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Line of Fire by Stephen White

Line of Fire (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Stephen White

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138686,938 (3.61)2
Title:Line of Fire
Authors:Stephen White
Info:Dutton Adult (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:mystery, thriller, hardback, Austin Public Library

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Line of Fire by Stephen White (2012)



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Alan Gregory has done many things he should not have. There were always consequences. All the chickens come home to roost in this, the next to last story for these characters. I was riveted from start to finish.

I have come to care about the characters in this series of books. Knowing there would be only one more book it was with a sense of dread that I started reading. I was kept guessing until the explosive ending which was nothing I expected.

This is the best in the series. A must read. ( )
  kewaynco | Apr 10, 2016 |
I just finished reading this book after reading the entire series from the beginning. I really enjoyed all of the books in the series and like how some of the storylines carry through to later books, but you don't need to read each book in the series to enjoy them. This IMO was one of the best and I can't believe I now have to wait for the final book in the series to come out to get some closure on the characters. LOL Write fast Stephen White! ( )
  booksgaloreca | Apr 3, 2013 |
I know I liked this series in the past, but this one leaves me bored. I want to read MORE. I need to quit reading books I don't find intriguing more often. Quite reading, FWIW, on page 243.

I may have liked this book better back when I read a series closer together in time. IOW, there are just too many references in this book that I can't recall whether or not are parts of earlier books or not. It was frustrating. ( )
  INTPLibrarian | Dec 31, 2012 |
Line of Fire was a HUGE disappointment, especially after The Siege, which was so awesome. I never understand why authors finish out a series by having established characters act like people you never met. The various plots were convoluted, the coincidences unbelievable, and Sam and Alan just behaved stupidly.

I mean really...Sam wanted to have a private conversation about a crime he committed 4 years previously. So he waited till he was in an ICU room with a supposedly comatose patient, waited for the nurse to leave her station, sent the officer guarding the door on a stupid errand and then covered the nurse's intercom on the bed with the patient's pillow and the wall intercom with a washcloth and started whispering. Really? Why not talk in the car? Why not in the parking lot? Why wait till you're in a place where you're worried that other people will hear you? Sam is smarter than that.

*******SPOILER ALERT*********
And poor Diane. I have no idea what Stephen White was thinking when he made her act so crazy. He definitely set it up so that a brain tumor can explain her odd behavior in the last book. She had every right to have a meltdown after being held hostage and possibly raped a few books earlier. She was definitely traumatized. However, she had always been such a solid therapist, so much more ethical than Alan. Even if her PTSD got worse, I can't see her trying to kill someone.

As much as Diane loved her husband Raul, she never got her full identity from him. So even though she would have been devastated that he cheated and got someone else pregnant, I can't see her as a whiny, needy, dissociative brat. And I had a hard time believing that Raul was the unfeeling philanderer White made him out to be. He and Diane always had a tight, loving relationship. I don't remember any hints that Raul lost their money and they were living beyond their means or that they had an "alternative" relationship.

Alan was an absolutely horrible friend to Diane. She was in the worst mental state that he had ever seen her in, and he just walked away and didn't even try to take care of her or check on her or anything. After years of having a practice together, working side by side, being friends outside of work, being friends with each others families, how could he just let her spiral out of control and not try to help? It would have been bad no matter what, but the fact that Alan and Diane are therapists made it that much worse to me.

I felt like White had Diane accidentally shoot Lauren to give Sam and Alan a way to not go to jail. If Lauren lived, as an Assistant District Attorney, she would have to turn them in. And I think she would have. With Lauren dead, Alan couldn't go to jail and leave his kids with no parents, so he chose to continue to cover up the murder Sam committed.
********END OF SPOILER***********

Although I generally like Dick Hill's narration, I did not like his portrayal of Sam Purdy.

