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The Terror of Living

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3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  656 ratings  ·  138 reviews
Hunt, an ex-convict, has spent the past twenty years on a small ranch with his wife, supplementing his income with the odd drug smuggling job. Drake, a deputy sheriff, is newly married and has almost escaped the shadow of his father, who was also a sheriff -- and no stranger to the drug trade himself...Drake is on Hunt's trail when a big drug deal in the mountains goes awr ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 3rd 2011 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,527)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”Do you ever just think of just doing a criminal thing sometime? Just doing something terrible. Change everything.
Richard Ford, Rock Springs, from the story “Winterkill”


Deputy Bobby Drake was up in the mountains of Washington State for purposes of relaxation, at least that is what he told everyone. When millions of dollars of cocaine start floating down out of the sky. The relaxation becomes one cop against desperate men who never want to see the inside of Monroe prison again.

Hunt is one of th
...more
Kemper
“Welcome, gentlemen. I’m John Keller from the Society of Literary Hit Men. And you are?”

“Grady Fisher from The Terror of Living.”

“Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men.

“Thank you for coming. We’ve got a position open with SLHM and you two were nominated as likely candidates. However, I’m afraid we only have one spot so only one of you will be invited to join. Mr. Fisher, please tell us why you think you’re qualified for the SLHM.”

“I did hits for a crooked lawyer involved in heroin smuggling
...more
Pinky
He sat in the near-dark, one finger running thoughtfully along the deckle edges of the pages, remembering how his dad used to love him an awful lot then less so. Or so it seemed. But you never know. Love worked that way.

In another room in the city, the blond man ate his popcorn but it didn't fill. The hunger creeped up and tapped him on the shoulders, wondering politely when he was going to get his knife bag out.

The drug-runner ran some drugs, his hand on the pommel, guiding the horse along the
...more
James Thane
As a young man, Phil Hunt made a terrible mistake that sent him to prison and that has effectively dominated the rest of his life. For twenty years after being released, he has lived in Washington State. He's worked a variety of jobs but was fortunate enough to win the love of the proverbial good woman. Now in their fifties, the couple is eking out an existence on a small horse farm and Hunt supplements their meager income with the occasional job that falls outside the letter of the law.

As is al
...more
Lou
This story covers ground that's been covered so don't expect great surprises. The writing started off slow and i was bit hesitant from first 80 pages or so in finishing it, but it all picked up momentum halfway and leading to a showdown of sorts. The writing became more gripping and flowed better. Story is written in the similar vein of No Country For Old Me, involving drugs and things going wrong. The story opens a view into a realistic world of drug mules.
Chris
Powerful and engrossing this book reminded me so much of "No Country for Old Men" with its violence and relentless psycho killer. I'm not quite sure who the protagonist is in this one: Drake, the deputy or Hunt the drug smuggler. Hunt wouldn't be in the situation he was in if Drake hadn't stopped his drug delivery. Hunt seems to be a decent guy who wants to do the right thing but just can't. Drake is living in the shame of his father, a crooked sheriff and trying to atone for his dad. Just a riv ...more
Cynthia
I can't decide how to rate this. I might have to copy Mag and give it a 3.75 and round up to 4.

The law and the outlaw pit themselves against one another. I wanted to add ‘as always’ but it’s not true in this case and I suppose sometimes it’s not true in life either. Drake is the Seattle law man, Hunt is the appropriately named hunted drug runner. Drake takes his work seriously attempting to make up for his dad’s crimes. His dad was also a Sheriff but he combined that with drug smuggling and woun
...more
Michael
Hunt and Drake are two different people who will see they are very similar thanks to a connection from there past. Hunt is an ex convict who lives remotely with his wife doing the odd drug run to make ends meat. Drake is a cop haunted by the shame of his dad who was a cop himself and is now in prison after shipping drugs.

Hunt doesnt want to smuggle drugs any more but cant see anyway out. It will be a run that will almost take Hunt and his wife Nora's life. While taking drugs along nearby mountai
...more
switterbug (Betsey)
A provocative thriller will fasten a reader to the proverbial edge of the seat, either by laying a trail of clues to "whodunit" or leading us on a mad and oscillating cat-and-mouse chase through the landscape of the novel. In the case of Urban Waite's contemporary, reflective and rousing cat-and-mouse debut, I was glued to the pages of perilous pursuit and quickened by the torn and haunted rogue heroes--Deputy Bobby Drake, and ex-convict and owner of a struggling horse farm, Phil Hunt.

