Agent X by Noah Boyd
Okay, I shamefully admit, I skipped The Bricklayer by newcomer Noah Boyd. The title didn’t grab me, and the last bricklayer (or stonefitter) that really met my expectation was Tom Builder in Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth.
However, when Agent X (also by Boyd) showed up I thought I’d give it a try. This follow-up to the bestselling first book, features the same cast of characters led by the reluctant FBI Specialist Steve Vail. As it turns out Vail, a disgruntled former FBI agent prefers laying brick to dealing the bureau’s red tape and troublesome, if not inept, management. Vail, the bad boy of the books is a really solid character, someone who gets things done . . . his way.
In Agent X, Vail navigates his way through a maze of hidden codes and brain-numbing puzzles to reveal a cadre of spies that have come to the attention of the FBI thanks to a Russian Embassy official known only as Calculus.
The story proved to be a solid addition to a genre dominated by Lee Child, Vince Flynn and Steve Hunter. I am sold!
Noah Boyd is a pseudonym for FBI agent Paul Lindsay, who is more than qualified to write the Steve Vail series. Boyd, a Marine serving in Viet Nam, joined the bureau and enjoyed a twenty-year career as one of the agencies top field agents. To his credit, he solved several high-profile murder cases, and hunted some of the country’s most prolific serial killers, including the Green River Killer and the Highland Park Strangler. Despite a stellar track record Boyd clashed with his superiors after publishing a book that exposed the obstructionism by Bureau management. He retired from the FBI and has been writing ever since.
I am a fan of a bricklayer . . . go figure. So pick-up Agent X, and if you can find a first edition copy The Bricklayer, grab it. Ours sold out long ago, so I am now reading a paperback until a collectible copy shows up.
Then I am going to the shelves to read the other books by Paul Lindsay. He is the author of five other novels — Freedom to Kill; Code Name: Gentkill; Witness to the Truth; The Fuehrer’s Reserve; and Traps.
Noah Boyd is a new name for an outstanding author. Enjoy!