Item description for The Repo (Jack Merchant & Sarah Ballard Novels) by Bill Eidson...
An electrifying new thriller featuring ex-DEA Agent Jack Merchant.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.75" Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Release Date Jun 25, 2003
Publisher Justin, Charles & Co.
ISBN 1932112111 ISBN13 9781932112115
Availability 0 units.
More About Bill Eidson
Bill Eidsonis critically acclaimed thrillers are never too far from the sea, influenced by his growing up and living in New England. From the dive instructor in THE LITTLE BROTHER who slowly discovers his new housemate is a psychopath, to the ex-DEA agent in THE MAYDAY hired to find two children everyone else believes were lost at sea, Eidsonis fast-paced novels involve ordinary people who cross courses with the violent among us all. Eidsonis books are not only page-turners, but his characters, both the heroic and the vicious, come fully to life. His novels have been favorably reviewed in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Herald, The Providence Journal, Entertainment Weekly and have received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. He has received praise from authors such as Robert B. Parker and Peter Straub, and he has been compared to Elmore Leonard. The Boston Globeis review of ONE BAD THING said, iEidson writes a tough, direct prose edged with irony, and he may well be a successor, at last, to the much-missed John D. MacDonald." Three of Eidsonis books have been optioned for movies and translated for foreign rights. A Kirkus Reviews line about THE MAYDAY sums it up for all of Eidsonis work: iHereis crime fiction the way itis supposed to be.i To learn more about Billis freelance writing and his books, go to www.billeidson.com.
Bill Eidson currently resides in Arlington, in the state of Massachusetts.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Repo (Jack Merchant & Sarah Ballard Novels)?
Fresh new author Jun 29, 2007
John D. MacDonald? Not. But a real good read. I started and could not stop. Why not five stars? I don't enjoy reading about sexual perversion and it is not necessary in order to create a bad guy. The two main characters should be better developed. But the plot and the setting are near perfection. The pace will carry you right to the end and leave you wanting more.
Story OK but Soap Opera Personal Interaction is a Bore Nov 30, 2006
It's an average mystery story with a fair plot and some well developed secondary characters. The irritant is the interaction between the two main characters. Their passive-aggressive, I love you, keep your distance relationship gets old the first time you read about the dynamic. By the eight time they go over the same ground the reader is really tired of their high school angst. Got it as a bargain book so I have no complaints about being overcharged for an ordinary read.
A little too much violence Nov 20, 2005
Eidson's a very good writer, and his protagonists are very sympathetic. He does a good job of drawing in their life stories so that we feel invested in them.
BUT...the bad guys are really awful, and violent, and in one case, sadistic, and too many of the pivotal scenes in the book involve the cliched good-guy-gets-into-trouble, turns-out-to-be-luckier-than-the-bad-guy-at-shooting-fighting-whatever scenario.
While I was reading it, I could almost see it being made into the kind of thriller movie that I really don't like, because I'd rather see the hero/heroine AVOID such situations in the first place, by using his brains, than get into them and then get lucky in the resulting bloodfest.
In other words, my personal preference is for SMART mysteries, rather than VIOLENT ones.
There is one scene in the book, close to the end, where the hero walks into a deadly situation, supposedly because he doesn't have a choice (there's a sniper pointing a gun at the head of someone he's trying to protect - if he calls the person and tells them, and the sniper sees the cell phone in the person's hand move up to his ear, he'll shoot).
I thought of a way he could have warned the person without using a phone, and he could have too.
Anyway, I'm interested in reading the next in the series, Mayday, but I hope it involves less mindless violence, and more of people using their wits.
An Excellent First Book In a New Series Mar 18, 2005
This is the first book of a proposed series featuring Jack Merchant and Sarah Ballard, an intriguing couple of characters that I'll introduce you to shortly. Set largely up and down the New England coastline, but mainly in Boston, the much maligned occupation of the repo man (or woman, in this case) is spotlighted.
Jack Merchant is a former DEA agent now trying to scratch enough money together to make the repayments on the boat on which he lives. Sarah Ballard is a marine repo woman who knew and admired Jack when he was still working with the DEA.
