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Inmate 1577 (Karen Vail Series #4)

Inmate 1577 (Karen Vail Series #4)

4.1 155
by Alan Jacobson, Christina Traister (Read by)

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“Karen Vail is my kind of hero and Alan Jacobson is my kind of writer!” - Michael Connelly

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


“Karen Vail is my kind of hero and Alan Jacobson is my kind of writer!” - Michael Connelly

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.

It’s a case that has more twists and turns than the famed Lombard Street…and a novel that Clive Cussler calls “A powerful thriller, brilliantly conceived and written.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Jacobson's complex fourth novel featuring FBI profiler Karen Vail (after Velocity), San Francisco Police Inspector Lance Burden turns to the D.C.-based Vail for help in solving the murder of 82-year-old Maureen Anderson, who was tortured and brutalized at her house in the city's Marina district. Anderson's husband, William, is later found dead, tied to the base of a column in the Palace of Fine Arts. Other similar murders rapidly follow. Insp. Robert Friedberg, reporter Clay Allman, and Roxxann Dixon, "an investigator with the Napa County District Attorney's office," lend assistance as Vail becomes increasingly frustrated by the rising body count and the killer's taunts. Alternating chapters detail the bad luck tale of prison inmate Walton MacNally, from the murder of his wife in 1955 to his career as a thief and armed robber. That the two cases merge will come as no surprise, but Jacobson manages to tantalize with each segment and pull off a stunning surprise ending. (July)
From the Publisher

Inmate 1577 is a grand slam that ranks Alan Jacobson on par with such literary luminaries as Michael Connelly, Nelson DeMille, and James Patterson. This one will be tough to top.” —John Wills, New York Journal of Books

“Jacobson’s latest Vail novel continues his streak of terrific mind-bending thrillers. The story line seems straightforward at first, but when the twists come, even the most hard-core thriller fans will not figure everything out. Jacobson should be mandatory reading for the James Patterson crowd; this is an essential addition to any fiction collection.” —Library Journal

“In my 27 years of working at USP Leavenworth as a Correctional Officer and Institution Historian, no other book has painted the story of what it’s like to survive behind those 40 foot walls better than Inmate 1577. Hats off to Alan Jacobson for his relentless research and desire to bring credibility to an already fascinating story!” —Kenneth M. LaMaster, author and retired Leavenworth historian

Inmate 1577 is everything you’d come to expect from an Alan Jacobson novel, a page-turning thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours . . . his previous books were gripping thrill rides, but with Inmate 1577 Jacobson has taken it to another level.” —Andrew Gulli, managing editor, The Strand Magazine

“Alan Jacobson has already distinguished himself in the crowded serial killer sub-genre of thrillers. But his smooth and seasoned approach reaches new heights in Inmate 1577, a stunner of a tale that is structurally flawless. Inmate 1577 moves deliberately along a circuitous path lined with secrets, surprises and subterfuge that have been a staple of the genre . . . Jacobson builds the suspense to a pulsating crescendo that will ultimately bring the walls down upon Vail, not quite literally but in immensely satisfying fashion.” —Author Magazine

Inmate 1577 is another rippin’ good ‘Alan Jacobson read’! Jacobson researches his books like a good newspaper reporter, and then pushes the envelope into reality more thoroughly than the typical crime novel could ever allow.”  —Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle

“A powerful thriller, brilliantly conceived and written.” —Clive Cussler, New York Times–bestselling author

“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 . . . a very worthwhile read.” —Stephen L. Brayton, Suspense Magazine

“Alan Jacobson has captured the desolate solitude that distinguished Alcatraz as the toughest US penitentiary that housed the worst of the worst. Inmate 1577 is not only a riveting read with a Hitchcock-type ending I never saw coming, but it possesses an authenticity that brought back memories from my many years on the Rock.” —George DeVincenzi, Alcatraz correctional officer (1950–1957)

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Karen Vail Series , #4
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Alan Jacobson is the National Bestselling Author of the critically acclaimed thrillers False Accusations, The Hunted, The 7th Victim, Crush, Velocity, and Inmate 1577. Alan’s novels have made numerous “Best Books of the Year” lists, including the Top 10 for The Strand Magazine, Library Journal, Suspense Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.

