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Contingency Plan (Rapid Reads) Paperback – 7 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Raven Books (7 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1459801148
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459801141
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.8 x 18.4 cm

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Characters we care about, and a plot that holds our attention 18 Feb. 2013
By Jim Napier, mystery & crime fiction reviewer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Life has not been kind recently to Sandra Sinclair. Only a year has passed since her husband died from cancer, leaving her to cope with raising a twelve-year-old daughter and make ends meet. But things have been looking brighter lately. Sandra can’t believe her luck when she meets Joe Gillette, a successful estate lawyer who seems to be madly in love with her. Urged on by her late husband’s aunt Sandra begins to think about moving on, and two months later Joe and Sandra are married. He charms Jane, and begins to build an eight thousand square foot home with all the upscale amenities, on five acres on Vancouver Island. Finally, after so much heartbreak, everything seems to be falling into place for Sandra and her daughter.

But there are clouds on the horizon. Gradually Joe reveals a dark side: he is evasive when Sandra suggests his family visit from the East Coast, and he is callously indifferent when a power surge causes Jane to lose all her computer data for a project she was working on. He lectures her that in life one always needs a contingency plan.

Joe becomes more and more controlling and abusive, and Sandra soon comes to the agonizing decision that she and her daughter Jane must leave him. She needs, in short, to come up with her own contingency plan.

A standalone thriller, Contingency Plan is a fine, well-constructed story with an all-too-plausible plot line and convincing characters. It has been done before, but seldom as well. Think Sleeping with the Enemy but with a wilderness setting, and a distinctly Canadian (and deliciously satisfying) ending. Allin has done a remarkable job of creating characters we care about, and a plot that holds our attention.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Short, Sweet, and Sinister 6 Aug. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Contingency Plan" was published as a Rapid Read for adults who are acquiring literacy skills. I found it to be a quite satisfying summer read, perfect for a day at the beach. The book is the Crime Writers of Canada 2013 Arthur Ellis Award Winner for "Best Novella". Kudos to author Lou Allin for inspiring this Floridian to want to experience the Canadian wilderness first hand!
Control Freak 29 Oct. 2014
By keith kendall - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Lou Allin is an award winning author who loves crime stories. She has written over 20 books and has won several awards. She won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 2003 for Blackflies Are Murder and again in 2013 for Contingency Plan. Allin was born in Toronto, Canada but grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her PhD in English Renaissance Literature and in 1977 she moved back to Canada. She taught English at Cambrian College in Sudbury while she simultaneously began publishing poetry, short stories, and began her Belle Palmer series. After Allin retired, she moved to Vancouver Island where she lived with her dogs. She became Vice President of Crime Writer of Canada and she received the Derrick Murdock Award in 2011 for her contributions to the organization. Lou Allin passed away on July 10, 2014.
In the Contingency Plan, Vancouver Island is where it all began. Sandra Sinclair meets Joe Gillette, a diligent and caring attorney, at Aylard Farm Park and she is instantly in love. Sandra, recently widowed and mother of twelve-year-old Jane, agrees to marry Joe after just a short period of time. She thinks all is dandy until she starts to see Joe’s true colors. Joe becomes obsessed with controlling Sandra, verbally and physically abusive, and it becomes evident that everything he has said is a lie. Sandra begins to question her decision and decides that it is crucial that she and Jane leave town if they want to stay safe. She finds it very difficult to hide, however, because the law cannot seem to stop a manipulative man with so much wealth and power. Sandra’s only option is to create a contingency plan.
This book was riveting and disappointing at the same time. The plot was enticing which really made you want to read and find out what was going to happen to Sandra and her daughter Jane but it lacked proper development. Although the book was, "An adrenaline filled race to the finish...Perfect for ESL readers, reluctant readers, or adult readers who want a quick read." (TriState YA Book Review Committee 2013-01-01), I felt that many of the scenes in the book were cut short. I think the transitioning between events could have been smoother because there seemed to be unnecessary time gaps between Sandra’s experiences. Maybe Lou Allin should have created a contingency plan herself to make her book less mediocre.
Short but Sweet Story 25 Dec. 2013
By ienjoyagoodbook - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book on Kindle. I don't agree with the reviewer who said it was too short. If it would have been longer, I'm not sure my heart could have taken the suspense.
I could relate to the main character, Sandra. I've never been in an abusive relationship, but I could feel her anxiety and confusion. The Contingency Plan was wonderful because the reader was never made to feel sorry for Joe, her new husband. He was brought out not only to be uncaring but also to be determined to destroy Sandra and her daughter Jane.
The story starts out rather nicely. Sandra meets Joe Gilette about a year after the death of her husband Andy. Joe seems like an answer to a prayer. Not only does he lavish Sandra with gifts and with warmth and love, he also seems to accept her daughter Jane unconditionally and openly. After the marriage, things only seem to get better. Joe builds their new family a beautiful new home.
But then the problems start. Why doesn't Joe's family visit? Why did he lie about his dog Scout...or did he lie? All of a sudden, he is hypercritical about everything Sandra does or tries to do. He is controlling to an extreme degree, and arrogantly boasts that he is never ever wrong about anything.
The abuse escalates. It becomes unbearable, but Joe assures Sandra that if she leaves, he will find her and make her pay. He has enough financial resources at his fingertips that Sandra believes him, yet she is unwilling to continue to lead the hellish existence her life has become. She starts to plan to leave, but she has no access to any of the family money, as Joe has cleverly planned.
The reader can't help but admire Sandra's resourcefulness and determination as she plots to get herself and her daughter away from this abuse. I can't say I wasn't bothered a little bit by the conclusion, but really, what choice did Sandra have? This book was altogether a satisfying read.
too short to be satisfying 6 July 2013
By C. Quinn - Published on
Format: Paperback
Well-written and engaging, this book suffered from the Rapid Reads structure- everything wrapped up way too fast and with too little development. Had the book been two hundred pages longer, I think it could have been an excellent offering. As it was, I enjoyed the premise but felt like the characters and the plot were just not well developed enough to sink into the story.
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