The Blue Zone

The Blue Zone

by Andrew Gross

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Overview

From the number one New York Times bestselling coauthor of Judge & Jury and Lifeguard comes this electrifying solo debut, The Blue Zone.

Kate Raab's life seems almost perfect: her boyfriend, her job, her family . . . until her father runs into trouble with the law. His only recourse is to testify against his former accomplices in exchange for his family's placement in the Witness Protection Program. But one of them gets cold feet. In a flash, everything Kate can count on is gone.

Now, a year later, her worst fears have happened: Her father has disappeared—into what the WITSEC agency calls "the blue zone"—and someone close to him is found brutally murdered. With her family under surveillance, the FBI untrustworthy, and her father's menacing "friends" circling with increasing intensity, Kate sets off to find her father—and uncover the secrets someone will kill to keep buried.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062199874
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 235,291
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Andrew Gross is the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers Everything to Lose, No Way Back, 15 Seconds, Eyes Wide Open, Reckless, Don't Look Back, The Dark Tide, and The Blue Zone. He is also coauthor of five number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

Read an Excerpt

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 said..."

"It's just an expression, Raj. If Kate was getting married, you'd be there. But, Raj, c'mon . . . we're talking gold here...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 smiled..."He says that every time, doesn't he?"...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 children...Kate, the oldest, who had graduated from Brown; Emily, who was sixteen, and nationally ranked at squash; and Justin, two years younger...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 trip...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"...Betsy grinned as she shut the office door..."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"...the man tossed a folded document onto the desk..."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.

