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At First Sight: A Novel of Obsession | [Stephen J. Cannell]

At First Sight: A Novel of Obsession

Meet Chick Best - a middle-aged, self-absorbed, disaffected, California dot.com millionaire with a trophy wife. Though concerned about his life and family, Chick resigns himself to a miserable state of acceptance, until he experiences unrequited love at first sight - which leads to deadly consequences.
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Publisher's Summary

Meet Chick Best - a middle-aged, self-absorbed, disaffected, California dot.com millionaire. Other than his house and high-priced foreign cars, Chick's most expensive possession is his trophy wife, Evelyn.

Evelyn is good at spending Chick's money, money that has pretty much run out. His other personal possession is his drug-addled 16-year-old daughter, Melissa. Though concerned about his life and family, Chick resigns himself to a miserable state of acceptance.

That is, until he, Evelyn, and Melissa take a Christmas vacation in Maui. With this, Chick's life changes. He experiences unrequited love at first sight when he observes Paige Ellis. His obsession, exceeded only by his need to possess her, isn't diminished when he learns that she is happily married. Instead, he befriends Paige and her near-perfect husband, Chandler.

A short time later, Chick's obsession compels him to drive to Paige's house, where he runs down and kills Chandler in a drug-store parking lot. He attends the husband's funeral, feigning compassion for Paige. Several months later, with his lust for Paige in high gear, Chick stages a carjacking and murders Evelyn. Evidence that Chick has planted in and around the car implicates an ex-convict.

When he calls Paige with the news of Evelyn's murder, she returns the favor and comes to comfort Chick in what she thinks is his time of need. Chick, however, has other ideas. Will Paige learn the truth before it's too late?

©2008 Stephen J. Cannell; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (94 )
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3.7 (48 )
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4.2 (46 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sandra La Verne, CA, USA 03-26-10
    Sandra La Verne, CA, USA 03-26-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    Based on the book description, I was optimistic that it would be at least an entertaining story. However, when the protagonist commits a reprehensible crime, I lost all interest. There is nothing 'sympathetic' about this character, and I ceased to care about him. The author's forward mentioned that his publisher/agent advised against publishing this book, and I must agree with them.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Charlote, NC, United States 04-05-12
    Jill Charlote, NC, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not enough suspense and too many details upfront"
    What did you like best about At First Sight? What did you like least?

    I liked the way the character kept trying to get to the girl.


    What was most disappointing about Stephen J. Cannell’s story?

    It would have been better to leave out some details (like running over the ex with the car) until later in the book. That would have been more exciting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pamela Tarpon Springs, FL, United States 01-30-12
    pamela Tarpon Springs, FL, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    "Couldn't finish..."

    I could not bring myself to finish this book after about an hour into it. I typically love works by this author, but I could not listen any further. The characters had no likable qualities. I felt like I had stepped back a few decades and was reading the screenplay of "10." Maybe there is a worthwhile story in there somewhere, I couldn't get to it....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Montana Jones NC 01-23-12
    Montana Jones NC 01-23-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
    1
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    "protagonist??? not in my book"
    Would you try another book from Stephen J. Cannell and/or Scott Brick?

    worried about them now. I need to LIKE the protagonist. doesn't mean they have to be perfect, but must have some redeeming qualities. I could't listen to this book because i couldn't stand the protagonist.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    annoyance...the protagonist is a whiney, cheating, irresponsible clout.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tama Raleigh, NC, United States 01-23-12
    Tama Raleigh, NC, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He just had to write it"
    Would you try another book from Stephen J. Cannell and/or Scott Brick?

    I have read other Cannell books and loved them. He is a talented author, Which is why I chose this one. Cannell says in the beginning he wanted to write this for years. I can't imagine why. The story was tedious and the characters were extremely unlikeable. I had to fight to finish it. Yulk. As for Brick, as others have said, he could read the phone book and I would buy it!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kesha Union City, CA, United States 01-22-12
    Kesha Union City, CA, United States 01-22-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    595
    22
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    2
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    "Uneven Storytelling"
    What disappointed you about At First Sight?

    Telling the story from two points of view might have worked better if they had been used evenly. The vast majority of the story is told by the antagonist at the beginning, and the protagonist doesn't beginning telling that side of the story until much later. The antagonist was shallow and unlikable, so this lopsided approach had me spending too much time evaluating whether I should even keep reading.


    Has At First Sight turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not at all. I will also read other Cannell books. Based on the foreword, I think this was a fluke.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Scott Brick was actually a good choice. He did condescending and snobbish very well.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Surprise and anger at the antagonist's world views. The stereotypes he perpetuated had my eyes rolling. I almost stopped listening after hearing him describe a black man's 'ghetto accent'. Ugh.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Brooklyn, NY, United States 11-29-11
    Debra Brooklyn, NY, United States 11-29-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Different perspective"
    Would you try another book from Stephen J. Cannell and/or Scott Brick?

    Definitely.


    If you’ve listened to books by Stephen J. Cannell before, how does this one compare?

    This story is told from the perspective of the culprit, the other books from the perspective of law enforcement.


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brings the books to life.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jacklyn United States 07-12-13
    jacklyn United States 07-12-13 Member Since 2007

    i am addicted to audio books. I always have one on in my car, or on my i-pod when I'm cleaning or shopping. I always have loved to read

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not up to par for Cannell."

    Okay, but kind of a let down for this author. I always expect a great read from this author and reader, it was a let down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 11-13-12
    John Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 11-13-12 Member Since 2001
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    2
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    "NOT like other Cannell books"
    Would you try another book from Stephen J. Cannell and/or Scott Brick?

    I love listening to Scott Brick, and I'll stick to the Shane Scully novels. I'm not sure what Cannell was thinking when he wrote this book, but it's impossible to listen to any longer.


    Has At First Sight turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Scott Brick is the best narrator, ever.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from At First Sight?

    There is no suspense or mystery to the book at all. I think the entire idea should have been scrapped before it was published.


    Any additional comments?

    I made it to Chapter 12, hoping for a suspenseful or interesting turn in the plot. But even the main character who is telling the story promises that the story only gets worse with each passing day. This book is miserably depressing to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CathyGrace LOMBARD, IL, United States 03-05-12
    CathyGrace LOMBARD, IL, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2009

    CATHY-GRACE

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty Good Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Maybe. I don't usually read this kind of Novel. Someone I know had started it and didn't care for it but when she told me the story I wanted to hear how it ended. There are holes in the story you could drive a tuck through but overall I found it an entertaining book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of At First Sight?

    I would say the last chapter was satisfying. Of course I won't say anything to give it away.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    He had a good, consistant energy level. Well done.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I would say this book put me in


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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