Cover image for Nine : a novel of suspense
Nine : a novel of suspense
Burke, Jan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2002.
Physical Description:
369 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Hailed by reviewers and fellow authors alike, Burke has won a legion of devoted readers with her witty novels featuring Irene Kelly. Now the award-winning author who earned critical acclaim for her stunning departure novel, Flight, returns with a thriller--a modern morality tale from an acclaimed master of mystery and suspense.

Author Notes

Jan Burke, an award-winning mystery writer, holds the distinction of being the first woman novelist to win the Ellery Queen Mystery Readers' Award. She was also awarded an Edgar for her Novel, Bones. Her popular mystery series features the newspaper writer Irene Kelly, who lives and works in Southern California.

Burke was born in Texas. With her family she moved to Southern California when she was a young girl. She attended California State University, Long Beach, earning a degree in history. After graduating, she worked for several years as a manager of a manufacturing plant. Her first novel, Goodnight Irene, was written during those years. Goodnight Irene was well received and the Irene Kelly series has grown in popularity with each subsequent novel. Other notable works from the series are Dear Irene and Hocus.

Her works include Bloodlines, Kidnapped, The Messenger, and Disturbance.

(Bowker Author Biography) Jan Burke has won the Edgar Award, the Macavity Award & the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Award. She lives in Southern California.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Award-winning mystery author Burke (Flight; Sweet Dreams, Irene) takes a break from her Irene Kelly series to test the waters of stand-alone mainstream thrillers, and proves she can swim with the sharks in this tale of vigilante justice. The members of Project Nine, an exclusive club of deranged boys, create havoc for homicide detective Alex Brandon, the L.A. Sheriff's Department and the FBI, since their gruesome project involves eliminating the outlaws on the FBI's Most Wanted List. Brandon has a dark family history, to say the least, and grimly tolerates his partner, Ciara Morton, a good detective with a bad attitude. The leader of Project Nine, Everett Corey, began assembling his task force including Cameron Burgess, Morgan Addison and the delightfully vain Frederick Whitfield IV at Sedgewick, a rich kids' reform school in Malibu. The team's hero, haunted genius Kit Logan, whose nightmarish past includes the killing of his stepfather, serial killer Jerome Naughton, attended the same school. Ninth on the Project's list of targets is yet another Malibu alum: Kit's friend Gabe Taggert, whose involvement in a botched robbery/ homicide has driven him into hiding. Gabe's sister Meghan has history with both Everett and Kit, further complicating the mix. Brandon was involved with the Naughton case 10 years earlier and has dealt with some of the Sedgewick boys; while this makes him uniquely suited to solving the case, it also puts him at risk. Burke does an excellent job with her diverse, bustling cast which includes Spooky, a 13-year-old firebrand in Kit's care, and Chase, Brandon's troubled nephew providing plenty of background without short-changing the absorbing and inventive plot. Agent, Philip G. Spitzer. 13-city author tour. (Nov. 6) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

LAPD homicide detective Alex Hartwick finds himself at odds with the feds when criminals on the FBI's Most Wanted list start dropping like flies in his jurisdiction. From an Edgar Award winner. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chatper 1 SUNDAY, MAY 18, 1:17 P.M. THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, COLORADO A black-winged bird swooped past Kit's left shoulder, and he shied away from it, crouching down low, half losing his balance. The heavy bundle he carried fell from his arms, landing on the leaf-strewn path with a soft thud. This seemed to him another ill omen, and he quickly and silently apologized to the canvas-wrapped form. He cowered there for a moment, cringing as the raven circled back -- but the bird flew higher this time and soon was gone from sight. He waited in vain for his fear to follow it. What did it mean, a raven coming so close to him? Make sense, he warned himself. Don't think crazy thoughts about birds. But fear proved tenacious, and his mind caromed through a maze of remembered terrors. He began shaking. He made a determined effort to steer his thoughts toward the logical. The raven was a bird, not a supernatural creature. The raven had been attracted to the burden Kit carried into the woods. You are not a boy, he told himself. You are a twenty-six-year-old man. Don't act like a child. He told himself it was the chill of the autumn air that made him feel cold -- not his dread, not his superstition. Not that he had dreamed the digging dream just last night. A beetle moved over the canvas, and he brushed it away, then gently lifted the bundle again. "I'm sorry," he said once more and continued into the woods. When he was first deciding on a place for the burial, Kit had thought of one with a view. But no one knew better than he did that killers often buried their victims in such places, and so he had searched for a location only he could find again, where the markers would not be so obvious to anyone else. When he came to the chosen site, he carefully set the bundle aside and steeled himself for the next chore. The digging. The ground was not as hard here as in other places in the woods, but he found this task so difficult to begin, he nearly decided to choose some other way. A glance at the canvas bundle brought back his resolve -- the other choices were not fitting. Inside his leather gloves, his hands were slick with perspiration. He took hold of the small spade. The grating ring of its first stab into the earth made him dizzy, but again he took himself to task. He looked at the hard muscles of his arms, his large hands, his booted feet. He fitted his strength into a harness of remembered movement -- thrust and step and lift and swing, thrust and step and lift and swing -- settling into a rhythm divorced from thought, a familiar cadence that lulled him into the mindless completion of his work. Still, he was weeping by the time he settled the small body into its resting place, and wept as he covered it. He placed a layer of stones within the grave when it was half-filled, to discourage scavengers. This he covered with soil. When he finished, he gathered leaves and spread them over the surface, so that it blended in with its surroundings. He stood back and looked at the grave from several different angles. When he felt confident that it was unlikely to be found, even by someone who was looking for it, he packed the spade away. He had a kind of expertise in burial. As he reached the ridge, he saw smoke coming from the cabin's chimney. He began running. Spooky had found the matches. Copyright © 2002 by Jan Burke Excerpted from Nine by Jan Burke 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.