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3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  1,629 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
The spellbinding story of an American lawyer who takes on a nearly impossible case—the defense of an African freedom fighter against his corrupt government's charge of murder

Damon Pierce's life has just reached a defining moment: a gifted California lawyer, he's being divorced by his wife and his work often seems soulless. Then he receives a frantic e-mail from Marissa Bra
ebook, 384 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Nov 28, 2008 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Samantha by: Vine Book
I love Richard North Patterson's books. This one isn't one of his best though. It's just average. It reminded me a lot of Exile. Eclipse is about an African that is speaking out against his country's human rights issues and the oil that drives it. He is married to an American woman that had went to law school with Damon Pierce, an international affairs lawyer. She calls Damon when her husband is arrested for murder. The book just goes from there. It's a quick read and is only a little over 330 p ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Jaime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal_thriller, 2009
What Patterson has done here is create a really great story in an interesting landscape with a few really interesting characters. The story is set in Luandia, which is loosely based on the country of Nigeria. Bobby Okari fashions himself a modern-day Nelson Mandela, fighting for the good of his people, the Asari. When he is accused (perhaps wrongly, perhaps not) of orchestrating the lynching of three oil workers, his wife, the American Marissa, calls up an old friend for legal help. Damon Pierce ...more
Nov 08, 2010 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Legal, spy, thriller, political fiction fans.
At the start of this book, I thought to myself, "Oh, oh, he's writing another Exile but this time about Africa instead of the Middle East." It's set in the San Francisco Bay Area, the protagonist falls for an exotic foreigner and rushes off to rescue her, etc. I was wrong.

Instead, I was captivated by a story based on the execution of Nigeria's Ken Sara-Wiwa during the brutal Abacha regime. Though, fictional, it is obvious that Patterson's research: literary, consultative and on-site in Nigeria w
Feb 10, 2009 Sesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another well conceived and grippingly executed "topical" book. Patterson's writing is as usual, stately, for lack of a better word. He wants you to take the subject of his book seriously, and you do! This one is about the greed and depravity surrounding oil, set in a fictional country called Luandia in west Africa (according to the other based on events in Nigeria which unfolded some years ago), revolving around a Luandian who goes up against a despotic president. In league with the president is ...more
Jun 21, 2009 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins, which is nonfiction, reading a fictionalized version of a true story set in Luandia (otherwise known as Nigeria) adds tremendously to the already gruesome picture described by Perkins, by adding the impact of characters who represent corrupt government officials, distant uncaring oil company officials, and the damaged people of the country and culture affected. In "Confessions" we see the machinations of a comglomerate made up ...more
Jun 10, 2009 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
738 LP Pages
This is an international legal thriller with a chilling setting. If you read Patterson’s Cross Country and remember the parts set in Africa, the you are slightly prepared for this one. Take a high powered US civil rights lawyer, add an old university love interest and her African husband, throw them all together in a not so fictitious African Oil rich dictatorship where the only law is that of the jungle and the fittest and best armed and you have the story a farcical trial of Bobby
Jun 24, 2009 mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: humanitarians & other concerned people
Shelves: relationships, war
I'd forgotten how much I like this author. I used to read him a lot. He is very topical and this one is right up to date. The war for oil and the consequences to the natives in all its complexity. Reminds me of a non-fiction i read some time ago, "Eating Apes." It also reminded me of Russel Bank's "The Darling." This was a very Good Read! It was based on a real person, but in a Nigeria (1991). In today's NY Times, Thomas Friedman talks about the need to end the "addiction" to oil if democracy is ...more
Jul 11, 2009 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, Richard North Patterson has given us a fabulous story. He also has given the reader a stark reminder of how fortunate we are to live in a free country with all the rights and privileges we usually take for granted. This book is not for the faint of heart. Parts are harsh and frank reminders of horrible things that happen every single day in other parts of the world that we hardly, if ever, hear about.

