Dire Means

Dire Means

by Geoffrey Neil

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Can love be extorted? An ingenious vigilante launches a bizarre mission to end homelessness in the coveted beach-side city of Santa Monica. Randomly-chosen citizens mysteriously disappear after they are secretly videotaped ignoring or exhibiting cruelty to the homeless. Days later, their corpses show up in the streets, bearing a message. The vigilante's demand is clear: Be kind to the homeless or risk the same horrifying fate. With law enforcement stymied, Santa Monica becomes a virtual armed encampment. Citizens engage in flagrant displays of public kindness as the only way to feel safe outside their homes. Businesses join in, using storefront window signs to flaunt perks for the homeless and avoid being targeted. Mark Denny, a computer technician, is lured and then trapped in the vigilante's scheme to maintain the public's fear-fueled generosity. Matching technological wits is the only way he can end the city's terror, but it could cost his life.

This taut thriller brings you page after page of nail-biting tension laced with moral quandaries.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149015962
Publisher: Priorities Intact Publishing
Publication date: 10/12/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 314
Sales rank: 688,141
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Geoffrey Neil, his beautiful wife and talkative son live in Los Angeles with a useless, ungrateful fish that Geoffrey threatens at least once daily.

Writing novels has proven to be a grueling process for Geoffrey, but he can't break the obsession even though he likes sleep, TV and people more than keyboards. His stories favor disturbing implications over graphic depictions to provide a satisfying thrill with little blood --a tactic many readers find equally assaulting on the senses. Geoffrey's overactive imagination and genuine fear of almost everything are tools that help him write novels, but also get him wound tighter than an eight-day clock. His wife calls him the mayor of Stress Town.

Geoffrey is busy working on his fourth novel. Go try one of his books. It will make the poor guy feel better ... and that could save a pathetic fish.

