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The blue zone / Andrew Gross.

By: Gross, Andrew, 1952-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Harper, 2007Description: 472 pages ; 18 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780007242511; 0007242514.Subject(s): Witnesses -- Protection -- Fiction | Missing persons -- FictionGenre/Form: Thrillers (Fiction)DDC classification: 813.6 Summary: They were the perfect family. And he was the perfect family man. One day changed it all. Arrested for racketeering, Ben Raab must testify against a Colombian drug cartel before leaving his lifestyle as a wealthy lawyer forever. He and his family will join the FBI's Witness Protection Programme. Currently protecting over 4,500 people, it is the most successful scheme of its kind ever, the backbone of American justice. But the Programme's perfect success rate is about to come to a shocking end. Their case agent is found tortured to death, then Ben suddenly vanishes. The only person who might be able to find him is his eldest daughter, Kate. Covers blown, forced to question everything they know, the Raab family is plunged into a terrifying existence no one has prepared them for. Most people would call it certain death. The FBI calls it The Blue Zone.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A breathtaking novel of suspense from the co-author of five bestselling James Patterson novels, including 'Judge and Jury' and 'Lifeguard'. THERE ARE NO RULES IN THE BLUE ZONE. They were the perfect family. And he was the perfect family man. One day changed it all. Arrested for racketeering, Ben Raab must take his family into America's Witness Protection Programme. Only his eldest daughter, Kate, chooses to stay on the outside. But the Programme's perfect success rate is about to come to a shocking end. A case agent is tortured to death and Ben vanishes. The one person who might be able to find him is Kate. Pursued by killers, forced to question everything she knows about her life so far, Kate is plunged into a terrifying existence for which nothing has prepared her. Most people would call it certain death. The FBI calls it the Blue Zone.

They were the perfect family. And he was the perfect family man. One day changed it all. Arrested for racketeering, Ben Raab must testify against a Colombian drug cartel before leaving his lifestyle as a wealthy lawyer forever. He and his family will join the FBI's Witness Protection Programme. Currently protecting over 4,500 people, it is the most successful scheme of its kind ever, the backbone of American justice. But the Programme's perfect success rate is about to come to a shocking end. Their case agent is found tortured to death, then Ben suddenly vanishes. The only person who might be able to find him is his eldest daughter, Kate. Covers blown, forced to question everything they know, the Raab family is plunged into a terrifying existence no one has prepared them for. Most people would call it certain death. The FBI calls it The Blue Zone.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Blue Zone, The Chapter One Gold was up 2 percent the morning Benjamin Raab's life began to fall apart. He was leaning back at his desk, looking down on Forty-seventh Street, in the lavish comfort of his office high above the Avenue of the Americas, the phone crooked in his neck. "I'm waiting, Raj. . . ." Raab had a spot gold contract he was holding for two thousand pounds. Over a million dollars. The Indians were his biggest customers, one of the largest exporters of jewelry in the world. Two percent . Raab checked the Quotron screen. That was thirty thousand dollars. Before lunch. "Raj, c'mon ," Raab prodded. "My daughter's getting married this afternoon. I'd like to make it if I can. . . ." "Katie's getting married?" The Indian seemed to be hurt. "Ben, you never saidâ€"" "It's just an expression, Raj. If Kate was getting married, you'd be there. But, Raj, c'mon . . . we're talking gold hereâ€"not pastrami. It doesn't go bad. " This was what Raab did. He moved gold. He'd owned his own trading company near New York's diamond district for twenty years. Years ago he had started out buying inventory from the mom-and-pop jewelers who were going out of business. Now he supplied gold to half the dealers on the Street. As well as to some of the largest exporters of jewelry across the globe. Everyone in the trade knew him. He could hardly grab a turkey club at the Gotham Deli down the street without one of the pushy, heavyset Hasids squeezing next to him in the booth with the news of some dazzling new stone they were peddling. (Though they always chided that as a Sephardi he wasn't even one of their own.) Or one of the young Puerto Rican runners who delivered the contracts, thanking him for the flowers he'd sent to their wedding. Or the Chinese, looking to hedge some dollars against a currency play. Or the Australians, tantalizing him with uncut blocks of industrial-quality stones. I've been lucky , Raab always said. He had a wife who adored him, three beautiful children who made him proud. His house in Larchmont (a whole lot more than just a house) that overlooked the Long Island Sound, and the Ferrari 585, which Raab once raced at Lime Rock and had its own special place in the five-car garage. Not to mention the box at Yankee Stadium and the Knicks tickets, on the floor of the Garden, just behind the bench. Betsy, his assistant for over twenty years, stepped in carrying a chef's salad on a plate along with a cloth napkin, Raab's best defense against his proclivity for leaving grease stains on his Hermès ties. She rolled her eyes. "Raji, still . . . ?" Benjamin shrugged, drawing her eye to his notepad where he had already written down the outcome: $648.50 . He knew that his buyer was going to take it. Raj always did. They'd been doing this little dance for years. But did he always have to play out the drama so long? "Okay, my friend." The Indian buyer sighed at last in surrender. "We consider it a deal." " Whew , Raj." Raab exhaled in mock relief. "The Financial Times is outside waiting on the exclusive." The Indian laughed, too, and they closed out the deal: $648.50, just as he'd written down. Betsy smiledâ€""He says that every time, doesn't he?"â€"trading the handwritten contract for two glossy travel brochures that she placed next to his plate. Raab tucked the napkin into the collar of his Thomas Pink striped shirt. "Fifteen years." All one had to do was step into Raab's crowded office and it was impossible not to notice the walls and credenzas crammed with pictures of Sharon, his wife, and his childrenâ€"Kate, the oldest, who had graduated from Brown; Emily, who was sixteen, and nationally ranked at squash; and Justin, two years youngerâ€"and all the fabulous family trips they'd taken over the years. The villa in Tuscany. Kenya on safari. Skiing at Courchevel in the French Alps. Ben in his driver's suit with Richard Petty at the Porsche rally school. And that's what he was doing over lunch, mapping out their next big tripâ€"the best one yet. Machu Picchu. The Andes. Then on a fantastic walking tour of Patagonia. Their twenty-fifth anniversary was coming up. Patagonia had always been one of Sharon's dreams. "My next life"â€"Betsy grinned as she shut the office doorâ€""I'm making sure I come back as one of your kids." "Next life," Raab called after her, "I am, too." Suddenly a loud crash came from the outer office. At first Raab thought it was an explosion or a break-in. He thought about triggering the alarm. Sharp, unfamiliar voices were barking commands. Betsy rushed back in, a look of panic on her face. A step behind, two men in suits and navy windbreakers pushed through the door. "Benjamin Raab?" "Yes . . ." He stood up and faced the tall, balding man who had addressed him, who seemed to be in charge. "You can't just barge in here like this. What the hell's going on . . . ? " "What's going on, Mr. Raab"â€"the man tossed a folded document onto the deskâ€""is that we have a warrant from a federal judge for your arrest." " Arrest . . . ?" Suddenly people in FBI jackets were everywhere. His staff was being rounded up and told to vacate. "What the hell for?" "For money laundering, aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government," the agent read off. "How's that, Mr. Raab? The contents of this office are being impounded as material evidence in this case." " What? " Before he could utter another word, the second agent, a young Hispanic, spun Raab around, forcing his arms roughly behind him, and slapped a set of handcuffs on his wrists, his whole office looking on. " This is crazy! " Raab twisted, trying to look the agent in the face. "Sure it is," the Hispanic agent chortled. He lifted the travel brochures out of Raab's hands. "Too bad." He winked, tossing them back onto the desk. "Seemed like one helluva trip." Blue Zone, The . Copyright © by Andrew Gross . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

