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The Spire

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  1,929 ratings  ·  212 reviews

Mark Darrow grew up in small-town Ohio with no real advantages. But thanks to Lionel Farr, a professor at a nearby college, Darrow became an excellent scholar/athlete and, later, a superb trial lawyer. Now Farr offers his protégé a job as his alma mater’s new president, which Darrow accepts. But being back on campus opens old wounds. Sixteen years ago, on the night of his

Hardcover, Large Print, 479 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Center Point Large Print (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,996)
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K.D. Absolutely
An okay book. It has the ingredients of a suspense-thriller novel that I really like: slow unfolding of the identity of the killer, tightly interwoven lives of characters that appear like normal people and the use of flashback at the beginning of the novel. Then while you are done or when you are reading the surprise denouement towards the end of the novel, you have the strong urge to read that flashback again to find out how Patterson was able to get away with the story.

The Spire is filled with
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James Thane
Mark Darrow is a gifted high school athlete from a dysfunctional family is a small Ohio town, but he doesn't appear to have many prospects after high school until he is befriended by Lionel Farr, a professor from the small local college. With Farr's assistance, Mark gets his grades up and wins a scholarship to the college. There he becomes a star athlete and gets a great education that will prepare him to become a brilliant--and ultimately rich--attorney. The picture is marred only the by brutal ...more
I consider RNP one of the masters of the character-driven thriller. Here, he gets away from the politics of his last few books and takes us to a small college campus (a particularly compelling venue for me). Mark Darrow is being called back to the place where he found himself, Caldwell College. The current president is caught up in an embezzlement scandal, and Darrow, now a corporate lawyer, is being asked to take his place.

It’s not exactly a happy reunion. Darrow has had his share of personal t
I listened to this one. Despite the fact that I guessed "who dunnit," it did hold my interest throughout. Not a great book - but quite good for its genre. High school athlete catches the attention of professor at local college. Professor befriends him and arranges a scholarship. Student goes on to be very successful after finding the body of a murdered student on campus during his last year of college. Eventually comes back as president of the college and solves the mystery of who really committ ...more
Now this is Robert North Patterson at his best. The Spire is a thriller involving every day people. His writing style in this novel reminds my of Jeffrey Archer, perhaps my favorite author.
This novels follows a high school student, growing up in a small college town, who experiences a father-son relationship with a professor at that college. The boy goes on to become a successful Boston attorney, and eventually the president of that small town college. Through all of this the Spire (a tower on
LANGUAGE! Mark Darrow was from a small town in Ohio and had no prospects after high school until Lionel Farr a professor at the local college stepped in a changed everything. Farr to Mark told buckle down and finish his senior year with good grades and a full scholarship would be his. Mark did and kept up his grades had a very successful and fun college life until just before graduation when a co-ed was killed on campus and Mark found her body and to make matters worse his best friend was convic ...more
Interesting concept with likable characters who unfortunately became way too loquacious for me. The author's focus on character development did nothing to drive the plot and the ending could be seen for miles around. Tighter editing, the deletion of all sentences that start with the word "Maybe" and 50 pages shorter in length would have helped. Other than that, it's was OK! ........Ed
Patterson's Spire is about this successful who comes back to his alma mater on the calling of his mentor to salvage the reputation of his old college. The college is in the midst of an embezzlement scam and whilst Mark Darrow sorts it out, he revisits a tragedy that took place here years ago concerning the death of a girl he knew and his close friend who is convicted of the murder and is languishing in jail for years.

