Eclipse

( 43 )

Overview

"Damon Pierce's life has just reached a defining moment: a gifted California lawyer, he's being divorced by his wife and his work often seems soulless. Then he receives a frantic e-mail from Marissa Brand Okari - a woman he loved years ago - and decides to risk everything to respond to her plea for help." Marissa's husband, Bobby Okari, is the charismatic leader of a freedom movement in the volatile west African nation of Luandia, which is being torn apart by the world's craving for its vast supply of oil. Bobby's outspoken opposition to the
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Overview

"Damon Pierce's life has just reached a defining moment: a gifted California lawyer, he's being divorced by his wife and his work often seems soulless. Then he receives a frantic e-mail from Marissa Brand Okari - a woman he loved years ago - and decides to risk everything to respond to her plea for help." Marissa's husband, Bobby Okari, is the charismatic leader of a freedom movement in the volatile west African nation of Luandia, which is being torn apart by the world's craving for its vast supply of oil. Bobby's outspoken opposition to the exploitation of his homeland by PetroGlobal - a giant American oil company with close ties to Luandia's brutal government - has enraged General Savior Karama, the country's autocratic ruler. After Bobby leads a protest rally during a full eclipse of the sun, everyone in his home village is massacred by government troops. And now Bobby has been arrested and charged with the murder of three PetroGlobal workers. Still drawn to Marissa, Pierce agrees to defend Bobby, hoping to save both Bobby and Marissa from almost certain death. But the lethal politics of Luandia may cost Pierce his life instead.
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Editorial Reviews

Art Taylor
Eclipse aspires to be any number of books: a novel of political intrigue, an international conspiracy thriller, a courtroom drama, a romance, even a straightforward murder mystery…To Patterson's credit, the novel succeeds on all counts. While Pierce struggles to dodge the next danger barreling his way, Patterson never loses sight of the big picture: the region's history, the nuances of international law, the subtleties of oil futures trading. He brings his knowledge to the book with a sense of urgency far beyond the plot at hand, depicting complex legal issues and the larger geopolitical situation with authority and clarity.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Patterson, a former lawyer turned bestselling fiction author, returns with his latest thriller featuring Damon Pierce, a down-and-out lawyer who finds fresh purpose when contacted by a former lover whose husband is being held captive in the West African nation of Luandi. Peter Francis James takes command of the material, offering up realistic African dialects that chillingly convey the hostage's terror and the ruthlessness of his captors. James's vocal ability creates a stirring experience that is at once personal and emotional while entertaining and theatrical, making for a truly rousing performance. A Holt hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 20). (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Patterson pens another compelling legal thriller, reminiscent of Exile. Successful lawyer Damon Pierce had an unrequited love affair with Marissa Brand, but she was in love with a cause in the West African nation of Luandia (think Nigeria) and its leader, Bobby Okari. The divorcing Damon receives a plea for help from Marissa, so he flies off to Africa and learns that the head of the government is tied into PetroGlobal, the American oil company making billions from West African oil. He also finds that the water supply has been repeatedly compromised by oil, there is no infrastructure, and the people are starving and disease-ridden while being brutalized by the government. Bobby had led a demonstration during the night of the eclipse, and then the government slaughtered everyone in his village and tortured and arrested him, accusing him of murder. Damon has his hands full trying to get a fair trial for Bobby, and because Marissa is an American, the world is watching. Patterson once again brings a timely, controversial subject-America's dependence on foreign oil-to the forefront in this troubling yet engrossing read. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ9/15/08; this novel draws on the actual case of writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was hanged by the Nigerian military in 1995 despite international protests.-Ed.]
—Stacy Alesi

From the Publisher
"Peter Francis James takes command of the material, offering up realistic African dialects that chillingly convey the hostage’s terror and the ruthlessness of his captors. James’s vocal ability creates a stirring experience that is at once personal and emotional while entertaining and theatrical, making for a truly rousing performance."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Peter Francis James’s powerful characterization of the oppressed Luandian population – rich in oil reserves but experiencing ecological disasters – is especially believable…Patterson fans are in for a treat with James’s powerful performance, and the nightmare atmosphere the duo creates will live long in listeners’ memories” – AudioFile Magazine

"Wonderfully performed by Peter Francis James with perfectly rendered accents galore… [ECLIPSE is] a wild ride through vile human behavior, abject greed and disdain for justice that carries a profound message from the heart of darkness."—BookPage

"...the palpable horror and tension, enhanced brilliantly by the superb fully-voiced, perfectly-paced narration of Peter Francis James, is what drives the book and will hold its readers in rapt attention."—SoundCommentary.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594171133
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/6/2009
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD NORTH PATTERSON is the author of Exile, The Race, and thirteen other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha’s Vineyard with his wife, Dr. Nancy Clair.

