Richard Steinberg -- owner of an international security firm and author of
The Gemini Man -- returns with Nobody's Safe, a feverish thunderbolt -- part political espionage thriller, part science fiction jaunt -- that introduces readers to the crafty Greg Picaro, the slickest high-tech thief in the biz.
Picking locks is second nature to the steel-nerved protagonist of Steinberg's tough-talking--and pulp to the core--thriller. Greg Picaro, a thief who prides himself on his fine taste and self-restraint (he doesn't take unnecessary risks and can distinguish Paul Revere silver from the dross) is robbing Jack Kerry's apartment when three men enter and kill Kerry and his hired date. Mr. Kilbourne, the leader of the group, offs Kerry on the hunch that Kerry leaked information about two people named Joe and Max to tabloid TV reporter Megan Turner. Picaro is the next on Kilbourne's list. Steinberg (The Gemini Man) calls on his personal expertise in high-risk security and counterterrorism to impart realism to the courtroom scenes and chilling detail to the maneuvers of the thieves and thugs. Readers who may be initially put off because the opening sequence is reminiscent of Absolute Power will soon be seduced by a compulsively readable story that crackles with narrative energy and demands a sequel. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Greg Picaro is stealing valuables from an apartment when the owner and his girlfriend are murdered. Picaro escapes with items that place him in eminent danger from Majestic Twelve, a super-secret government agency with unlimited power and authority. The agency has been keeping two mysterious charges, Joe and Max Gray, hidden from the world in a virtually impregnable Nevada installation. Picaro, a world-class burglar with a knack for breaking into any security system, proves an elusive target and soon has assembled an assault team consisting of a reporter who has stumbled on the Majestic secret, a computer hack, and a group of gypsies who provide the muscle and then some. The reader knows what is waiting in the hidden bunker in the Nevada desert--we've all seen The X-Files--but Steinberg (The Gemini Man, LJ 3/1/98) has created an extraordinary hero in Greg Picaro, whose ability to overcome all obstacles carries the book to an enormously rewarding conclusion.--Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Hts.-University Hts. P.L., OH
Steinberg's second novel is not the expected sequel to The Gemini Man (1998), but rather introduces a new character, safecracker supreme Greg Picaro, who looks as if he may return for further adventures. Picaro's unrivaled talents as a master thief derive indirectly from his own author's background running an international security firm. And Picaro himself repeatedly invokes his god, Linus Yale, inventor of the Yale lock, while working on evading top-grade sensors. The story's opening scene is reminiscent of David Baldacci's Absolute Power with a safecracker who-while breaking into an apartment safe-witnesses a double murder, a villainy that leads back to a source in none other than the president-elect. The discovery that he has stolen some perfectly formed, incredibly round, or marble-shaped, diamonds (synthesized by no known earthly process), turns Picaro into a man on the run, as in Harrison Ford's The Fugitive, itself borrowed from F.L. Green's early '40s novel/film Odd Man Out. Then Steinberg hairpins into E.T.: Extraterrestrial with a pair of lovable little aliens, Joe and Max Gray, who have been captured by the federal government and kept in a supersecret big terrarium since their space ship crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, back in 1947 (ah, Men in Black!). Then midnovel, the story plunges feet-first into fantasy with these two "Hesperians." Which leads to a vast error on Steinberg's part, in that he will disappoint hard-nosed thriller readers with the goopy turn of events while his playing it mainly for crashingly cliché melodrama fails to weigh thoughtfully what first contact with an alien culture means. Picaro is a terrific character; whenever he comes near a safeor a sensor, the tension holds brilliantly. And so, a fusion novel folds thriller out into a sentimental fantasy-but cutting-edge only if you like filet mignon under meringue. .
"A compulsively readable story that crackles with narrative energy."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Picaro is a terrific character; whenever he comes near a safe or a sensor, the tension holds brilliantly."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"A wild and enjoyable ride."
-- Houston Chronicle
Don't miss Richard Steinberg's dazzling debut thriller
The Gemini Man, available from Bantam Books.
And coming soon in hardcover from Doubleday:
The Four-Phase Man.