Customer Reviews

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Blue Zone 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 177 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will not be disappointed....Mr. Gross can REALLY tell a story! I have been hooked since book one & even hassle him on twitter to write more, lol! No joke! If you enjoy a great "whodunit", that is paced well with likeable characters and a good background story, Andrew Gross is right up your literary alley! Enjoy fellow mystery readers! :-) NurseLisainOhio (twitter, goodreads, instagram, Nook friends) - I am an avid NookWorm!
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic. It is action packed and suspenseful. I had a hard time putting the book down. This is an awesome first novel from Andrew Gross. I can't wait for his next book.
sand7s More than 1 year ago
Fast paced story with likable characters - all needed for a great beach read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept you guessing all the way to the end! Great reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was an intriguing story, which is what got me to the end. i wanted to see everything unfold. but i really didn't care for the language. call me a bit naive, i just don't think i need to read the "f" word so much...
Perry_Mason More than 1 year ago
My byline says it all. I read a lot of books on my Nook and this one is the best thriller I've read in some time. It is full of suspense and twists and just when you think you have something figured out the author adds an element that changes that. The book is well written with characters that could have been pulled from the headlines. This author used to write some of James Patterson's books. He wrote the Women's Murder series back when it was worth reading. He is very talented and knows how to craft a story.
BKC10013 More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, good story, likable characters - all needed for a great pool side read. I already recommended it to my friends. Really enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept my interest and had me changing mind on who the bad guy was a few times.
FrancesEvlin More than 1 year ago
The writing is tight, the characters believable, the plot neatly executed, the storyline (re the witness protection program) is interesting and informative. My only complaint, and this is personal choice, is that the book contains more graphic violence than I like to read.
ReadalotBB More than 1 year ago
I pick this book up because I am a huge fan of James Patterson and loved the books they co wrote so I thought to give him a chance on his own and loved it. I will be looking forward to more of Andrew Gross.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Andrew Gross should definitely write more books on his own. This book was fantastic and there are not a lot of books that capture my attention and emotions so deeply that I cannot put it down. I lost a lot of sleep reading this book ¿ that¿s a good thing. It was thrilling, touching and exciting from beginning to end. It will shock and surprise you over and over again and the ending was absolutely perfect ¿ it fit like a glove. I will be looking forward to more of his talented novels in the future¿
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
I thought "The Blue Zone" by Andrew Gross was a stimulating thriller that kept me interested throughout. The premise may be a little far-fetched and forced in some areas, but I found it to be well written. A family forced into the Witness Protection Program because of the father's dealings with a cartel is one thing. But then daughter, Kate Rabb starts wondering what is really going on and murders piles up, her father disappears and secrets are kept from her. This is a good, fast-paced story that one can read on the plane, commute or an evening by the fire.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Bronx based medical researcher Kate Raab is stunned when the FBI arrests her gold trader father, Benjamin for moving money for a drug cartel. Even more shocking is when a precision squad of hitmen tries to kill all of Benjamin¿s relatives. Everyone immediately accepts the Feds' offer to start over inside the witness protection program that is every member except Kate. --- When Benjamin abruptly flees the WPP and is subsequently accused of killing his government contact agent, Kate begins to wonder just who her dad is as she had not truly believed the original charges. She needs to know if she shares the DNA of a cold blood killer or is he something else she prays for something else though not sure what that could be even as her inquires lead to one betrayal after another. --- On his first unaccompanied flight (sans James Patterson), Andrew Gross provides readers with an interesting action-packed thriller that focuses on the deceptiveness of the Witness Protection Program. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the Mercado cartel attack the extended Raab family and never slows down as a likable heroine struggles for the truth. Though key aspects of the plot seem implausible, WPP thriller fans will not care as Mr. Gross provides a delightful entertaining tale. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book based on authors collaboration with James Patterson. I figured it was a pretty safe bet. I sat down for a few minutes between chores and got drawn in by the first chapter. Needless to say nothing got done the rest of the day. But it certainly wasn't time wasted. I enjoyed this one from start to finish and can't wait for his next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I figured this guy had to be a pretty good writer based on his collaborations with James Patterson. The Blue Zone, which is his first solo book, was amazing. Just be warned: start this on a Friday night, when you don't have any Saturday plans. It was that good, and will keep you reading straight through. One of the best thrillers I've ever read, based on the idea: what would you do if you learned that your entire life was a lie, and you didn't know who you could trust? And it takes off from there. Very taut book at over 300 pages, there's not a wasted word, and it's a rollercoaster ride. This would make an excellent movie. The author's going to be a huge star, and I can't wait for his next book. I only hope he turns them out as fast as James Patterson!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have read in quite some time lots of twists and turns. Looking forward to more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Draghi More than 1 year ago
This was the first time that I've read anything by Andrew Gross. I loved the book and his style. Very captivating! I would actually read it again: That's how good it was.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The United States Marshall¿s agency that controls the Witness Protection Program is called WITSEC. This program oversees all those in the program and is divided into three names or zones the Red Zone for those in protective custody or while in prison and/or on trial the Green Zone when all members of the family are safe in hiding under new identities in a new location and the Blue Zone when it is thought that one in the WITSEC program has been compromised and are in danger and has been lost or unaccounted for. The Blue Zone is the area not wanted at any time by the authorities. Benjamin Raab has secrets that are unknown to any in his family. To that family, he is a great husband and father and does all he can do that lets his family think just that way. In reality, Raab has been dabbling in the sale of gold that he knows deep down is being done outside the law but his own mind justifies it, thus allowing him to keep his family believing that he is a well-off and loving family member. When one day he is suddenly arrested and carted off to prison, his family thinks it is all a huge mistake. Their husband/father would never break the law to hurt anyone, especially his family. Raab¿s daughter, Kate, who is foremost in the story, works as a lab researcher at a college. She is known as a very smart and beautiful woman. Raab denied any wrong doing during his FBI interrogation, justifying his actions as simple, but large, mostly gold transactions that he had sold to law abiding individuals and corporations. One question led to another and when certain names were mentioned, Raab started to think deeply about those transactions fully knowing that some of them were a bit above the law. They had him! His family still felt he had done no wrong. A father and husband that was so good to his wife, Sharon, and the children, Emily, Justin, and Kate, that he could have done no wrong. Even when Benjamin admitted his part in some transactions to the authorities, his family would not believe he was a part of any law breaking activities such as the money laundering that was a part of his accusations. The entire family was in danger due to the connections that the former transactions were connected to including cartels and mafia groups. Kate insisted that she would not go into witness protection since she was about to marry Greg and she did not want to uproot their lives. So Kate stays behind while the rest of the family goes into the WITSEC program with all of them knowing there could be no connection between Kate and the rest of her family. Their names would be changed along with everything in their normal lives. Emily was a star squash player and had risen to near the top of her game and now had to leave that great part of her life and attempt to start over somewhere else. From here the story gets even more active as those wanting to find Benjamin Raab to get him and what they felt he owed them, no matter how they could. The family was safe, or so the WITSEC program thought, but in reality, bad people have their own ways to find what they want and those ways include any family member or friends they could intimidate. The search for those threatening Kate and the ¿hidden¿ family takes many twists and turns taking the reader on a very good suspenseful ride with uncertain destinations and actions on the next page. Andrew Gross has collaborated with James Patterson for several books, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. There is no plot certainty in the books written by either of these writers, individually or together. They know how to stretch out suspense to keep you turning the pages and not wanting to stop. Andrew Gross has accomplished this in The Blue Zone in his first of, what I truly hope, a long line of great suspense stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific read. Fast paced and mysterious.
lg4154 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
GREAT BOOK, VERY SUSPENSFUL!
honoliipali on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this book from a bargain bin thinking it looked OK. As soon as I started reading this fine debut solo book, I had to remark how great a buy this was.The plot is fast paced with numerous plot twists. The author clearly thought out the storyline with great attention to making it a great thriller. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys thrillers and mysteries.The characters can be felt through the writing. You may think you understand a character but watch out - your thoughts will likely change as you read this fine thriller. I will now seek out the rest of his solo books for a high position in my reading queue.
booksandbutter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I will definitely read another from this author again. Loved the characters, the twists and turns, and held my attention all the way through.
PermaSwooned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Evidently this author frequently wrote in tandem with James Patterson and this was the first book he wrote on his own. The story was unbelievably convoluted in an effort to keep the reader off balance, but I thought it became ridiculous.
ruthm2010 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is about what happens when the web of deceit spun around a drugs cartel begins to unravel. Just how far will those involved go to get revenge? Not my usual reading material but I really enjoyed it. Lots of twists and turns.