Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Solo Debut is a First Rate Thriller

The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross (352 pgs) was sent to me for review from Harper Collins. It is Andrew Gross's debut solo effort. He has co-authored 5 novels with James Patterson, including The Jester and Judge & Jury.

From the Witness Protection Program Manual:

"The Blue Zone: the state most feared, when there is suspicion that a subject's new identity has been penetrated or blown. When he or she is unaccounted for, out of contact with the case agent, or has fled the safety of the program. When there is no official knowledge of whether that person is alive or dead."

Kate Raab, a medical researcher from New York, had a wonderful life. She had a loving family, a great job, and a fiance she loved with all her heart. One phone call from her mother though would change her life forever. Her father Ben, a gold trader in the city, had been arrested by the FBI and was being brought up on charges of money laundering for a Colombian drug cartel! How can this possibly be true? Ben claims he didn't know that he was involved in anything illegal with his gold trading, but all the evidence is pointing to the fact that Ben is a lot guiltier than he lets on. When a hit man tries to murder the family at their home, the Raab's are moved into the Witness Protection Program (or WITSEC) and Ben is forced to testify in court. The whole family is moved except Kate, who at 23 has a life of her own.

Just when her life is starting to get back to normal, Kate starts getting a bad feeling. She thinks she is being watched and that someone has been inside her apartment. Her friend Tina is the victim of a random accident, closing the lab one night instead of Kate. Then she is hit with more bad news. Her father is missing and the Raab family case agent has been murdered!

I was a bit leary about reading this book, mostly because of the connection that Gross has with James Patterson. I really enjoyed his first few Alex Cross books, but recently, his writing just seems tired and formulaic. But there should be no worries about this book!! The Blue Zone is a First-Rate, First-Class thrill ride!! There are many twists and turns, and nothing is at it seems. This book has everything: secrets, drug cartels, government agents, Witness Protection gone awry, crazy killers and more!! If you are looking for a good book, lighter reading that's a real page turner, look no further than The Blue Zone! 4.5/5


Literary Feline said...

I have my eye on this one. I am so glad you enjoyed it, Stephanie. I have yet to read any of the books he's co-authored with Patterson, but this one sounded like it might be good. Thanks for the great review!

Crystal said...

I have had my eye on this book too. I'm glad you read it and enjoyed it. I'll add it to my pile. I to feel the saem way about James Patterson lately. He's popping out 4 or 5 books a year. Really how much effort can he be putting into them. He also seems to always have a co-author too. So I wonder just how much James is contributing to the books.