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* GoryDiscretionShot: Strongly averted during [[spoiler:Bernie's suicide]]. The effects of a 45-story drop on a human body are lovingly and disturbingly described, including detached limbs, explosive gouts of blood and shredded flesh, vomiting onlookers, and a dog pulling free of his master, drawn by the smell of [[Squick freshly ejected internal organs]].

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* GoryDiscretionShot: Strongly averted during [[spoiler:Bernie's suicide]]. The effects of a 45-story drop on a human body are lovingly and disturbingly described, including detached limbs, explosive gouts of blood and shredded flesh, vomiting onlookers, and a dog pulling free of his master, drawn by the smell of [[Squick [[{{Squick}} freshly ejected internal organs]].


''Vertical Run'' is a novel about a man having a very bad day. Dave is the vice president of a big company. He gets up, jogs to work, takes a shower in his office bathroom, gets dressed and finds everyone he knows trying to kill him.

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''Vertical Run'' is a novel by Joseph Garber about a man having a very bad day. Dave David Elliot is the vice president of a big company. He gets up, jogs to work, takes a shower in his office bathroom, gets dressed and finds everyone he knows trying to kill him. Now, trapped in a fifty-story office tower with a team of ruthlessly professional mercenaries hunting him and no one to trust, he has to survive long enough figure out why this is all happening to him.



* AmericanAccents: Robin/John Ransome is described as speaking with a slight Appalachian accent. Colonel John "Mamba Jack" Kreuter, Dave's former commanding officer, possesses a thick East Texas drawl, which is [[FunetikAksent reflected in the text]] whenever he speaks.
* BadassInANiceSuit: Ransome and all of his subordinates wear suits and ties.
* BaddieFlattery: Ransome appreciates Dave's skills, and tells him as much multiple times.



* BerserkButton: Dave delivers a [[GroinAttack groin]] [[IncrediblyLamePun shot]] to Mr. Ransome with his handgun. It missed, but narrowly. Cue the normally deadpan Ransome screaming a torrent of enraged profanity and vowing all sorts of unpleasantness at Dave.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Even after he realizes that [[spoiler:he has a terminal disease that will almost certainly result in his death]], Dave still works to evade and defeat the men who are trying to kill him, as he would prefer to [[spoiler:[[DieWithDignity die his own way]]]].



* BerserkButton: Dave delivers a [[GroinAttack groin]] [[IncrediblyLamePun shot]] to Mr. Ransome with his handgun. It missed, but narrowly.
* ClusterFBomb: Mr. Ransome's reaction to almost having a bullet aerate his testicles.

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* BerserkButton: BittersweetEnding and TwistEnding: The book proper ends with the first, with Dave delivers a [[GroinAttack groin]] [[IncrediblyLamePun shot]] [[spoiler:RidingOffIntoTheSunset to Mr. Ransome die of ThePlague, at peace with his handgun. It missed, but narrowly.
fate.]] But a [[TheStinger post-epilogue coda]] implies that [[spoiler:due to a [[HandWave previously unknown aspect of the virus]], Dave may have survived and is now about to go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge]].
* BoobyTrap: Dave is [[TrapMaster extremely adept]] at making these, quickly manufacturing a whole stairwell full of them [[MacGyvering out of everyday office supplies]].
* BoringButPractical: It's made clear several times that, in addition to all of Dave's exotic special ops training, one major factor in him being able to survive and evade his attackers is the simple fact that he's a physically fit man who runs every day.
* CleanUpCrew: When Dave backtracks through the site of a shootout he had earlier in the day, he notes that the bullet holes in the wall have all been perfectly patched and painted, and that [[ItWasHereISwear no one would ever believe him]] if he tried to tell them what had happened.
* ClickHello: Dave does this a few times.
* ClusterFBomb: The normally [[TheStoic cool and collected]] Mr. Ransome's reaction to almost having a bullet aerate his testicles. He also has one at the end of the book when [[spoiler:his mooks, tired of their leader's slow VillainousBreakdown and disgusted at the [[EvenEvilHasStandards grotesque lengths he's gone to to psych out their target]], decide to betray him and hand him over to Dave.]]
* CodeName: The mercenaries hunting Dave all use ones based on birds. Mr. Ransome, the BigBad, goes by "Robin".
* CombatPragmatist: Dave all the way.
* ConsummateProfessional: Mr. Ransome sees himself as this, and acts the part most of the time.
* CoolGuns: The mercenaries are armed with very fancy high-tech polymer-framed machine pistols that are [[HollywoodSilencer internally suppressed]] and loaded with DepletedPhlebotinumShells.
* CountingBullets: Dave does this during his first standoff with Ransome, and it allows Dave to rush up and incapacitate him.
* DepletedPhlebotinumShells: The mercenaries' guns are loaded with exotic rounds that are designed to massively expand in the body and cause a OneHitKill in anything but a grazing hit.
* DespairEventHorizon: Ransome's final plan to kill Dave involves doing this to him first, in order to make him an easier target. Though, being a man with extensive psyops training, Dave understands and recognizes the tactic.
-->"Once you've [[MindScrew blown your enemy's mind]], blowing his head off is easy."
* DestinationDefenestration: [[spoiler:Bernie]] throws himself from a 45th story window when Dave comes back to confront him.



