feedback image
Total feedbacks: 92
52
19
6
7
8
Looking for The Blade Itself: A Novel in PDF? Check out Scribid.com
Audiobook
Check out Audiobooks.com

Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessica price
A story of life and death and choices that could have changed at different points in these characters' lives. Sometimes self-awareness comes too late. If we're lucky we get to live and make a better choice. Loved the character development. They were real.
This is a must read -- pure and simple!
ejw
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
edvin
I downloaded this when advertised on BookBub for free and I was extremely delighted with the read. The writing is crisp; Sakey is a first-class storyteller. I will be purchasing more from Marcus Sakey.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nancy snell
Sakey has done it again by creating edgy yet believable characters and placing them in what seems like no-win situations that force them to make difficult decisions. The ethical and moral dilemmas are compelling and the action keeps the pages turning. Highly recommend.
Half the World (Shattered Sea Book 2) :: Stories from the World of The First Law (First Law Stories Collection) :: Half a King (Shattered Sea Book 1) :: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance Chronicles :: Half a War (Shattered Sea Book 3)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nilson
Got this free on Bookbub and liked the crime novel with a twist...told from the criminal's viewpoint. Now I'm going to have to spend money buying more books from this guy! This would make a good movie!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nurhayu
From page one I was hooked. Danny is far from a perfect person, but I was totally with him throughout his ordeal dealing with his past friend and partner, Evan, in what was an impossible situation. Every time he seemed to want to make a good choice, Evan was one step ahead of him. The novel was intense, well written and filled with very real characters. I loved this book and recommend it highly.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
roger whitson
A collection of irritating little flaws--such as calling a dashboard-board mounted police strobe light a "siren," repetitiously referring to el trains as rattling, and identifying a diner as being on "West Diversey" when every Chicagoan knows that if there were an East Diversey it would be under Lake Michigan--mar an implausibly conceived mystery that in a hectic ending miraculously ties a neat bow around its multiply twisted plot and characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aki jinn
Sakey takes what you think is going to be a predictable outcome, and surprises you. He endears his characters to you so that you are emotionally tied to their outcomes. I'd recommend it as a good beach read.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
cristy carnes
This book had all the ingredients but no depth. It had a plot, characters, a beginning, middle and end but there was nothing to hold you or involve you. I know this is not much of a review but it is typical of the book..it is not quite right and not quite wrong.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jennifer james
The protagonist is supposedly a supremely street smart, savvy guy but this is sadly not in evidence as the entire plot pretty much hinges on his being stupid time after time after time. I would have liked it better if he had been portrayed as an average bloke who finds resources within himself, who learns from his mistakes. Reading yet another instance wherein he acts cluelessly began to wear and became annoying so I skimmed to the end which held no surprises.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
eliana
Having seen author Marcus Sakey on television hosting a true crime series I was curious to see what type of thriller writer he was. With a new author I try to start with their debut book. "The Blade Itself", was a solid and enjoyable thriller to say the least. Coming in at just over 300 pages, it was a yarn that started off strong and got better as it went along. Set in the south side of "Chicago, the baddest part of town":(Jim Croce), where crime is an everyday thing in life. Small time thief Danny Carter and his criminal partner Evan McGann are in the process of robbing a pawn shop late one night when it all goes to hell. Badly planned and a desire to get more than what they came for turns this job into a nightmare. Danny manages to slip away but Evan gets a twelve year reservation in Statesville Correctional. Luckily for Danny, Evan doesn't drop a dime on him. As the years pass Danny gets him life together thanks to his live in girlfriend Karen. Karen is tough on Danny to keep him walking a straight line. Danny works in construction and becomes the number two in his company behind the boss Richard O'Donnell. Although times are tough and the business is not in great shape Danny is making out pretty good. However after just seven short years Evan is released due to overcrowding. Evan travels back to Chicago to team up with his old partner Danny. Danny is horrified that Evan is back and keeps trying to get him to realize his days in crime are long over. But Evan will not take no for an answer. Evan begins to stalk Danny and Karen. He has a big score to pull off with Danny. Evan promises to leave Danny be after this one big job. When Danny finds out it involves his boss Richard he's stuck in a no win situation that will surely put him into prison. Local detective Sean Nolan who grew up in the old neighborhood with Danny and Evan knows something is going to happen. When Danny's "brother" Patrick Connolly steps in to help Danny the crimes begin to start stacking up. In a very quickly moving plot, "The Blade Itself", was well crafted and featured some pretty interesting characters. Protagonist Danny Carter seemed very life like as he jumped off the pages in a dilemma that has no good choices. The supporting characters were very developed and interacted with Danny for a smooth enjoyable read. I did think the dialog was a bit vanilla for a yarn taking place in the south side of Chicago. Not that a huge number of cuss words were needed, they did seem inconspicuously missing. Maybe author Marcus Sakey kept his first book PG over R for a broader audience. Clearly a superior read for, "The Blade Itself", easily four stars out of a possible five stars. The ending maybe a little too neat and far fetched but worked with the plot very well. I'm sure I'll be reading another Marcus Sakey book pretty soon based on how much I liked his first book. Author Sakey has a trilogy that sounds extremely interesting itself. "The Blade Itself", is a do not miss read for sure. Author Marcus Sakey is a story teller to keep an eye out for.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jennie mcstotts
THE SETUP
"The Blade Itself" begins when young thug Evan kills the shop-owner of a pawn shop, and is caught by the police. Co-thief Danny manages to run away. Seven years later Evan is released from prison, and wants to go back into "the life" with Danny, but Danny has gone straight. That's the setup.

If you have trouble confusing Evan and Danny, as I did, I suggest a mneumonic device, think "E" as in "Evan" is for "evil". "D" for "Dumbxss" also works---except that Danny is supposed to be bright.

COMMENTS
I am tempted to say that the story is contrived and implausible, but real life is often illogical. Truth is often "stranger than fiction", but nevertheless, readers have the right to expect fiction to be minimally plausible.

Screaming at Dumbxss (oops, I mean "Danny"), "Don't do it you idiot!" for every single page of the novel becomes tiresome. Evan is clearly twisted, but his motivations or "evil" just doesn't ring true.

I did not find the novel enjoyable, because I found no-one to relate to or care about. Danny is supposed to be a flawed hero, but too consistently makes excessively poor judgments. This is particularly inconsistent with the premise that Danny is "the brains", and which is why Evans needs him. Evan is portrayed as a stupid thug, but shows himself to be far brighter and more clever than Dannt. Danny is portrayed as a very bright fellow, who can't think his way out of a wet paper bag. It just doesn't track.

The novel also contains disconcerting discontinuities. At several points I said to myself "Opps, I musta missed something" and flipped back several chapters but did not find the events I was looking for, because Sakey simply skips over them.

