The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross

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The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross

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Category: Crime
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Kerry King
Reviewed by Kerry King
Summary: A first solo outing for a long time co-author, Andrew Gross has crossed safely over into a realm all of his own. The Blue Zone is, as James Patterson says, tense and chilling and in my view, quite unputdownable!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: June 2007
Publisher: Harper
ISBN: 978-0007242511

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America's Witness Protection programme has three stages of involvement, the Red Zone, the Green Zone and the Blue Zone. The FBI are in total control of the first two phases; we would call the final phase certain death. The FBI call it the Blue Zone.

Benjamin Raab's life is about to fall apart. As the FBI crash into his office and arrest him for racketeering, the world as Ben knows it suddenly evaporates as he is faced with the prospect of either spending the next 25 years in a Federal Penitentiary or taking his family into the Witness Protection Programme.

Only his eldest daughter Kate remains on the outside, her questions unanswered, her life altered beyond recognition and her heart aching for her family in hiding. It is only when a case agent is tortured to death and Kate's father vanishes, into what the FBI call "the Blue Zone", that her sadness turns to terror. It seems that Kate remains the only tie to her father and both the FBI and the men that Kate's family is being protected from are both keen to see what she knows.

Kate simply wants to find out if this man, her father, who walked through the door that fateful day is the same man she has known all her life. And because Ben can't give her an answer, she must find out for herself and try not to get killed in the process.

If you have read any of Andrew Gross's co-written works namely Judge and Jury and Lifeguard you will know that he was more than ready to leave the nest and go solo. Not that James Patterson in any way masked Gross's talent; quite the opposite as I believe Patterson has taught this little birdy how to fly. I was, however, delighted to learn that Andrew Gross had finally published a novel of his own and was only too keen to read it.

And he did not disappoint. Boy did he not disappoint! The Blue Zone is everything it promised to be, from the catchy, in-cover FBI manual's description of the Witness Protection Programme stages to the opening line in Part One. I was literally hooked and read pretty much constantly for three days (with only my day job interrupting me in between).

The twists in the plot are simply unimaginable. I love this genre of novel and like to think I can "see it coming". I can assure you with my hand on my heart and standing on a stack of bibles, this story changed direction three times and I had no idea or readers' precognition about any of it. In fact, when I tried to imagine the direction the story might next take, I got it wrong. Deliciously so! Being wrong has never felt so right!

In summary, The Blue Zone was a feast of the senses. I became utterly absorbed in the lives of the very multi-dimensional characters and became excited about the ending. It's been a while since that happened to me and I cannot stress enough my recommendation of this book to you.

Whilst I doubt that Andrew will get to read my humble ramblings, I would request that he set about writing his next novel with great haste!

The Blue Zone was sent to us by its publisher, Harper, for which we thank them very much.

For a similarly well written book you might like to read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

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Buy The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross at


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