* EurekaMoment: Dave has one about his situation when he sees that [[spoiler:the lab that held the monkey that bit him has been sterilized [[KillItWithFire with a flamethrower]]]]. And then he immediately [[StressVomit throws up]].
* EvilCounterpart: Ransome is this to Dave. Both have the same training, were in the same unit in Vietnam, and even served under the same commanding officer, albeit several years apart.
* ExplosiveOverclocking: Dave does this with a microwave in order to make an [[BoobyTrap improvised antipersonnel mine]].
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The entire book, save the prologue and epilogue, takes place within a single day and night.
* GodzillaThreshold: Faced with the prospect of Dave Elliot [[spoiler:becoming pneumatically contagious and spreading ThePlague all over New York,]] Ransome is prepared to call in a [[NuclearOption "heavy"]].
* GoodGunsBadGuns: Dave invokes this while trying to convince a friend that the pistol he's carrying was stolen from a [[PrivateMilitaryContractors paramilitary hitman]] and not a cop. He points out that the high-tech, internally-suppressed, laser-sighted machine pistol with no manufacturer mark or serial number isn't exactly the sort of gun a cop would carry. It doesn't work, as the friend freely admits that he doesn't know anything about guns and such technical distinctions are meaningless to him.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Strongly averted during [[spoiler:Bernie's suicide]]. The effects of a 45-story drop on a human body are lovingly and disturbingly described, including detached limbs, explosive gouts of blood and shredded flesh, vomiting onlookers, and a dog pulling free of his master, drawn by the smell of [[Squick freshly ejected internal organs]].
* HappyPlace: Dave's is the small lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains he visited shortly before joining the Army. He frequently remembers and references it, and eventually [[spoiler:goes back there to die]].
* HearingVoices and TalkingToThemself: The internal monologues by Dave's sardonic "guardian angel" just barely verge into this territory.
* HollywoodSilencer: The PrivateMilitaryContractors hunting Dave have guns equipped with these.
* InstantSedation: Dave gets his hands on a bottle of Chloral Hydrate pills, and uses them to quickly incapacitate a number of people.
* InvulnerableKnuckles: Averted. Dave's hand usually gets injured -- or at least hurts -- whenever he punches someone.



* IWantThemAlive: After Ransome's VillainousBreakdown, he specifically instructs his mooks to shoot Dave in the legs. He plans on putting Dave in the [[HollywoodAcid body-disposing acid bath]] while he's still alive.



