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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  225 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Charlie Ravich is an international corporate tycoon, a husband and father on the hard side of fifty, and a restless soul in search of immortality. When Christina Welles, a prison parolee, well-schooled in the art of manipulation, walks into his life, Charlie thinks he just might have found what he's looking for. As she tries to outrun her past, and he to understand his fu
Published 2001 by St. Martin's (first published September 1st 1997)
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Mar 12, 2009 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adrenalin junkies
Murder! Sex! Torture! International Finance! Wall Street Shenanigans! Lesbian Jail Scenes! Police corruption! A one-armed man! No, it's not the latest Tarantino blockbuster, but this book gave me whiplash as it screeched around a plot and the world (mostly centered in NYC though).

This was my 2nd Harrison novel, and I think I need a break before trying a third as the way this one read would give someone a seizure if they weren't careful. The story as it was centered on a good-girl-gone-wrong and
This is a tough one to rate. The story was really well written. My favorite line was about being harnessed to "the imbecile donkey of lust." However, all the female characters were bimbos, fools, victims, strident (and/because possibly lesbian), oblivious, or some combination thereof. The main character was the only one who wasn't just a laughable caraciture of a woman, and she was still a deeply damaged victim and a... doom-bringer? I don't know if there's a word for it, but everyone she got in ...more
This book had so much potential so I was a little disappointed by the ending, but overall quite interesting. Basically the dichotomy between the life that went right and the one that went wrong.
A well-written thriller, but I'm docking it a star on account of the mob torture scene that almost made me lose my lunch.
Jim Coughenour
Great writing, great set-up, disappointing dénouement. Sounds a bit like my life.
Nov 12, 2007 Mike marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
Trying to get interested but not a sympathetic character picture
Jess George
Man, this started off so well but got super dark. The torture stuff was too graphic for me, and there was a later plot development that didn't feel right. It was a page turner, though!
This seemed like the perfect novel to read on our trip to New York City with lots of time in the air or at airports coming and going. It's 600 pages long, it's set in New York City and it got great reviews. It's a sort of crime/caper novel and while it's a page-turner, I didn't really like it. The violence is really nasty and graphic. The sex is pretty graphic, too, but strangely unsexy. I didn't really like the characters (maybe that was intended) and as for the New York setting, it was really ...more
Strangely disappointing. Excesses of sex & torture does not a good book make.
I'm not quite sure how this book even landed on my bookshelf but once I picked it up, I was hooked. Throughout the day, I found myself wondering how Christina was going to make it and make it out. I noticed that a few other reviewers made negative comments on the lengthy sex passages and indeed, excruciating violence. While I was stopped in place on both accounts, Harrison certainly made it crystal clear who these characters were in many ways, and the sex and violence were effective means. I lov ...more
Aug 10, 2008 Jodi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes flawed characters.
The book is well-written; however, I think it would have been well-served with a good editor to cut it down to size a bit. There were parts I really enjoyed, where the book moved. My biggest problem was that all of the characters were flawed, and in ways that made it difficult for me to identify with them or pull for them. I would start out really liking the character, but then become disgruntled with choices/decisions made. I would like to re-write the ending!
I truly enjoy Harrison's gritty writing and his characters: Christina Welles (a released convicted felon, trying to get her life back together), Rick Bocca (her ex-lover, crook, who has become a recluse fisherman), and to a lesser extent, Charlie Ravitch (a fighter pilot, POW, turned technology businessman.) Welles and Bocca's former mob boss is looking for revenge and willing to do anything to get it. Too much slaughter and sex in this novel.
AFTERBURN is about using everything you've got to survive. Sometimes you have to kick in the afterburner even when the acceleration comes at the expense of burning all your fuel. To survive, the gain must exceed the consequences. And some people have a real knack for this, like Charlie Ravich and Christina Welles.

See my review here:
David Barrie
Colin Harrison has two great virtues: a fascination for the world of modern business and a great sense of place as regards Manhattan. I find his novels systematically depressing (bad things happen to people who didn't deserve them) but compelling.
I picked this book at random in an airport bookstore. All of the characters are insatiable, all of the violence is explicit. Everything a thriller should be. His books set in NYC have a great sense of place.
Jeremy Wagner
This was the first book I ever read by Colin Harrison. Afterburn came recommended by an editor who knows my tastes. I was not disappointed. This book is FANTASTIC.
Mary Joy
We'll see how this goes. After reading about so much truly awful real-life stuff this week, I'm just looking for some mindless, suspenseful entertainment.
Spooky and violent. Did not like. That is not to say it wasn't well written. Significant other liked it a lot.
parts were violent and graphic, made me very uncomfortable, but it was still a good story.
Don't waste your time. Very hard to follow. I finally quit reading it and discarded it.
Sandra Knapp
Too much violence, and too much sex for my liking, but a well written thriller.
a little strange, but very compelling--kept me turning the pages, for sure!
Liked the book, but really didn't need the violence.
Maybe a 3.5. Definately leaves an afterburn.
I remember really loving this book.
Jan 15, 2008 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cliff
loved it.
Marisa Del Rosario
Marisa Del Rosario marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2015
Sarah Wurz
Sarah Wurz marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2015
Veronica marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2015
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Colin Harrison is a crime novelist. He is a vice president and senior editor at Scribner.
He lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife, the writer Kathryn Harrison, and their three children (Sarah, Walker and Julia).

He attended: Haverford College, BA 1982; University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. MFA 1986

His short nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Washington Po
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