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Mission Flats: A Novel

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  2,172 ratings  ·  264 reviews
From the New York Times bestsellingauthor of Defending Jacob

Former D.A. William Landay explodes onto the suspense scene with an electrifying novel about the true price of crime and the hidden corners of the criminal justice system. Only an insider could so vividly capture Boston’s gritty underworld of cops and criminals. And only a natural storyteller could weave this mesm
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Published May 9th 2003 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2003)
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Paul Pessolano
“Mission Flats” by William Landay, published by Dell.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

I had never heard of the author William Landay until a month ago when I read his novel, “Defending Jacob”. This was a truly exceptional read and you can find my review on “”. Suffice it to say I gave it the highest rating possible.

After reading “Defending Jacob” I went back to find what other books he had written. I just finished his first book, “Mission Flats”. What a marvel, I cannot determine which bo
Amanda Day
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Like many of the other reviewers, I too read Defending Jacob and enjoyed it. I enjoyed Mission Flats as well, even though I did find it to be a little slow in the beginning. It did pick up and had many plot twists and turns all the way up until the end.
The one problem I found with the story is that certain things just don't fit. One of the major complaints about mysteries is that they don't make sense or are unbelievable. This is often the reason people will give when saying that they don't li
There's not much crime to speak of in the small town of Versailles (Ver-SALES), Maine. The chief of police, Ben Truman, is only 24 years old. He had been studying for his doctorate in history and returned home when his mother developed Alzheimer's. He eventually inherited the police chief job from his father. When Ben discovers the decomposing body of a prominent prosecutor from the Boston district attorney's office in a local cabin, life changes dramatically. Ben has never had to investigate an ...more
Glenda Ricord
Nov 18, 2011 Glenda Ricord rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Glenda by: Goodreads Reviews
I absolutely loved this book. It was fast moving, well written and the end was a big surprise. I didn't figure it out until it was actually revealed at the end. This was William Landay's first book which won an award for Best First Novel. Well deserved. If you like mysteries this is one of the best I've ever read.

I have downloaded his second book which is entitled The Strangler. If it is half as good as Mission Flats it will get five stars as well.

John Johnston
Mission Flats was a back-to-back read for me after finishing William Landay's - Defending Jacob. I enjoyed the first book and this second book did not disappoint me. A law degree from Boston College and several years as a prosecutor have obviously prepared our William Landay well for his career as a writer of crime novels. Mission Flats is much more than the straightforward police procedural it at first seems to be. As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that the novel is a psychological study of ...more
"Mission Flats" features small town police chief Ben Truman. His father was the chief before him and Ben left grad school in Boston so he could help care for his mother who had Alzheimer's Disease.

As part of his job, Ben checks the summer homes on the lake and this time, he finds the deceased body of a DA from Boston. The man had been murdered in a manner that pointed the finger at a drug dealer from Boston.

As the investigation gets under way, Boston officials try to take control but Ben insists
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
A darned fine rookie effort, written by the guy who gave us Defending Jacob.
I hesitated to read this book after being thoroughly disappointed in Defending Jacob. Still, any author can turn out one bad book, so I gave Landay a second chance.

