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Thomas never identifies the city. Soon, Dill meets Anna Maud Singe, her friend and lawyer, a beautiful young woman with whom he naturally becomes involved. Anna Maud is also convinced Felicity would never have done anything illegal. Jake had made a huge fortune from illegal arms deals following the Vietnam War, which explains why the senator is targeting him. As the story unfolds, this cast of characters becomes intertwined in a complex web of relationships that is difficult for Dill to untangle.


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Incidentally, Thomas only explains the title, Briarpatch, close to the end of the book. Jake is explaining why he has built a fortune great enough for him to buy the biggest mansion in town and hire a trio of Mexican thugs to guard him.

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Apr 04, Sam Reaves rated it really liked it. One of the best by Ross Thomas, who was one of the best. He won an Edgar for this one in Thomas's political thrillers featured dry wit, a deep cynicism about politics, and cool, poker-faced heroes who have been around the block a few times. In this one, an aide to an ambitious senator gets a call telling him that his kid sister, a homicide dick back in their hometown, has been killed by a bomb planted in her car.

He goes back for the funeral and finds that she was living well above her mea One of the best by Ross Thomas, who was one of the best. He goes back for the funeral and finds that she was living well above her means, apparently banking dirty money. He doesn't buy it. His attempts to clear her name take him into a complicated plot linking his childhood best friend, a jovial ex-spook, with a rival and more sinister ex-spook, a fugitive who happens to be the target of his boss's subcommittee investigation back in Washington.

As the connections emerge and the chess pieces get moved, multiple homicides ensue. The best part is the keen eye turned on the hometown most likely a fictionalized Oklahoma City, where Thomas grew up , lovingly caricatured with all its quirks and characters.

Sharp social observation in the guise of a political thriller. Probably closer to a 3. Was a 4 up until the last couple of chapters. Finding out who the killer was somewhat spoiled what had been a very good story. I didn't like how the book gave barely a clue leading up to the killer's unveiling, it could have been anyone for all the same reasons. Well written even with the gratuitous wealth of information about every location. My first Ross Thomas but not my last.

Jul 28, Jake rated it it was amazing Shelves: Fortunately, I was wrong. This is a banger. The dialogue reminds me of how I thought grownups talked when I was a kid: The mystery itself kept me guessi 4. I will read more Ross Thomas. Maybe his entire oeuvre. Jun 17, Michael Fredette rated it it was amazing. Although he never became the household name that other authors such as Elmore Leonard did, Ross Thomas reputation among crime fiction aficionados is sterling.

Briar Patch

Briarpatch is an intricately plotted, though relatively straightforward mystery about the killing by car bomb of a homicide detective Felicity Dill. At first blush, Dill appears to be corrupt. She owns a rental property that she couldn't necessarily afford. But as her brother Benjamin Dill delves into the case, he discovers that more was Although he never became the household name that other authors such as Elmore Leonard did, Ross Thomas reputation among crime fiction aficionados is sterling.

But as her brother Benjamin Dill delves into the case, he discovers that more was going on than meets the eye. Ross Thomas was one of the best American writers, more than just a genre writer although he was excellent at that.

His characters are great as are his descriptions of Americana and could turn a phrase as well as any one. Can't beat all of that. Jun 29, Jackson rated it it was amazing. Yet, here Briarpatch's front man subtly wrangles the reader by no virtue of being 'cool' but rather, being rational, believable and the perfect amount of relatable.

Mar 19, Patrick rated it really liked it. Mar 08, Stuart rated it it was amazing. Taken as just a Ross Thomas novel, this is a 4-star book: As an exploration of Oklahoma City, the author's hometown, the book gets 5 stars. I also grew up in Oklahoma City, about four blocks from Ross Thomas' childhood home, so I am likely way mor Taken as just a Ross Thomas novel, this is a 4-star book: I also grew up in Oklahoma City, about four blocks from Ross Thomas' childhood home, so I am likely way more susceptible to Mr.

Thomas' masterful descriptive work. The history of the buildings and streets convey a beautiful and entirely accurate psychological character to the city itself, and Oklahoma's heat, humidity and wind are perfectly captured, as are their effects on the human characters. An incredibly deep read of a city as a living creature built by greed and ambition, with an engaging human drama floated on top. Who could ask for more? Dec 01, Chris Bubb rated it it was ok Shelves: This was a real disappointment.

