Line of Fire

Line of Fire

3.9 43
by Stephen White, Dick Hill
     
 

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When authorities reopen their investigation into the suicide of a woman named J. Winter Brown, Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory and his equally culpable friend Sam Purdy inadvertently disclose details of their involvement in her death. Now, the trail that leads back to Alan and Sam, once cold, has turned white-hot.

With his vulnerability mounting daily, Alan

Overview

When authorities reopen their investigation into the suicide of a woman named J. Winter Brown, Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory and his equally culpable friend Sam Purdy inadvertently disclose details of their involvement in her death. Now, the trail that leads back to Alan and Sam, once cold, has turned white-hot.

With his vulnerability mounting daily, Alan begins to fear that a mesmerizing new patient may be the catalyst that can cause everything he treasures—his marriage, family, friendship, and future—to implode. As the authorities close in, the story hurtles toward a conclusion that will set the stage for the most unexpected of outcomes: the final act of the Alan Gregory saga.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Several old cases preoccupy Alan Gregory in bestseller White’s fine 19th thriller starring the Boulder, Colo., psychologist (after 2010’s The Last Lie). On the personal side, Gregory’s longtime professional partner, Diane, whose emotional condition has been shaky for several years, faces a new crisis in her disintegrating marriage. Gregory is also trying to keep the lid on an old crime—the murder of a psychotic woman in a neighboring town—for which he and his friend, Det. Sam Purdy, were partially complicit. And, as always, a new patient, Amanda Bobbie, is clouding the picture with a cryptic backstory that leads to a stunning cliffhanger involving Gregory’s wife, Lauren. Longtime fans and newcomers alike will enjoy spending time in the company of the always hospitable Gregory. In an author’s note, White explains why he’s bringing the series to an end with the 20th installment. There’s one patient left in the waiting room, however. Let’s hope it’s a long session. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
“A Stephen White thriller at its best—a juicy and very complicated crime with characters drawn close to the heart.”—The Denver Post

Line of Fire grips readers from the first few pages and doesn’t let go until the last page is turned.”—Southern Colorado Literature Examiner

“Compelling…set against the beautiful Colorado landscape amid raging wildfires.”—The Associated Press

“Action-packed…With a great cliffhanger.”—Midwest Book Review

Library Journal
Settling back into his clinical psychology practice, Alan Gregory is alerted to the reopened investigation into the presumed suicide of a woman named J. Winter Brown. He and buddy Sam Purdy accidentally reveal details about their involvement in her death to a manic drug dealer, and soon they are in the investigators' crosshairs. White wraps up a best-selling series, but not quite yet; this is the first of a two-parter.
Kirkus Reviews
As a series of wildfires swoop ever closer to his Boulder office, psychotherapist Alan Gregory's life threatens to go up in metaphorical flames even before their arrival. As part of his deep-laid plan of revenge against Alan and his friend, Detective Sam Purdy, Alan's incarcerated ex-patient Michael McClelland sicced Currie Brown on the oh-so-susceptible Sam. When he realized that Currie planned to kill his own family and Alan's, Sam reacted in the way every cop dreams of: by staging a fake suicide that would neutralize Currie's threat for keeps and telling Alan what he'd done. One night the two conspirators, meeting over a comatose accident victim at Community Hospital, review their actions and assure themselves that they're safe. But that very conversation puts them back in the hot seat when the accident victim, threatened by a variety of police charges himself, makes a complete recovery, checks out of the hospital, comes after Alan with what he's learned, and vows to bring down Sam in order to keep himself out of jail. Meantime, Alan's begun to treat Amanda Bobbie, who insists she wants his advice about a friend who's about to go broke, then reveals that she's a paid-companion-with-benefits to said friend, who begins to sound an awful lot like somebody Alan knows. The two plot lines take quite a while to get established, but once they do, the pressure on Alan mounts relentlessly until a stunning coincidence sends the unrelated two stories crashing together. White (Dead Time, 2008, etc.) makes it clear that Alan's 19th appearance is his penultimate case; the next case will be his swan song. Judging from the risks he takes this time, fans won't want to miss the sequel.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469245645
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Series:
Alan Gregory Series , #19
Edition description:
Abridged
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.80(d)

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Line of Fire grips readers from the first few pages and doesn't let go until the last page is turned."
Southern Colorado Literature Examiner

Meet the Author

Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and a New York Times bestselling author. He lives in Colorado.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Colorado
Date of Birth:
August 20, 1951
Place of Birth:
Long Island, New York
Education:
B.A., UC Berkeley, 1972; M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1975; Ph.D., 1979
Website:
http://www.authorstephenwhite.com

