Theirs was a marriage made in tabloid heaven, but no sooner had supermodel Laura Ayars and Celtics star David Baskin said “I do” than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, David went out for a swim - and never returned.
Now widowed and grieving, Laura has a thousand questions and no answers. Her search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back 30 years - while on the court at the Boston Garden, a rookie phenom makes his spectacular debut....
©2010 Harlan Coben (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Mr. Coben is a good storyteller (the reason I actually finished this book), who's writing has matured considerably since he wrote this book. Note to Mr. Coben: Just because you are famous now is not a reason to publish a sub-par book that you wrote years ago. I purchased it right away, not realizing that it was an older book, and suffered through 17+ hours. In this book:
1. All the women are either the most beautiful woman in the world, or fat cows, and their beauty seems to be their reason for existence. All is accepted and forgiven, even some serious character flaws that would get those fat cows booted out in an instant.
2. Everyone, especially the women, is supposed to be a smart business person, doctor, or cop, yet they are so stupid that I found myself continually yelling at them.
3. One of the main characters is a cop, but he acts more like a mobster, lying, threatening, etc.
4. The writing is so melodramatic that when combined with the reading of Scott Brick (who I usually enjoy), it was so annoying that I couldn't wait for it to be over.
Yes, I finished it. As I said before, the story was interesting. I also hate not finishing a book that I paid for. I finished it, but I was glad when it was finally over.
At the beginning of this book, Mr. Coben tells readers if they have not read another of his novels, stop and return it. This is one of Mr. Coben's first novels that he only recently released. I am forever thankful that he did. I am an avid fan of Mr. Coben's novels and this one did not disappoint. From his great character development to the twists and turns, it will keep you riveted and not let you put this one down. Thank the heavens Mr. Coben stuck with his true talent and did not follow in the family business. You will not regret this fantastic read.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
I picked this up without checking the reviews because I have always enjoyed Harlen Coben's stuff when I have been in the market for a light read. Mistake!
Coben introduces it by telling us it is the first book he wrote, evidently only recently published. Sounded like a fun opportunity to track a writer's development. After all, it could not be too bad or he would not have put it in print, right? Mistake!
It is tedious, transparent and therefore completely lacking in suspense, written in the language of amateur enthusiasm, and excruciatingly drawn out. By the end I was literally moaning, "Please, God, let it be over." But I finished it because I dislike reviews written on partial reads, and I really felt a duty to write this cautionary tale. Probably a mistake!
One thing about the book does fascinate me, however. That a young author who wrote such an irredeemable piece of tripe could later develop into a competent professional with a nice facility for turning out enjoyable mysteries is interesting. It suggests that anyone with the requisite desire and persistence can develop into a decent writer of fiction, right?....Nah! Mistake!
Yes, this book is one of Harlan Coben's first releases. He states that in the book's preface. As an early contribution, I expected a lot less from Play Dead than I got. Ok, it was obvious from the onset who the new blonde basketball superstar was, so the pussy-footing Coben did on this was unnecessary; however, I liked the twists and turns throughout the book. I didn't know who the murderer was, nor did I guess the motive. Overall, I was quite pleased with the story. Of course, Scott Brick can read the phone book and make it interesting, so I am to the point where I'll buy a book that Scott is reading, because I figure that he's choosy enough to pick only good works. Buy and enjoy!!
I'm retired and have time to read or listen to more than 300 books annually. My favorite genre is mystery/thrillers. No paranormal.
Play Dead is not the only novel Coben has written about a basketball star; indeed, his Myron Bolitar series is about a basketball star. In this book Boston Celtics star David Baskin dies in while alone in the ocean in Australia on his honeymoon. This is a story of twists and turns as his wife seeks to find out what happened.
Play Dead has been criticized as being to long, being like a soap opera, being melodramatic, etc. I disagree with all except for the book being to long. It is an excellent mystery story well told.
Two reviews of the audiobook complain about Scott Brick's narration. I disagree most with that criticism.
I have enjoyed many Harlan Corbin books, but was amazed at how truly bad this book is. Not until I downloaded it did I discover that it was his first attempt at writing, a fact that should have been obvious in the summary. In any case it is one of the few that I will never finish, Scott Brick does his worst job as a reader, and coupled with a bad book means I just chalk this one up to a wasted credit.
I have never written a review before but felt compelled to comment on this book. The narrator has a dramatic style of delivery that becomes a little wearing over time. Add that to the fact that this book is an exercise in hyperbole and it is all just too over the top! I did finish it because the plot was intriguing and kept me listening to find out who-done-it, but I periodically had to shout at my iPod about how stupid some of it was. If I hear the words stunning or gorgeous again it will be too soon. Sorry to say so because I have liked his other works, although they all have a hint of the hyperbolic style and holding back on obvious clues that mar this book.
Member Since 2006!!
Wow, that was bad!!! So how come I rated it 2 stars instead of 1? Or why didn’t I just give up? It was the author’s disclaimer that saved it for me. He starts the book off with a warning: “Okay, if this is the first book of mine you're going to try, stop now. Return it. Grab another. It's okay, I'll wait." This is a bit of clever marketing if you ask me, because now you’re EXTRA curious! How bad exactly is this thing??? HA! Pretty darn bad!
I feel like criticizing the [very very very] bad writing it not fair because even if the author himself knows it’s crap who I am to judge? I’m not a literary critic, I couldn’t do it better myself…. I just know what I like!
But here I go anyway.
It was cliché, corny, amateurish, melodramatic… I rolled my eyes so many times I’m surprised they didn’t get stuck up there! It was all too much – like he had the kernel for 17 stories and crammed them all into one book. Plus, it’s PACKED with ridiculous lines like (I’m paraphrasing):
•She needed to find answers, and she needed to find them now! (insert dramatic music)
•She did not want to be exposed to the dangerous weapon of love (barf)
•You wont let me love you because even though you are a top model, inside you still feel like that fat little girl nobody loved (oh please!)
•I’m so afraid of my feelings (gimme a break)
•He loved her so much it hurt (yeah yeah whatever)
•Her looks were not only dangerous, they were lethal (what does that even mean! Come on!)
But having said all that, I agree with other reviews that it still shows promise. He obviously has a great imagination and his current success proves it.
He’s forgiven for writing a little train-wreck. It entertained me.
Instead of showing a copyright date of 2010...Audible should have explained that this was an early work of Coben's, long before he had perfected his craft.
The writing is sophomoric, predictable ,cliched and dated.
I think I'll read a zombie book. More realistic.
I had thought that Scott Brick could make any book sound good. Even he couldn't save this one.
Go ahead and buy this book. I love to say "I told you so".
I am a Coben fan so I decided to try the re-release of his first novel. I guess some things are just better left on the shelf. Play dead is in a word, tedious.
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