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Hell's Gate

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  323 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Stephen Frey comes a riveting new thriller about a world-weary star litigator who goes west to become a firefighter in the nation’s greatest woodland—and stumbles across the toughest case of his career.

With fifteen novels under his belt, including such bestsellers as The Takeover and The Insider, veteran suspense writer Stephen Frey
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by Atria Books (first published August 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 580)
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Una Tiers
Oct 30, 2015 Una Tiers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good end of chapter cliffhangers. A plot that was hard to follow. Good court room scene, but only one. The treachery of lawyers, and people in general was exposed. The author assigns the female characters rather insignificant roles and wee voices.
Sep 17, 2010 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Who is starting fires in Montana and why? A hot shot NY lawyer wins a big lawsuit in Montana and moves there. There is a lot going on in this story w/a lot of characters but nothing is grabbing me and I am having trouble getting thru this relatively short book.
I have mixed feelings about this book. The supposed main character actually turns out to be fairly secondary, while a secondary character becomes more featured. Moreover, the philosophical views of who's in charge in our society turn out to be more dismal than I want to believe. But the real problem (to me) is that the two great romances in the book don't turn out the way I want them to.
The presumed protagonist is a 25-year-old lawyer from New York City, who is sent out to the boondocks in Monta
Mar 20, 2010 Caitlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
One of my former bosses was a smoke jumper at one time in his past. He jumped out of planes to fight fires in the Idaho area and later led crews throughout fire season. He was a pretty interesting guy and told great stories about his adventures in a really laconic way. I thought of him when I picked this book up.

All the elements of a good thriller were here - Montana, smoke jumpers, mysterious fires burning down Montana, untimely deaths, suspicious business and political doings, but for me it ju
Aug 11, 2010 Gayle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh this book was soooo disappointing to me. It really wasn't THAT bad, but it certainly wasn't what I was expecting. Sort of like having your mouth all set for chocolate ice cream and then getting pickles instead. I thought it was going to be about smoke jumpers and it was, but only marginally. Mostly it was about high-powered business men trying to defraud government contracts. I didn't even read the teaser for the next book by this author at the end. :-(
Jul 31, 2011 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's hard for me to rate this book. I am a Frey fan and this book has a fairly good plot with interesting characters, but I found the 'wilderness' setting of Montana not as appealing as the 'city' settings. I live in the forest [as my grandson calls it] so I enjoy books that take place in NYC, DC, LA, Chicago, Boston or any other major city. No, I don't want to move to any city after living in Houston, but I do like the big city 'action'.
Mar 10, 2010 Lynne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dirk Westercamp

Like Frey but stopped this book 3/4 through. Not his best work
Kristi Samber
This book was mildly entertaining but the ending was a disappointment.
Oct 19, 2009 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Stephen Frey's Christian Gilette series and ever since I read the first one of those, I have picked up all of his new books to read and I am working on his backlist.

Hell's Gate is a departure from the business world in a way and in a way it's not. It is because the main characters are not in big business. Hunter is a big-city lawyer out for trial in Big Sky Country and stays to visit his brother. While there he learns from his brother and his brother's friend Paul that numerous forest fir
Nov 17, 2012 Taimara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually read books a lot faster, but this one took me for ever to finish it (not to mention I felt like giving up sometimes) because it just couldn't keep my attention grasped. I have ADHD, so for me to finish a book, it has to really engulf me and I don't feel this book did that. The plot and the story were good: it was intriguing and you did want to find out more and who did it, but I had a problem with how the story was told. Frey told the story from the perspective of various characters, w ...more
Apr 22, 2016 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is strange that the summary in Good Reads and on the back of the CD cover provide an incorrect description of one of the main characters. Also, at one point in the book, Bozeman is described as the largest city in Montana, which is not true. Other than those errors, the book was suspenseful and had great descriptions of the dangerous job of a smoke jumper and the devastation of forest fires. But I did not like the ending!

An okay book by Frey which takes us away from Wall Street his typical genre. Lawyer Hunter Lee has just won a big case in Montana when troubles with his marriage convince him to move from NYC to Montana. Once there he gets involved with his brother and the son of a senator to try to figure out if someone is deliberately setting forest fires to make themselves wealthy. OK read.
May 27, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book a lot, but it seemed like the ending was rather abrupt. It was also a little harsh on its main characters. It almost felt like a great book was underway, but suddenly there was a deadline so, Bam! Everything happens and that's it.
Mike Daly
This was a great adventure story - interesting and believable characters, interesting story line, plausible conspiracy and an enjoyable read. One of those books that it is fun to read on a rainy day. I would recommend it.
Apr 08, 2011 Annette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frey is a great author! He goes into such detail in his settings and the background of an area that you feel as if you've been there! His story lines are really good and all the questions are answered by the end. Nothing is left hanging.