CRITIQUE
Objectively, the novel is well written with a difficult but interesting premise, and may be "educational" for some sheltered readers. For a first novel, it is a very admirable effort. Too many young authors concentrate too much on "breaking literary ground" rather than writing a story which typical readers will enjoy.

I grew up in a somewhat similar neighborhood. Most of my childhood friends got their GEDs in prison. But Sakey's characters do not feel authentic to me, and I found no other elements of the novel to be compelling.

> Click on “Stoney” just below the product title to see my other reviews, or leave a comment to ask a question.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
steve weinberg
A few years ago, I read a collection of short stories written by new authors that was put together by Lee Child. That collection of stories was called "Killer Year," and without hesitation, I still say that collection sucked! There were maybe 3 stories that I actually enjoyed out of the entire collection. Marcus Sakey was among the new authors in that collection of short stories. And while I didn't like most of the stories in that collection, I REALLY hated the story that Marcus Sakey presented. My first thought was, "I'm NEVER going to read ANYTHING by that author. Not after that!" Well, while I was in our local library, I saw this book called "The Blade Itself," but guess what? It was by Marcus Sakey! I said I was never going to read him! Should I lie, and go back on my word? Well, it looks like I did lie. I read it and I loved it.

Danny Carter and Evan are best buddies, and they know how to rob a place pretty good and get away with it, ya know? They always made a really good team, and nobody was going to stop them. Right? Well, a job finally screwed up, and while Danny walked away, Evan got caught and did his time.

Now years later, Evan is out on good behavior, that's the good news. The bad news? He's looking for Danny. And when he finds Danny, he's got news for his partner in crime. That news is plain and simple, "You owe me!" What's Danny-boy gonna do about this? Is he going to stay friends with his old buddy? There's just one thing, one big difference, and that big difference is that Evan is not the same, and he's a hardened criminal, ready to wreak havoc! How do you handle this?

I really did go into this with a negative attitude, hoping I was going to dislike the work of Marcus Sakey. And I'm glad he proved me wrong. I'm glad he showed a lot of grit, determination, and more importantly, he showed a lot of heart! He showed me that there is a difference between a short story and a full length novel. So, in the end, I lied. And I'm glad I did for Marcus Sakey! Can't wait to see what he has in store for his fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marwa madian
I really enjoy Sakey's writing. He finds a pacing which keeps you really interested and also develops the characters thoroughly enough so you care. I think he did a great job of showing how hard it would be to have a past like Danny's and be in a tough spot. It makes you sympathize and feel like you can back the character in his decisions. I think the internal struggle Danny goes through is very enveloping, and I think other reviewers' summaries of "bad guy turns good" is a gross oversimplification. What's more interesting is the escalation and development of the adversary character. Overall, a very exciting and well-written read that leaves you wondering how the protagonist will make it out of his situation unscathed. I would call Sakey one of my new favorite contemporary authors.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nate lahy
I almost stopped reading at 48%. It affected me that much. I am from one of those neighborhoods and know that sometimes only luck or an experience gets you out. The writing is so powerful and the imagery so graphic I wasn't sure I could read any more. I came to this book kind of backwards. I read the authors Brilliance Saga and was looking for more. This is nothing like that series. Before purchasing I read the blurb and realized that, but not how different. Not for those looking for a casual read. The characters are raw, vivid sometimes brutal. However there are moments of kindness and goodness even in seedy chapters. Reminds me of real life in the inner city even though mine was not Chicago but the south Bronx, NYC.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suzanne t
First experience of this guy.Didn't realise it was his debut until after I finished, and....Good, really, really good. A plot & characters to die for( literally ) Flows like silk, twists,turns and full of surprises. Upgrade that comment good, should read stunning !!! If you haven't read this guy yet, settle down and lose yourself for a few hours in the hands of a born storyteller.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ruben rodriguez ii
The tale weaves so intricately and yet, so plainly. Poor kids, from a bad neighborhood grow up and find lives of crime. One bad night puts one in prison and the other flees the scene and remakes himself. Years later the one gets out of prison and sets about getting revenge on his old partner.
Sakey writes a gritty story that drags you in and keeps you turning the pages. I read a review that said this book is "un-putdownable". I don't know if that's a real word but god damn if it isn't dead on accurate. This book was incredible
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
justyna
I enjoy this author and his books, this one was no exception. The story line kept your interest, and characters were we!! developed. I don't like to reveal plot lines or characters, feeling you need to find out yourself but I do highly recommend you read this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dennis
I usually prefer books with a strong hero, and with a sense of humor. I enjoy rooting for a good guy, like a Harry Dresden or a Joe Pickett. I usually despise the trendy "flawed hero" and books that revel in the lead character's weaknesses and vices. For several chapters I thought I'd drop the book because I thought I couldn't root for these guys...but the excellent pace and the development of the character continued. Danny becomes someone who by the end of the book I was seriously rooting for. I highly recommend this book and recommend you stick with it to the end. The brisk pacing will lead you through to the payoff.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
james manders
Exciting, well written tale. Characters are a little flatter than in some other books by this wonderful writer, but you do end up caring for them anyway... The only thing I didn't care for was that it read like it was made for a big screen to begin with, not to stay in the book form.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kelly kron
Some have complained about THE BLADE ITSELF that its female characters are uninspired. Actually I found them full of life and in fact they sort of run away with the honors for characterization. Certainly they were more interesting than the menacing, amoral Evan, who was just like a carbon copy of Robert De Niro in CAPE FEAR (not even Robert Mitchum in CAPE FEAR). And Danny, I felt for him to some degree but I have to say he got himself in the fix he wound up in pure and simple. Patrick, the best friend, was a little on the whimsical side, while Sean, the good cop who emerged from a bad neighborhood, was sanctimonious, with none of the moral complexities James Ellroy might have given such a character. He was there to be scornful and that's all. I hear that Ben Affleck is going to direct this film as a followup to his successful adaptation of Dennis Lehane's GONE, BABY, GONE. While Marcus Sakey doesn't have the plotting skills of Lehane, nor his feeling for the tragic inevitabilities of life, he's not a bad writer, and I expect next time around he will improve all the way around.

