee to gay hitman Donny the Snake Sabela. To make matters worse, he cares less about the money than about teaching a lesson to the powers that be. Before the case is solved, it's not only the cops and FBI who are involved; so are street gangs, garbagemen, wiseguys, even the IRA and Cole's high-school chemistry teacher. Wiltse illuminates a broad spectrum of heroism and villainy with a colorful, often humorous cast of characters that makes agent Becker seem drab by comparison. These engaging folk will hold readers in thrall through a fast-paced, cleverly plotted tale that features plenty of action, on the street and off, and that will leave readers just as the title says. (Oct.)
Library Journal
In this sixth John Becker novel (e.g., Bone Deep, Putnam, 1995), Karl Atlee, alias Jason Cole, unleashes a series of bombings that make the alleged Unabomber seem tame. After blowing up Cornell University's suicide bridge and killing a student, the madman with a mission bombs the Roosevelt Island tram, the Triborough Bridge, and the Holland Tunnel, taking many more innocent lives. Special Agents John Becker and Pegeen Haddad have been assigned to stop Atlee. Although the pace of this thriller is surprisingly sluggish, characters are well defined and realistically developed. Becker, while sympathetic, remains intriguingly mythic and mysterious. The ending of the book is likely to please fans since it promises a sequel. Recommended for libraries with large crime fiction collections.Jacqueline Seewald, Red Bank Regional H.S., N.J.
Kirkus Reviews
FBI agent John Becker, a deadly force in his own right (Bone Deep, 1995, etc.), goes up against the Unabomber.

Or a reasonable facsimile thereof, a frustrated chemist who vowed vengeance on New York City when affirmative action robbed him of tenure at City College. Now Jason Cole, calling himself Spring, is threatening to blow up every bridge and tunnel leading out of Manhattan unless he gets a $5 million payoff, and is establishing his bona fides by taking down the Roosevelt Island tramway. Cole's academic background, his Thoreauvian social nostalgia, and his old-fashioned mastery of his craft (Becker notes with admiration that each of his bombs is handmade) are all culled from headlines and manifestos; what Wiltse adds is a portrait of a donnish, painfully vulnerable wimp whose emotional development seems to have been arrested long before his first chemistry course—and a lively, incongruously lightweight plot to buffer the skirmishes between Supercop and Supervillain. Cole has no trouble attracting a slew of unlikely allies and sponsors, from Defone Lee, an enterprising homeboy who goes partners with him in his extortion demand, to Tony Buono, a hit man whom he hires to kill Lee, to Tony's cousin Donny (the Snake) Sabela, who steps in to assassinate Becker and turns out to have his own ideas about how Cole's operation could be run. Becker, already strung out between nursing his convalescent wife and FBI superior Karen Crist and fending off his subordinate Pegeen Haddad, who thinks their night of passion marks the beginning of their life together, snatches the investigation away from his groveling, incompetent boss and runs with it, but he's overshadowed this time by the bomber—a shame, since Cole, for all the nervous laughter his social gaffes provoke, is a lot less compelling, less interesting even, than the agent who dresses him down on the network news.

But Becker and Cole and all the rest of them rolled together still can't compete with the real Unabomber, whose bizarre saga establishes a benchmark that far outclasses Wiltse's sturdy fiction.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780783820095
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 2/1/1997
  • Series: G. K. Hall Core Ser., #6
  • Pages: 469
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.08 (d)

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