But don't let this "reality" and "harshness" I speak of put you off this book. It's a
Aug 08, 2009 Louis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proof that you can't copyright a title is this book by Patterson, not Stephenie Meyer. What I enjoyed most was learning more about the politics of oil. The African setting was a plus as well, even if the country was a clear nod to Nigeria and Biafra, in my opinion. The subplot about the love triangle was handled adroitly and so did not sicken me as some romances do, with their drawn-out pinings/lamentations or mistaken assumptions that could be resolved in one second if the characters just spoke ...more
Feb 06, 2010 Marvin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Patterson let me down with this one. It's certainly an exciting story, as always. This one, based loosely on actual events in Nigeria, sends an American lawyer to the African nation of Luania to try to prevent the execution of a Mandela-type rights activist, who is married to a woman the lawyer once fell in love with when they were in a writing workshop together. Luania's political scene includes a brutal dictator and an American-based international oil company extracting the nation's oil wealth ...more
Mocha Girl
Richard North Patterson's Eclipse is marketed as a legal thriller that follows Boston-born attorney Damon Pierce to Africa to defend an old crush, Marissa, and her African husband against bogus charges planted by an evil, terrorist regime fueled by an American oil-company.

The novel excels in demonstrating the destruction, politics, and corruption that thrives in the "dirty" oil business, in fact at times this aspect is a bit repetitive. Character development drags a bit when describing Damon an
Jan 30, 2010 Drick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Drick by:
Loosely based on a real event that occurred in Nigeria in the 1990's. This story centers around Bobby Okari, a non-violent human rights advocate for the Osari people in the fictitious country of Luandia. The government in cahoots with PGL a multinational oil company massacres an Osari village and arrest Okari for the murder of three PGL employees. Damon Pierce a recently divorced human rights lawyer who is secretly in love with Bobby's wife, Marissa, goes to Luandia to defend Bobby amidst gross ...more
Mar 06, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost gave up on this book in the first 50 pages, I just wasn't sure I had the cognitive capacity for such a complex book right now. But I'm glad I stayed with it. This book is based in a fictional African country, Luandia, where a non-violent village leader is trying to get better living conditions for his people -- seeing as how all the leaders of this country are filthy rich on oil. A complex plot ensues, where this leader Bobby is framed for the lynching of three village men and tried by ...more
Maryan Heffernan
May 30, 2010 Maryan Heffernan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eclipse opens with the massacre of an Asari village in a ‘fictional’ African country Luandia. The brutal reprisal is aimed at Bobby Okari; leader of a freedom movement outraged at the world’s appetite for its oil, which has produced corruption, militias, environmental vandalism and the utter impoverishment of its people.

Marrisa, Bobby’s American wife, entreats Damon Pierce, a US lawyer with UN court experience, for help with her husband’s ersatz trial. Damon has always loved her from years befor
Feb 18, 2015 Mom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Thane
Recently divorced, California lawyer Damon Pierce receives an urgent message from Marissa Brand, a woman he once loved (and perhaps still does), asking him to come to the West African country of Luandia. Marissa's husband, an activist named Bobby Okari has been accused of murder by the corrupt, brutal regime that runs the country.

Luandia sits on an oil of ocean and lots of outsiders, Americans included, are anxious to get their hands on it. None of them are much concerned about the way in which
Nov 29, 2010 Marelu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened on CD in my car while I was driving to Portland. I had a challenge really getting into the story because Patterson laid so much historical and political groundwork at the beginning. I know he was making an important point-that the quest for oil in this time of huge energy consumption continues to negatively impact the environment and the lives of indigenous people and their cultures. In addition it creates dangerous liaisons between countries and individual powerbrokers. The images he ...more
Dixie LoCicero
I have always enjoyed Richard North Patterson's books, this one is probably my least favorite. There is an honorable theme to the book, about how the lust for oil has led the U.S. and other countries to "look the other way" when dictators & cruel leaders have abused/tortured their people. The story is based on a man and his wife in fictional Luandia, whose land has been destroyed by oil companies. In speaking out for his people, the main character Bobby is falsely arrested for the lynching o ...more
Sep 17, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very realistic from beginning to end. When quickly reading the afterword it was based on events that actually happened in Nigeria. The characters were believable. It was refreshing to see that the book didn't necessarily end the way most people would want, ie. the american saves the day and gets the girl. It takes the topic of genocide and throws the reader right in the middle of it. It almost makes you feel as if you are there amongst the characters, experiencing this travesty tha ...more
Feb 11, 2012 Kay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I never enjoy books or movies about third world countries, but I go ahead and read them to remind me of how lucky I am to be born an American. On a day to day basis we do not often recognize the freedoms we have and books such as this remind us of what we are blessed with.

