Starred Review. In his fourth thriller about reluctant medical hero Dr. Carroll Monks (after 2003's To the Bone), McMahon pulls off the virtually impossible: he creates a lunatic terrorist adversary so believable that he quickly becomes touchingly real. "Freeboot," as the leader of a band of dedicated, deranged outlaws who live on a secluded tract of land in the mountains of Northern California calls himself, is "a macho speed freak who dominated his followers, made allusions to Machiavelli, and hinted at the grandiose importance that he would enjoy in the eyes of history." Monks gets involved when Freeboot's three-year-old son becomes seriously ill, and the doctor's own long-estranged son—a member of Freeboot's terrorist tribe that's chosen the titular Beatles song as their anthem—suggests kidnapping the medical man to treat the child. The boy turns out to be in a dangerous diabetic condition, and Monks's first chore (aside from staying alive) is to treat his illness and then find a way to get the child to a hospital. Since Freeboot and his followers have actually begun their revolution by killing some leading citizens and scattering their stolen objects among the homeless, the terrorist is ready to sacrifice his child for his cause. Dr. Monks, his son already lost, is equally determined to keep the little boy alive. In McMahon's cool, expert hands, it becomes a duel both fascinating and frighteningly real.
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“Creating a believable villain is the hardest work in the artistic world . . . which makes Neil McMahon’s success . . . so stunning . . . In McMahon’s assured hands, the duel between the rational, scientific doctor and the fascinating, frightening Freeboot . . . is an absolutely riveting read.” (Chicago Tribune)
“A blood-drenched battle of wits and will . . . McMahon’s story and prose are fired straight from the hip . . . Slam-bang!” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“Action-packed ... [Monks] must join an extensive manhunt ... before a “revolution” takes place. (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Poised to break out.” (Daily News)
“Crisp and fast-moving....McMahon is a skillful writer.” (Washington Post)
“Both fascinating and frighteningly real ... McMahon pulls off the virtually impossible.” (Publishers Weekly (Starred Review))
“A thought-provoking thriller... chillingly real and believable, making the story all the stronger and more frightening.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
“REVOLUTION NO. 9 spins off the thrills and twist like a tilt-a-whirl--it’s part Stephen King and part John Sandford, with a dash of ER thrown in for good measure.” (Tim Dorsey, author of CADILLAC BEACH)
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