THE BLADE ITSELF, with its title taken from Homer of all people, reads like another iteration of the famous plot well described by Al Pacino in the last GODFATHER movie: "Just when I thought I was OUT--they pull me back IN!" Now, if I'd saved a dime for every thriller I've read with this plot, I could buy the store, so you know Sakey had better start making with the fireworks when it comes to fleshing out the old chestnut of a story. To a certain degree, he succeeds, and once or twice he fooled me, going zag where I expected zig. Best of all I thought were his women--Karen, the beautiful club owner who (insanely) has thrown her lot in with Danny's--and Debbie, the round-heeled dame of the underclass whom Evan treats as a slave. Ben Affleck won't even have to go to the casting couch, he can just repeat Michelle Monaghan (as Karen) and Amy Ryan (as Debbie) from the Lehane picture, they'd be excellent in their new roles just as they were in their last parts.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
paul zuh
I've read several books by Sakey and enjoyed them. This book was not one of his best but nevertheless it kept my interest. It was very suspenseful even if the plot was somewhat farfetched. It's so hard to find a good book. I'm glad I read this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jazzmin
Danny and Evan grew up together in the South Side of Chicago where reputation, being tough and street-wise determined whether they stayed out of prison. The two friends earned their living by theft.

On a night, much like many others, the friends rob a pawnshop. When the shop owner shows up with a young woman, Evan pulls a gun and uses it. Danny walks away from the scene and Evan is caught. Evan serves seven years in prison and never talks about Danny's involvement in the crime.

Danny turns his life around, has a great job, a wonderful woman and a bright future. That begins to unravel when Evan, who has become a bitter man, is released from prison and the two men meet in a local bar. Evan believes that Danny 'owes' him and he's determined to collect. Danny doesn't believe he has many choices and must decide how far he'll go to protect himself, his loved ones, and his future.

The Blade Itself is Marcus Sakey's debut novel and it sizzles. His plot is intriguing, his characters are rich, with all the flaws seen in life. The good guys aren't completely good and the bad guy is truly evil. The dialogue is taut and the pacing is impeccable. I love Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane and Robert Crais, and while Sakey's work is no imitation of these authors, he's quickly joined their ranks. I suspect he's going to be a major player in the future.

Armchair Interviews says: Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
harrison
Marcus Sakey's debut novel has been the subject of advance buzz of such volume that I feared there was no way it could live up to such high expectations. But I am pleased to report that it does --- and even surpasses them.

THE BLADE ITSELF does not merely hint at greatness from the first page; this top-shelf crime novel delivers it. The opening --- a pawnshop burglary that just feels as if it's going to go wrong, even before one starts reading (if such a thing is possible) --- is perfect. Sakey effectively transmits the deep contrasts between the two hooligans about to carry out the deed: the reluctant Danny Carter and the loose cannon named Evan McGann. The opening also introduces the author's attention to minor details --- in this case, how the false bottom of a cabinet drawer sounds different from a real one, and what true vertigo really is --- and continues throughout the book.

It is the story contained within THE BLADE ITSELF, however, that is the star here. The burglary does indeed go badly, at least for McGann, who winds up doing hard time in a hard place. But Carter escapes, and thanks to an ultimatum by Karen, his lady love, he gets out of the life. Seven years after the burglary, Carter has reinvented himself, becoming the de facto manager of a construction company and settling into quiet domestic bliss with Karen.

McGann's return into Carter's life is sudden and unexpected; McGann has been released early for good behavior and, as we see rather dramatically, is eager to pick up precisely where he left off --- with Carter as his partner.

For Carter, McGann's reappearance is a waking nightmare, an all-too-vivid reminder of the life he left behind and to which he promised Karen he would never go back. He initially rebuffs McGann, but McGann is in no mood for rejection. From McGann's point of view, McGann did stand-up time for Carter and is owed big time for the years that were lost --- years during which Carter prospered as a free man. McGann turns up the pressure on Carter, until Carter feels he has no choice but to go along with McGann's scheme, which threatens to upset and destroy everything that Carter has worked toward since turning his life around.

To make matters worse, just when you think that Carter's situation isn't going to go any further south, Sakey plunges him into latitudinal depths heretofore unexplored. Sakey's talent, however, isn't limited to sending Carter deeper and deeper into the concentric rings of his own personal hell. The author sets up a subtle, and troubling, moral dilemma for the reader. There is a legitimate question as to whether or not McGann is all wrong here or, conversely, if Carter is 100% virgin pure. After all, McGann did stand-up time, refusing to implicate Carter in the burglary. And while McGann's impulsiveness brought about McGann's own downfall, it was not as if Carter was unaware of his friend's tendency to go sideways when he agreed, however reluctantly, to accompany McGann on a burglary run.

These issues complement, rather than interfere with, the storyline, which hurdles toward an explosive confrontation, a chance for redemption and, against all odds, a satisfying climax.

THE BLADE ITSELF is far more than an impressive debut; it is a milestone in what is sure to be a marvelous career for Sakey, the mark of a talent that demonstrably runs long and deep. Stick this one on your must-read list.

--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chye lin
Initially seeme like a straightforward heist/caper novel, but wound up being way more involved and complex than I imagined. Explored some challenging areas of morality and humann relationships that I really enjoyed. Maintained pretty high tension throughout.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david bond
Marcus Sakey's books continue to memorize me. His characters are well developed. You either love, hate or tolerate them. The storylines in all of his books are so well thought out and so engaging you can't stop reading, even though you need to do other things! Thanks for another action packed story with endings that still surprise you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jim heivilin
This premise is at the core of the three Sakey novels I've read and this one, the author's debut, is truly an incredible first novel. Four male characters and two female are examined here, each at a different point on the good/bad yardstick and the result is a relentlessly suspenseful novel which one can read in four or five hours. Short chapters, many with cliffhangers, encourage reading this in one or no more than two sittings. While the suspense is high and taut, there's also lots of philosophical and psychological insight into the qualities of good and evil. This is a book which satisfies on both intellectual and entertainment levels.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
guillaume mallet
Considered one of the best in its genre, it is entirely predictable. The book starts off well, then takes a predictable turn. That's not unusual in this type of story, but the interest comes when the author spins it in unexpected ways. Here, the last half of the book and ending are seen much too far in advance. Read it if you must, but your money would be better spent elsewhere.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeff patterson
This is an interesting story about reform, betrayal and conscience. I felt the title character striving to be a better person. He had a few missteps and almost lost it all. The book is well written and the characters interesting and likable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bill bowers
In the Irish Bridgeport section of Chicago Danny Carter and Evan McGann became friends as kids and teamed up over the years starting with shoplifting before turning to robberies. However, on their last pawnshop job, Evan is caught by the cops while Danny manages to escape. Evan goes to prison for seven years but is finally freed on parole.

Evan returns to Chicago looking to reestablish his partnership in crime with Danny. However, the near incident scared Danny straight into being a "soccer mom". He works construction and lives with his girlfriend Karen, who runs a nightclub. Evan insists Danny owes him and expects him to help him with a crime caper or else. Danny sees his options as limited between returning to the life of crime by assisting his former best friend, ignoring Evan only to have him come after him or worse Karen, or turn him in to the cops which goes against the neighborhood code of ethics.

