Sarah H. (Belford, NJ)
Steve Vail could rescue me anytime...
Agent X is an action packed thriller filled with twists and turns on every page. Boyd's writing really keeps you guessing right up until the very end. Action, mystery, and a smidgen of a love story; who wouldn't love this book?
Laura P. (Atlanta, GA)
Light a fire, pour a drink...
...and curl up with "Agent X" for an evening of action that leaves bodies scattered all over the Washington, DC, area. Like Lee Child's Jack Reacher and Nelson Demille's John Corry, Steve Vail has never met a weapon he couldn't shoot. Along with erstwhile love interest Kate Bannon, he can decipher the most arcane clues almost instantly - why would you not think to check the edge of a CD for notched-in Morse code messages? - and is considered a whiz-bang of an investigator even by those whose instructions he refuses to follow. Hard to believe? You bet. But for a "take me away' evening this one is hard to beat. The writing is competent; the plot moves quickly and systematically with sufficient twists and turns to keep the reading interesting. It was good enough that I'll go back and read "The Bricklayer."
Carol C. (Troy, NY)
Agent X - An Entertaining Read
The writing could be more concise, the dialogue a bit smoother and loose ends wrapped up a bit tighter, but that said, the story held my interest to the point where I ran out and bought the first book in the series (the Bricklayer), which I'm happily reading. If you're looking for a fun, moderately-paced action/thriller, this should do the trick.
Mary D. (Claremont, CA)
A very exciting read, always fast-paced and moving. The protagonists are complicated people but very likable. What I particularly enjoy with these characters is that the friendships ring true, the personal commitments are honored and the sense of right vs. wrong is strong. The intrigue within the government is exciting and the good guy/bad guy lines are not always clearly drawn. A good, exciting read from beginning to end!
Patricia D. (Woodland Hills, CA)
My hero - the Bricklayer aka Steve Vail
In Boyd's first book Steve Vail, the bricklayer, was established as a real-life super hero. In Agent X, Steve again performs all the impossible spy and counter-conspiracy theory dances like he was born into the job. He's a little shy in the romance department, but that makes his character seem even more sincere and realistic. Steven Vail is again cornered in this book by the FBI, CIA, police, detectives and any one else who can't figure out a problem. Give it to Steve and he has the problem solved in no time. The reader is sent through a whirl-wind of government and terrorist plots which keeps the pages turning. The action is superb and the story line is one to keep you awake until the book is done. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time because you won't want to put this book down. Does he get the girl this time? Your turn to find out!
Jeff M. (Morris Plains, NJ)
An above average espionage thriller. The reader may sometimes have to suspend belief about how fast the Bricklayer, Steve Vail, and his colleagues can make meaning from the most hidden of clues that no one else can decipher. And while the banter between them sometimes is a bit too much, overall it is a solid read that will have you turning the pages. I will go back and read the first in the series, "The Bricklayer", which I have on the shelf but had not read. US counterterrorism agencies could use a few dozen Steve Vails with his analytical abilities and street sense.
Ruth O. (Downingtown, PA)
‘Agent X’ was a fast-paced thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed. This was the second book in a series, and I would have had a slightly easier read if I knew more of the backstory, but it was ok as a stand-alone book. The action never stopped—I’d think it was over with the villains identified, but some other twist in the story would occur to keep the book moving along. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with all of the characters! Most of the book took place in one locale, the Washington, DC area, which made it easier to follow than some thrillers which hop around the globe. The author writes in a concise manner with little embellishment, so there was not full character development but it served the story well. I think I’ll have to go back and read the first book in the series now!