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Read an Excerpt

ONE

The day before his divorce became final, Damon Pierce sent an e-mail to a friend, a woman he cared for deeply, the one who had chosen another man and another life.

Pierce was alone at Sea Ranch on the last weekend before the house became Amy’s, contemplating the rugged California coastline and what his own life had brought him. Now it was early evening, and the sun slowly setting over the cobalt-blue Pacific was so bright that Pierce squinted at the screen. Despite this, he composed his words with care: he had met her in a creative writing class and, even now, their exchanges strove to capture events in a way the other would appreciate and make a good-natured effort to surpass. It was a plea sure that Amy, far more literal and less romantic, had never understood; still less did she appreciate that this complex blend of admiration and remembered attraction, surviving time and distance, had come to hold a mirror to their marriage.

His e-mail reflected his mood, the ironic yet sober assessment of a man on the cusp of midlife—a partner in a ffteen-hundred-lawyer megafirm caught between an increasingly thwarted professional desire to do good and a former blue-collar boy’s appreciation of fine dining, good wine, and travel undreamed of in his youth. Among Pierce’s specialties was complex international litigation, in which he enjoyed a considerable reputation; as he had told his correspondent several years ago, "not everyone has put away for life the murderous president of a former Balkan rump state."

Perhaps this experience as a war crimes prosecutor, the clearest expression of his still flickering idealism, reflected his admiration for her commitment to others, the harder choices she had made. But his work in Kosovo was now years in the past. For Pierce, the chief residue of this time was the several hundred dead men, women, and children—the defendant’s victims—on whom the world’s attention had focused far too late, and whose images still came to him in dreams.

"Since returning to the firm," he wrote now, "my practice has become more or less what you predicted. My principal clients are investment bankers and tarnished corporate titans staring at a stretch in prison for ambitions that exceeded the law. Some strike me as almost tragic; others as loathsome. A few are even innocent. Many of them I like—it’s me I wonder about. Often I remember what Charlie Hale, my best friend at the firm, said after our first week as associates: ‘Damon, my boy, us two will do well here. In ten years, we’ll be partners; in twenty we’ll have more money than time; in forty we’ll be looking back at our careers. And after that . . . ,’ he finished with a sardonic grin, ‘there’s only one big move left.’

"Charlie, however, has a nice wife and three bright-eyed daughters he adores.

"As for me, I have a condominium with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and sufficient cash to indulge in pleasures you might think superfluous. But remember that when we met I was mired in student loans; compared to me you were born to have a restless conscience, and to act on it. Still, I question myself every time I imagine you asking, ‘Is this a life of meaning?’ Then I imagine the conveyor belt of life leading straight to my premature demise, keeling over at my desk on another weekend of too much work for no great cause. Perhaps that’s why I spend so much time at the gym."

Pierce paused there. Any fair external inventory would count him lucky: he was even fitter than when they had last seen each other, and the twelve years since had lent a keenness to his face without thinning or graying his dark shock of hair, leaving the Damon Pierce of the courtroom a still youthful but commanding presence, tall and slim and quick of tongue and mind. "Nevertheless," his e-mail conceded, "my career thrives more each year. And I arm myself for Judgment Day by giving pro bono advice in international human rights cases, a faint echo of my time at The Hague.

"As for my former literary ambitions, the only real writing I do is to you.

"Which brings me, I suppose, to Amy.

"We’re divorcing. It’s really not her fault. The most critical thing I can say is that Amy never questions her life. If her client is a crook, he just is. My tendency to ponder the meaning of it all strikes her as a waste of time.

"Why did we marry? To begin, Amy’s a gorgeous strawberry-blonde, so tall and elegant that she looks more like a ballerina than a lawyer. And wicked smart—smart and beautiful, you’ll recall, tends to get my attention. Amy is also the most self-possessed person I know, so that even her bursts of anger seem less spontaneous than chosen. The same spartan discipline governs her exercise and diet: at thirty-five, she remains so youthful that I once teased her that when she dies at ninety, they’ll have to cut off her leg and count the rings to figure out how old she was. She had the grace to find that funny—of course, she herself is often funny in a matter-of-fact observer’s sort of way. A lawyer’s way.