Alan's eighteen years of research and training with law enforcement have influenced him both personally and professionally, and have helped shape the stories he tells and the diverse characters that populate his novels. His books have sold internationally, and two of his novels are currently under development in Hollywood.

As part of his work with the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, Alan coauthored a personal safety booklet with senior FBI Profiler Mark Safarik that they are providing free on Alan’s website, www.AlanJacobson.com.

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Inmate 1577 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 155 reviews.
kpotter More than 1 year ago
(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.
karen5026 More than 1 year ago
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.
Valleyblue More than 1 year ago
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.
kathyshimer More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Alan Jacobson book to read. It was one that I read in a short amount of time and have read the other 3 books in the series since then! The only 'con' I have about this book relates to some of the graphic details of the victims. I had some trouble getting through those parts of the book. But overall, it was a very good mystrey. I do suggest starting with the first book in the Karen Vail Series. Can't wait for the his next one, hope it's a Karen Vail Series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Reminitta More than 1 year ago
I liked the book however, way too wordy & descriptive. I figured out who the killer was 1/2 way through & the ending was predictable. It switches between present time and the past, which I thought was enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next installment....just read, you will not be disappointed. Hard to put down!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book, suspenseful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended...it will make your heart beat fast in anticipation!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mystery, suspense & crime. I enjoy Alan Jacobson books. I think I've read them all. Fast paced, easy read. Thanks Kelly for loaning me the book!
yarnmama More than 1 year ago
I have read all four of the Karen Vail books and i liked rhis one the most. It kept my mind occupied with untangaling the clues and i was as surprised as the characters by who the killer turned out to be. Well sort of. I had guessed early on that it might be who it was but not rhat thar someone was hiding in plain sight. Nicely done!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Excellent read. Glad Ms. Vail is working on her anger issues - it was often difficult to read in the first two books of the series (emotionally, not literally).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In reading this i compared it to Michael Connleys Harry Bosh series. In this book how would veteran detectives miss a clue as obivious as huge out of place key, were the houses inventoried, what about knocking on doors anyone see or hear anything unusual, what about the victoms cars. No one thought of going to a lock smith to see what kind of key it was. If one of the criems happened in the 80's would not have made sence to assume he was in the system somewhere Bad police work from supposed professionals Bob
treehouse_reader More than 1 year ago
I have read the previous books in the Karen Vail series.  I WANTED to like this one.  As usually, the story is a very good one - Jacobson knows how to set up a gripping thriller.  But I kept being jolted out of the story by things which just grated on me too much as a former journalist and a lawyer.  She wants to control the phrases in a journalist's "report"?  No journalist will let someone write the story for them.  She recognizes that there is the Constitutional problem with getting a journalist to reveal sources, but magically can get a warrant for cell phone records to reveal them?  Other places the review of cell phone records seems to be just part of police power.  I know that the Patriot Act has made it much easier, but Jacobson seems to ignore any legal requirements.  Also, though I usually think Jacobson does a very good job of writing from a female point of view, his gender shines through a little too brightly in places.  Knowing that she is pulling on form-fitting jeans and a tight black sweater really doesn't further the story - and putting another female detective in a tank top to use her "assets" to distract someone, with accompanying banter, lost me.  Finally, it is just too long.  I know, I know.  A story should be as long as it takes to tell the story and page count is really irrelevant.  But I had this one figured out half-way through and couldn't stand it anymore.  I skipped through to the conclusion, knowing that I missed some really good portions on the history of the prison system.  I hope that the next books in the series are better.  As I said, I really WANTED to like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am having a hard time reading this book, about half way thru it but dont know if i will be able to finish. The Karen Vail FBI persona is not at all likable or interesting. Hard to see her side of anything i dont recommend
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