Summary and book reviews of Eclipse by Richard North Patterson

Eclipse by Richard North Patterson X
Eclipse by Richard North Patterson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2009, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2009, 560 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The spellbinding story of an American lawyer who takes on a nearly impossible case—the defense of an African freedom fighter against his corrupt government’s charge of murder

Damon Pierce’s life has just reached a defining moment: a gifted California lawyer, he’s being divorced by his wife and his work often seems soulless. Then he receives a frantic e-mail from Marissa Brand Okari—a woman he loved years ago—and decides to risk everything to respond to her plea for help.

Marissa’s husband, Bobby Okari, is the charismatic leader of a freedom movement in the volatile west African nation of Luandia, which is being torn apart by the world’s craving for its vast supply of oil. Bobby’s outspoken opposition to the exploitation of his homeland by PetroGlobal—a giant American oil company with close ties to Luandia’s brutal government—has enraged General Savior Karama, the country’s autocratic ruler. After Bobby leads a protest rally during a full eclipse of the sun, everyone in his home village is massacred by government troops. And now Bobby has been arrested and charged with the murder of three PetroGlobal workers. Still drawn to Marissa, Pierce agrees to defend Bobby, hoping to save both Bobby and Marissa from almost certain death.  But the lethal politics of Luandia may cost Pierce his life instead.

Culminating in a dramatic show trial and a desperate race against time, Eclipse combines a thrilling narrative with a vivid look at the human cost of the global lust for oil. Here is Richard North Patterson at his compelling best, confirming his place as our most provocative author of popular fiction.

PROLOGUE
The Devil’s Light

In a West African village, Marissa Brand Okari watched her husband prepare to risk his life for the act of speaking out.

It was night. Hundreds of villagers, old and young, gathered in the center of town, their faces illuminated less by moonlight than by the huge orange flame that spewed out of the vertical stem thrusting from an oil pipeline. Torchlike, the stem backlit the line of palms behind the village, its thick residue of smoke blackening the air, its roar a constant ominous presence. Every day in the life of any villager under thirty, this terrible eruption - the flaring of gas from the oil extracted by PetroGlobal Luandia from beneath the deep- red clay - had never ceased, its searing, poisonous heat denuding trees, killing birds and animals, and turning the rainfall to acid, which corroded the roofs that sheltered the people’s thatched homes.

The "devil’s light," Bobby Okari called it. Now his people, the Asari, bore him on their ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Simplicity is something to which Patterson never succumbs, even though at times it might feel a blessing. But in the cosmos of Eclipse there are almost more strata of complex desire, motivation and intention than it is possible to track. And each desire, motivation and intention eclipses something else until no character is able to see things plainly. It is what sets a Richard North Patterson thriller apart from its competitors on bookstore shelves and keeps him hitting the New York Times bestseller list...continued

Full Review (732 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Media Reviews

Washington Post
He brings his knowledge to the book with a sense of urgency far beyond the plot at hand, depicting complex legal issues and the larger geopolitical situation with authority and clarity.

Kirkus Reviews
A satisfying fable that pits a hero who deeply believes in the rule of law against a violent, lawless regime that holds all the cards.

Library Journal
Patterson once again brings a timely, controversial subject - America's dependence on foreign oil - to the forefront in this troubling yet engrossing read. Highly recommended.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Patterson has exerted all his considerable skill in creating a nightmare atmosphere that will cling to readers long after the last page is turned.

Reader Reviews

Maren

Compelling, Intelligent, Informative--Excellent
Always a Richard North Patterson fan, I never-the-less reached a new level of respect--and yes, awe--for the author after reading this powerful and disturbing novel about an African freedom fighter, Bobby Okari, caught between the corrupt forces of ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Ken Saro-Wiwa

In his acknowledgments, Richard North Patterson confirms that Eclipse is loosely based on the life and death of Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995.

Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-1995) was born Kenule Benson Tsaro-Wiwa in Bori, Rivers State (a coastal state in the south of Nigeria, map).  He was the son of Jim Beesom Wiwa, a businessman and community chief of the Ogoni people, an ethnic minority whose homelands have been targeted for oil extraction since the 1950s.  The Ogoni are one of the many indigenous people of the Niger Delta region. Their 404-square-mile homeland, known as Ogoniland, is located in Rivers State on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and is home to about half a ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Richard North Patterson

If you liked Eclipse, try these:

  • A Bit of Difference jacket

    A Bit of Difference

    by Sefi Atta

    Published 2012

    About this book

    A new novel from the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

  • Little Bee jacket

    Little Bee

    by Chris Cleave

    Published 2010

    About this book

    More books by this author

    The publishers "don't want to spoil" the story by giving too much away - so we won't - but in brief it features a young Nigerian orphan, a well-off British couple, and the real distances in a globalized world which can be crossed in single day. Published as The Other Hand in the UK, Australia and India; and Little Bee in the USA and Canada.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Divide Me By Zero
    Divide Me By Zero
    by Lara Vapnyar
    Divide Me By Zero begins with an encounter between the narrator, Katya Geller, a 40-something mother...
  • Book Jacket: Mighty Justice
    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree , Katie McCabe
    What it's about:
    Dovey Johnson Roundtree was one of two lawyers who won the landmark case "Sarah ...
  • Book Jacket: The Seine
    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino
    Of the 24 members who reviewed Elaine Sciolino's The Seine: The River that Made Paris for BookBrowse...
  • Book Jacket: Fireborne
    Fireborne
    by Rosaria Munda
    Inspired by classical political theory and the French Revolution, Rosaria Munda's YA debut Fireborne...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino

    "A soulful, transformative voyage along the body of water that defines the City of Light."
    —Lauren Collins
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Ordinary Girls
    by Jaquira Díaz

    Reminiscent of Tara Westover's Educate and Roxane Gay's Hunger--a memoir that reads as electrically as a novel.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.