In Hell's Gate we meet a litigator named Hunter who gets wrapped up in the world of firefighting when he visits his brother in Montana. A rash of huge forest fires breaks out through the western states and Hunter and his brother along with a friend Paul, a Fire J
Bernie Charbonneau
Jan 24, 2010 Bernie Charbonneau rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any Frey Fan
Having read most of Stephen Frey's books and enjoying the novels that preceded the "Gillette" series of novels I was looking forward to this book because it didn't include the Gillette character. Not that I didn't like the books but I wanted something different from Mr. Frey. I enjoyed his quick read Forced Out and this falls in the same category. Good characters that you like and dislike with enough curve's in the story to make you think that you didn't see that coming. I would say that the onl ...more
Daniel Rudge
Not much to say on this one. A Montana mystery with unlikeable characters, a weak plot and a writing style I didn't care for. Great concept gave it an extra star but I wouldn't recommend this one.
Oct 21, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being from Montana, it was fun to listen to a book that had places I knew very well featured in the story. It was also humorous to note the fictitious places and the places that were fictitious but based on a real place. It was also fun to recognize some of the main fictitious characters who happened to have similar stories as major "players" in Montana. As with most business dealings in Montana, there are alliances and deceptions woven together at high levels, making the real story difficult to ...more
May 13, 2014 Jo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story but so gruesome. Montana firefighters, greed, deception, and death.
Jun 28, 2016 Aimee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ISBN 978-1-4165-4966-6
Dec 23, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good suspense book.
Jul 31, 2011 Sherrie rated it it was ok
100 pages in and I still haven't connected with any of the characters. I'm still waiting for it to dig below the surface.

It started slower than tar, middle was intriguing and fast paced, definitely gave the book potential, but the end came to a screeching halt. Too many loose ends and inbound myself flipping the last page back and forth, thinking, that's it? It's over? What about.....

Should have started faster, and ended with much more info.
Jay Connor
Stephen Frey's "Hell's Gate" is a very good yarn. Captures Montana and the power of wildfires. Unfortunately, the ending underwhelms. As always, Frey's characters are on the scale from strong to serviceable. While always an author who hasn't conceived a coincidence that he doesn't like and use, here he's a little too cute. Enjoy the scenery, but don't look too hard behind the curtain.
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 18, 2013 Fredrick Danysh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
New York attorney Hunter Lee is in Montana trying a civil suit. As he walks out of court he is served divorce papers. At the same time wildfires are being set and his brother investigates. When he discovers who his wife has been cheating with, he moves to Montana and joins the investigation. Rival factions are trying to gain economic control of the area and they don't care who dies.
Jan 04, 2010 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of plot twists! This takes place in Montana where someone is setting forest fires for their own financial gain. The "hero", a NYC lawyer, finds himself involved in solving this crime when he takes a case against a Montana Railroad company. The successful prosecution of that case leads him to who is purposely setting the forest fires.

I will read Frey again.
Dec 02, 2009 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's funny, I thought this was the guy who Oprah shamed for writing a sham-memoir (A Thousand Little Pieces?), but it turns out that this isn't that guy at all. What I found instead is a decently written, Montana-based, outdoor thriller, that I thoroughly enjoyed. Deceit, intrigue, fishing and a very un-american ending. Really, what's not to like here.
Aug 29, 2013 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. Before this book, I read 4 very good memoirs concerning war, survival, murder; you get the idea, so it was a wonderful break to read Hell's Gate. I enjoyed the descriptions of Montana, and the characters were good. I also enjoyed the fire talk since I knew about that first hand having experienced it years ago.
It was a little scary reading this book because of the idea of setting mega blazes on purpose. I live in an area where we constantly worry about fires during the dry and windy season. I was fairly disappointed how obvious one of the bad characters was. I didn't appreciate that one of the major characters was stupid enough to fall for her.
Jun 13, 2011 Mark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Usually really enjoy the intrigues of Frey's novels...the usual twists and turns as usual, but this one was exteremely dissatisfying especially it's ending...It's like his flight landed, he had to kill off some inportant characters and he had to hurry to bring it to a conclusion...Not recommended at all!!!
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For the last 15 years I’ve been lucky enough to be a novelist. Until recently the books were set in the worlds of Wall Street and Washington. In addition to writing, I’ve also had a career in finance with specialties including merger & acquisition advisory and private equity at firms like J.P. Morgan in New York City and Winston Partners just outside D.C. in northern Virginia.

So, it seemed na
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