In the process of unravelling the mystery, Darrow revisits his past, his frien
Anneliese Kerr
Although this book was fairly good overall, I found that it developed incredibly slowly. For the first 2/3 of the book, I found myself curious as to what would eventually happen. I never got very into the book just because it wasn't very thrilling or though provoking. The plot was adequate but it didn't pick up and get interesting until the very last part of the book, but even then it wasn't terribly engaging. The story was fine but it needed a little more of a motive. It was difficult to tell w ...more
Amanda Meggs
Really 3&1/2 stars. This was my first novel by Richard North Patterson, the book was recommended to me by a sales lady on a second-hand book stall. It was very well written, an intriguing look at events in the protagonist's life from sixteen yeas previous and winding around to current events at a US college. The story takes a look at the jobs of various high level college positions and how their past and present are interwoven. It also looks at relationships in the town between black and whi ...more
good read, I like the characters, and the story is good....a bit of a twist, although I kind of had a feeling for quite some time about the end result, just didn't quite know why/how until the end.
I really enjoyed this book. Having had a negative experience recently with a Patterson thriller which was co-authored, it was a relief to read pure Patterson again. Being involved in school marketing in my professional career, I loved the storyline set in an American college with some serious reputational challenges to be overcome by the new president. The plot was compelling and kept me guessing. Patterson writes in his afterword that he took great pleasure in returning to "writing a psychologi ...more
This tale follows Mark Darrow from his special sports admission to a small private college to his later appointment as president of the college. Mark takes over as president in the wake of several scandals, including the murder of a young female student sixteen years ago while Mark was a student for which Mark’s best friend is found guilty and jailed. The former President is accused of embezzling large sums of money from the school, so Mark has several public relations issues on his hands. Mark ...more
I liked this book because it was different than what I normally read and different from what I expected. It wasn't a suspenseful book in that the action was taking place as I read. It was more in retrospect. Written this way worked for this book and made the love story part of the novel that much more poignant. I wasn't sure how that was going to work with this book, but it really did. At the end, I liked how it all tied together.

This book is very well written. While not something that is total
This is typical Patterson in some ways. We have a super smart, handsome, charismatic hero out to set the world right who (eventually) falls in love with a smart, beautiful woman, with their relationship complicated by circumstances. Our hero faces (heroically & wisely) a series of difficult moral choices. Sixteen years after his best friend in college is convicted of murdering a promising African American student on the campus of the small Ohio college he attends in his home town, our hero r ...more
Morgan St.
Aug 16, 2010 Morgan St. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Morgan by:
Attorney Mark Darrow's boyhood mentor convinces him to put his legal career on hold and return to the college town of Wayne as president of his alma mater.

Darrow's pregnant wife died in an accident two years before, and this is an opportunity to deal with his grief while helping his college. Because of his great respect for this man and his desire to help the school he accepts the position. As with other Patterson novels, all is not as it appears to be.

When Darrow left Wayne after his graduatio
I Loved this book, an fast paced psychological murder mystery that I could not put down.

"Mark Darrow grew up in a small Ohio town with no real advantages beyond his intelligence and athletic ability. But thanks to the intervention of Lionel Farr—a professor at Caldwell, the local college—Darrow became an excellent student and, later, a superb trial lawyer. Now Farr asks his still-youthful protégé for a life-altering favor. An embezzlement scandal has threatened Caldwell’s very existence—would Da
Kathleen Hagen
The Spire, by Richard North Patterson, A-minus, Narrated by Holter Graham, produced by Macmillan Audio, downloaded from

Mark Darrow is just finishing highschool. He has a blazing football record but not such good grades. One night after a game, a professor from the local college, Caldwell, comes up to him. The professor says he sees promise in Mark and if he would work hard at getting his grades up, he can get him a scholarship. Mark agrees if he will also help his best friend, Steve
Oct 12, 2009 Richard rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers, anyone who likes a well crafted story.
Recommended to Richard by: I like to read all Mr. Patterson's work.
Essentially this is a love story. Even though it is a thriller/mystery, it is a long time before we determine there is a mystery to solve.

Our hero demonstrates his love and skill for sports in high school which leads to a full scholarship at a "good" college.

Because a friend and teammate's family showed love by taking him in after his mother was institutionalized and his father disappeared, he was able to try to repay them by negotiating a scholarship for his friend and fellow athlete.

Because of
Kris - My Novelesque Life

Lawyer Mark Darrow is asked by his mentor to return to Caldwell College to be the new President as the current one is suspected of embezzling from their funds. With mixed feelings he returns to Wayne where the past has not moved on. Darrow a high school football star was scouted by Farr (Professor at Caldwell) to play ball with a full scholarship. He agrees if his good friend Steve Tillman is also scouted. One night after a college party a black college student is found by Mark and the l
Richard North Patterson is one of my favorite fiction authors. He consistently provides the reader with an excellent story with good pace and interesting characters. "The Spire" is no exception to this formula.