I picked it up on Nancy Pearl's recommendation, and the reviews on the back cover sounded promising. But it just didn't work. Thrillers are supposed to be thrilling; this one wasn't. The pace was slow and there was no action to speak of. Plus, the author kept taking time out to give a back story for every location the main character visited.

I didn't really need to know the history of every restaurant where Ben Dill had a ham sandwich, but Ross Thomas made sure to This was a real disappointment. I didn't really need to know the history of every restaurant where Ben Dill had a ham sandwich, but Ross Thomas made sure to provide it anyway.

And let's talk about Ben Dill for a second. What a cold fish of a protagonist! He supposedly loves his sister and was so motivated by grief over her death that he flew home to investigate, right? So why does he show almost no emotion about her when he gets there? Two women throw themselves at him and he treats that as just slightly more enjoyable than a toothache. All this stoic cool and self-assurance from a low-level Washington functionary? I'm sorry, it won't wash. Overall a slow slog of a story, a boring trip through a boring city with a main character that I couldn't stand.

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Didn't finish it and will not try to read it again. Jun 27, Jake rated it liked it. People seem to fart sparklers when they talk about Ross Thomas, and Briarpatch won an Edgar award. So I was expecting Big Things. When you add in the hype, it's maybe a little bit of a letdown. Still, it's a perfectly competent thriller in the same tone as early Robert B. The cool thing is that Dill has this layer of darkness and violence that is never fully delved into. It takes an impressive brand of restraint to only hint at things like that with your main character, so hats off to good ol' Ross. Also, he named his top guy DILL.

That's balls is what that is. Jan 23, Susan rated it it was amazing. Out of good stuff to read I went whining into my bookshop "I need a new author," I whaled.

My shop is quite used to this and JB, the floor manager, keeps a mental list of whine stoppers. I came home with Briarpatch. Since I wasn't in a great mood to start with, I didn't start this book with an open mind. I was pissed at the whole world of publishing.

But, Ross Thomas and his characters sucked me in right away. Ben Dill has to find out who killed his police detective sister and why and he do Out of good stuff to read Ben Dill has to find out who killed his police detective sister and why and he does. The setting is a thinly veiled Oklahoma City and the cast of characters is real and the story is gritty and I loved it. The added bonus is that I knew going in that this was not a series so I didn't know until the last word whether my now good friend, Ben Dill, was going to make it out alive.

Briarpatch

Aug 19, Bobby Mathews rated it it was amazing. One of the things I'm trying to do is go back and find classic crime fiction writers whom I may have missed out on. Ross Thomas is one of those.

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Charles Willeford is another. This isn't a review, exactly, just a visceral reaction to the book. Dec 24, Eric rated it liked it. It certainly has that, as well as a nice blending of crime thriller with political conspiracy. Written in , however, the plot probably packed much more topical punch in the era of Iran-Contra scandals.

The plot is almost too similar to the old 30's novels of Hammett and Chandler, but Ross Thomas puts his own spin on things. The sheer description of the unnamed composite Sun Belt city makes it a must read, not to mention the balance of dark humor and tension. Apr 04, Nooilforpacifists rated it it was amazing Shelves: Unusually, a more "traditional" mystery, with a bit less of the political than normal--but one of his best.


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Aug 08, Tom rated it really liked it. This is my first Ross Thomas novel and definitely won't be my last. I was curious about what attraction there could be in a little-known mystery novel that is as old as me. Briarpatch is the story of a political operative who is called back to his hometown an unnamed Texas capital - hmmm The characters and atmosphere are what is most This is my first Ross Thomas novel and definitely won't be my last. The characters and atmosphere are what is most memorable as the temperature rises and we meet his 'friends', realizing how sticky - both literally and metaphorically - things are.

I'll be interested in seeing how the TV adaption goes they are making one notable gender switch in the cast and will definitely check out more of his books. Ben Dill's sister, homicide detective and landlady, dies in a car bomb explosion. Bill takes some time off from his work for a Senator on a committee of some sort looking into political and intelligence skullduggery, to go and bury her and grieve and since this is a thriller maybe find her killer. She tortured beat raped and murdered a man and sought a better way of life after being sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

A New York City detective is recruited for a covert squad that uses sorcery to track down and kill evil spirits. Based on Rosario Dawson's comic book series, "O.

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An investigator returns home to solve the death of her sister from a car-bombing. The search for a killer unravels a system of corruption in her small border town. Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? Learn more More Like This.