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Play Dead [Paperback]

Harlan Coben
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

24 Jun 2010

Ex fashion model and successful business woman Laura Ayars' perfect world is shattered at a time which should have been the happiest of her life. On her honeymoon, her sports superstar husband goes for a swim - and never returns. But what has happened to David - can he really be dead?

Whilst struggling to cope with her almost overwhelming grief, Laura is plagued by questions and doubts. Was it an accident? Or suicide? Or is it some terrible, ill-judged hoax?

As events begin to unfold, Laura starts to question David's mysterious disappearance. She begins to uncover a conspiracy which reaches deep into the past, and is now slowly beginning to destroy everyone involved. Someone will do anything to keep Laura away from the awful truth - and she has no idea who she can trust . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (24 Jun 2010)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1409120481
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409120483
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 13.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harlan Coben was the first ever author to win all three major crime awards in the US. He is now global bestseller with his mix of powerful stand-alone thrillers and Myron Bolitar crime novels. He has appeared in the bestseller lists of The Times, the New York Times, Le Monde, Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

Here are the Myron Bolitar novels in series order:

Deal Breaker
Drop Shot
Fade Away
Back Spin
One False Move
The Final Detail
Darkest Fear
Promise Me
Long Lost

Product Description


Keeps you in suspense until the final page (BIG ISSUE)

Compelling journey through a complex crime - take a deep breath - its a great ride. (BETTY BOOKMARK)

Slick, fast-paced drama - another page turner from the master of suspense, Harlan Coben (MY WEEKLY)

Coben tells you in the foreword to throw this book away if you haven't read his others, as it's his first novel. Don't listen to him. It's brilliant.

Book Description

A fast-moving, suspense-filled thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of LONG LOST.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this book 23 Aug 2010
I thought I had read everything Harlan Coben had written, having enjoyed most of his output, although it is fair to say that the more recent novels had become more predictable, with obvious plot repeats from earlier novels, and few new ideas. Still, they were usually worth reading, until this.

This is the first book ever written by Coben, and it might just have been his last had he not improved - this is simply dreadful. Hackneyed phrasing, predictable, slow, laughable characterisation, and so many holes in the plot that I stopped noticing them. This is simply one of the worst books I have ever attempted to read - I lost patience about 200 pages in and skimmed the rest just to see if it improved - it didn't.

Had I not been on holiday and been a fan of some of Coben's books I wouldn't have bothered - do not waste your hard earned money on this cynical cash in.

I was so incensed at the way Coben was exploiting his fans by issuing this that I emailed him (from his website) asking why he had allowed this to be published. To his credit he responded, (by quoting 2 positive emails he had received) but completely ignored the point about cashing in on his status. Coben is now up there (down there??) with James Patterson as authors I avoid due to their disregard for their fans and their grubby pursuit of a quick buck
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Obvious drivel 19 Aug 2010
I'll keep it brief, which is what I wish the book had been because I've wasted enough time on it already. It is a hopeless plot with flaws a million. Has anyone else noticed how everyone in a hurry 'sprinted' around, (even in a hospital).
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106 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is ever what it seems 12 May 2009
As a fan of Harlan Coben s books ( Tell No One being the most memorable ) although by far not my favourite author, i read this book which was his first ever, a long time ago much before this new edition came out. Word of advice, although myself i liked it, do not make this your first Harlan Coben book as the author himself suggested. Bear in mind that this novel was written by an inexperienced, very young Coben and although new edition with nice cover etc, the original text with all its flaws that the experieced reader will have a hard time keeping count of, has not been edited at all.
Ok, the book is pure fiction at its best in the sense that the plot borders on the unbelievable. But hey, we know it is fiction and that is why fiction is so beautiful cause it leaves the mundane reality shut off for a while. Without giving anything from the plot away, the story is about a young, wealthy, popular couple that have everything going for them. And they are very much in love. But while on the perfect honeymoon in Australia, the paradise turns to hell all of a sudden.... just with one ring of the phone.
A real page turner in the classic sense. I doubt if there is a single page in this book where something important does not happen. So much so that once you begin it you will want to finish it in the least time possible, as with each page you turn the mystery continues to thicken. There is excellent dialogue all throughout the book, written in a simple and very pleasant way and the characters are wonderfully described. A hell of a jigsaw puzzle to solve, so do yourself a favour and dont try to play detective on this one. Seeing that this was HC s debut novel, one must be more lenient with it than with his current books . Although frankly i m worried that he is short of ideas at the moment to have to resort to his old, unsuccesful books.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars avoid like the plague 9 July 2010
The more I read this the more annoying it became. Supposedly written by Mr COBEN when he was in his early 20's all I can say is he must have been a late developer . Totally unbelievable story, badly written hormonally fuelled juvenile rubbish. I like some of his later work , but to even market this is a con. Does he have any preschool material available that could be packaged up and inflicted on the public ?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The art of cashing in. 27 Jan 2012
The only positive to this book is the intro by the author explaining this was a first novel and should be viewed as such. However this begs the question why publish it at all?