After coauthoring five thrillers with James Patterson (most recently, Judge & Jury), Gross makes his solo fiction debut with a case involving the Witness Protection Program. When the head of the Mercado drug cartel dies in Colombia, a long-simmering family feud reaches the boiling point in the United States. New York family man Benjamin Raab, a trader in gold, is arrested by the FBI and accused of being a middleman for the cartel. After he agrees to testify against a friend, he and his family--with the exception of his oldest daughter, Kate--are relocated by the government. When Benjamin suddenly flees the safety of the program and is blamed for the murder of his government contact, Kate wants to know who set him up and why. Was everything she knew about her father a lie? As her search for answers intensifies, she finds herself caught in a web of deception and betrayal, with her own life on the line. Gross offers much that will please: an intriguing premise, shocking twists, a gripping plot, and a sympathetic female lead who faces heartrending dilemmas as she grapples with the truth. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/07.]--Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Having coauthored five bestsellers with James Patterson (Lifeguard, etc.), Gross makes a solo debut superior to his collaborative efforts, if short of the first thriller rank. His engaging heroine, Kate Raab, a medical researcher in the Bronx, is shocked when the Feds arrest her beloved gold trader father, Benjamin, and charge him with laundering money for a Colombian drug cartel. A hit team's attempt to kill the entire Raab family prompts all of them, except Kate, to start their lives anew in the witness protection program. Kate's choice, predictably, places her in continuing danger, even as she begins to suspect that her father's involvement with the narco traffickers was more deliberate and extensive than he's willing to admit. The secret revelations at the heart of the plot may strike some as a little far-fetched, and the details about the witness protection program fail to convince, but Gross shows sufficient talent for readers to want to see more from his pen alone. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Book Review

Digging too deep for family skeletons proves perilous for a young woman searching for her disappeared father. Gross's solo debut (he's previously collaborated with James Patterson; 2nd Chance, 2004, etc.) has a beguiling setup rooted in the clandestine mechanics of the Witness Protection Program, but its implausible plot will put off more skeptical readers. The book's likable hero is Kate Raab, a cancer researcher launching a promising career. While she also has a model boyfriend, a seemingly perfect doctor, her most discernible asset is a picture-perfect family comprised of her anxious Jewish mother, a pair of precocious siblings and a princely father who calls her "Pumpkin." It all comes crashing down when her father Benjamin, a wealthy Manhattan gold trader, is arrested for laundering money for a Colombia drug cartel led by Oscar Mercado. Benjamin cooperates with the case, and the family is secreted away under assumed identities, leaving Kate behind. Things go further awry when a colleague of Kate's is felled during an inexplicable drive-by shooting and the Rabb family's case worker is tortured to death. The slim leads in the case point towards Benjamin, who disappears into the titular Blue Zone, the FBI moniker indicating a blown cover. Soon, Kate is stalked by a menacing Colombia fixer and uncovers troubling duplicity on the part of her FBI handlers. With the body count rising, Kate hunts for her missing father, inadvertently unspooling a series of preposterous family revelations linking her loved ones to the Mercado clan. A sensationalistic thriller whose credibility is, by the end, strained to the snapping point. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.