* MustHaveCaffeine: Dave

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* ManBitesMan: Dave's final revenge on Ransome.
* MistakenForGay: Late in the book, Dave changes his appearance by trimming, dying and styling his hair. The hairdo is never fully described to us, but it causes nearly everyone who sees it to assume he's homosexual. He later uses this to his advantage, acting like a flirty CampGay in order to unnerve and chase off a homophobic guard.
* MustHaveCaffeine: DaveDave really loves his coffee.
* NoodleIncident: The circumstances surrounding Dave's exit from the Army are only hinted at throughout most of the book.
* NumberTwo: Partridge, to Ransome.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The majority of the mercenaries are only ever identified by their [[ThemeNaming avian code names]]. The only exceptions are Robin (John Ransome) and Thrush (Mark Carlucci), and those names are both aliases anyway.
* PantsPositiveSafety
* PapaWolf: Oh, Ransome. You really shouldn't have brought Dave's son into this...
* PistolWhipping: Dave's preferred way to deliver incapacitating [[TapOnTheHead taps on the head]].
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: One of the first lines we hear from [[BigBad Mr. Ransome]] has him casually using the word "nigger". We also later find out that, while handing out the [[ThemeNaming bird-themed code names]] to his team of mercenaries, he assigned "Crow" to the sole black guy on the team as a joke. The black merc is not amused by this.
* RareGuns: The Jatimatic, a Finnish submachine gun that saw only extremely limited production, is seen in the hands of several of the mercenaries.
* RetiredBadass: Dave used to be a Green Beret. He may be a businessman now, but he hasn't forgotten any of his old skills.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Ransome attempts to drive Dave off the DespairEventHorizon with one of these, namely a [[spoiler:room full of [[DecapitationPresentation women's heads on pikes]], a re-creation of the incident that made him quit the Army.]]
* ShootOutTheLock: Dave does this when he doesn't have time to use his SkeletonKeyCard.
* ShutUpHannibal: Dave delivers one when Ransome tries to [[BreakThemByTalking Break Him by Talking]].
-->"Up your poop with an ice cream scoop."
* SkeletonKeyCard: How Dave opens most doors.
* SociopathicSoldier and SlowlySlippingIntoEvil: It is revealed that Dave left the Army because he was starting to [[MoralEventHorizon enjoy the killing and feared he would eventually become irredeemably evil]].
* StaircaseTumble: More than one mook meets his end this way during the big StairwellChase near the middle of the book.
* StressVomit: Dave does it twice -- once when his wife is revealed to be working with the assassins, and again when he has his EurekaMoment about why he is being hunted.
* TakingYouWithMe: At the end of the book, all Dave wants to do is [[spoiler:give Ransome a little bite on his leg, thus infecting him with ThePlague]].
* TapOnTheHead: Dave does this to a number of enemy mooks and even a few friends.
* ThatsAnOrder: Uttered several times by Ransome, especially late in the book when his men start getting uneasy at his SanitySlippage.
* ThemeNaming: Ransome and his [[PrivateMilitaryContractors private military contractor mooks]] all have code names based on birds, like Robin, Partridge, Thrush and Sparrow.
* [[spoiler: ThePlague: It is eventually revealed that Dave has been infected with a particularly nasty bioweapon that was being developed by one of his company's subsidiaries. The mercenaries are trying to kill him both to prevent the spread of the virus and to cover up the fact that the company was involved in illegal research.]]



* YouAreACreditToYourRace: Bernie's assessment of an earlier (unheard) interaction with Ransom's forces includes them saying, "Thanks, you're a good American. For a Jew, that is."

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* TheVietnamVet: Dave Elliot.
* TitleDrop: Sort of.
-->"David Elliot ran. He ran vertically as he had all day, and thus advanced not one step nearer to freedom."
* WorthyOpponent: Ransome eventually comes to regard Dave as this.
* YouAreACreditToYourRace: Bernie's assessment of an earlier (unheard) interaction with Ransom's Ransome's forces includes them saying, "Thanks, you're a good American. For a Jew, that is."


!!''Literature/VerticalRun'' provides examples of:

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!!''Literature/VerticalRun'' !!This novel provides examples of:


!!''VerticalRun'' provides examples of:

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!!''VerticalRun'' !!''Literature/VerticalRun'' provides examples of:


* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Dave is either a good guy trying to avoid a bad past or a CompleteMonster who has the perfect opportunity to let loose. InUniverse, Dave's actions in Vietnam can be be read as him being either a hero or a traitor. The other characters who are aware of Dave's history are divided.


* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Dave is either a good guy trying to avoid a bad past or a CompleteMonster who has the perfect opportunity to let loose.

to:

* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Dave is either a good guy trying to avoid a bad past or a CompleteMonster who has the perfect opportunity to let loose. InUniverse, Dave's actions in Vietnam can be be read as him being either a hero or a traitor. The other characters who are aware of Dave's history are divided.


Added DiffLines:

* YouAreACreditToYourRace: Bernie's assessment of an earlier (unheard) interaction with Ransom's forces includes them saying, "Thanks, you're a good American. For a Jew, that is."


* LaughingMad: Dave experiences this. Might overlap with EvilLaugh but YourMilageMayVary.

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* LaughingMad: Dave experiences this. Might overlap with EvilLaugh but YourMilageMayVary.


''Vertical Run'' is a novel about a man having a [[{{Understatement}} very bad day]]. Dave is the vice president of a big company. He gets up, jogs to work, takes a shower in his office bathroom, gets dressed and finds everyone he knows trying to kill him.

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''Vertical Run'' is a novel about a man having a [[{{Understatement}} very bad day]].day. Dave is the vice president of a big company. He gets up, jogs to work, takes a shower in his office bathroom, gets dressed and finds everyone he knows trying to kill him.

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