Agent X (Steve Vail, #2)
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Agent X (Steve Vail #2)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,183 ratings  ·  179 reviews
FBI-agent-turned-bricklayer Steve Vail once helped the FBI solve a brilliant extortion plot. It was supposed to be a one-and-done deal. But when he's in Washington, D.C., to see Kate Bannon- an FBI assistant director- on what he thinks will be a romantic New Year's Eve date, suddenly things get complicated. The FBI has another unsolvable problem, and it has Vail's name wri...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Morrow (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is a fable meant to teach that you should never trust a misogynistic Lithuanian chess master. I swear I am not making this up. Read the book if you don't believe me.

It's nice to see a new author improving his game. This one's a lot meatier than the first Steve Vail book, The Bricklayer. I'd still like to have more depth in the personal backgrounds of the main characters, though.
Agent X involves a deadly scavenger hunt created by a Russian spy called Calculus. The clues lead FBI agents Ste...more
Selfish of me, but I was so sorry to learn that "Noah Boyd" died last month. I really like the Steve Vail character--as much as Jack Reacher--and had hoped for many more books.

p.220 Great line--attitude:
"Whatever misguided thing you are about to do, I'm in."

Complex, maybe even a bit convoluted, but I really like the characters.
Rob Kitchin
I like a good spy thriller novel every now and again. In my teens I read pretty much nothing else – Len Deighton, John Le Carre, Ted Allbeury, Graham Greene, amongst others. So I was quite looking forward to Agent X. In my view it was the literary equivalent of a Steven Seagal movie. The prose was workmanlike and flat and the dialogue wooden, lifeless and corny. The characters have no depth and their back stories are practically none existent. There is barely any chemistry between the leads, des...more
Paul Pessolano
Many of you read Noah Boyd's first mystery/thriller, "The Bricklayer" last year. It was not only a bestseller but one of the best mystery/thrillers of the year.

Noah, is an ex-FBI agent that spent twenty years with the Bureau and has been involved in many high profile cases, including the Green River Killer case and the Highland Park Stangler case (which he is credited for solving).

Steve Vail is an ex-FBI agent, that is now earning a living as a bricklayer, that left the service because he is ver...more
It was good to get back to a simple ol' book that just entertained, and lacked all the drama and majesty of the books I have been reading lately. This book was fun, entertaining and reasonably well written, managing to captivate me and - as any good crime thriller should - confuse the hell out of me right up to the end. Okay, so it isn't an amazing book. But I did 'like it', and it was definitely worth the read.

The characters were interesting, with the banter between the characters being fun an...more
Tom M
The second and final series featuring Steve Vail, Agent X continues six months after the previous book, "The Bricklayer". Vail is once again pulled out of his personal life to unravel an espionage case involving Russians as well as other players...

This book had a slightly different feel than The Bricklayer. It was a bit more procedural and focused more on the mundane fact-finding of Vail rather than more action than the previous book. It's not to say it was worse or anything, just a different vi...more
This is a "sophomore slump" book. The first book in the series was much stronger. The puzzle and mystery are OK but much of the supposedly-romantic/charming banter was stilted and flat. Many moments were unrealistic and many continuity errors almost had me throwing the book against the wall. I will hesitate to read more from this author.
This is Noah Boyd's second book. In his initial book he introduced us to ex FBI Agent Steve Vail and Steve is the main focus of this book. Boyd is an excellent writer with many twists and turns in the plot and story line that require the unique abilities of Steve Vail. I really have enjoyed these books and am anxiously awaiting the next book. The books combines international spy story lines, FBI and government moles, bad FBI leadership and a few other things. Noah Boyd is ex FBI and I can imagin...more
Christine bonner
This is the second book by Noah Boyd and sadly the last as he died not long after the book came out The book is all so call Agent X , the first book is called the Bricklayer
Steve Vail was a FBI agent but he got fired twice is now a bricklayer and does sculptures that no one sees. he has gone to Washington to meet Assistant Director Kate Bannon for New year Eve party but before there get there the police ask for help finding a missing boy.
Steve is than ask to help with a Russian agent that can id...more
Dylan Edwards
If you enjoyed The Bricklayer ( I definitely did !) then you will really enjoy this ...a more defined and complex novel which keeps you on the edge on your seat

I am right in reading that Mr Boyd is no longer with us ........
Gerry Bartlett
Yes, I read another Boyd thriller with the Bricklayer as the main character. I got a little more romance this time and a really complex plot. Why did I take away a star? This is totally subjective but the story was all about us versus Russian spies. I'm sorry but I just couldn't get into that. It smacked of old Cold War stuff that didn't grab me this time around. Give me a serial killer or a kidnapping with a ticking clock. Yes, the spies were vicious, but I space out when they start talking abo...more
Ted Mathews
Very Very Good

Very Very Good

I finished the Brick Layer very pleased with the whole package. The story, the plot, the characters and the ending. So, I jumped directly into Agent X.