The corruption in this fictional African country is probably typical of what many countries run by dictators [even if elected] are like. The oil companies with the big bucks help make the corrupt more corrupt because the money
Feb 18, 2012 Nancyspain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novels starts with a sentence that instantly moved me and drew me into the story:
"In a West African village, Marissa Brand Okari watched her husband prepare to risk his life for the act of speaking out".
How often in the UK we take our right to free speech forgranted when in many countries to speak out may mean torture and death. And that is one of the fundamental themes of the book. Corrupt regimes and the global obsession with oil are two more and even without reading in the afterword that
Jul 04, 2012 Billy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slowly builds to an intense end...,

This is the first of Patterson's novels that I have read so I have nothing with which to compare it for Mr. Patterson. This review is, therefore, offered in comparison to like works from other authors. I had to start reading this 3 times before I finally continued to the end; I won't review a book that I haven't finished reading (just doesn't seem fair to me).

The book started slow for me. I put it down and came back to it a week later and it was still slow. The
Shonna Froebel
Nov 18, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Patterson was inspired by the real-life story of Ken Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria, a country made up of many tribes speaking many languages.
Rather then try to write of Nigeria Patterson invented a country Luandia that shares the problems of Nigeria. Bobby Okari is inspired by Saro-Wiwa and the other characters are invented from scratch. The story was somewhat interesting to me and that is why I chose to read it.
I didn't find it that gripping for a thriller, and had to force myself to keep reading at poi
An interesting journey into the workings of a third world oil-rich African nation, which lets the top 1% live high on the hog while still starving every one else. The storyline, itself, was a weaker story than I am used to from Mr. Patterson. It strongly appears that the main purpose of this book was to demonstrate the misery of the 99% and the corruption and greed of the 1% - THAT it does brilliantly.
Thom Swennes
Jun 08, 2014 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
The names were changed to protect the innocent; the story was written to expose the guilty. Most novels, though fictional, are inspired by or contain facts. This is one of those stories. Profit by the all powerful oil companies of the world have exploited countries and caused ecological disasters in the name of profit. Wars have been waged and peoples oppressed to make, maintain and secure vast revenues. Damon Pierce and Marissa Brand met in a creative writing class. They both experienced a spon ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Wayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy immensely some of Richard North Patterson's novels. Included in those is Private Screening, Eyes of a Child, Escape the Night, Degree of Guilt, Exile. His novels that subtly bring liberal politics into the drama I find annoying. Eclipse is one of these. Patterson is at his best in the court room. Eclipse takes 2/3rd of the book to reach an exciting court room trial. The first 300+ pages lay the ground work. This involves a corrupt African regime making millions of $ selling oil to the US ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Tami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Eclipse was actually probably heading to 4.5 stars or maybe even 5 ...until the last chapter. What a disappointment that was!!! Otherwise, this novel about an American lawyer who heads to a fictional oil-rich African nation to lead the defense of a "freedom fighter" he knew in university and is now accused of murder, sedition, and other charges was actually quite a gripping read!! That Damon is called to Africa by the freedom fighter's wife, who he also knew from university, and grew (a
Carl Alves
In Eclipse, Damon Pierce is an Irish lawyer, who despite success that he has experienced in his career, seems to be drifting listlessly. That changes when he gets a frantic message from Marissa Okari, an old friend of his who he had a romantic interest in that never materialized. Marissa is living in a fictional African country with her husband Bobby, who is protesting against his country’s government as well as Petro Global, a large oil conglomerate. Bobby has been arrested and is scheduled to ...more
Dirk Fecho
Jun 08, 2015 Dirk Fecho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this in the car as well and enjoyed it very much. Our thirst for oil comes at such a price that most probably don't understand...well done and look forward to more of Pattersno's books!
Oct 08, 2016 Jak60 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an ok book; probably my judgement would be different if the author were others than R N Patterson, but unfortunately for him he has set the bar so high with some of his best novels that the reader's expectations are also pretty high.
Clearly, Patterson has reached his apex with books like Degree of Guilt, Eyes of a Child, No Safe Place, Protect and Defend, Balance of Power, Silent Witness, The Final Judgement, Dark Lady (if you are to start reading R N Patterson, I suggest you pick among
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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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