Of course the answer is to cash in on a good reputation and make some easy money for publisher and author.

It's not too unkind to say that this could have been written by a thirteen year old over the course of a week. Dreadful characters combine with a laughable plot containing almost hilarious "plot" twists you can see a hundred pages away. Dialogue often makes the reader cringe.

Sadly the editor isn't listed in the credits. I'd like to think they've moved on to pastures new after failing to reign in this sprawling pile of none sense to the thirty page short story it deserved.

The author should be ashamed of having his name put to this unless there is some sort of contractual obligation he couldn't get away from and this was a way of snubbing his publisher.

One star, but only because it's so bad it's almost funny.

His other books are actually pretty good for the genre, so it shows that you can improve. But overall WTF?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Polly Potter VINE VOICE
.... the writer had chosen to take the seed of a very early, immature idea and work it up. I am a big fan of the Myron Bolitar series, and in this book I have never felt as disappointed by an author in my life. It should be made clear on the cover that this was an early, unpublished first foray into his writing. The foreword isn't enough. This novel would never have been published at the time at the time it was written. As other reviewers have said, it feels very much as if the publisher has very cynically cashed in on Coben's curent status. Whilst it's interesting to see the way in which a master has refined his craft, I didn't buy this as an exercise in comparison. Like other reviewers I couldn't get past the first few pages of incredibly testosterone fuelled stereotypes, poor descriptive language and absolutely awful plot development devices. However, having been snowed in, and having exhausted my stock of domestic appliance instruction manuals I did give it another try in desperation. The dreadful writing doesn't get any better, but as the story unfolded, I couldn't help thinking that with a really focused editing and rationalisation exercise, Mr Coben might just have taken the bare bones and made something out of this.

Tellingly, one passage has Judy, an English Professor re-reading her own student diary from years before. "She barely recognized the author anymore - just a faint feeling of deja vu for a friend now long dead. Who was the love struck girl who had written such corny, cliched nonsense? If one of Judy's students had ever handed in trash like this, Judy would have written a giant "See Me" on the top of the first page." Hmm, yes, well ... Harlan Coben CAN "Do Better" and shouldn't lend his weight to the marketing of such drivel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read
Published 28 days ago by KGPOORE
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read Coben!
LOVE Harlan Coben! Think I have read a good percentage and they never disappoint.
Published 1 month ago by Suze
3.0 out of 5 stars what a mixup!!!
One of those books where nothing is ever what one is first or second or even third what one has been led to believe - too much- much too much!!!
Published 2 months ago by Peter
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disaster!
Poor Harlan Coben and greedy publishers: that is pretty much all you need to know about this sad excuse for a thriller. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kerry Jane Elsdon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
A friend just introduced me to this Harlan Coben, when I started to read the book I literally couldn't put it down the twists and turns had me on the edge of my. Seat I read it in. Read more
Published 3 months ago by bernie carre
5.0 out of 5 stars a good bookxxx
a really good book couldnt put it down one of the best harlen coben books yet to date.thanks jane xxx
Published 4 months ago by Jane Lloyd
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly dreadful
Every cliche in the writing annals was dragged out - the sports hero, the bad egg brother and of course a series of beautiful models. Read more
Published 4 months ago by kazsly
5.0 out of 5 stars Play dead
A really good read. I couldn't put it down. Lots of twist and turns and a good ending. Thank you
Published 7 months ago by denzal
3.0 out of 5 stars Too formulaic!
This is the first book I have read of Harlan Coban. Although the story line is intriguing, the characters are prescriptive and a bit clichéd, the beautiful model, the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by diana simmons
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Great read and very different to what in used to, I shed a few wee tears too!
There were parts that I had to 're read in all in all I enjoyed it
Published 10 months ago by je oneill
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