Again everything was satisfying, the book is a success.

Some of the jumps from clue to solution were hard for me to follow. But the constant twists and turns were part of the charm of the main characters. There are few slow interludes in these pages. You will need to have a lot of energy to keep up with the action. But...more
Complicated / overboiled plot, predictable [boring] characters.
Ugh. I won't be reading any more of these.
Toni Osborne
Also published under the title “Last Chance to Die”

Book 2 in the Steve Vail series

Former FBI Agent Steve Vail and Assistant Director Kate Bannon are back. This second instalment to “The Bricklayer” works perfectly well as a stand-alone title although to understand where the characters come from, it is always preferable to read books in sequence. This is definitely for the dye hard lovers of espionage.

In a blurb:

Steve is asked to return to the FBI by Director Bob Lasker to handle a particularly...more
Nov 21, 2010 Reed added it
Received advanced copy at Boucheron Mystery Convention. I liked The Bricklayer, but not that much. Plot fine, but not much zip, and a little difficult to read. Not like for example Coben or Crais, where the writing itself just flows off the page, sentences well put together, and one can instantly infer the nuances and understand the action-what exactly is happening. When Boyd was describing some actions, I had to go back and reread to figure out what exactly he meant, and that was somewhat annoy...more
Sally Gawne
Noah Boyd’s life makes up for a remarkably authentic background for this book. His own life was a former FBI agent and his character of Steve Vail, aka Bricklayer was derived from his father’s occupation.
As I did not read his first book, this is my thought of where Bricklayer came from. He was a disenchanted FBI agent and rules got in his way of doing his job effectively. Therefore, Steve Vail becomes a nomad with the skill of an office of the law but none of the stops. Despite this, it does st...more
Kara Jorges
Kate Bannon, assistant FBI director, and Steve Vail, ex-agent turned bricklayer, have definite chemistry between them, but they are far too different to make a relationship work. At least that’s what Kate thinks when Vail shows up to see if they can make a go of it. She tries to show him the door, but a case crying out for Vail’s special skills lands on her doorstep first, and the two of them are forced into close proximity once again.

The FBI is worried one of their Russian informants, code nam...more
Steve Dennie
“Agent X” (February 2011) is the second bestselling novel under the name Noah Boyd, which is a pen name of Paul Lindsey. Lindsey, who wrote a total of 7 novels, served as a Marine officer in Vietnam and then worked 20 years with the FBI. Unfortunately, he died at age 68 in September 2011 after a battle with leukemia. So this series may go no further.

Both Noah Boyd books revolve around former FBI agent Steve Vail, who now works as a freelance bricklayer in Chicago (thus the title of the first Boy...more

Book 10: Agent X / Last Chance to Die

Agent X / Last chance to Die

Steve Vail, ex-FBI, now a bricklayer wants to spend a romantic New Years Eve with Kate Bannon, Assistant Director of the FBI. But of course it’s not to be. It seems that no matter where these two go – it’s all action.