Mission Flats is better than Defending Jacob but not by much. Landay tells Ben Truman’s story in a conversational voice. The story reads like he’s telling the story to a friend not reporting on events. Then he goes and spoils that easy tone with long narrative passages (sometimes whole chapters) of Ben’s thoughts that slow the story d
This review is going to sound bipolar. The characters are realistic and the plot is brilliant. The ending - even after I had somewhat guessed whodunnit - still threw me for a loop. But I struggled to get through it, and I never got emotionally involved. I'd compare it to watching a movie that's won a bunch of Oscars, but bores the audience even though it's flawless. Maybe it's because the author was a prosecutor for the DA's office - so it's written in a very clinical, Law & Order sort of wa ...more
Dan Maguire
When I started this book I really enjoyed it. In fact, I wish I could give it 4 or 5 stars. The writing was solid, the story interesting, and the characters mostly well sketched. I don't want to write too much about the plot, but what brought the story down for me is that toward the end, the reader learns that one of the characters has been pretending not to know things he's actually known all along. I did not find this clever or rewarding, in fact, I found it somewhat deceitful and frustrating. ...more
Kimberly Russell
I have a love/hate relationship with this one. On one hand the first half of the book was really boring. On the other hand parts of the story were still really interesting. Landay's writing is supurb so I kept reading. Then it got boring for a while. Then he smakes you with an awesome twist. For me, it was worth the read because the writing quality is so fantasic. If you read Defending Jacob then you know he is the awesome at a badass twist near the end.
Πάνος Τουρλής
Μπεν Τρούμαν: ο νεότερος διοικητής αστυνομικού τμήματος στις ΗΠΑ εργάζεται στο Βερσάιγ, εγκαταλείποντας τις σπουδές Ιστορίας στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Βοστόνης. Η μητέρα του ανακάλυψε ότι πάσχει από Αλτσχάιμερ και βρήκε το θάρρος να αυτοκτονήσει πριν εκφυλιστεί η ασθένειά της. Αυτή η κίνηση στοίχειωσε για πάντα τις ζωές του γιου της και του συζύγου της, Κλοντ.

Ρόμπερτ Ντάνζιγκερ: εισαγγελέας από τη Βοστόνη. Το πτώμα του βρέθηκε σε αποσύνθεση σε ερημική κατοικία κοντά στη λίμνη του Βερσάιγ.

Χάρολντ Μπρά
I read Defending Jacob and loved it. That's why I decided to read Mission Flats. Well, Mission Flats fell flat for me. I did manage to finish it, but it was a marginal crime/thriller that barely kept me interested enough to continue reading. This isn't at all what I had expected. I'll give it 2 stars instead of one just because this is one of the author's older works. Maybe his next novel after Defending Jacob will be awesome.
Alan Zabel
I read "MIssion Flats" because I had thoroughly enjoyed Landay's later book, "Defending Jacob". "Mission Flats" had all the elements of a good mystery, it kept me turning pages, lots of plot twists and revelations, and so on. I didn't like it quite as much as "Defending Jacob". I believe that the characters were more finely drawn in "Defending Jacob". Still, "Mission Flats", Landay's first novel, is a highly enjoyable read.
Arnie Shunneson
Mostly I liked it. that is the spoiler free review.

Now with SPOILERS!!!!!!!!

At times during the book I was acutely aware that the author wanted you to suspect Gittens as the bad guy. All the while I was thinking "he wants me to think its this guy so it must not be this guy" . For a moment Mr. Landay tried to double trick me out of that stance but of course that is exactly what he was doing.

That being said the book was enjoyable, well written and the ending was good and I did not know for sure wh
This was Landay's debut novel. As obvious from the comments here, many readers like myself decided to go back and read this 10 year old book after loving his more recent novel, Defending Jacob. Even standing alone, I enjoyed this psychological murder mystery thriller. The pacing was not as deliberate and definitive as that of DJ, but it did not disappoint as a debut. He was developing his skill with plot twists that he would later fine tune in DJ.
Told in the first person narrative voice, the nov
Slow and too predictable...and yet the so called twist just isn't believable. After reading Defending Jacob this book falls flat. I won't even bother with Landay's other book.
This book was awful, well let me re-phrase that. Boring, SO boring I had to struggle to get through it. William Landay has come a looooong way, "Defending Jacob" was amazing!
Not as good as "Defending Jacob" but it was entertaining. Characters weren't as developed and the story line wasn't as strong but all in all I liked it.
Val Wilkerson
I enjoyed the book, it to had a great suprise ending, just didn't grip me
like Landay's book "Defending Jacob" did.
This novel certainly made me think about right and wrong. I've long held the belief that some laws are unjust, and those that seek to enforce unjust laws, and those who persecute someone because they broke that questionable law, are in fact, morally "criminal" themselves.