"But then we lived like lawyers. Every Saturday we sat at breakfast and updated our professional and social calendars for the next four weeks. Our conversations were like telegrams—no words wasted. For two trial lawyers, time is always a problem, and there was never enough.

"The question became, For what?

"Expensive dinners alone. Vacations in Fiji. More expensive dinners with other childless couples who trumped Fiji with Montenegro. Fund-raisers for abortion rights or battered women or the Democratic candidate for what ever. Comparisons of trial tactics: Amy was so delighted with the exercise of her considerable skills that I once told her she would have cheerfully represented Martin Bormann. ‘Only for the cause,’ she retorted, a slight dig at my pro bono work. Her most grotesque clients became her babies.

"There it is. I wanted them; Amy didn’t.

"Not her problem, but mine. Amy has no illusions, least about herself: that she never wanted kids was just a fact, and Amy never fudged facts. But as you so often suggested, I’m a bit of a romantic, and sometimes still believe that I can make life, even people, turn out as I hoped. And what I hoped for was two small Pierces.

"A couple of years ago, I realized that I was the only one who heard Amy’s reproductive clock ticking. When I said as much, she countered me with jaundiced humor: ‘Have you checked out your partners’ lives postchild?’ she asked. ‘Moving to the dullest suburb for the "best schools"; planning car pools and sleepovers and after-school enrichment programs; going to parent-teacher conferences and obsessing about how to propel their obviously sociopathic seven-year-old toward Stanford Medical School, until their only friends are the other lobotomized couples whose only subject is "the kids"—’

" ‘Beats hearing about Montenegro,’ I interrupted. ‘Somewhere during that last dinner, I realized Chris and Martha are the biggest waste of time since reality TV.’ Suddenly I became serious. ‘Amy,’ I said slowly but clearly, ‘just loving you is not enough.’

"For a long time she just looked at me. ‘It might be,’ she answered, ‘if you still did.’

"All at once I realized how good she was at stating facts.

"That fact, once she brought it to my attention, was fatal. I may not be as surgical as Amy, but I’m no more inclined than she to lie about what I know. I had stopped loving the Amy Riordan I had married, and the life she had never questioned. Only the distraction of our work had allowed us to drift apart with our eyes shut, not seeing what Amy now saw so clearly with those beautiful blue eyes—which, for once, were filled with tears."

Pierce paused. There was more he might have said—not just that Amy and he were different but that the difference between his wife and the woman to whom he was writing had grown in Pierce’s mind. He knew this was unfair: he had taken Amy on her terms, and it was not right to compare her to a woman whose path in life was driven not just by her virtues but by her scars. Nor could he fully explain, to this woman or himself, how much he valued their ongoing connection amid the deterioration of his married life. It was best, he concluded, to stick to that life itself.

"Our decision to divorce was sad," Pierce continued. "But it was this hollow quality that makes me the saddest now. We’re lucky, friends tell us, that we have no children to pay for our own failure. Still, without kids or money to fight over, there is too little to keep us from drifting ever further apart, until we become again the strangers we once were. The saddest fact is this: when the first of us dies, the survivor will likely learn of it, if at all, by reading the obituary page.

"Sorry. It’s the black Irish in me, and this St. Patrick’s Day I turned forty. As you’re not divorcing, certainly not Irish, and only thirty-six at that, I hope you’ll forgive this side trip into morbidity." After rereading this passage, Pierce added, "In truth, the con-fluence of divorce and a major birthday may be God’s wake-up call. My work at The Hague, however hard, was about something of fundamental importance—vindicating human rights through law. Though leading the prosecution team wasn’t easy, I think I was at my best, and I never doubted the worth of what I did. So it seems I’ve got some things to think about, and the freedom to do so. Perhaps, in its way, that’s not so bad a birthday gift."

This was a good place to end, he thought. "Tell me how you are," he concluded. "From what I read and hear, I worry that I haven’t heard from you lately. And you still write a pretty good sentence.

"Affectionately, Damon."