The FBI is approached by a Russian intelligence officer; $250,000 for each traitor. Unfortunately he called back to Moscow and Steve and Kate have to use the clues left to track these traitors. The clues are cryptic and as soon as they unearth a...more
Shades of Remington Steele and Moonlighting with a bit of Dirty Harry, but no Jack Ryan or Jack Reacher here. The FBI is once again in need of the rogue services of "The Bricklayer", Steve Vail. And, once again Vail is compelled to assist by what? Honor? Duty? Nope, primarily he's driven to take on another case because of his continued attraction to FBI Assistant Director Kate Bannon and his male ego need to protect her and her reputation. Once again Vail agrees to help the FBI, an organization...more
Boyd returns with another exciting installment in his Bricklayer series (for lack of a better name), that equals, if not tops, the last one. Full of even more intrigue and drama, the book practically sells itself with its plot and character development. While it did have some cheesy moments in the dialogue, the story more than made up for it. With three mini-stories woven into one, we can see Steve Vail in numerous lights and really get to the core of the character’s development. While the story...more
"Agent X" involves Steve Vail being brought into yet another FBI case. Agent Bannon tried to have a relationship with Vail but it wouldn't work. Vail still shows up on New Year's and ends up helping the FBI find some government employees who have sold secrets to the Russians. Meanwhile, Vail also comes across an old friend who needs his help on a missing FBI agent. Vail still does not respect authority and breaks the rules throughout the book. He divides his time between his friend's case and th...more
Book 2 of the Steve Vail series finds Vial in DC trying to get back together with girlfriend Kate Bannon, now Assistant Deputy Director of the FBI. She refuses and is taking him to the airport when an ex-agent turned VA sheriff calls for a favor. A child has gone missing and he needs help. naturally, Kate goes, taking Vail with her and he, as usual, finds the child. But once again the trip to the airport is detoured - this time by the Director of the FBI. A informant, supposedly a low level IT e...more
Boyd, Noah. AGENT X. (2011). ***. This is Boyd’s second thriller featuring his hero, “The Bricklayer,” – also the title of his first novel. The Bricklayer, Steve Vail, is a former FBI agent who left the service to find a job where he didn’t have a boss. Turned out that this job was as a bricklayer in Chicago. Steve’s leaving the FBI was likely assisted by his managers since Steve had so much trouble following rules and procedures. Even though he was a rogue, his clear rate on cases was exception...more
I have previously read Noah Boyd's first book in this series, The Bricklayer which was very helpful for understanding the background of the main relationship in this novel between the Bricklayer, Steve Vail and FBI assistant director Kate Bannon. While I did find Noah Boyd's first book, The Bricklayer, to be more thrilling than his second outing Agent X, I am still a huge fan. Steve Vail is a character who is somewhat similar to Lee Child's Jack Reacher and Robert Crais' Joe Pike except that he...more
Aug 21, 2011 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers
Recommended to Katy by: Vine
Shelves: vine-book
Steve Vail, former FBI agent turned bricklayer, thought he was done with the FBI after helping them solve a twisty extortion plot in The Bricklayer. However, when he arrives in Washington D.C. on New Year's Eve to attend a party with Kate Bannion - his sometime paramour and an Assistant Director with the FBI - he instead finds himself involved again. First he is called in to help find a missing boy, a case he solves quickly but which keeps him in town long enough for the FBI director to track hi...more
It took me a while to finish it, because do to some family issues I couldn't read it as often or as long as I wanted too - now I'm going to be honest, this is from someone who hasn't read 'the bricklayer' (the first book where we meet Steve Vail) - It was a nice little conspiracy/thriller mystery, I loved that Noah Boyd has real like FBI experience and because of that it gives a bit of a real authentication that not a lot of novels now a days have.
That being said, it was all about Steve, how Ste...more
Blood Rose Books
Former FBI Agent Noah Boyd is back with the next installment of his Vail series. The first book to this series is The Bricklayer, and while I do not think it is completely necessary to read the first book as there is very little reference to it in Agent X, it does explain the interactions and relationship between Kate, Vail and the FBI. However, you should be able to ascertain most of it while reading Agent X. Agent X puts Vail to the test when the Russians are hell bent on protecting their infi...more
Best Crime Books
When I read Noah Boyd's first book the Bricklayer I really enjoyed it. However, the one thing I mentioned was that Steve Vail needed a bit more development as a character. In this second instalment, Noah Boyd has developed Steve Vail fully and we get to see a lot more of his personality and strangely a dark humour to him which I think made him 100% better!

The story itself goes to show that Noah Boyd is really the man who has been there, done it and worn the T-Shirt. The story starts at a breakne...more
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Noah Boyd was the pseudonym Paul Lindsay, of a former FBI agent who spent more than twenty years working on some of the Bureau's toughest investigations, including the Green River Killer case and the Highland Park Strangler case (which he's credited with solving).

The first book in his Steve Vail series, The Bricklayer, was published in 2010. The second, Agent X, was published in February 2011. Boy...more
More about Noah Boyd...
The Bricklayer (Steve Vail, #1) unti steve vail

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“We are men who find chess fascinating. Did you expect our lives to be secretly interesting?” 9 likes
“Vail: "There are worse things than being shot at."
Bannon: "Like...?"
Vail: "Living a life where you're never shot at.”
More quotes…