This exciting gritty street thriller starts off at an incredible pace with the failed pawn shop robbery and never slows down as the two former partners go their separate ways until the convicted one comes home with demands. The characters, especially the mean streets of Chicago, which is so alive it feels like protagonists, make the story line exciting and fresh though Evan's planned caper is nothing new. Urban crime readers will appreciate this debut work that in some ways is reminiscent of Cagney's Public Enemy.

Harriet Klausner
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
fidi
Good tension-packed tale about a career small-time criminal (Danny) that can't seem to leave the life. He finally makes the decision to leave when is partner (Evan) goes overboard, breaking their protocol and getting violent during a simple burglary. Danny gets away as Evan is caught. Danny vows to go straight and does while Evan goes to prison for several years.

Danny starts a new life as a construction manager living with his girlfriend. Little does Danny know that Evan was let out of prison early. Also, prison has hardened Evan to the point where he doles out violence without any thought. Evan comes back looking for Danny expecting that they would resume their criminal partnership. He approaches Danny but Danny lets him know that he has left the "life" and wants to continue on the straight path. Danny offers Evan a job in construction. Evan just flat out refuses and tells Danny that you never leave the life.

This is not the end of it as Evan has sinister plans in mind and he forces Danny to help him kidnap the son of Danny's boss. Danny is in a very delicate situation because he can't tell his girlfriend anything, he can't go to the police because Evan will turn him in from his participation in their last job and he does not want a violent confrontation with Evan because besides being his childhood friend, Evan is now pretty scary.

The tension mounts as Danny learns that there is not rational way of dealing with Evan and that he better face up to his own past life and deal with Evan before he loses his girlfriend and innocents are harmed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gaynor
It was an entertaining read, no question about it. Seemed Elmore Leonard influenced. Perhaps the ending was a little tidy, and there was another scene or two that seemed a little pat, but I appreciate a book that can keep me glued to it and after mid-way I pretty much was. Not that the beginning was hard getting through either. This book moves quick. I like sit-coms and fast food for the same reason. There's obviously an art to this kind of writing and maybe it's not great literature, but for killing a train ride or two, this one won't let you down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karri
Sakey's book is riveting. I wasn't expecting the great thumping tension that builds up page by page and slowly turns this novel into one that you just cant stop reading.

This is a story of two childhood friends, Evan and Danny. They grew up in a rough neighborhood of Chicago, spending their days planning small heists. Evan goes berserk, lands himself in prison, and Danny goes legit. Thats where the book starts after a brief introduction. Evan is out of jail and Danny is a fairly successful construction worker. I dont want to give away much of the plot, but let me just say that Sakey never misses a beat. This book is taught. One of the best of this genre I have come across.

As I was reading the Blade Itself, I kept thinking of Harlan Coben's books. This here is much better. I admire Coben and his writing, but he has never had such an edge. This book is light years ahead of just about any other writer I can think of except for the rare genre book by Lehane or McCarthy.

If you like Mystery Suspense thrillers, this is almost as good as it gets. You have to keep in mind that it fits the mold of a genre book, so dont expect to be reading Updike or Stegner. Regardless, I highly suggest that you just take a chance and try The Blade Itself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ryan monroe
Hated it but could not put it down.
Wanted it to be over but kept reading.
Finally read nonstop for 6 hours Sunday just so I could finish.
I am taking a break from this author.
Very intense for my personality
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
darryl
The book started out well enough, but for a character who the 3rd person omniscient narrator is trying endlessly to convince us is a super-smart planner, Danny makes more cliche mistakes than a comic book villain caught monologging. I was half the book ahead of Danny at every twist and turn in the tale - if you want me to believe your protagonist is so brilliant, he'd better be smarter than the reader.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa kelsey
Marcus Sakey is a master of suspense. He starts with characters we care about and then puts them through hell. As much as I love Danny, Evan is a villain to remember. He's sympathetic and simultaneously terrifying. I found myself thinking about him long after I had stopped reading the book. But if you start even one page of this great book, you better have the time to finish it because you won't be able to do anything else until you've read this story to its end. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
artavie dugan
I picked up this book as it won best debut novel of the year according to The Strand Magazine. This magazine rarely lets me down, but I think it may have been a little off the mark on this one.

Mr. Sakey is a talented writer and the story itself while not highly original was both fastpaced and exciting. This is a difficult plot to write with the criminals being the heroes, and Sakey instead of letting the characters do it, stopped to preach a little here and there. Then he tied the ending up with a nice pretty little bow at the end like an episode of Law and Order, which I found too neat and too predictable.

I would probably grade this novel four stars had I not expected more. Probably not really fair, but I find it wasn't as good as I feel I was led to believe.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ellica
I was on the edge of my seat with this story. My heart pounding as if I drank ten cups of coffee. Enjoy this author very much. Loved Brilliance as well and look forward to more roller coaster rides in the future. Thank you Markus Sakey.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kerri
Sakey is climbing high up on my list of favorite authors. As in the Brilliance trilogy, his ability to deeply develop characters combined with spinning a provocative and thrilling tale makes for riveting reading. The bonus is a generous smattering of quotable, insightful passages.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bonnie nadeau
A creatively written crime thriller complete with crime, kidnapping and murder all unfolding on the streets of Chicago.. This would have rated 5 stars, but I found it to similar in style to Accelerant, another of Sakey' novels.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stacym
For a first novel this is an excellent effort, and its strength is the breakneck pacing of the plot. Sakey has a real gift for this, and you will find yourself hooked from minute one.

On the down side, the character development leaves something to be desired -- the female characters in particular are flat, uninteresting, and oversentimental. Hopefully a writer of Sakey's promise will improve on this with time and effort, I'm certainly looking forward to the next one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ashleymoonsong
Another story by Marcus Sakey that kept me up too late finishing it. Although I guessed parts of the story before they happened, Danny and Karen were compellingly characters who I cared about and had to follow to the end of their story.???
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
yaara
First Sentence: The alley wasn't as dark as Danny would've liked, and Evan was driving his crazy, spinning the snub-nose like a cowboy in some Sunday matinee.

Seven years ago, Danny Carter and his friend Evan were living their lives on the wrong side of the law. During a break-in, Danny escaped but Evan was caught and served seven years in prison.

Now he's out and, although Danny has been legitimate and now successful, he feels Danny owes him. Evan wants Danny to plan and partner with him on the kidnapping the son of Danny's boss.

I was so incredibly disappointed in this book. It has one of the most beginning-to-end predictable plots I've read in a long time. I even saw the final twist coming. And what the predictability of the plot couldn't do, coincidences did.

