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Publisher's Summary

Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he's due to be released?

Audie Palmer has spent 10 years in a Texas prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in which four people died and seven million dollars went missing. During that time he has suffered repeated beatings, stabbings and threats by inmates and guards, all desperate to answer the same question: where's the money?

On the day before Audie is due to be released, he suddenly vanishes. Now everybody is searching for him - the police, FBI, gangsters, and other powerful figures - but Audie isn't running to save his own life. Instead, he's trying to save someone else's.

Michael Robotham has created the ultimate underdog hero, an honorable criminal shrouded in mystery and ready to lead readers on a remarkable chase.

©2015 Michael Robotham (P)2015 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    126
  • 4 Stars
    99
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    121
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    8
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    11

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    123
  • 4 Stars
    78
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Nothing here makes sense

First: I'm a fan. I typically await new books from Robotham eagerly, and have been listening since the days of audio CD's.

It's really hard to believe that this canned, corny story emerged from the same brain that gave us nuanced characters like Joe O'Laughlin and Vincent Ruiz, and riveting, believable stories like LOST and SUSPECT. In past books the author's research has felt comprehensive, his medical details plausible, and the lives of the characters rich.

Not here, sadly. While the premise is actually quite good, for some reason the author switched from familiar territory (London et al) to Texas... without apparently bothering to visit the state. There is NO local flavor. It feels like his research comprised of watching American "B" movies and looking at maps. It sort of feels like a historical novel written 200 years in the future, where the author could easily be forgiven for getting some of his period detail mixed up. The prison scenes in particular seem to be a mix of COOL HAND LUKE and bad westerns.

Most of the key back story is completely and obviously nonsense. Prisoners carry cash???? Cash slated to be destroyed doesn't have its serial numbers recorded??? A man with head trauma that put him into a coma and who could not speak 10 months later, is soon thereafter boxing and weaving and glibly conversing while ducking shivs and various attempts to kill him? (Many more examples that would constitute spoilers.) And every character is either saint or stone cold psychopath. None feels like a real person. The glaring impossibilities in the plot were very distracting for me.

Also, the reader was good with the narrative but most of the character voices were whiny and cliched. The accents were just plain bad.

That said, I did listen to the whole book. I'm not returning it. I will buy the next book, especially if it's set in England. I know MR can do better!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So so bad!

I can't believe ANYONE gave this story anything approaching a decent review or rating!

First off, this is a low rent rip off of the Shawshank Redemption. Right down to the zen white guy who manages to transcend/ help others transcend the inhumanity of prison, and the wise black friend.

This bit of garbage is riddled with cartoonish stereotypes like the corrupt Texas politicians and the bigot who calls Obama by his middle name. It was so clichéd, I honestly began to wonder if this author has even researched the American southwest or if everything he wrote is based on old episodes of Nash Bridges!

Seriously, I hate Texas. There are tons of reasons to trash it and its policies, but the attempt at social criticism is hackneyed and juvenile

I cannot emphasize how BAD, SLOPPY, TEDIOUS, and TIME WASTING this book was. Do not believe the good reviews. This book is crap.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Decent Thriller set in Texas

I have listened to the author's Joseph O'laughlin and have enjoyed them. They are set in England while this is set in Texas. The main character Audie, is serving time in prison for a crime he did not commit. He escaped the day before he is to be released, and the question throughout the book is why. I won't tell you here. The characters are all really good and the criminals are actually much better then the police. It is a good listen and worth the credit.

My only issue is with the narration. It is sometimes choppy with the narrator taking big pauses between sentences. His handling of women's voices is rather weak as well with weird accents and things like lisps. Although this does not detract too much from book since most of the narration is male voices.

If you like the genre of ' " good guy on the run" aka the Jack REacher series you will like this as well.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to believe it's the same author

What disappointed you about Life or Death?

I have loved everything that Michael Robotham has written...until now. I've stopped listening maybe 12 or more times, praying the next time I start again there will be a hook, or something would happen that I would finally engage....5+ hours and it's still bad.

Wish it wasn't so.

Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Robotham again?

I've 1 more book by him, I've listened to every other book - and loved them. I'm going to try the next one in a little bit. Fingers crossed.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

There is no real pace to the story. It doesn't move - it's sludgy and unbelievable. Maybe that's why I gave it 5 hours of my time - it just had to get better. Narrator not bad....well, yes, he didn't help it at all.

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

Disappointment. I love this guys writing. Cannot believe it's the same author. He's a Brit writing US...I get his wanting to try something new - but, it's not believable. The "hero" is this angel guy, kind, polite and even in prison he is still the same. Not.

Any additional comments?

No offense intended. Just such a let down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So disappointing!

Any additional comments?

How could this formulaic, unbelievable, tedious book have come from the pen of the author of the Joe O'Loughlan books? Please return to the genre that you shine in, Mr Robotham.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Beverly
  • Goleta, California 93117
  • 08-05-15

WOW!

I bought this book because I have enjoyed Mr. Robotham's books before. But this one you must listen to. It starts off a bit slow and you have to listen carefully as the characters are many and complex in their relationships to one another. This book really took me by surprise with many twists and turns. You think you are reading one story and then it totally changes. I love any book that I think about for days after I have read it and this is exactly that type of story. It starts off as a prison story but becomes so much more. If you listen to this book you have a real treat ahead of you. Congratulations Michael Robotham, this is now my favorite of your books!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story. Wanted more after I finished.

The pace, the story, the characters were all well done. It seemed like the epilogue should have been a last chapter with more about the characters' outcomes dealt with in a different epilogue. Worth the time and would love to see it as a film.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Surprise Love Story

I really wish I hadn't gone with this one based on reviews. For Meir was predictable. I prefer thrillers or crime drama and although there was an element of criminal drama this read like a forbidden love story to me. Much too much emphasis on the relationship of Arnie & Belita. I did not like this. If I want romance I would spend my credits on Harelquinn novels... And I don't because I dislike them. See where I'm going? I found this kind of droned on and although I liked the narration I stopped concentrating during several parts of this book and it became like ambient noise to get me through a work day. Longer than it needed to be in most parts and then too short in others I.e his brothers entry/exit from the novel. I'm really disappointed because I loved the last book by this author. It was extremely interested and seems like it was written by someone else completely. "Say You're Sorry" was an absolute page turner.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narration ruined it for me

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If it had been a decent narrator -- I'm completely spoiled by having Sean Barrett narrate all the other Robotham books, I'll grant you that, but really this Chancer narration is horrendous.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes

How could the performance have been better?

Go into a different line of work

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

Annoyance.

Any additional comments?

Robotham is my most favorite author. I will have to read this one in hard cover. Where in the heck did they find this narrator? Ewwww

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I love Michael Robotham

I have read Robotham's entire Vincent Ruiz series and loved it. So I am a bit taken aback by this new book. It is WONDERFUL and I love it, but HOW does a foreigner SO completely grasp the culture of Southern US??? Just amazing.....loved it and cannot wait till you write another one. Thank you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful