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The Levels by [Cregan, Sean]
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Length: 354 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

The explosive debut novel from the brilliant Sean Cregan - THE LEVELS is a dark, urban gothic thriller guaranteed to appeal fans of Child, Coben, Billingham and Kernick.On the outskirts of Newport, on the US East Coast, lies an abandoned, feral housing project: the Levels. Inhabited by Newport's forgotten homeless population, the Levels are run as a personal fiefdom by the all-powerful Sorrow.As THE LEVELS opens, ex-CIA agent Nate Turner, who is in the Levels to find out who has just tried to kill him, meets a 14-year-old girl Ghost. Ghost is a Fury, one of Sorrow's trained, drug-addicted assassins looking for a way back to her normal life.Also in the Levels is Kate, a suspended cop, who has been told that she has only days to live after being attacked, and infected, by the Beast, a serial killer working the streets. The Beast is out for revenge on Kate's new employer, who he believes created the infection that's killing him, an infection that has also been released into the Levels.Now Ghost is trying to escape Sorrow, Kate is looking for the Beast and Turner is looking for answers. One thing's for sure, some people aren't going to survive the fallout...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 777 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (20 January 2011)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004P8ITHY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing half allegory half mystery equals whole lot of fun read 8 April 2012
By abigail - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
copy/pasted goodreads review:3 and 1/2 stars.
The story was dark and moody and the main characters{Turner,Kate and Ghost} fit perfectly into the story. They were interesting and likeable for different reasons. This is a dark story so it is expected and understood that there is violence. My disappointment though is in the crescendo of violence at the end because this is what a lot of writers fall back on(in books and movies}. Instead of focusing on the story they want to make the story bigger by ending with this huge crescendo of violence at the end. Because of this I gave it a lesser rating than I otherwise would have. Ive read the other reviews on this book and the synopsis for the story and I'm surprised that there was no mention of this being part allegory. The name of the story setting is the Levels. Some of the characters in the Levels are: Ghost, The Beast, Sorrows and the Furies. That is what made this story so intriguing and readable for me.

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good elements don't add up to strong thriller 2 June 2010
By Keris Nine - Published on Amazon.com
The Levels would seem to have all the right elements in place here for a strong thriller, but for some reason it just doesn't really seem to work. There's a gritty urban inner-city setting of a district ruled by a strange cult known as the Tower with an enigmatic leader known as Sorrow, there are two strong characters who have to form alliances to survive the mean streets and underground tunnels of the district, and there's no shortage of danger, action and revelations, but while it carries the reader along well enough, the narrative never really engages on a deeper level.

There's at least no faulting the backgrounds of the two main characters. Turner is an ex-CIA agent, who is surprised to hear on the news that he has been killed by an unknown assassin at his apartment. Very much alive, Turner believes that the authorities know it's someone else who has been killed in his place, but sure that someone unknown is after him and therefore in collusion with the police, he decides that it's better to lie low and find out for himself what is going on. Kate Friedman meanwhile is an ex-cop who would like to do the same thing, having been implicated through association with her police officer husband's corrupt activities, but her past won't go away that easily. When she is attacked by an unknown assailant, she finds herself reluctantly caught up in a manhunt led by a mysterious organisation, where her life depends on finding the man who has infected her with a lethal virus. Inevitably the two threads come together, the hunt to find out what is going on taking them both to the Levels, a grim, lawless housing complex abandoned by the Newport City authorities that holds and buries its own secrets.

There's certainly plenty of intrigue in the situation of both characters as well as in the unusual alliances that they both form in order to find their way through the labyrinthine housing project with its own laws and dangerous ruling authorities, Turner teaming up with a young girl known as Ghost, an escapee from a dangerous cult holding sway over the inhabitants of the Levels, while Kate finds herself involved with a shadowy but clearly powerful organisation on the trail of a dangerous man known as the Sixth Avenue Beast. The depiction of the Levels themselves is fine also, a credible vision of a dark lawless urban nightmare in which to set this.

Events move fast and are hard-hitting, there being urgency and quite an amount of personal danger involved in the predicament not only of both main characters, but also with all the other agencies involved in the manhunt. However, while there are certainly revelations and horrors to be uncovered, essentially the thriller aspects of The Levels remain on the level of it being indeed little more than a manhunt, involving a great deal of chases, captures and escapes, the main characters sustaining near-miss injuries along the way to keep up the tension. That's fine as far as it goes, the author Sean Cregan (a pseudonym for Jon Rickards) giving the reader enough in the way of characterisation and plot to keep involved, but not enough to really care about the outcome one way or the other.