I have been listening to all of Harlen Corben's work. In his preface, he indicates that this is one of his earliest works and that you might want to read something else that he is written. To the contrary, this is one of his best and is quite captivating. It is very hard to put down and much better than his comments would indicate. I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone.
I read two other Harlan Coben books this week, his 20th (HOLD TIGHT ) and his 31st (THE STRANGER), which led me to print out his books in chronological order and thus the numerical reference. I just finished PLAY DEAD (apologies for this bleepin' program that will not let one italicize, underline, or bold), which is his very first book.
His forward in this book is interesting and he states he didn't change a word from the original. I loved the book, but would have been happy with a slight revision and elimination of much of the characters' inward psychobabble (that little voice in the head that talks to us ... not sure what the correct terminology is) and too long descriptions. It became annoying to me by the end of the book.
But who am I to even comment on this genius. Simply another amazing story, totally different from the other two and I will be going broke buying all the rest. I don't know how one person can think of so many twists and turns.
This would not be complete without adding that narrator (phenomenal actor actually!)SCOTT BRICK again does a fantastic job.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Kept my attention from start to finish. Fascinating to listen to the first book of one of today's authors. Even 26 years later you can tell this was going to be a great story teller.
The Tootsie speech by Hoffman at the end, on the stairs, hilarious, with a mind-blowlingly unlikely string of events....that is "Play Dead". No spoilers here, but 3 or 4 of the major events in this book are absurd, but funny overall. Those that make it to the end will be rewarded with one of the most astounding bizarre wrapups of a "Who dunnit" in my memory. Evidently one of Coben's first efforts, the audiobook even starts with a prologue from the author basically saying what follows is ridiculous, but far be it from him to effect a re-write "like other authors do". Scott Brick is always melodramatic, but I like the way he portrays the female voices, ie not over the top like many men narrators do. With the melodramatic dialogues combined with the melodramatic narration, this is high camp. I wouldn't tell anyone to avoid it, but I'm glad I paid only 4.95 for it!
I loved the twists and that it had you guessing from chapter 1. These characters go to the extreme to protect or keep family close. Harlen Coben didn't disappoint.
This book was apparently written near the beginning of Coben's career, and it shows. I'm a fan of Coben's work -- I like his intricate plots and constant surprises -- but his writing has always been a little lurid and overdone. This one is even more so -- the whole thing is painfully overwritten and the prose is very clunky. I winced a lot at his constructions. The book is at least two hours longer than it should be just from clunky writing. Which is too bad, because it's a neat story -- Coben should have picked it up and re-written it before releasing this early work. Scott Brick does the best anyone could at getting through the thickets of overwriting, but it's painful. Pick a different Coben.
This is the 1st Coben book I've figured even half of the ending! I don't know how much that's saying since this is his first book as he states in the prologue. This is the 4th or 5th Coben book I've read/listened too and the endings were always a complete shock and this one was still half a surprise. He is a great suspense novelist!