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Dire Means 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
sis1 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book, its characters, the plot, the social "commentary" were excellent. The author enables you to connect with the central character and root for him, but yet also provides you with the opportunity to understand and sympathize with the "villain's" point of view. This book makes a clear statement about the ills of our society and how we as human beings, relate to these ills. I would recommend this book to anyone and actually, have already done so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
His characters were very interesting and the plot was developed quite well. Gave me lots to think about how we view homeless people and how they are treated. It was well thought out, and his use of technology throughout was brilliant and scary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Held my attention
dustdoctor More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Thought the writing was great. Will look for more of Geoffrey stuff. Really good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent i couldnt put it down ! The story line is one i have never read about before and had me on the edge of my chair . I highly recommend this book and plan on reading more by this great author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly suprised at the quality of writing in this magnificent and unpredictable story. Sometimes you get more than what you pay for!
Needlehawk More than 1 year ago
This book is rather unusual because the villain is an ideological fanatic whose goal is quite admirable -- to rid the world of homelessness. However, the means by which he tries to accomplish this make this an interesting tale in which the end in no way justifies the means. The characters are well-drawn and interesting, and the story moves very well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AuthorReviewerGeri More than 1 year ago
The populated tourist attraction of Santa Monica, California becomes the city of horror and fear. Bodies vanish one-by-one, missing abductions are mastered to perfection, leaving police and FBI in total darkness. Although the motive for the murders stand out, like a sore thumb as police desperately seek for leads and evidence, flawless killings continue as the city starves from neglect. As the vigilante attacks another victim, public panic transforms into terrifying fear, while Mark Denny's life changes instantly, shortly after the death of Carlos and the incident of what Mark thought was a carjack that turned into his worst nightmare. What events took place in Mark's life, after the loss of a good friend? Why did Carlos commit suicide, and where was his career going? Who is Mr. Mendalsen, and who did he abuse? What building was the freight elevator in, and what was it used for? Who stole Mark's car and identity, after his horrific beating? What happened to Brandon Chargon, after his shoes sank into a spongy floor? What did Mark witness, and could he end the terror in Santa Monica, without ending his own life? I highly recommend this novel to all thriller lovers who enjoy intense suspense and fast-paced action with unique characters. Geoffrey Neil created a Knockout in this exciting nail-biting thriller that leaves you on the edge of your seat. The plot is spellbinding and the characters come to life as the author fills the pages with rage, anger, and revenge. This shockingly powerful thriller becomes a terrifying Masterpiece, made for the movie screen as twisted killers continue their mission for the homeless in a 'Death Wish' style, covering each page in electrifying suspense. The story is stunning and intoxicating, covered in horrific thrills and chills, blended in a social commentary, with a picture-perfect setting that's painted in fear. "DIRE MEANS" moves like a speeding bullet, and is as hypnotic as EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, with Ashley Judd.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author: Geoffrey Neil Unspoken of by most, but known by all is endemic problem of our homeless citizens. Some are there by choice and some by circumstance, but it is a social ill that we each look upon differently given our upbringing, environment or social status. People will ignore, help or scorn the ragged man sitting on the corner asking for help. "Will work for food" or "Stranded Need Help" or simply "Homeless" scrawled on a ripped piece of cardboard in an attempt to gain a dollar from a passerby. Even if you choose to ignore them the choice may be taken from you. You may be confronted, outside a grocery store or on any sidewalk, with the question, "got any spare change?" Sometimes it's polite and sometimes it's confrontational and sometimes it can become frightening. Either way, the homeless exist and remind us of all that we personally have to lose. They scratch a guilty conscious and they make a person ask, "have I done enough?" What if? Dire Means is a story of one possible solution for the problem of the homeless. What if you were confronted by a ragged man asking for a dollar? What if you were less than kind? What if that homeless person carried a concealed camera and taped you. What if you were then abducted, held until you starved to death then your body unceremoniously dumped on a street with a CD strung around your cold dirty neck? On the CD is a video of your transgression and a warning that if the homeless are not taken care of many more citizens will meet the same fate. This is exactly what is happening in Santa Monica, California. An entire month of disappearances and now the bodies are showing up, all starved and all sporting a CD of their last interaction with a homeless person. Can a society be extorted in to finding a solution? Santa Monica becomes an armed camp and a city on the edge. People scramble to prove they are kind to the homeless, restaurants offer free food and the homeless themselves are looked upon with a bit of horror. Most of them rounded up and questioned by the police, all subject to search on sight. And still the abductions continue, right under the noses of the authorities with people vanishing mysteriously from busy office buildings under full surveillance. All of it directed by the mind of a genius madman. Enter one Mark Denny. One man with a conscious who does the right thing at the wrong time. He's set up by the madman to become the icon of the 'save the homeless' movement. And he is the only one who can stop the abductions and killing. If he can outsmart the mastermind and his minions. And only if he can save his own life first. I recommend Dire Means to any reader who likes a mystery and a good read. Dire Means is well written and has well build compelling characters. Enough technology to keep us geeks happy yet not overdone. This book is not my genre of choice, yet I enjoyed it and have already suggested it to a couple of friends. Reviewed by reviewer Gregory J. Saunders, Allbooks Review, www.allbookreviews.com Publisher: Priorities Intact Publishing ISBN: 978-0-615-29249-6 Price $14.36 Available: Amazon Feb. 2010
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
When asked about working at a shelter, Mark Denny, the main character in Geoffrey Neil's debut novel Dire Means, replied, "I'm fortunate. So I try to give back as much as I can." Mark's answer, as well as his attitude toward those less fortunate may well have saved his life. However, Mark's desire to help the homeless also swept him into the spotlight with a vigilante who planned to come to the aid of the homeless in Santa Monica, California with a bizarre plot of murder and mayhem. Dire Means gets off to a quick start with the abduction of three Santa Monica residents, people who have shown their disdain for the homeless. The kidnappings are handled with precision and keep the reader guessing as to the motives of the kidnappers. Will the hostages be held for ransom, or is there a worse fate in store for them? Enter Mark Denny, a computer whiz who has been stumbling along after the death of his close friend and partner, Carlos. One day, while Mark is stopped in his car at a traffic light, he catches sight of a ragged-looking man begging. The man wants money for gas for his stalled car. Every car's occupant ignores the man's pleas except for Mark who offers to get the gas, but before Mark can stop him and much to his chagrin, the man jumps into Mark's car, insisting he ride along. At the gas station, Mark is violently attacked and car-jacked by the stranger. Because Mark has a strong dislike of the police, he refuses their aid when they arrive. The injured man stumbles along, trying to get home. With no ID, bleeding, and beaten, he is treated like the begger he tried to help just minutes before. It is a rude awakening for both Mark and the reader. But Mark is not deterred from helping others and soon he is hailed as a hero after keeping a desperate man from jumping off a building. While Mark is busy dealing with his problems, those unfortunate souls who were kidnapped begin reappearing as corpses. The only connection between the victims is their cruelty to the homeless. In fear, residents begin aiding the homeless and downtrodden in any way possible, hoping that the vigilante killer will note their kindness and not target them. But how long will people continue their false kindness before growing weary? And can the killer be stopped? Events for Mark take a strange turn when he gets a box with a rigged cell phone inside. Connecting to "Pop," Mark is soon offered a consulting job by the mysterious man. Just what the job entails, and who exactly Pop is, will be an eye-opener. Dire Means grabbed me from the very first page when Keith, an obnoxious businessman, is introduced. The author doesn't want you to like him and indeed, the reader will not weep when Keith is abducted. As the two stories unfold, they slowly intertwine until Mark, the hero of the downtrodden, becomes a victim (in an unexpected twist) and he too, must fight to save his life. On the very first page of the book is the statement, "In nine days, Keith would be dead. In eight days, the crumb that clung to his lip would be a feast - if it were still stuck there to be licked." My first reaction upon reading this was confusion. But as I delved deeper into the story, the meaning became clear - in a very unsettling way. You'll want to read every page of this book to see what happens when a powerful vigilante will stop at nothing to promote the cause of the homeless. Quill says: A haunting novel that will stay with you well after you have finished reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The premise of the novel was interesting, but the writing was so uninspiring. The character development need to be strengthened significantly.