However, this story is a departure from most of his previous works, at least from my perspective. Most of Patterson's more recent works typically create a story around a specific subject in which he is interested. For example: "Exile" was about terrorism, Palestinians, the West bank, and I
Sundeep Supertramp
Richard North Patterson. This is my first book of his.

I came to pick up this book by its cover. I have always been a person like that. Judging a book by its cover. The mere cover of the book gave a gothic feeling. Frankly, I didn't even know what the word 'Spire' meant. I guess, most you won't even. The author has put a Webster's definition of that word not very far from the start - one page 4, to be precise. That was pretty intelligent. And helpful. It saved my searching for the word in the dic
Phyllis Sommers
Another excellent novel by one of my favorite authors. "The Spire" is a departure from the majority of Richard North Patterson novels, however, which are predominantly political thrillers revolving around the same cast of characters. This novel has a completely different set of characters and revolves around life at a small college in Wayne, Ohio. Out of school for 15 years, having graduated both a stellar student and a football hero and currently working in Boston as a highly-regarded attorney, ...more
Ally Atherton
Richard North Patterson is another new Author for me and I wasn't disappointed.

Set in Ohio it is the story of a brilliant young Lawyer who goes back to his old college to help them through a tricky situation involving embezzlement but finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation that goes back to his own college days. His old friend was convicted of the murder of a young college student but Mark Darrow is convinced that he is an innocent man. While being given the task of saving his old
I am a fan of RNP. This story is about men behaving badly in war and in American society, which is a recurring theme in all of RNP's latest novels. I may have to stop reading him because they don't paint a good picture and I want to focus on positive outcomes--for myself and others. RNP is a good writer, though. He does his research, weaves a good story (I was surprised by this one, didn't see it coming) and is accurate. Things are bad in the world RNP sees and writes about. Another theme in his ...more
Cindy Meilink
Loved this book. I haven't read Richard North Patterson for a while, but I'm glad I picked this up.

Mark Darrow is given a scholarship to play football in college via Lionel Farr, a professor at the college who for some reason, takes it upon himself to act as the boy's mentor. Mark agrees if Lionel can possibly arrange to extend a scholarship to his best friend, Steve, whose family he has been living with the past few years.

Mark gets the education he has only dreamed of and has planned to go on t
I was so glad when I read the Richard North Patterson was FINALLY going back to write psychological thrillers. I love when he writes something to do with the legal field. So I was prepared to be happy with this book. Well I am happy but a little disappointed also. This book had a very good premise but you knew who the murderer was from almost the beginning. I kept hoping for a twist here or a turn there to prove me wrong but it didn't. It was almost predictable. It's a good story and I really en ...more
Jud Hanson
Haven't read any of this Patterson's books in a while but thought I'd give this one a try. The story centers around a small, liberal arts school, Caldwell College, and the dark secrets that haunt the campus. Sixteen years before, a coed was found naked at the bottom of the school's most sacred place, the Spire. Mark Darrow, former Caldwell student and the one who found the coed, has returned to the school to become its President. That night so long ago still haunts Darrow and as he looks for ans ...more
Pete Grondin
Enjoyed the story line very much. First time I've read a book by RN Patterson. Written in a bit of an academic level which I believe detracted from the story but not too much that it was a distraction. On a personal note, I know a friend from my US Navy days named Mark Darrow (the protagonist in The Spire). Added a cool angle to the story for me.
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Richard North Patterson is the author of fourteen previous bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, Patterson served as the SEC’s liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups dealing with gun violence, political reform, and women’s rights. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha’s Vineyard.
More about Richard North Patterson...
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“he knew that men were too complex to be defined by the worst moment in their lives” 1 likes
“his legacy, if there is one, is that I try to do my best to see people whole, for who they are and what they've been through. especially those who matters to me” 0 likes
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