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Line of Fire 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
nle1 More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Stephen White’s novels. I started when I lived In Longmont, CO which is basically Boulder-east and was so enthralled with Alan Gregory, Sam Purdy and their friends that I couldn’t put any of them down. The same goes today – I loved this book. Alan, psychologist, therapist, husband, father and friend is about to find out all sorts of interesting thing about several folk in his life. He knows that Lauren, his wife, is a top-notch lawyer for the Boulder DA’s office. He knows that his best friend Sam the cop is hiding something major. His partner, Diane, who has had several bad years; is coming apart at the seams. Not that she doesn’t have reasons, but….. And then in walk two new patients: Amanda who has a background no one would want and Rick who is not at all who he seems to be. He’s a lot more worrisome. Amanda’s brother passed away from cancer and she helped ease his pain. Rick (aka Comadoe – you’d have to read it) apparently overheard a conversation while in a semi-coma that links Sam and maybe Alan to a murder in another town. Did Sam do it? Maybe. Did Alan know about it? Yep. Did Alan know Sam took Lauren’s car? Not bloody likely! The ease with which Stephen White comes up with plots worries me a bit. Not many are this good all of the time. He is. The part that worried me before I read this story was that this is the second to the last book about Boulder, Alan and Sam. We all know good things come to an end but – dammitt – I really liked these. And you will really love this one!
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
In a note the author informs the reader that this is the next-to-the-last novel in the long-running series featuring psychotherapist Alan Gregory. He intends to complete the series on his own terms because of the changing nature of the book industry with number 20. Not many authors reach such a conclusion. Even Ian Rankin had to bring back his popular Rebus protagonist. And this book definitely sets the stage for that scenario. The novel introduces a new patient, giving Alan some insights not only into that patient, but himself. She also complicates his life in unexpected ways, especially as to Diane, his friend and partner. And as usual, Boulder, CO, plays an important part in the story with brush fires raging and destroying homes. Lastly, his friend, Detective Sam Purdy and he are exposed to unwanted risk as an old secret surfaces. The novel slowly builds up as the various characters are brought into focus. It is an insightful look at Alan Gregory and provides plenty of factors to consider looking forward to how the series will end. I can’t wait to find out. (Just an aside: the author says this is the right time to conclude the Gregory story. Some readers may disagree. But, after all, it’s his decision alone.) Recommended.
busymom923 More than 1 year ago
As usual, White crafts a clever plot with characters we are familiar with, but even if you are new to Stephen White books, it's an interesting read. His characters are well-developed, and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep your interest piqued. The only think I didn't like was there was not a resolution to the conflict. Line of Fire is similar to a cliff hanger. The reader is left hanging wondering what is going to happen in regards to some of the polot elements, but it is definitely a worthy read.
4444William More than 1 year ago
Haven read several Steven Whites books, which I enjoyed, I was very disappointed in this one. Too much time spent on what was happening in the Boulder area. I live in the Denver area and still was bored with all the descriptive problems some of the characters were having with the area. After the first 280 pages, L could read no more.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Line of Fire is the 19th out of an imagined 20 novels in a series featuring Boulder shrink Alan Gregory. One more book is to complete the series. It can't come too soon after reading Line of Fire. The author has his major characters complicit in a crime that defies belief, another major character is involved in a shocking crime, and a lovable character meets an unwarranted end. Why not just throw in the kitchen sink, too? Much of the book is spent detailing one character's sexual history as she comes for therapy. Given that she is a sex worker, it provides some titillating material but nothing that we needed in the novel. Oh, did I mention the infidelity of one of the character's? I guess that was the kitchen sink. Anyway, an absurd novel that only promises to become truly ludicrous in the 20th and gratefully last book.
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Lpierson61 More than 1 year ago
I am going to truly miss Alan, Lauren and Sam along with all of the other interesting characters that have been portrayed in this series. I have followed along since the 2nd book came out and waited patiently for each new installment. With that being said, I was not thrilled with the direction this book took. It didn't feel like I was reading about the same characters I have come to know. Specifically, the methodically careful Sam and Alan, would not just have a conversation about a secret over a coma patients bed. They would be out in the mountains walking the dogs or ANYWHERE else. Secondly, that this patient (that wasn't "really" in a coma) was central to the storyline was very unbelievable. Third, the deterioration of Diane....just crazy! And finally Laurens' fate seems to just be included for the convenience of the storyline. This is not the typical Stephen White writing. Hopefully the final installment will bring the rest of the cast to a somewhat satisfying ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being from Colorado and spending lots of time in and around Boulder. I try to read White's books. This one has been a real disappointment. I feel like I am a therapist with a patient suffering from total distraction and maybe some dementia. I kept asking where' s plot? In the end it felt really contrived. One more like this and I will give up on White.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in this book after being an avid reader of the series. This book felt more like the season's finale of a mediocre tv series instead of the thought out ending of a gifted author. It seems like the author did every thing he could to burn bridges to any attachment readers have to any of the characters, as the most virtuous receive the worst treatment. Found myself wondering why the author found it necessary to blow up hopes for anything good for anyone in the book. I had been looking forward to these last two books but now I am thinking of passing on the last.
gcPA More than 1 year ago
Great book. Can't wait for the next one although I'll be sorry to see this series end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have been reading this series for years. Was a good installment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Stephen White's series and read them all, but this was disappointing. He has set his fans up for the final 2 books of this series and I'm not sure I need to read the last one. The most annoying part was his rediculous use of vocabulary. Don't know who he was trying to impress but I certainly wasn't! I found it extremely annoying and all it did was slow the pace of the book down. Story wasn't all that great either!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Frowns*