Even the characters were predictable, stereotypical and, for most, without a lot of development. Unfortunately, I've already bought Sakey's next book. I hope the library sale enjoys them both.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shay fan
If you like heart-pounding, non-stop action combined with angst-ridden characters, you're gonna love this story. A former petty thief caught up in a maniac best friend's recklessness becomes embroiled in a crazy, dangerous scheme and barely escapes with his life...and the lives of his loved ones.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
armand
This is the Evan McGann, I am not a thug nor ever done hard time!. This book has ruined my life!!!! I can't get a job. My dog died. I can't say it was because of this book, but I certainly can't say it wasn't because of this book.

I recently saw the Will Farrell film Stranger Than Fiction and I have became worried for my safety. I peek out my window at night worried the police are after me. I can't even answer the phone when my friend Daniel calls. I am afraid for my life.

In reference the book I feel it had adequate use of the word "The."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
john baker
Danny's made a life for himself. He's legit now, working as a project manager for a construction company and convinced that his past is just that - past. But he's wrong. Almost a decade ago, he and his buddy Evan McGann were doing a routine B&E when the owner returned. Danny was all for leaving with what they had; Evan took out the owner and his chippy, and kicked the hell out of her post-mortem. Danny walked away, literally, and Evan went to prison for a long time. Evan's out now, and he wants his payback.

The plot is convoluted; Sakey takes us on a classic thriller ride. Just when Danny thinks he's got things under control, Evan jerks the rug out from under him, sends him reeling. The setting is contemporary Chicago; Sakey could have used any big city.

While I didn't like most of the characters, they were all very real to me. Sakey can convey years of history, that neighborhood zeitgeist, without blathering on for pages. He shows us how being in prison has changed Evan, smelted out the "civilian" and made him totally a criminal; he shows us how Danny's love for Karen colors his actions and reactions - again, without dithering about.

This is Sakey's first novel, and it's good. Very good.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sarah spector
Though I'm more partial to stories told in the first person, Marcus Sakey is an extremely talented writer who knows how to tell a very compelling story, making me a little more susceptible to reading books who boast the unseen narrator. Many different crime fiction writers find different ways to tell different crime fiction novels, and it appears that Marcus Sakey has carved out a niche for himself, with his spot-on dialogue and vivid descriptions of the protaganist's physical pain and mental angst.

The story focuses on Danny Carter, once a juvenile delinquint but now a successful contractor for a legit construction business in the Irish-American enclave of Bridgeport, South Chicago. His girl, Karen, is a hotty club owner, and his best buddy Patrick, who's more like a brother, is a petty thief but an overall good friend to Danny and Karen. But Danny's checkered past with felon Evan McGann, the childhood deviant who took the fall in their pawn shop heist gone wrong, proves to boil and stir the pot while stringing Danny along like a marionette.

In a nutshell, Evan gets out of prison on good behavior, avoids his parol officer, and goes straight for Danny, reminding his old pal of the time he did and what Danny now owes to him in return. Danny must discreetly go along with Evan's plan or risk losing everything in his life that's good, namely his job and Karen, who swore she'd leave him if he got mixed again his old life of crime. Add in a pesky, old-school Irish cop who knows all parties but doesn't care too much for any and a bad girl punk rock groupie-type who sympathizes with the saint but fears the repercussions of the sinner, and you will find that Sakey's characters have the amazing ability to successfully paint themselves onto the pages.

In The Blade Itself, Sakey scripts a stunning debut of crime by creating the perfect balance of violence and tenderness. A nowhere-to-turn-to at its best. Sakey will be around for awhile, make book on it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hazel
I read THE AMATUERS by Sakey and loved it and thought I would pick up the first novel, THE BLADE ITSELF. This is a story about two friends that rob a store and then get separated by years , one in prison one changing his life. Then Evan gets released and pressures Danny into the old life. I like his style. Sets the characters up nicely. The story is a thin but I thought bit was a good first effort.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brittanny
When a first novelist's work is compared to Elmore Leonard, Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos on the jacket cover, he's either exceptionally good or the publisher's marketing machine is churning out unbridled hyperbole. Thankfully Marcus Sakey proves he's the real deal.

"The Blade Itself" is lean, well-plotted, and convincingly authentic in its depiction of the criminal underbelly on Chicago's South Side. Danny Carter, reformed thief, comes face to face with his dark past when Evan, his volatile former partner, is paroled from a prison sentence and shows up expecting payback after taking the fall for his former partner. When Danny turns him down, Evan raises the stakes, cornering Danny into a situation so dire that kidnapping his boss's son seems like the only viable course.

Novels that rely on this sort of premise are incredibly difficult to pull off, as they almost always employ strained logic to convince the reader that there are no easier ways out. Sakey not only avoids clunky turns in the plot but also maintains a blistering pace, getting in late and out early on each chapter, yet finds opportunities to develop a believable hero in Danny and a worthy villain in Evan.

Once in a while a crime novel hits all the rights notes. "The Blade Itself" is that rare example.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
brandi barnes
Only made it through one-third of the book. It was too generic. The same sequences and interactions of every crime drama on TV.
Bad boy goes good. Then old partner comes back for payoff for taking the fall. Etc.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
pelephant
I like this authors style of writing but the story he told in this book was very disturbing to me. A man who makes one bad decision after another and manages to never suffer the consequences of his choices and then turns around and does it again makes me loath the main character in this story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alejandra
I had no expectations about this book. Was not familiar with the author, but was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the book and the talent of the writer. I will definitely seek out more of this author's books for future reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mards
It's hard to believe that its Marcus Sakey's first novel. This book mixes a powerful concoction of emotions and complex situations. All the characters in the story are truly believable, expressively human, and tormented in their own way. Danny's perfect life is rocked when Even, his childhood friend gets out of jail for a crime they both committed years ago. Only Danny doesn't get caught. Even serves his time only to come out of prison jaded while Danny chooses to rid his life of all the poisons and turns over a new leaf as a "normal" citizen. Once out Even feels he is owed some kind of retribution for what happened to him and forces his old friend to make impossibly difficult decisions. Danny Struggles to do what's right to protect his new life and all the people in it as Even looks to destroy him.

