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Reviews of The Siege

"The Yale campus becomes the site of an increasingly tense siege in this stunning novel from bestseller White (Dead Time). After unidentified attackers quietly take over a building belonging to one of Yale's secret societies, they transform it into a virtual fortress holding an unknown number of students hostage. As officials become aware of what has happened, the response escalates in predictable fashion, but these hostage takers are completely unpredictable. They make no demands, agree to no negotiations and execute or release hostages as they choose. Suspended Boulder, Colo., policeman Sam Purdy eventually teams with maverick FBI agent Christopher Poe and CIA terror expert Deirdre Drake in an effort outside official channels to figure out what's going on. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this intellectually challenging and provocative thriller brings home the lesson that 9/11 might have been a mere prelude to more sophisticated assaults."
— Publishers Weekly, * Starred Review

"Since Sept. 11, 2001, as antiterrorism experts have sought to anticipate and prevent new terrorist attacks, many novelists have offered their fictional versions of what our enemies might try next. Tom Clancy, in "The Teeth of the Tiger," imagined coordinated suicide raids on American shopping malls. Alex Berenson, in "The Silent Man," showed terrorists smuggling the components of a crude nuclear device into this country. Now we have Stephen White's gripping "The Siege," the best and most interesting terrorism thriller I've seen so far, in which a diabolical and murderous terrorist scheme unfolds on the campus of a great American university."
— Patrick Anderson, Washington Times

"If you have read Stephen White's entire body of work, then you will wonder, upon finishing his latest book, if he has any new worlds left to conquer. THE SIEGE, either by happenstance or design, is his response to requests from readers for a novel that focuses on Sam Purdy. Purdy is friend and foible to Dr. Alan Gregory, who is White's mainstay, go-to character, a Boulder police detective who provides when necessary the enforcement heft that keeps Gregory credible. Gregory is a psychologist and not expected to be a tough guy; he can, however, have friends who meet that description, and Purdy most certainly does. He also has remarkable powers of observation and deduction, which are on display here. But what makes THE SIEGE stand out is that, for all intents and purposes, this is White's espionage novel, and he masters that genre just as handily as he has mastered everything else he has touched thus far. ...Stephen White continues to be amazing. He is among the best of our contemporary authors laboring in any genre, combining plot, characterization, and excellent, solid storytelling to make each of his works not so much a novel as an event. In his latest effort, he includes a detailed map of the environs where most of the story takes place as a way of helping those of us who were neither gods nor men at Yale navigate effectively through the narration. Insert Alan Gregory for a believable cameo, and THE SIEGE includes everything one could possibly want, whether you agree, disagree or sympathize with the general and diverse worldview of the characters."
— Joe Hartlaub,

"White cranks up the pace to full-throttle in this outing, providing a welcome diversion to the more psychological thrills that are his stock-in-trade in the Gregoy novels."
— Mary Frances Wilkens, Booklist

"While White is known for his series books with Alan Gregory, this book, like KILL ME (one of my favorite books) from a few years ago, is a departure. Again he has a winner here. ...The book has a strong political message wrapped into the quick-paced and deftly plotted story."
— Carol Fitzgerald,

"This is Stephen White at his very best. I have always enjoyed the Sam Purdy character — and now have two new favorites in Dee and Poe. Hope to see more of them in the future. In summary, it just doesn't get any better than THE SIEGE. Terrific characters and a timely sensational plot make for an incredible page turner."
— Alicia Greis, Colorado College Bookstore

"The Siege will terrify any parent as they read of students allowed to leave the building only to die in front of the hostage negotiator. Yet, some do come out and are unharmed. What is the key and what do the kidnappers hope to gain? This puzzle keeps the reader turning the pages. Stephen White has written sixteen previous suspense novels and this one is a winner."
— Patricia Reid,

"As the novel unfolds, White uses his formidable background as a clinical psychologist to create one of the most nail-biting thrillers I have ever read.  The book is about four hundred pages long, and I read the last three hundred pages straight through in one evening—I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen!"
— Mary Whipple,

"A page turner from the start, The Siege will win over those new to White's work and leave existing fans with a feeling of satisfaction."
— Kaye Lynne Booth,

"To White's credit, the story does not unfold predictably, and by the end he has raised complex personal issues involving duty to country versus duty to family, but also macro issues about United States foreign policy. It's everything a thriller should be."
— Kevin Walker, Tampa Tribune

