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Agent X by Noah Boyd
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Agent X (edition 2011)

by Noah Boyd (Author)

Series: Steve Vail (2)

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3545753,057 (3.66)8
Rogue former FBI agent Steve Vail races against time to track down a Russian intelligence officer who may have been caught trying to identify treasonous Americans.
Member:ballphoenix
Title:Agent X
Authors:Noah Boyd (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2011), Edition: First Edition, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Agent X by Noah Boyd

Recently added byStratfordpublic, nelsam, nixanook, benitastrnad, ksoni1, kebruce, private library, ajslonosky

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Boyd brings us the second installment in the Steve Vail suspense catalog and I sense there are many more to come. Vail, a former FBI agent keeps being pulled back into his past occupation because he appears to be the only man for the job. Having left the special agent business behind because of problems with the management wanting him to do it their way, he seems to be intrinsically linked to any case touched by Kate Bannon.
Having left the employ of the FBI, Vail has made his living as a bricklayer, and sometime sculptor in Chicago, he finds his background in counterintelligence, coupled with a master’s degree in Soviet history, invaluable to the Bureau in their latest case, brought to them by a man known as Calculus. The offer is to turn over a list of the current spies working with the ranks of government and defense contractors in the States.
Once Calculus’ cover appears blown and the spies all seem to be getting killed ahead of the FBI getting to them, Bannon and Vail have to put their on and off again relationship on hold to discover who is behind the spy threat.
When Bannon herself is framed as a spy and jailed, it is up to Vail and a fellow agent Steve Bursaw to fi nd a way to prove her innocence.
In Boyd’s introduction to this bricklayer agent, we found him to be a sole operator and to provide him with a partner in Bursaw felt off the mark just a little. It did not take away from the urgency the story told, but perhaps humanized Vail a little more than I would have liked. If Boyd really wants Vail to be serious competition with the likes of the Jack Reachers of the novel world, he should stick with his original plan.
“Agent X” advances the reputation of Boyd as an excellent spy master and this thrill-a-minute story pulls out all stops, just as Vail does. ( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
brilliant ( )
  magentaflake | Nov 12, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Agent X is a continued saga of "The Bricklayer"...a rather unorthodox part time FBI agent and part time bricklayer. Steve Vail, the bricklayer, has no love of doing anything by the book or authority. He does what needs to be done, and gets results...much to the dismay of the criminals in his path, many of whom end up dead! Kate Bannon is Vail's on again, off again love interest. Also and FBI agent, she is more by the book and Vail's methods keep a barrier between them. It is a well written novel and I look forward to more similar stories in the future. I'd recommend this novel to anyone interested in crime, action-thrillers genre. ( )
  gmmakela | May 9, 2012 |
I really enjoy the Steve Vain stories, however, I felt that this one was a little all over the place, plot-wise. ( )
  joannalongbourne | Aug 31, 2011 |
Couldn't finish it, that atrocious was the writing. Gave it 132 pages. Can't be written by the same person. Ghost writer in the brick layer?
I cringe imagining Vail with a briefcase. Please. Who killed Steve Vail? ( )
  bookscentlover | Jul 28, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
A poorly written, clumsy romance subplot will distract readers from the action, and fans of the genre won’t be impressed by crime-solving through sudden hunches and lucky run-ins with characters who handily know more than they should. Not recommended.
 
Steve Vail, once an ace FBI agent, now a bricklayer (The Bricklayer, 2009), arrives in Washington to take Kate Bannon, the bureau’s assistant director, to an embassy soiree. But his romantic mission is sidelined by an urgent summons from the bureau: a Russian embassy staffer, code-named Calculus, is offering to name Americans feeding sensitive information to Russian intelligence. But no sooner than the bureau accepts the Russian’s terms, he is spirited off to Moscow, presumably to be tortured into admitting what he has done. Steve and Kate must identify the moles and reel them in before the Russians snuff them. But before that can happen, Vail must solve the many puzzles that Calculus uses to conceal information. Thriller fans get an endlessly twisting plot strewn with chases, gun battles, and explosions. Calculus’ puzzles are engaging, and the bureau’s procedural and bureaucratic thickets sound real. Cynics will enjoy the portrayal of all FBI administrators as butt-covering careerists, but Vail, equal parts Sherlock Holmes and Dirty Harry, strains credulity. Not as strong as The Bricklayer, but fans won’t want to give up on the series yet.
added by cmwilson101 | editBooklist, Thomas Gaughan
 

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Agent X in USA; Last Chance to Die in UK
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Rogue former FBI agent Steve Vail races against time to track down a Russian intelligence officer who may have been caught trying to identify treasonous Americans.

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Book description
Ex-FBI agent Steve Vail navigates a maze of hidden codes and brain-teasing puzzles to stay hot on the trail of a band of Russian spies in this breathtaking follow-up to his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bricklayer

FBI-agent-turned-bricklayer Steve Vail once helped the FBI solve a brilliant extortion plot. It was supposed to be a one-and-done deal. But when he's in Washington, D.C., to see Kate Bannon—an FBI assistant director—on what he thinks will be a romantic New Year's Eve date, suddenly things get complicated. The FBI has another unsolvable problem, and it has Vail's name written all over it.

A man known as Calculus, an officer at the Russian embassy, has approached the FBI claiming that he has a list of Americans who are selling confidential information to the Russian SVR. In exchange for the list, he is asking for a quarter of a million dollars for each traitor the FBI apprehends. But then Calculus informs the FBI that he has been swiftly recalled to Moscow, and the Bureau suspects the worst: the Russians have discovered what Calculus is up to, probably have access to his list, and will be hunting the traitors to kill them unless the FBI can find them first.

The FBI realizes that it has to keep the operation quiet. Once again, Vail is the perfect man, along with Kate Bannon, who would be anyone's first pick for help on an impossibly dangerous case. But finding the traitors isn't going to be easy. In fact, it's going to be downright deadly. And if the Bricklayer survives, he will have to come up with a few tricks of his own.

Agent X is a heart-pounding thrill ride with an authenticity only a writer who's an FBI veteran can provide, and Steve Vail—a man Patricia Cornwell calls a "new American hero"—is one of the smartest, toughest, and most compelling new characters to come along in many years.
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