Danny is someone any reader can relate to. As he battles internal and external conflicts you sympathize with him while at times you want to slap him. This is why the book simply works. It draws you in and never lets up. Sakey forces you to care what happens to these people. At the end of each chapter all you want to do is find out what happens next. I found it hard to put the book down. The writing is smooth, gritty, suspenseful and just fascinating. Without question one of, if not the best book of the year. Marcus Sakey has already sold me on his next novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dipesh pherwani
Very much enjoyed The Blade Itself. One of the best newer voices in crime fiction. I came away feeling much the same as when I first read Charlie Huston. Mr. Sakey does a masterful job of getting you to care for the characters as he keeps tightening the noose around the protagonist's neck. Each time things get darker, though, he manages to offer a glimmer of hope... before snuffing it out. The "guy whose past comes back to haunt him" premise is a staple in the genre, but Mr. Sakey manages through characterization and pacing to make this a fresh, enjoyable read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
angela belnoski hendry
Loved this story. It is realistic in the sense that bad guy was real bad, but good guy is so flawed that it is hard to imagine a happy ending. Plot carefully crafted with interesting moral dilemmas. Action is intense but stays in the realm of possible and keeps you reading long after bedtime. Book totally clean from typos other gaffs that could distract reader. One of the best thrillers that I have read lately. I'll read more of Marcus Sakey's books. Good job!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shannon reed
The best characters aren't the good guys or the bad guys but the guys who tug at your heart and challenge your loyalties. Sakey does this very well. His heroes are troubled and his villains are just virtuous enough to feel real. This is what makes fiction so enjoyable.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
annie shannon
Read this book on the strength of Publisher Weekly's review. Had to keep checking that I was reading the same book that others have raved about just to be sure it was the same one. While I'm happy that Sakey got a publishing deal for his work, this story was entirely predictable, the writing cliched and trite, the action handled clumsily, and the ending telegraphed so early on, it was painful to read through to the end...which I finally gave up on. It felt as if I was always twenty pages ahead of not only the author, but the characters, too. There was nothing notable or new in this story. Evan, the antagonist, was a cartoon, and Danny, the bad-boy-gone-good protagonist, was weakly drawn and unbelievable. By the time I gave up reading, I was hoping that the protagonist would either stop justifying his actions with weak inner arguments, or get killed. That's not a good thing. Will I read anything else by this author? No. Opening this book was a day in my life that I will never be able to retrieve. This is one book that could have used a good critique group before publishing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aleks
Not easy to put down. A roller coaster ride of emotions...sad, happy, adrenalin rush...till the very end. I felt like I was right there with Danny, feeling what he felt, because of such great writing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meghan newell
I happened to pick this book up on a whim the other day. I had one of those Christmas gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and figured I should use it before I forgot about it.

While I don't normally read thrillers, I figured I should try to expand my horizons a bit... Boy did I pick the right book for that!

This really a fantastic book! Each chapter is tight, moves the story along, and suspenseful. It's the ultimate page-turner with a number of twists and turns and a menacing "villian" capable of pretty much anything. All those combined constantly keep you on the edge of your seat. Once I started it, I had hard time putting it down. The characters are compelling, the action scenes are beautifully written, the dialogue is great, and all the little details paint a vivid, unforgettable portrayal of Chicago.

I'd highly recommend this book to any fans of the thriller/crime fiction genre and even those not familiar with it. A fantastic read!

I hope this guy keeps on writing more like this!

A great way to spend that gift card. Thanks, ma! (I mean, Santa!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennie rains
I bought this book when it was first released without ever hearing anything about it or Sakey. I could not put it down once I began. I have never written a review before but this one deserves to be recommended. It is a tightly written first novel by an author we can expect to see on future best seller lists with what are sure to be a string of mysteries. The dialog is true and sharp. The characters are well fashioned. The main character (I hesitate to call him a "hero") has flaws that only make him even more believable while he tries to maintain his succesful non-crime, straight life style even as the good old tough street days of his misspent youth keep pulling him back.

This is one of those gritty crime novels that gives you sweaty palms as you hang on for the wild ride. Marcus Sakey is right up there with the newer authors I read: Crais, Pelecanos, Connelly, Child, Coben & Lehane. He has the voice of a young Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker or Ed McBain. Buy this one and you will be on the list waiting anxiously for his next one.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jack badger
I cannot understand the praise that this book seems to garner. It is the story of two flat, vapid characters: "troubled past guy" and a simpler "bad guy." That's really all you need to know about them; they have no depth, remain unchanging through the work, and are impossible to connect with. In Danny's case (this is "troubled past guy," the protagonist)you'd expect more - Sakey tries hard to bring him to life and includes a few elements into the mix(childhood memories, love interest, emotional determination) but the equation fails to solve. I could not bring myself to care about Danny.

The best explanation, I think, is that Sakey is a poor writer. His writing is always grasping at lyricism but never holding on; it often screams "I am profound!" when there's nothing there. The best example of this is the title: "The Blade Itself" references a Homer quotation that the author includes on its own page before the body of the novel: "the blade itself incites to violence." I guess the author expects us to find the quote provocative, but in the end the quote serves only to make the book's concluding pages more awful than they already are. These pages discuss the poor childhoods of the characters, the neglect of society, the futility of any positive expectations - in other words, the novel's supposedly sophisticated point is just the same depressing, rehashed crap that (no matter how true it may be)has been said a thousand times before.

The "bad writer" hypothesis is consistent with the other problem of this book - a plodding narrative with a predictable ending that leaves you sleeping through the "tense" scenes and skimming pages by the half-way point (don't worry, you can skim half the book and still see everything coming a mile away). This is trash, shop elsewhere.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
myra rose
This is the last Amnesia Novel I'll knowingly read. I like Marcus Sakey but this is my least favorite of his books. Didn't like the primary characters and found the plot somewhat beyond plausible, even with my willing suspension of disbelief.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lilia
THE BLADE ITSELF is one of the finest debuts I have ever read. Marcus Sakey is both a first-rate story-teller and a top-notch writer. A truly rare combination. With nary a wasted word, Sakey's taut plot ratchets ever more tightly until the reader risks serious injury flipping pages. THE BLADE ITSELF will appeal both to readers of traditional mysteries, and to those who prefer their crime noir with a whiskey chaser. This is the platinum standard for a first crime novel. I eagerly await his next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
james m
I'd been reading about this book since sometime last fall after I happened upon The Outfit Collective, a blog for a group of Chicago crime writers. Marcus Sakey had the honor of writing the group's first post, despite being the noob in the bunch.

THE BLADE ITSELF is Sakey's first published novel. My words for him? Thank you.

Thank you so very much for raising the bar so very high for the rest of us.

This book rocked.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shana o keefe
Marcus Sakey, in his first novel, writes with the skill of an author who has had several bestsellers "under his belt." The plot development is believable and fast-paced. the characters are well-developed and multidimensional, and the suspense is constant. Without going into much detail, The Blade Itself is the story of a good man who made some bad mistakes earlier in his life and has recently become a victim of circumstances he helped create; and where his efforts to rectify his current plight results in dire consequences and a dramatic conclusion. With The Blade Itself, Sakey has taken his first step towards entering the 'big leagues' of thriller writers. Enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
syed
Not easy to put down. A roller coaster ride of emotions...sad, happy, adrenalin rush...till the very end. I felt like I was right there with Danny, feeling what he felt, because of such great writing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathy leslie
I happened to pick this book up on a whim the other day. I had one of those Christmas gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and figured I should use it before I forgot about it.

