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Book Review: Ex-FBI Agent’s 7th Book “Intricate” and “Fast Moving”

Bricklayer_mm_c[1]

“The Bricklayer” by Noah Boyd is published by Harper Collins.

Greg Stejskal served as an FBI agent for 31 years and retired as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor office.

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethwire.com

In the interest of full disclosure, I have known Noah Boyd for over 30 years. I first met him in his former incarnation, Paul Lindsay, an FBI agent in Detroit. I was fresh out of the FBI Academy and had been assigned to the fugitive squad in Detroit .

Although I didn’t know it at the time, it was to my very good fortune to have Lindsay/Boyd as my training agent. (I will use Lindsay’s pen name Noah Boyd for simplicity.)

Boyd had earned a reputation as one of the best fugitive agents in the Bureau, that is, he was very good at finding bad guys who didn’t want to be found. Later in his career, Boyd would apply his considerable talents to cold cases and serial killers.

Boyd also had a talent for creative writing. In fact, he penned his first book in 1992 while he was still an agent in Detroit (under his true name). Since then he’s chalked up a total of seven novels – the latest being “The Bricklayer”. His writing has a gritty realism to it.

In “The Bricklayer,” he introduces a protagonist, Steve Vail, who is the quintessential American- Lone Ranger kind of hero. The first scenes in the book involve a bank robbery in which Vail physically subdues the bandits while the security cameras roll. Then before anyone can figure out who he is, he slips away.

We learn early on that Vail was forced out of the FBI for “insubordination”, but in reality it wasn’t so much insubordination as it was a matter of honor. Now, years after leaving the FBI, the Bureau is faced with a challenge from a diabolical, mastermind extortionist, who may be in league with an agent or agents, that  may have gone over to the dark side.

Vail’s unique talents make him the perfect man to take on this challenge. He’s not only physically capable, but is an insightful investigator- sort of a Dirty Harry meets Sherlock Holmes type.

Noah Boyd aka Paul Lindsay

Noah Boyd aka Paul Lindsay

Boyd has created an intricate, fast-moving, plot with a few nice twists along the way. One of the things I enjoyed when I worked with him was his quick wit. That wit is apparent in the book.

Boyd’s rapid-fire dialogue between Vail and his female “partner” is reminiscent of Dashiel Hammett’s repartee between Nick and Nora Charles of the “Thin Man” series. (Those too young to remember those people will have to Google them.)

The Bricklayer, comes out in paperback at the end of August, having had a successful run in hardbound. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a realistic, fast-paced mystery.

You will not, however, learn much about masonry even though it’s called The Bricklayer.


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