I'd go so far as to give a pass to the cops that forced a cop killer to jump off a bridge. Saved taxpayer money. "Rough Justice" has an appeal to me, especially in view of the fact that keeping folks in prison at the rate we do
Interesting, a good read, but definitely NOT "Defending Jacob".
Marian Gassmann
Having read Defending Jacob, I was eager to read another book by this author. Mission Flats is an entertaining "who dun it", though not as engaging as Defending Jacob. I actually had an inkling as to how the story would end, and I prefer to be surprised. I believe if I had read this book before ever picking up Defending Jacob, I may have enjoyed it more. However, I will rate it four stars based solely on it's entertainment value, and ability to keep me reading, instead of my usual habit of falli ...more
I was all set to give this three stars until the last ten pages. What an ending! I had a few quibbles along the way (namely: it dragged at points and would suddenly introduce a theory/suspect and just as quickly cast them aside), and by the end was thinking, okay, this was interesting, but I'm not surprised by the whodunit. I spoke too soon - I was, indeed, surprised. This is a great debut novel for those who love detective/thriller novels. I didn't like it as much his other one I've read, but s ...more
Jan Pelosi
This was a tedious book to read--one that I had to force myself to finish only because I had nothing else in my queue. I found the premise completely unbelievable. Not that I don't believe there are bad cops. I know there are. That's not was bugged me about this. What I couldn't buy into was that the Boston Police Department (or any police department for that matter) would allow some small town cop from a little Podunk and from a different state no less to just come into their jurisdiction and w ...more
Ruthanne Davis
To me, one of the special and rare pleasures of reading is watching the evolution of a talented author. Having read and raved ever since about William Landay's DEFENDING JACOB, I looked forward to reading his first published novel, MISSION FLATS. I was not disappointed but I was very aware of how his talent has developed since then.
MISSION FLATS carries the reader from bucolic small town Maine to the gang-infested drug-ridden gritty streets of the Boston we'd really not acknowledge exists...and
I picked this up instead of Pelekanos and Presumed Innocent because it was supposed to be 'literary Americana' and full of twists. Well, there's nothing Americana about it and it it is mediocre writing at best, though I have to say, it has pace and that's a good thing because it's a big book. The twists are not that many with the final being the most satisfying of all. Some funny lines and a pretty cool (and cruel) opening too but that's it. There's absolutely no reason why anyone should pick th ...more
I first read William Landay's lauded book, Defending Jacob, and liked it so much I decided to read his books in the order written, and picked up his debut novel. I think I've found a new favourite author!

Ben Truman has been the chief of police of a small tourist town in Maine for all of three years, a position he "inherited" from his father. He was on track to an academic career as a history professor until his mother's illness brought him back home. Checking on the lakeside tourist cabins in th
FYI I was always untrusting to Gittens. I knew he was shady from the minute we met him. I knew he would be involved at the end. My hubby said to me 'the twist is amazing, you just don't expect it'. Whilst, granted I didn't guess the truth about who had actually killed Danziger, I wasn't surprised either.

I suppose I just didn't really buy it. I felt that the entire story that I had just read from Ben's point of view about his struggle to find Danziger's killer was pointless. Ben had known all al
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William Landay is the author of the New York Times bestseller Defending Jacob. Previous novels include Mission Flats, winner of the Dagger Award for best debut crime novel, and The Strangler, which was an L.A. Times favorite crime novel and nominated for the Strand Magazine Critics Award as best crime novel of the year.
More about William Landay...
Defending Jacob The Strangler

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“But sometimes you can't figure everything out because you can't ever really understand other people. You can't understand why they do what they do. You just have to accept a little mystery, Ben. People are mysterious, the world is mysterious. You can't know everything. You're not supposed to. This isn't a history book. It's just the world. It's a messy place.” 13 likes
“We move through time like a man in a rowboat, looking back even as we move forward.” 7 likes
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