While I don't normally read thrillers, I figured I should try to expand my horizons a bit... Boy did I pick the right book for that!

This really a fantastic book! Each chapter is tight, moves the story along, and suspenseful. It's the ultimate page-turner with a number of twists and turns and a menacing "villian" capable of pretty much anything. All those combined constantly keep you on the edge of your seat. Once I started it, I had hard time putting it down. The characters are compelling, the action scenes are beautifully written, the dialogue is great, and all the little details paint a vivid, unforgettable portrayal of Chicago.

I'd highly recommend this book to any fans of the thriller/crime fiction genre and even those not familiar with it. A fantastic read!

I hope this guy keeps on writing more like this!

A great way to spend that gift card. Thanks, ma! (I mean, Santa!)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ansley howard
I bought this book when it was first released without ever hearing anything about it or Sakey. I could not put it down once I began. I have never written a review before but this one deserves to be recommended. It is a tightly written first novel by an author we can expect to see on future best seller lists with what are sure to be a string of mysteries. The dialog is true and sharp. The characters are well fashioned. The main character (I hesitate to call him a "hero") has flaws that only make him even more believable while he tries to maintain his succesful non-crime, straight life style even as the good old tough street days of his misspent youth keep pulling him back.

This is one of those gritty crime novels that gives you sweaty palms as you hang on for the wild ride. Marcus Sakey is right up there with the newer authors I read: Crais, Pelecanos, Connelly, Child, Coben & Lehane. He has the voice of a young Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker or Ed McBain. Buy this one and you will be on the list waiting anxiously for his next one.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
orlee
I cannot understand the praise that this book seems to garner. It is the story of two flat, vapid characters: "troubled past guy" and a simpler "bad guy." That's really all you need to know about them; they have no depth, remain unchanging through the work, and are impossible to connect with. In Danny's case (this is "troubled past guy," the protagonist)you'd expect more - Sakey tries hard to bring him to life and includes a few elements into the mix(childhood memories, love interest, emotional determination) but the equation fails to solve. I could not bring myself to care about Danny.

The best explanation, I think, is that Sakey is a poor writer. His writing is always grasping at lyricism but never holding on; it often screams "I am profound!" when there's nothing there. The best example of this is the title: "The Blade Itself" references a Homer quotation that the author includes on its own page before the body of the novel: "the blade itself incites to violence." I guess the author expects us to find the quote provocative, but in the end the quote serves only to make the book's concluding pages more awful than they already are. These pages discuss the poor childhoods of the characters, the neglect of society, the futility of any positive expectations - in other words, the novel's supposedly sophisticated point is just the same depressing, rehashed crap that (no matter how true it may be)has been said a thousand times before.

The "bad writer" hypothesis is consistent with the other problem of this book - a plodding narrative with a predictable ending that leaves you sleeping through the "tense" scenes and skimming pages by the half-way point (don't worry, you can skim half the book and still see everything coming a mile away). This is trash, shop elsewhere.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
gholam reza azari ph d
This is the last Amnesia Novel I'll knowingly read. I like Marcus Sakey but this is my least favorite of his books. Didn't like the primary characters and found the plot somewhat beyond plausible, even with my willing suspension of disbelief.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lanier mcree
THE BLADE ITSELF is one of the finest debuts I have ever read. Marcus Sakey is both a first-rate story-teller and a top-notch writer. A truly rare combination. With nary a wasted word, Sakey's taut plot ratchets ever more tightly until the reader risks serious injury flipping pages. THE BLADE ITSELF will appeal both to readers of traditional mysteries, and to those who prefer their crime noir with a whiskey chaser. This is the platinum standard for a first crime novel. I eagerly await his next book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sam mowry
I'd been reading about this book since sometime last fall after I happened upon The Outfit Collective, a blog for a group of Chicago crime writers. Marcus Sakey had the honor of writing the group's first post, despite being the noob in the bunch.

THE BLADE ITSELF is Sakey's first published novel. My words for him? Thank you.

Thank you so very much for raising the bar so very high for the rest of us.

This book rocked.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brianna townsend
Marcus Sakey, in his first novel, writes with the skill of an author who has had several bestsellers "under his belt." The plot development is believable and fast-paced. the characters are well-developed and multidimensional, and the suspense is constant. Without going into much detail, The Blade Itself is the story of a good man who made some bad mistakes earlier in his life and has recently become a victim of circumstances he helped create; and where his efforts to rectify his current plight results in dire consequences and a dramatic conclusion. With The Blade Itself, Sakey has taken his first step towards entering the 'big leagues' of thriller writers. Enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kim z
I've read hundreds of thrillers and crime/suspense novels and I was very impressed by THE BLADE ITSELF. This novel, which has been heavily hyped, is extremely well written for a debut novel. Marcus Sakey has been compared with Dennis Lehane, and I think that's actually a pretty fair comparison. Sakey is a fine literary craftsman, and the prose in this book was a pleasure to read for the most part.

That being said, THE BLADE ITSELF is not without flaws. I think the main flaw of this novel is the characterization. In the first eighty percent of this novel, there is no specific character to root for. The hero of the novel makes a series of foolish mistakes that (deservedly) get him into terrible trouble. Eventually, the hero comes to his senses and begins to reverse course, but that realization comes rather late in the book. As a result, I spent most of the first half of this novel rolling my eyes at the hero's poor choices, which does not necessarily make for entertaining reading.

I was also disappointed by Sakey's portrayal of the hero's nemesis as a two-dimensional psychopath with no redeemable qualities. He is not a morally complex character, and pretty much abuses everyone he gets his hands on. Although I understand that he is supposed to be a hardened criminal, I felt that Sakey could have done a better job of making him into a three-dimensional character, instead of a cartoonish stock villain.

But these flaws aside, THE BLADE ITSELF is very enjoyable. Marcus Sakey is a highly talented writer, and if he can write this well now I look forward to his future work, which I'm sure will only get better with time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gisoo rabi
Sakey's first novel received rave reviews in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, so I had to read it. The gritty, vivid dialog and action captured my attention from the first word and never let loose. True-to-life, believable characters, raw emotions, breath-taking action, and realistic dialog combine to make this debut novel one to remember. It is guaranteed to keep readers enthralled and awake from the very first page. I can't wait for Sakey's next book to be published.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anahi
Two young men get into big trouble. One gets arrested. The other gives up crime.

Years later they meet again, with explosive consequences.

Fast, tense, and surprisingly poetic, Sakey's debut isn't simply a great first book---it's a great book, period.

If you like Lehane, you'll love this. I expect it will be on many "best of" lists come the end of the year, and eagerly look forward to Sakey's next.

