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Line of Fire

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Overview

Dr. Gregory is starting to feel settled, hopeful that a long period of upheaval in his private life is behind him. He refocuses his energy on his clinical psychology practice, where a beguiling new patient captivates him, but the interlude of calm doesn’t last. Devastating fires are threatening Boulder. Alan’s dear friend Diane is showing signs of a long-simmering emotional collapse. And Alan’s most pressing fear — the exposure of a dangerous secret — has become a peril too real...

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Line of Fire

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Overview

Dr. Gregory is starting to feel settled, hopeful that a long period of upheaval in his private life is behind him. He refocuses his energy on his clinical psychology practice, where a beguiling new patient captivates him, but the interlude of calm doesn’t last. Devastating fires are threatening Boulder. Alan’s dear friend Diane is showing signs of a long-simmering emotional collapse. And Alan’s most pressing fear — the exposure of a dangerous secret — has become a peril too real to ignore.

A new witness has surfaced, causing the police to reopen their investigation into the suicide of a woman named Justine Winter Brown. When Alan and his equally culpable friend, Sam Purdy, inadvertently disclose their involvement in her death to a stranger, any confidence they feel about riding out a renewed investigation evaporates. The trail that leads to Alan and Sam, once cold, has turned white-hot.

With his vulnerability mounting daily, Alan suspects that his mesmerizing new patient may be the catalyst that could cause everything he treasures — his marriage, his family, his friendships, and his future — to implode. As flames lick at the city, the story hurtles toward a shocking conclusion that leaves the stage set for a jaw-dropping last act — the upcoming final book in the two-decades-long Alan Gregory saga.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Like his clinical psychologist/thriller author, Boulder psychotherapist/sleuth Alan Gregory pursues two hectic careers. In his nineteenth outing, Dr. Gregory and his friend Sam Purdy find themselves in the metaphorical crosshairs of some very vengeful hombres. The penultimate number of a reader-endorsed series; now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

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.)
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469297446
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 12/3/2013
  • Series: Alan Gregory Series , #19
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and a New York Times bestselling author of eighteen previous crime novels, including The Siege and The Last Lie. He lives in Colorado.

Biography

Anyone who has ever tried his or her hand at writing has surely heard the sage advice "write what you know." Stephen White has most-assuredly taken that bit of wisdom to heart in creating his thrilling series of Alan Gregory novels. A clinical psychologist, White has crafted a character with a similar background that has also benefited from his fifteen years of professional practice.

White has been keeping fans of psychological thrillers on the edges of their seats ever since he published his first novel Privileged Information in 1991. The book introduced his literary alter ego Dr. Alan Gregory and made ample use of everything he'd gleaned while working as a practicing psychologist. "There are two benefits of my previous experience as a psychologist that I consider invaluable to my life as a writer," White revealed in an interview on his web site (www.authorstephenwhite.com). "The first is that my work gave me a chance to observe and study the infinite varieties of motivation that human beings have for their behavior. The other is that being a psychotherapist exposed me to dialogue in its purest form. For eight to ten hours a day over a period of fifteen years I had the privilege of sitting and listening to a wide variety of people just talk. I can't imagine a better training ground for writing dialogue."

As for how similar he truly is to his most-famous creation beyond their shared profession, White says, "The similarities don't exactly end there but there's no need to exaggerate them, either. Although neither of us is a model of mental health, his neuroses are different than mine. And he has advantages that I never had as a psychotherapist. First, he has the benefit of all my years of experience. And second, I get to think about his lines as long as I'd like. Real patients never offer that luxury." The resulting debut novel won rave reviews from the likes of The New York Daily News, Publisher's Weekly, and The Library Journal and established White as a writer to watch.

White followed Privileged Information with over a dozen additional installments of the Alan Gregory adventures. The latest may very well be the most exciting and psychologically provocative episode yet. In Kill Me, a happily-married extreme sports enthusiast and patient of Gregory's makes a deal with a clandestine organization called Death Angels Inc. that may very well bring his life to an untimely end. As always, Dr. Alan Gregory is present, but he plays more of a background role than he does in most of White's other novels. Still, fans of White's previous work will surely be captivated by the novel that Booklist has deemed "Bizarre, thrilling, and oh so much fun" and fellow bestselling writer Michael Connelly (Blood Work, The Closers) asserts is "his best yet."

In any event, White has no immediate plans of abandoning Gregory to write a non-series novel. "My series is commercially successful, thanks to all of you," he says. "As important for me as the commercial success is, the fact [is] that the series is also creatively flexible.... [I] anticipate staying with the series as long as the readers are interested..." If that's the case, then readers can expect the Dr. Alan Gregory to have a long and psychologically healthy life.

Good To Know

Contrary to the rumor mill, the Stephen White who created Alan Gregory is not the same Stephen White who has written a series of books about...ahem ... Barney the Purple Dinosaur. However, White admits that he has occasionally signed the other Stephen White's Barney books when asked to.

For those who are wondering what ever happened to the seemingly long-lost book Saints and Sinners, which was excerpted in Private Practices, you may have already read it without even realizing. Shortly before publication, the title Saints and Sinners was changed to Higher Authority. Some interesting outtakes from our interview with White:

"Jonathan Kellerman and I were colleagues in the early 1980's before either of us were novelists. At a time when our nascent field was very small, we were both psychologists specializing in the psychological aspects of childhood cancer. Jon was at Los Angeles Childrens Hospital. I was at The Children's Hospital in Denver."

"My brother is a better writer than I am."

"One of my first jobs was as a tour guide at Universal Studios. I lasted five weeks. That's two weeks longer than I lasted as a creative writing major during my freshman year at the University of California."

"I worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1971-72, running the upstairs café, waiting tables, and occasionally doing some cooking. Two of my bosses were Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower. They both cook better than I write. Jeremiah actually writes better than I cook."

"I learned to fly an airplane before I learned to drive a car".

"I'm a lucky man. I've spent much of my adult life in two terrific, rewarding careers. In the first, as a clinical psychologist, I spent eight to twelve hours a day in a room with one other person. In the second, as a writer, I spend a similar number of hours a day in a room with no other person, though sometimes I'm blessed with the company of a dog or two."

"A primary difference between the two experiences? As a psychotherapist, only one other person -- my patient -- typically observed my work. Virtually no one ever critiqued it. As a novelist, literally millions of people observe my work, and most feel no compunction whatsoever about critiquing it. Being a writer is a lovely thing. But adapting to the reality of being read has been a constant source of wonder for me."

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 29, 2012

    Did Sam Kill Someone?

    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!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In a note the author informs the reader that this is the next-to

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2012

    Interesting Read if You've Followed Alan Gregory.

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    Can't recommend this particular Steven White book.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Not his best

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    I was very disappointed in this book after being an avid reader

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Line of Fire is the 19th out of an imagined 20 novels in a serie

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    Waiting for the final chapter.....

    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.

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

    Posted November 23, 2012

    Disappointed

    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!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    Logan

    Yah sure XD-Logan

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Dashkoff here

    Still crashing the party everwhere!!!!!
    - Dashkoff

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Amanda

    Frowns*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Leo

    Grabs biscut walks outof messhall half asleep wit bedhead

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Miles

    Louis is also awesome.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Louis

    Why yes, yes i am. X3 *gets out a mirror and stares dreamilly at himself in it* NARCISSUS MOMENT!! XD (plz post u screwy nook)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    Haley

    Gtg bai

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Zashra

    She quickly runs into the woods away from the water.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Saph

    Yo

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    Nateerie

    Aw ken...do u need a hug?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews

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