There's th
...more
Jenny O.
A drug deal gone bad has been written from here to there to everywhere. And that's what this book ostensibly is about? a huge crate of heroine is dropped from a helicopter somewhere in the mountains of Washington state. Instead of making a smooth delivery, the town sheriff hears the commotion (you'll find out why he's nearby later in the novel) foils the plan and takes one victim into custody. What happens thereafter is that the gates of hell are swung open: the drug dealers have turned against ...more
Jim Thomsen
A remarkably smooth, self-assured debut, Urban Waite's literary thriller does a masterful job of keeping the action propelling forward while developing interesting characters, patiently plumbing themes of loss and redemption, and giving readers a sublime and deeply seated sense of place. The prose in the Pacific Northwest tale of hot pursuit is wonderfully cool and controlled, giving readers the sense that they can settle back because they are in the hands of a strong storyteller.

I could nitpic
...more
Patricia
Deputy Bobby Drake has returned to his hometown, Silver Lake, Washington, and is following in the footsteps of his father who was also a lawman. The difference is that Bobby’s father supplemented his income by dealing with illicit deliveries through the mountain passes near his home. Bobby’s father was caught and is serving time in jail.

While on patrol Bobby find an abandoned horse trailer that prompted him to think something suspicious was going on. He decided to go up into the mountains and th
...more
Jenny
If Miami Vice and Dexter met in a bar, did the dirty and produced a child that didn’t quite get enough oxygen during its birth, it would look a lot like this book.

Main players: Hunt—once killed a guy and has been helping put drugs on our streets for 20 years because a guy with a record finds it hard to get honest work (yeah, right). Drake—cop whose father is in prison for doing exactly what Hunt is doing. Grady—garden variety psycho who likes cutting things up. When a drug drop goes wrong, thank
...more
Elizabeth A.
Deputy Sheriff Bobby Drake is a man with a tremendous chip on his shoulder. Once a promising college football player, his life was turned upside down when his father, Sheriff at the time, was busted for running drugs across the US/Canada border. Drake returned home to his small hometown in Washington State and took a job as a deputy sheriff, determined to restore honor to his name and prove he’s a better man than his father.

Phil Hunt is also a man struggling hard to make amends in his life. A 10
...more
Chris Shaffer
Based on several factors (local author, my age, Woodrell blurb, comparisons to No Country For Old Men) I expected this to be great. It wasn't. It was good enough to finish reading, sure, but it lacked something. I think it comes down to the fact that the writing just wasn't that good. Maybe it was all the commas. Yes, too many commas where there should not have been commas. It's weird that that bugged me. Also, I felt like I was reading the same sentence over and over again, "...how had his life ...more
Donna Siebold
Bobby Drake has a hunch that something illegal is going on when he finds a car parked by the side of the road. Normally cars aren't left on the side of a mountain unless they are broken. During his investigation he discovers cocaine smugglers. He manages to catch one of the smugglers. This young man is murdered while in jail. The other smuggler manages to escape on horseback.

Bobby has a bug in his ears about drug smuggler because his father, the area's former sheriff is in prison on the same cha
...more
Michael
I’m just going to go ahead and declare The Terror of Living the best book title of 2011.

What I learned from reading this book:

1. Don’t lose or steal heroin that doesn’t belong to you.
2. Don’t transport heroin in your stomach.
3. Don’t work at, or rent a room at a cheap motel where someone has done any of the above.
4. Don’t talk to over-friendly strangers, especially if they’re carrying a small, black bag. It’s probably full of knives.
Dylan Edwards
If you like your thrillers edge-of-the-seat ...and bloody violent then this book is definitely for you ...fast paced and well written ...look forward to more by Urban Waite
Joanna
I didn't feel strongly for this book one way or the other. I found myself getting mildly confused and flipping back to remind myself who certain characters were. I might not have finished this book if I hadn't been traveling and had ample time on my hands. It was a fairly quick and easy read. I could definitely visualize the story and found myself wondering if this had been an option for a movie, or even a Lifetime movie. To be honest, I think the only reason I picked up this book in the first p ...more
Els
Omdat de paardenranch van Phil Hunt en zijn vrouw Nora niet voldoende geld oplevert, ziet Hunt zich af en toe genoodzaakt om drugs te smokkelen. De wildernis van Washington state, aan de grens met Canada, leent zich uitstekend voor dit soort illegale praktijken. Samen met een naamloze jongen heeft Drake weer een klusje aangenomen en samen trekken ze te paard de bergen in om een pakket heroïne op te pikken. Zoiets gaat meestal goed, maar dit keer blijft de smokkelactie niet onopgemerkt. Hulpsheri ...more
Janny
Urban Waite schreef korte verhalen, Bloedrood is de Nacht is zijn debuutroman. Het verhaal gaat over Hunt, een weinig succesvolle maar niet onsympathieke paardenfokker die de eindjes aan elkaar probeert te knopen met drugssmokkel. Hulpsheriff Drake zorgt ervoor dat een van de transporten misloopt en de drugs niet bij de opdrachtgever terecht komen. De opdrachtgever stuurt Grady, een huurmoordenaar op pad om Hunt om te brengen en de drugs weer in handen te krijgen. Een bloedige achtervolging is h ...more
Hallie
Urban Waite's powerful debut novel "The Terror of Living" is a character-driven thriller set in the North Cascades. Two men on opposite sides of the law face off. Horse farmer Phil Hunt is a fundamentally descent man who's gotten up to his neck in drug smuggling. Deputy Bobby Drake is a straight arrow cop, his father a disgraced former sheriff imprisoned for misdeeds--or were they mistakes?