I don't know what Stephen White has planned for the last book, but he needs to undo some of the damage he did with Line of Fire. Sam, Alan, Lauren, Diane and Raul deserve better. ( )
1 vote bohemiangirl35 | Oct 9, 2012 |
Coming into a series at the nineteenth book is not a good idea! This story was filled with allusions to earlier books in the series that would have evoked memories and emotions for fans of the series but I just found them vague and incomprehensible. The protagonist of this story is Dr. Alan Gregory who is a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado. He is married to an Assistant District Attorney. He is good friends with a Boulder police officer named Sam.

Apparently, some time about three years in the past, Sam murdered an ex-girlfriend who was threatening his child and Alan's child and made it look like suicide. Alan knew about the murder after the fact but didn't tell anyone. Now, a new witness has come forward and it looks like their carefully constructed tissue of lies is about to be exposed.

Meanwhile, Alan's partner Diane is falling apart from a combination of traumas that occurred in earlier books, marital troubles with her venture capitalist husband, and hatred for her home outside of Boulder. All during the book, Boulder is under threat from various wildfires raging through the area.

Alan also has a couple of new patients. One is the young man who was in a coma in the room where Sam and Alan discussed the new investigation of Sam's murder. The young man - that Sam and Alan call Coma Doe - intends to blackmail Alan into helping him find Sam in order to get some leverage for his own potential drug conviction. Alan's other new patient is a woman who is having a relationship with Diane's husband and who seems to be using Alan for her own purposes.

The story was complex and the different plot threads were entwined in many ways. I will have to say that I didn't like Alan or Sam very much at all. I couldn't understand their decision to force someone to commit suicide and then cover it up. I also thought that Alan was over-analytical. He never seemed to turn off his role as a psychotherapist. He also seemed to skate around his ethics fairly often. Sam was also an ambiguous character.

Some of the vocabulary in the story also sent me to my online dictionary. I am assuming that the word choices were specific vocabulary to psychotherapy. I know there were two or three words that I had never heard of or had never encountered in anything else I had read. This almost never happens to me as a reader and slowed down the flow of the story for me.

This story may well work better for those who have read previous volumes and who have an emotional connection to the main characters. While I thought the story was interesting, I didn't make an emotional connection to it. This one is only recommended to those who have read other books in the series. I didn't find it a good entry point. ( )
  kmartin802 | Aug 31, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525952527, Hardcover)

New York Times bestselling author Stephen White returns with a gripping thriller about the one devastating secret that could cost Alan Gregory everything—the first of the dramatic two-part conclusion to his acclaimed bestselling series.

Clinical psychologist and Boulder resident Alan Gregory is finally beginning to feel settled, hopeful that a long period of upheaval in his private life is behind him. He refocuses his energy on his clinical psychology practice, where a beguiling new patient is challenging his values. The interlude of calm doesn’t last, of course: Alan’s dear friend Diane is showing signs of a long-simmering emotional collapse, and Alan’s greatest fear—the exposure of his most dangerous secret—has become something he can’t ignore.

A new witness has surfaced, causing authorities to reopen their investigation into the suicide death of a woman named J. Winter Brown. When Alan and his equally culpable friend Sam Purdy inadvertently disclose details of their involvement in her death to a desperate drug dealer, any confidence they felt about riding out the new investigation evaporates. The trail that leads back to Alan and Sam, once cold, has turned white-hot.

With his vulnerability mounting daily, Alan begins to fear that his mesmerizing new patient may be the catalyst that can cause everything he treasures—his marriage, family, friendship, and future—to implode. As the authorities close in, the story hurtles toward a conclusion that will set the stage for the most unexpected of outcomes: the final act of the Alan Gregory saga.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In hopes of leaving a long period of upheaval behind him, Alan Gregory refocuses his energy on his clinical psychology practice, but finds a new patient challenging his values. Forest fires are reducing chunks of the Boulder Valley to tinder and ash; Colorado clinical psychologist Alan Gregory's colleague and close friend, still recovering from a terrible trauma, appears to be approaching a psychological breakdown; and new evidence in an old case causes Alan to reexamine decisions he made in the past, putting his entire career at risk.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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