"It takes White fewer than ten pages to completely draw the reader into this tautly written suspense thriller, perhaps his best to date. ...The characters are well developed and suffer from frailties that readers don't always get from their heroes. After such a suspenseful ride, White thankfully doesn't wrap things up too neatly. VERDICT  This is an outstanding book that should prove popular and may increase demand for White's previous titles."
— Craig Shufelt, Library Journal

"Author and psychologist Stephen White has sixteen previous novels to his credit. Most focus on Boulder clinical psychologist Dr. Alan Gregory. All are solid thriller -- well plotted, paced and written. On occasion, however, White knocks one right out of the park. That's what he's done with "The Siege," released last week by Dutton. ...One chapter in -- and I was hooked for the entire book, watching Sunday morning arrive without sleeping through Saturday night. ...This is one of the best books of the series and the kind of book that keeps you awake at night reading frantically to find out how it ends. (And when it does, it will make you think as well. How many thrillers stay with you that way?) Frankly, this is the kind of book I am always looking for -- the next great read."
— Greg Moody, CBS4, Denver

"Meticulously plotted, unpredictable and unforgettable, The Siege is a gripping thriller that starts strong and never lets up. A must read novel, its story will haunt the reader long after the last page is turned."
— Mystery Books News

"The Siege hooks the reader with no hope of putting this book down until the big reveal near the end."
— J.C. Patterson, Madison County Herald

"White has a great idea here—a bunch of Yale students are held hostage within one of the secret-society tombs on campus—and the ways he plays out the hostage crisis are utterly unlike the expected beats of the well-trod genre. And his villains aren't just standard terrorists, either. They're made of James Bond supervillain-type stuff, and they offer a meditation on what might happen if America's enemies really started thinking big.The novel's conclusion is a little underwhelming, but it fits with White's playing-against-expectations mold. It also helps that the book's politics become suitably complex once it moves past an early vignette where two characters argue about which cable-news channel to watch, suggesting that the book will feature the same old "Righties like this; lefties like that!" kind of business. But The Siege's real selling point is how White paints three wounded people trying to stop a crisis that seems almost to defy description. And that crisis, agonizingly unpredictable and terrifically paced, is such a doozy that it redeems the rest of the novel's flaws."
— Todd VanDerWerff, A.V. Club

"If you're looking for an excellent, gut-clenching, page turning suspense story, The Siege is the book you're looking for. Stephen White says it took "five years banging around in my brain" and those five years produced a "Yale Whale" of a story."
— The Novel Bookworm

"I don't usually care for novels that take me to the inside of a complex FBI case, with lots of firepower and conflicting motives, so I opened The Siege with a bias. But this novel is so well structured, with such intriguing characters, and lots of realistic suspense, that I couldn't put it down."
— Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

"THE SIEGE, an out and out political and international thriller, is a captivating story. It's well written, the characters are wholly fascinating, it's set somewhere new and relatively different, and it never relies on  cliché, nor does it leave huge gaping logic holes (a complaint I've had with numerous fast-paced thrillers of yore)."
— Andi Shechter, I Love A Mystery Newsletter

"White creates terrific suspense in the telling of this thriller, revealing new facts at exactly the right pace to keep you turning the pages. The varied perspectives throw different lights on the mystery as well, making it seem real-time while you try to guess what happens next. A great read for any thriller fan!"
— Deanna P., Borders Mystery & Thriller Buyer

"...The Siege a thriller with a brain. Armchair Interviews says: Highly recommended."
— Sara Porter, Armchair Interviews

"This intellectual, exciting thriller may make readers ponder how much terrorists have learned since their last U.S. attack."
— John Harrington,

"White ratchets up the tension and stakes to a near-maddening level in this thriller that actually thrills."
— Kevin Lauderdale, Author Magazine

"This is a flawless thriller that will keep you flipping pages."
— Deb Hoffman, More Than Just Books

"The Siege is the kind of entertainment that provokes thought and speculation not easily dismissed. It's likely to challenge your conclusions about terrorism and covert government operations. If not, the tension alone will undoubtedly stay with long after the final chapter. Whatever the case, you should add it to your "must read" list."
— Alan Cranis,

"This plot is superior, the characterizations crisp, and the writing smooth and professional. It is a terrific book."
— Pat Williams, The Courier

"It's one of the season's very best."
— Front Page Magazine

"This is, hands down, the best thriller of the summer."
—Sally Owen, Owen Booksellers

"The unexpected is the norm in this breathless, unconventional, chiller of a story that will stay with you long after the book is closed."
— The Daily Herald


The Siege paperback (USA)

Signet (USA) Paperback, 2010, ISBN: 0451228480

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June 23 Note

3D Drawing of Beinecke Plaza