Also, in full disclosure, Sakey is a friend. I don't hold that against him, and still contend this book is terrific.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
plaxnor
Marcus Sakey has gotten it all right. The Blade Itself is not only a fast-paced, exciting thriller, it's an outstanding story of human character and frailties. That is the book's greatest strength.

After a disasterous botched robbery at a pawn shop, the lives of childhood buddies and partners in crime Danny and Evan take very different turns. Evan, whose poor judgment and violence exacerbated the situation, goes to prison while Danny, at the urging of his girlfriend, goes straight. But years later, when Evan returns and threatens Danny's safe new life, Danny must deal with the consequences of his past before he loses everything. Danny's struggles with both the new physical threat and the emotional ravages of his past paint him as a flawed, but very believable protagonist whose mistakes only make him more human.

Pick up a copy of The Blade Itself. But be warned, once you start reading, you won't want to stop until the end. And then you'll wonder when Mr. Sakey's next book comes out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan baganz
The Blade Itself is the first novel by Marcus Sakey, but it reads like a book written by a bestselling author. I absolutely loved this book! The plot is totally believeable and engrossing. The characters jump off the page like they are real people. I could not put the book down once I started it. And now that I've finished it, I wish I had read it a little bit slower! I can't wait for his next book!.

Do yourself a favor and by this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bethany miller
Not since Donna Tart's THE SECRET HISTORY has a novel succeeded in pulling me through the narrative like Marcus Sakey's THE BLADE ITSELF. The two books are alike inasmuch as the characters who live in them are unable to escape the deeds of the past. Sakey's characters, however, are not New England college students but young adults living their lives in Chicago. The book is a treat for readers who are familiar with the city, and a primer for those who are not. Sakey's familiarity is like that of a beat cop, and he takes the reader on mental journeys that stretch from Bridgeport to Evanston. Best of all, he does it without patronizing the reader. His characters roam up and down real streets and often speak Chicagoese, and if there's something a reader doesn't understand Sakey trusts that reader to learn for himself. Thank you, Marcus.

Not only is the book's hero a sympathetic character, but so - after a fashion - is his villianous childhood friend, a young man who emerged from a troubled upbringing into the life of a Stateville-influenced sociopath. No reader wants to read about people who are having a good time, and this is a principle Sakey understands well. Conditions for the hero and his constellation of acquaintances get worse and worse as the story unfolds, pointedly so at the conclusion of each chapter. His point of view is omnicient third person, so the reader knows not only what's being said but also what's motivating the speaker, the luxury of novel reading - and writing - unavailable in actual life. But the living of an actual life can be enhanced by the role-playing, the "dry run" let us say, that good fiction affords. What Marcus Sakey has given the public is good fiction indeed.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
beatrice bruno
The story started strong, with an excellent writing style and very believable scenarios..... It fell apart when Sakey began to feel the need to convince the reader of his (Sakey's) "street-cred", and worse, Danny Carter's "humanity".....
Very disappointing.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kevin
Based on the reviews (customer and industry)I bought a signed first edition. What a total disappointment. The story was predictable, the characters two-dimensional stereotypes and the writing stiff. Comparisons to Lehane and Connelly are way off the mark. The book has none of the depth of character or smokingly real atmoshere. Reading it felt more like reading a student's awkward first draft. I was rooting for a turn-around the entire book, it never grabbed me. Save your money and pick up some James Lee Burke, Daniel Woodrell or James W. hall for great character driven crime writing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kenghis khan
A great novel full of suspense, action, and terrific characters. I felt as though I was in Danny's head and his world, and there is part of me that wants to go back. I ordered one copy from the store, and have already purchased two more copies. I plan to give The Blade Itself to friends, and I'm not giving up my own copy. I can't wait for more from Sakey!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
hailey
The book consists of two parts: 1) Lots of wrong choices by the "hero"; 2) Constant panicky action. If you are comfortable with pure escapism, it's not a bad read. As for the ending: give me a break!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
chris messina
I picked up this book after having heard the Ben Affleck was going to be making this into a movie. I read through all the reviews and was excited to read it. Boy was I wrong! This book was way predictable, the plot lacking and you could care less for the characters. It didn't hold my attentions and it took me a couple of weeks to finish. I only finish it to see if the ending was what I thought it would be and what do I know it, I saw it coming from a mile away. I was disappoint and hope they reconsider about making the movie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chelsea hawk
Marcus Sakey does an amazing job of creating an emotional attachment to every one of his characters. The loathed villain, the conflicted lover, just wait until you get into Danny's head. Sakey takes the story to the absolute limit of suspense and creates a page turner of a climax that I'll remember for a long time. I can't wait to add to my collection of Sakey novels.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
honeythief
Not much to say except this is an excellent book. I stumbled across it at local bookstore and couldn't put it down once I started reading. I just realized this is a debut novel by this author and that makes it even more amazing.

If you're looking for a quick read, grab this for your flight or your trip on a cruise boat.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jaimee
This book was a great read. I loved the way Mr. Sakey developed the characters and especially the fact that I stayed up until 1:00 am and then got up at 5:00 am to continue reading. I can't wait to see the movie that hopefully will follow.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
trish
I read one to two books a week. This book was one of the worst written and most predicable in terms of plot development/result that I have read in several years.

I picked up the book at an airport in a rush primarily based on the endorsement of Lee Child on the front of the book. As a result I will probably stop reading Lee Child's books also.

Do authors who "endorse/lend their names" to books actually read them or depend on staff or do so solely based on the money they are paid?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lori law
I could not put this book down. I do feel that the ending was rather predictable but I enjoyed the trip to the end. I made the mistake of reading it late at night and I'm glad I read it all before I went to bed otherwise I probably would not have slept well. The antagonist was absolutely ruthless.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephani itibrout
Whilst this book starts slowly the reader is pretty soon turning the page anxious to catch the next installment of this enthralling tale. The title is a little offputing but it is a good read and well worth spending some time with.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
liza de prophetis
Sakey makes Chicago one of the characters in the book, which I really enjoyed...and I felt myself really pulling for Danny and Karen.. And I enjoyed how scary and twisted Evan became, and the back story made it all make sense. I thought I had the ending figured out but I easily pleased to be wrong. Really enjoyed the book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hagay
Sakey is a master at building suspense. Each character is someone we recognize from the old neighborhood. Sakey leaves it up to the reader to decide how they would handle dangerously perilous situations.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
melissa valle
I read one to two books a week. This book was one of the worst written and most predicable in terms of plot development/result that I have read in several years.

I picked up the book at an airport in a rush primarily based on the endorsement of Lee Child on the front of the book. As a result I will probably stop reading Lee Child's books also.

Do authors who "endorse/lend their names" to books actually read them or depend on staff or do so solely based on the money they are paid?
Please Rate The Blade Itself: A Novel
More information