Living a lie for 21 years - and now the past has caught up with him...A first-rate thriller from the SUNDAY TIMES No.1 bestselling author of SIX YEARS. Grace Lawson is living a happy, straightforward life in the suburbs with her husband, Jack, and two young children. But that security is about to come to a brutal end. For when Grace picks up a set ...
Living a lie for 21 years - and now the past has caught up with him...A first-rate thriller from the SUNDAY TIMES No.1 bestselling author of SIX YEARS. Grace Lawson is living a happy, straightforward life in the suburbs with her husband, Jack, and two young children. But that security is about to come to a brutal end. For when Grace picks up a set of holiday snaps, amongst them is one shot that doesn't fit: a faded image of a life that Grace doesn't recognise and of her husband as she never knew him. Within 12 hours, Jack has disappeared, a brutal hitman is stalking her family and the safe world she knows has been turned upside down. And all Grace can see is that the past is coming back to haunt the present and people are getting hurt...
Read by: Carrington MacDuffie. Very good in good dust jacket. Audience: General/trade. Cassettes (8) in nice playing condition; great listening pleasure; ex-library copy; tapes come in sturdy clamshell case.
Even though the reason for the cover-up is far fetched I enjoyed the story and the writing style. It kept my attention to the end. It is entertainment at its best.
Aug 21, 2008
I am not an expert on Harlan Coben, but I know he writes well. I also know that rarely do you get the pieces of his puzzles neatly positioned at the end. His characters do not fall into boxes. Fortunately, they are not such as to involve you emotionally beyond endurance, as they probe the ambiguity of the human moral landscape. I am impressed with the scope of this plot, or one might say these plots, since Coben interweaves a fair number of stories and a fair number of individual people with their fault lines more and more apparent. We are told in a kind of preface that an attorney's sister, considered the victim of an accident, was actually murdered fourteen years ago. Then we are dropped into the story. Grace, the protagonist, finds a mysterious photo in a pack she has picked up on her way to give her kids a ride home from school. From that point, the characters and their traumatic past lives take over. You've got one really slimy hit man, a couple of wonderful women friends, a mafia boss and his revolting hencemen--really you have everything going in this book. You wonder whether these writers stay awake at night with characters swarming in their brains.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-06-07 Coben's latest thriller (after No Second Chance) is a riveting, albeit perplexing, nightmare that finds hapless New Jersey wife and mother Grace Lawson dealing with an assortment of fearful developments, including a missing spouse, a terrifyingly adaptable hit man, deceitful friends, hidden agendas and ghosts from the past. Reader MacDuffie wisely takes her cues from Coben's prose. When he describes a policeman as "patronizing," she lends just the right vocal inflection to his lines, then quickly switches to the sarcastic tones of feisty Grace. And for the novel's most ingratiating character, Charlene Swain, MacDuffie's voice subtly shifts from vague to vital as the Percodan-popping, bored-to-tears housewife rises above her ennui to give Grace a helping hand in combating the wicked hit man Wu. Coben fills his thriller with unoriginal characters (including a murderer on death row, a rock-and-roller in comeback mode and a gentrified mobster with revenge on his mind), but MacDuffie's skillful interpretation brings the characters and action into sharp focus. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Forecasts, Mar. 29). (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2004-03-29 Just one look at Coben's latest stand-alone thriller (after No Second Chance) highlights the author's customary strengths (swift pacing, strong lead characters) but also his weaknesses, including limited originality and, in this case, a plot so complicated that many final pages are devoted to sorting it out. The premise is simple enough: suburban housewife Grace Lawson collects some pictures at the local Photomat; inexplicably, one is an old print depicting her husband, Jack, with other college students; when Grace shows the photo to Jack, he drives away-and disappears. Grace's hunt for her missing husband, whom we learn has been kidnapped (but why? and Coben fans will note that the author's last novel also hinged on a kidnapped family member), sweeps her back into a nightmare she thought she'd escaped: the evening years ago when she survived a rock concert rampage, occasioned by a shooting that left many dead. Meanwhile, Eric Wu, a-dare we say?-inscrutable martial-arts killer who has snatched Jack for reasons unknown, menaces assorted folk. Eventually Grace, aided by a Gotti-like mobster whose child was killed in the rampage, gloms on to Wu, as well as on to Jack's sister, a high-powered attorney who, it turns out, is representing the guy who started the rampage by firing his gun. Only he didn't start the rampage after all, and then there's the rock star who vanished after the shooting and resultant mayhem-what's he now doing on Grace's doorstep? This is all as complicated as a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle and about as hard to figure out, although in the midst of the murk there are some wonderful character touches. Coben can write thrillers that lift readers off their seats; this one, alas, will have them slumping. Agent, Lisa Erbach Vance at the Aaron Priest Agency. (May) Forecast: This will hit lists hard, pushed by a Today author appearance and major ad/promo, but readers looking for the kind of thrills found in No Second Chance won't be happy. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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