Pierce sent the e-mail. When he looked out the window again, still pensive, the sun was an orange sliver descending beneath the blue-gray line of the ocean. He went to the kitchen, poured himself a chill glass of Chassagne-Montrachet, and made himself dinner.

Two hours later, as he returned to his computer, an e-mail appeared. Opening it, he found himself staring at its first sentence.

"Seven nights ago," Marissa began, "I saw the corpses of three oil workers hanging from a tree."

Excerpted from Eclipse by Richard North Patterson.

Copyright 2009 by Richard North Patterson.

Published in January 2009 by St. Martin’s Press.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Few authors can hook an audience and maintain that grip throughout like Richard North Patterson does consistently

    San Francisco law firm partner forty years old Damon Pierce is getting a divorce. The international litigation expert e-mails his college lover Marissa Brand to inform him that his marriage will be over by tomorrow although he knows she is married to oil rich Luandia reformist Bobby Okari whose country is run by a brutal despot.<BR/><BR/>While the foreign oil companies work closely with the government to rip off the oil deposits, everyone in Okari's village is murdered. However the government ignores the mass murders because they are the culprits; instead they arrest Bobby for the lynching of three foreign oil workers. Damon, out of love for Marissa, defends the accused in a kangaroo court that has already convicted him.<BR/><BR/>Few authors can hook an audience and maintain that grip throughout like Richard North Patterson does consistently. ECLIPSE affirms that belief especially with the haunting working and environmental conditions in Luandia that is the main star; even Governor Palin will shout the manta wind baby wind if she spent fifteen minutes getting her hair fixed there. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action that fans of legal thrillers in foreign nations in which the dictator makes the law will appreciate Mr. Patterson¿s latest exciting tale.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another winner for RNP

    Unable to say this is his best work, however, he spins a convincing yarn.
    His character development is very strong. He combines the two cultures with ease and makes the struggles real in both worlds.
    Interested in what he comes up with next...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Richard North Patterson is the best

    Richard North Patterson is the very best at his genre. He always writes well. His plots and themes are interesting and exciting. I recommend this and every other book he has written as highly entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    Patterson Changes Basic Thrust with Eclipse

    When I first started reading this novel I was turned off by the difference in locale. As I got involved in the novel, I began to appreciate the complexities that Patterson always brings to his novels. I read it with great interest and would recommend it to anyone who likes a thrilling novel. I respect that Patterson was able to change countries and still do a marvelous job. His characters and plotting were superb. The action was almost non-stop. And the story line was very believable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Exceeds Expectations!

    This is a rich, entertaining, yet complex read. Complex from the perspective that it makes you pay attention and doesn't insult your intelligence like some of the garbage that's out there. The story is very intriguing and sophisticated. Great characters, nice flow. It all comes together nicely. Great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Patterson continues to stretch himself

    His last two books have elevated Richard North Patterson as a writer beyond the norm. This book continues his recent "tradition." I have read all of his books and have thoroughly enjoyed his writing style and ability. They have always been entertaining. But with "Exile," which may be his best effort, and "The Race" and now "Eclipse" he has risen a notch above his earlier works. His research is sound, his characters are believable and interesting and his writing style is first rate. I look forward to whatever his next work is. He never fails to entertain me and teach me more about my world, country and politics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2009

    EXCELLENT!!!!

    Great book. The plot is excellent and very real. The characters are so real. RNP has yet to write anything bad. Love them all. Read this one in two days. Keep up the good work, will look forward to the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Better Yet

    Richard North Patterson's novels always come with a political theme, and this one is no different. But what is different, or at least better, about this novel, is the significant heightening of the thrill level. Patterson creates a real mystery and surrounds it with tension, all the while educating us to the political point he wants to make. Ultimately I like this book better than any of his previous ones.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    Thunderkit

    Looks up at Sparkstar.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Creamflight

    Bye bye clan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Twoleg

    Scratched his head. He sighed and picked her up and put her in the truck. He drove to cuttr result two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Feather paw

    I don't know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Hawkmoon

    Where is everyone at ashclan?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Geminipaw

    Ashclan is at ashclan res one or two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Mysticalsong

    I tried. Its not gonna happen. FernClan...no offense...isnt quite an attractive name...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Fernshadow

    How about IceClan?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    Leaflight

    Mornig

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Oceankit and Stormkit

    The two nod to Sparkstar and run to the nursery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Spiritheart

    &#8760?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    &female

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