Paperback: 496 pages – Publisher: Pocket; Reprint edition (September 23, 2008 ) – Language: English – ISBN-10: 1416524541 – ISBN-13: 978-1416524540
My copy: ISBN-10: 1416599290, ISBN-13: 978-1416599296
Back of the Book reads:
Sometimes the gravest dangers – and the darkest souls – live right beside us…
In the span of twenty-four hours, everything Laurel Shields believes about her life and her marriage to a prominent doctor will be shattered – if she survives a terrifying ordeal. The day begins with the jarring discover that, soon after ending an affair, Laurel is pregnant. But when she returns home to find her husband ashen, unkempt, and on the brink of violence, a nightmare quickly unfolds. In the heart of an idyllic Mississippi town, behind the walls of her perfect house, Laurel finds herself locked in a volatile standoff with a husband she barely recognizes. Confronted with evidene of her betrayal, she must treat a deadly path between truth and deception while a ring of armed police prepares a dangerous rescue. But Laurel’s greatest fear – and her only hope – lies with her former lover, a brave man whom fate has granted the power to save both Laurel and her children – if she can protect his identity long enough…
21-Oct-08 to 24-Oct-08
Review: Laurel Shields’s day turns into a nightmare from the moment she got out of bed. First, an E.P.T. Pregnancy test turns out positive, her husband had never came to bed and seems frantic while trashing the great room. Obviously, he’s looking for something. What, she doesn’t know. The problem is: she doesn’t know who the father is. Her husband Warren’s, or Danny McDavitt, the man with whom she’d had a year-long affair with that recently ended.
Even though she feels a migraine coming on, she still goes to the school where she teaches special needs children. Her migraine becomes full-blown when it’s Danny who shows up for the parent-teacher meeting, not his wife.
She returns home for medication for her migraine only to have her husband confront her. Seems he found a letter, hidden in one of her favourite classic books, from an unknown man. She denies it, but he doesn’t believe her. Now a gun comes into the picture, and Warren is now holding her hostage, determined to find out who she was having an affair with.
Meanwhile, Warren has a secret he’s been keeping from Laurel. He’s sick, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. And he’s known about his condition for a little over a year. And to boot, the IRS is coming to audit him and his partner, Kyle Auster. Seems Auster has been defrauding the government, and while Warren kept his business out of it, he’d started partaking, when he found out about his condition.
Things escalate from there.
This is the first Greg Iles novel I’ve read. Some reviews are saying it’s by far not his best work. What do I say to that? Thank God! Maybe I’ll give him another go.
It felt like a bad scene from a made-for-TV-movie, where everything gets out of hand in a big hurry.
Yes, Laurel finds out she’s pregnant. She’s positive that Danny is the father. Meanwhile, while Warren holds her hostage, all he wants to know is for her to admit to her affair and who the man is. But she denies it – denies it right up until the end – even when the proof is flashed between the three of them.
The whole scenario, within a what, 8-hour span, was blown way out of proportion. You get to understand why, because of steroid use and unexplained bouts of anger and violence are a side effect. But until you find that out, it just seems to drag.
It gets to be repetitive, and in some places, information, details and explanations are drawn out and are unnecessary. Bad enough that I started skimming pages to get passed explanations that had absolutely nothing to do with the situation. For the first time I read anything by this author, that, from me, is considered a bad sign.
And the characters… good lord, where do I start? I was upset with Laurel right from the beginning. No matter how bad a marriage is, there is no excuse to stray. If you aren’t in love anymore, it’s called DIVORCE! Sit down and talk to your spouse. Lack of communication upsets me greatly – because there is no excuse for it (I do hope that I don’t offend anyone ~ that’s my opinion, with a story of fiction or not, cheating on your spouse, to me, is unexcusable)! Warren: I can understand his excuses for not telling anyone about his cancer. I’m sure I’d feel the same way. But again, if he doesn’t want anyone to know, that’s fine, but as his wife and mother of his children, she had a right to know what was going on. And then he drags the children into the middle of their fight – lucky I can’t jump into a book; I might have beat the crap out of him myself.
Vera and Auster are completely selfish with utter lack of any morals whatsoever. I can’t stand people like that in real life. I hate finding it in a book, fiction or otherwise. Some of the cops shouldn’t even be cops, let alone part of the county’s SWAT team. Danny seemed to be the only one worth his salt. He tried to talk Warren down, tried to get him to understand that, no matter what Laurel did, whether she cheated or not, it’s still no excuse for the way he’s acting. Tried to get him to stop. Even though he was lying to Warren himself, that was the smallest of indiscretions that didn’t bother me. He was trying to stop anyone else from getting killed, period.
The biggest problem, for me, with this book was the repetitiveness and the unnecessary details. It made the book drag. It wasn’t until the second half of the book where the story really started to get interesting.