Summary and book reviews of The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd

The Bricklayer

A Novel

by Noah Boyd

The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd X
The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2010, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2011, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Someone gives you a dangerous puzzle to solve, one that may kill you or someone else, and you're about to fail... And there is no other option. No one who can help. No one but the Bricklayer.

The Bricklayer is the pulse-pounding novel introducing Steve Vail, one of the most charismatic new heroes to come along in thriller fiction in many years. He's an ex–FBI agent who's been fired for insubordination but is lured back to the Bureau to work a case that has become more unsolvable—and more deadly—by the hour.

A woman steps out of the shower in her Los Angeles home and is startled by an intruder sitting calmly in her bedroom holding a gun. But she is frozen with fear by what he has to say about the FBI—and what he says he must do...

A young agent slips into the night water off a rocky beach. He's been instructed to swim to a nearby island to deposit a million dollars demanded by a blackmailer. But his mission is riddled with hazardous tests, as if someone wanted to destroy him rather than collect the money...

Vail has resigned himself to his dismissal and is content with his life as a bricklayer. But the FBI, especially Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon, needs help with a shadowy group that has initiated a brilliant extortion plot. The group will keep killing their targets until the agency pays them off, the amount and number of bodies escalating each time the FBI fails. One thing is clear: someone who knows a little too much about the inner workings of the Bureau is very clever —and very angry—and will kill and kill again if it means he can disgrace the FBI.

Steve Vail's options —and his time to find answers—are swiftly running out.

Noah Boyd's The Bricklayer is written with the bracing authenticity only someone who has been a crack FBI investigator can provide. And in this masterful debut Boyd has created a mind-bending maze of clues and traps inside a nonstop thrill ride that is sure to leave readers exhilarated and enthralled.

Before

As Mickey Stillson stared at the gun in his hand, he absent-mindedly reached up and adjusted the fake ear that was his entire disguise and wondered how a born-again Christian like himself had wound up in the middle of a bank robbery.

A year earlier, he had been so certain of his religious conversion that when he went before the Illinois parole board, he let his inner peace sell itself. He asked its members to address him as Michael—a name that he felt emitted a soft, evangelical glow—because like Saul giving way to Paul, prison had been his personal road to Damascus. Confinement, he explained to the stony faces in front of him, had actually been his salvation. Without it, he would never have found God, the void that had sent his previous life tumbling end over end, resulting in a three-year-long incarceration for forgery.

He couldn’t help but wonder now if finding God hadn’t in fact been strictly a means of survival. After all, his ear had been cut off by ...

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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Looking for a page-turner to while away the weekend with? 17 out of 18 BookBrowse readers gave thumbs up to this heart-pounding thriller and its hero. Here's what they had to say:

From the first page to the last I was completely engaged with the characters and the story line, and at 390 pages this one is no wimp. And still, it ended too soon. There were so many twists and turns in this thriller that I could not figure out what was happening next - and I'm the queen of figuring out the ending by the middle of the book. As an added bonus, I have fallen in love with Steve Vail (aka the Bricklayer) and am so thrilled that this is just the first book in a series. I can't wait for the second book to come out. So you better get this one on your wish list quick because you cannot have my copy (Rebecca C)!   (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

Full Review (463 words).

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

Media Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
If the rest of the series is as sensational as The Bricklayer, Vail should have a long, happy life - and readers should enjoy every installment of it.

Booklist
Boyd is said to be a pseudonym for a former FBI agent, and this fast-paced thriller includes many authentic-seeming details about the Bureau’s bureaucracy.

Publishers Weekly
Predictable plot elements include the hero's incredible escapes from peril and the growing romantic bond between the laconic Vail and the attractive Bannon.

Kirkus Reviews
Highly formulaic - the Rube Goldberg plot makes Jeffery Deaver's twisty thrillers seem models of realism - but irresistible red meat for connoisseurs of action thrillers.

Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)
[A] refreshingly unpredictable mystery destined to become a bestseller with many sequels.

Author Blurb Lee Child
Non-stop action and non-stop authenticity make this a real winner.

Author Blurb Patricia Cornwell
Noah Boyd brings his FBI experience to this dazzling thriller. The pace is frenetic, the action is unique, and the drama intense. We have a new American hero in Steve Vail.

Author Blurb James Patterson
Patricia Cornwell highly recommended this thriller to me and she was right on. The Bricklayer has terrific pace, surprises galore, and snappy dialogue in the appropriate places. Even better, it has a real hero. Move over Jack Reacher, here comes The Bricklayer.

Reader Reviews

Nancy Patterson

Brick by brick
I had just finished the Hunger Games series and was looking for something new that intrigued me like this series. Since my dad was a second generation bricklayer, I picked it up wondering how authentic the author's voice would be regarding the life ...   Read More

SAM

Back to Basics
Interesting plot. Great characters. Wonderful dialogue. It doesn't get much better if you enjoy fast-paced mystery/suspense novels. Noah Boyd has masterfully created one of the best ones I've read in awhile. He reminds me of the earlier ...   Read More

Nikki R. (Irvine, CA)

Hail Vail
As I began reading I had some doubts since it started rather slowly in my opinion. I kept plugging away and boy did it get exciting ! A bit creepy too as the adventures were recounted. On a lighter note the male/ female interplay added interest. By ...   Read More

Jan P. (Fairfax, VA)

Oh the Tale Boyd Wove!
One hundred pages into Noah Boyd’s The Bricklayer, first glance up, lost in a story full of suspenseful endings that kept on coming. Agent Steve Vail, both real and unreal in his dealings and his daring. Airy and intense bantering with both love ...   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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

About the Author
Noah Boyd is the pseudonym of a former FBI agent who works on cold cases when he's not writing. He was a highly successful FBI agent with over 20 years experience hunting some of the country's most prolific serial killers, including the Green River Killer and the Highland Park Strangler. His intimate knowledge of the Bureau's inner workings, including its weaknesses, and his "in the trenches" experience lends unusual authenticity to Vail's character and the novel's investigative details.

Coming Soon: Agent X, the second in Boyd's Steve Vail series, will publish in hardcover in February 2011. Browse BookBrowse members' "First Impressions" reviews here.

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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Noah Boyd

If you liked The Bricklayer, try these:

  • City of the Sun jacket

    City of the Sun

    by David Levien

    Published 2009

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Riveting suspense in the tradition of Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly, City of the Sun introduces retired detective Frank Behr—an imposing, charismatic former cop who agrees to take the case of a boy who’s been missing for over a year.

  • An Ordinary Spy jacket

    An Ordinary Spy

    by Joseph Weisberg

    Published 2009

    About this book

    A former CIA case officer’s novel about two embattled spies who go to extraordinary lengths to keep their informants out of harm’s way, published as vetted by the agency itself.

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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Spy of Venice
    The Spy of Venice
    by Benet Brandreth
    Benet Brandreth's delightfully diverting historical thriller brings the Bard to vibrant life. ...
  • Book Jacket: Three Things About Elsie
    Three Things About Elsie
    by Joanna Cannon
    The novel opens with the primary narrator, Florence, prone on the floor after a fall. She is in her ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Removes by Tatjana Soli

A powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of the American frontier.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.