Gina W. (Thomasville, AL)
I enjoyed reading Agent X. I rated it 'good' because I am not a big reader of books with a spy/espionage theme, however, I think fans of spy thrillers will really enjoy this book. The main character, Vail, is very likeable. I would recommend this book to friends.
Darlene C. (Woodstock, il)
Nothing New Here
Another cold war, Russia vs. U.S., novel with a mole high up in one of the U.S. spy agencies. Although this has been done many times, I was hoping for a a fresh perspective. Unfortunately, I found this book to be tiresome and, frankly, boring much of the time. The plot was implausible to the point of being difficult to follow. I had to keep reminding myself what the point was of all the chasing around and dead bodies. I enjoy books where the plot is complex and challenging but the clues are there. However, I am not an Agatha Christie fan because the clues are available only to one of the characters - no chance to figure it our for your self. This book follows that formula.
I have not read the first book in this series so perhaps I was at a disadvantage in terms of character development. My belief is that books should generally stand on their own, providing enough character development to flesh out the characters so they become real people that you have some feeling about - either liking or disliking them. In my opinion, this book failed to accomplish that. Both of the main characters, Steve Vail and Kate Bannon, seemed very one dimensional. In particular, Steve Vail would make a great romance novel hero. He is perfect, never does anything wrong and is the only one capable of figuring out and finding the bad guys. If you enjoy those types of heroes, this will be a good read for you. It might make a good airplane or beach book but would not be high on my list of recommendations.
Maggie P. (Mount Airy, MD)
Fast paced, this book offers three different storylines so the reader must focus. Not reading the first book with these characters, The Bricklayer, does not put the reader at a disadvantage. The banter between Steve Vail and Kate Bannon is reminiscent of "Moonlighting." Agent X is a good, quick, light read.
Sharon W. (Columbia, SC)
Agent X Needs Help!
Noah Boyd, pen name for Paul Lindsay, needs to focus. Is he using Dan Brown's plot construction model? Perhaps Lee Child's? The tedious plotting through way too many puzzles suggests Brown. The rogue main character suggests Childs. I suggest Boyd/Lindsay find his own legs.
His main character's attitude about management-level agents in the Bureau, while somewhat over-stated, are nevertheless quite accurate.
The writing mechanics are careful for the most part, but awkward and amateurish in many places.
I plodded through this book. I wanted to skip.
Cheryl D. (Angola, NY)
Suspend all belief
I did not read THE BRICKLAYER which was the first book in the series and that may have influenced my opinion here, but I found that the main characters lacked development. They were witty and intelligent, but I didn't feel as though I knew them. They were also able to solve clues and puzzles at a moment's notice. The book was exciting and fast paced, but I was not able to keep up with their findings. Reading is more fun if I can keep up with the story.
Samantha H. (Golden, CO)
Agent X - an entertaining thriller
Agent X is an entertaining thriller that is hard to put down. Steve Vail, the protagonist from The Bricklayer, is back in action again. The main characters are likable, and the plot twists keep you guessing to the end. This book is an enjoyable read.
Helen S. (Palm Desert, California)
A page turner with a lot of twists and turns. The story held my attention throughout. The main character known as the bricklayer "Steve Vail" is fascinating although at times not quite believable . This character is very dynamic in Boyd's first book entitled "The Bricklayer" as well as in "Agent X".
Boyd covers government involvement and the necessary complex government laws and the FBI's entanglement throughout to both interest the reader as well as create an awareness of some intricacies of solving problems in our nation.
I look forward to his next exciting book with Steve Vail.