In the dark of night, a parachute ("like a giant jellyfish hanging there in the air" with a blinking red b
...more
Heavensent1
The Terror Of Living is a fast-paced crime suspense thriller that has mild to moderate expletives with many graphic bloody scene descriptions. First time author, Urban Waite, delivers an on-your-seat thriller with strong characters and a believable plot. Phil Hunt is a down-on-his luck horse rancher who is looking for one big break to put his life back in order. Bobby Drake is the deputy sheriff who struggles with his past while embracing his future. Grady, "The Chef", is the socio-psychopath be ...more
Ian Mapp
All style and little substance. Comes with page after page of gushing praise, about "how there are echos of Cormac McCarthy in this self assured debut".

And there in lies the problem. They are more facsimile than echos. The author does not have his own voice and sets out to repeat No Country for Old Men - moving the location but having a drug deal gone wrong and an over the top killer hell bent on revenge. Throw in a copper with a back story and a vietnamese drug mule and you have the four corner
...more
Kelly Hager
This book has been compared to No Country For Old Men, and that’s a fair comparison. The plot and writing style are both similar and I say that as a huge, huge compliment, because I loved NCFOM (book and movie). In The Terror of Living, we follow several different narrators as they circle around each other. It’s primarily the story of a drug drop gone bad and (like NCFOM) is an excellent cautionary tale of why getting involved in things like this is a bad idea.

Phil and an accomplice (never named
...more
Casey
Urban Waite's debut novel, The Terror of Living, is a frenetically paced literary crime thriller. Told in short sections, the longest no longer than eight or ten pages, and from the perspective of five characters (all in the third person), the structure and pace of the novel take some getting used to at first. It has the effect of jump cuts in a movie or TV show, but once the main characters are established forty or fifty pages in, the structure and style work really well for the story being tol ...more
Beverly
Why did I read this book?
• It is a debut book that was receiving good reviews and I enjoy good debut books
• It was a library book
• The author’s name caught by attention
• Suspense it not my usual read, and wanted to read something outside of my preferred genres

Thoughts on book:
• This is a “chase” storyline and since I do not normally read “chase” storylines I do not know if how this story unfolded has been done before but thought that the strength in this book was the way the story was laid out
...more
ALPHAreader
‘The Terror of Living’ is the debut crime-thriller from Urban Waite.

Deputy Bobby Drake is out hunting around Silver Lake when he sees an abandoned horse trailer and suspects drug trafficking.

Phil Hunt is in the middle of a drug exchange when he is spotted by Deputy Bobby Drake.

Phil escapes, but he has Deputy Drake in hot pursuit. Phil also had madman Grady Fisher on his trail and after his blood.

Hunt tries to out-run the lawman and the madman while the body count rises.

Read reviews of Waite’s
...more
Shelley Fearn
I love finding an author whose books I've missed the first time around. While ordering fiction titles for the library I saw that Waite's latest novel Carrion Birds received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. While waiting for the book to arrive, I went back and picked up The Terror of Living.

I can only give it 3 stars but found it good enough to whet my appetite for this author's works. It is a mystery/thriller but without the stereotypical heroes and villains. The protagonist,
...more
Jazz
The Terror of Living is Urban Waite’s debut novel, and judging by the standard of this novel, the first of many more brilliant novels to come. There is so much I like about this novel that it is difficult to know where to begin.

The first thing that stood out to me, in addition to what I think is a truly brilliant title, was the beautiful way it is written. This is a pacey thriller, but stands out for its literary prowess, which I found most attractive. Each phrase and sentence has been carefully
...more
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Urban Waite is the author of The Terror of Living, named one of Esquire's Ten Best Books of the year. His latest book is The Carrion Birds, an Indie Next Pick and the recipient of starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. His short fiction has appeared in the Best of the West anthology, the Southern Review, and other journals. He has degrees from the University of Washington, Western Wa ...more
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