Their paths cross many years after they first meet when Sarah shows up one day to repossess Jack's boat. Rather than carrying out the repossession she takes pity on him and makes him an alternative offer that would benefit them both. If Jack worked for her on her latest case he would earn enough to keep his boat and she would get a wealth of experience in return, not to mention the company of a man to whom she had always been attracted.
The case in question is the repossession of a boat that has gone missing, along with her owners, Paul and Julie Baylor. Both of the Baylors were well-to-do young professionals and their disappearance is very out of character. It doesn't take a genius to work out that there is a lot more going on than the simple recovery of a boat from some deadbeat who is behind on his payments. Sure enough, there is a lot more behind the story. In fact, the repo game has never been more dangerous.
Together, Jack and Sarah make a good team with Sarah providing a measure of world-weary cynicism, having worked in the repo game since she was a kid. As far as she's concerned everyone is a potential deadbeat upon whom she will have to ply her repossession skills. Jack's a bit more prepared to find the good side of people, showing more sympathy and a knack for gathering information. But both of them are haunted by their respective pasts, nightmares and memories of violence ensure that they sleep poorly and that they have some psychological healing to go through. You can tell it's going to be a tempestuous relationship now and in future books and the inevitable sexual tension lurks lazily within every quiet moment.
A good mix of in-depth character development and hard, fast action ensures that we care enough about the characters to get a sense of having a vested interest in their well-being. This not only applies to Merchant and Ballard but also to the minor characters, all of whom, the good the bad and the downright disgusting are given full and believable personalities.
I thought this was a marvellous opening book to a new series. The lead characters are both interesting, carrying just the right amount of baggage (you know, enough to give them depth but not so much that you're bored by their hang ups). The repo game hasn't been this enjoyable since Joe Gores' DKA Files series and a return visit to Boston Harbour holds the promise of further mean moments with Jack Merchant and Sarah Ballard.
Good Start to a Promising New Series Pair Jan 13, 2005
Finding a mystery novel that is based on a truly fresh and engaging premise is a little like winning the lottery: it's theoretically possible but the odds against success are astronomically high. Be that as it may, Bill Eidson has beaten those odds in his latest thriller, THE REPO. Ex-DEA Agent Jack Merchant, in forced retirement after a series of operations gone sour, is simply marking time aboard his boat('Lila')and staying one step ahead of the creditors, ex-cons and former law enforcement associates out for either the proverbial "pound of flesh" or just a little old fashioned payback.
One step ahead, that is, until his old flame Sarah Ballard drops by for a chat. It seems that Sarah is now running her daddy's boat repossession business and, guess what? One of Sarah's biggest clients (MassBank) "holds the paper" on Jack's boat. Behind on a few payments, Merchant can agree to help Sarah locate the Baylors - a husband and wife team with ties to MassBank who have skipped out with their yacht and an undisclosed sum of money - or lose the 'Lila'.
Intrigued by the possibility of doing something meaningful again, and more than a little interested in spending time with Sarah, Merchant agrees to help out. But while Merchant and Ballard comb the harbors and coastline from Boston to Maine looking for the Baylors, they soon discover that they are not the only ones in on the hunt for the missing couple. With twists and turns galore, the plot of THE REPO will keep you on your toes - not to mention clinging to your life-vest for all it's worth - from start to finish. While a few of the connections made in the story are about as murky as the water in a cove after a storm, Eidson generally keeps things sailing smoothly along and the reader will be so wrapped up in the action that he or she won't be bothered too much by the few stretches of rough water encountered along the way.
The real strength of this book lies in its cast of eccentric (and realistic) minor characters and, most especially, in its sensitive and mature portrayal of Jack Merchant and Sarah Ballard. The depiction of the relationship between these two eminently interesting characters is drawn with authenticity and restraint and, for the most part anyway, without the kind of sappy, self-indulgent melodrama that pervades this sort of thing in most lesser novels in the genre. The problems that the two have at the beginning of the novel are essentially the problems they have at its close. Those issues haven't miraculously disappeared in the course of the book's 312 pages. Thanks to Eidson's skillful handling of his material in this first offering, there are still more depths to be sounded here in subsequent books in the (projected) series. (James Clar - MYSTERY NEWS)