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on 17 February 2004
"No Second Chance" is the warning on the ransom note Dr Marc Seidman was left following the shooting at his home, that left him injured, his wife dead and his daughter kidnapped. So after the ransom 'exchange' is messed up, and the killer/kidnapper gets away, these words echo in Dr Seidmans mind. However his whole life now revolves around finding his baby daughter.
No second chance is a real edge of your seat thriller, with twists & turns. The characters are brilliant, you can almost feel their distinct, vulnerable and dangerous personalities fill the room you are reading in.
Coben has a gift of making his writing 'visual' you really can see events unfold around you. He makes the people and situations very real. No Second Chance benefits from that gift.
This book is a real page turner. Enjoy!
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on 17 February 2004
No Second Chance tells the thrilling story of Dr Marc Seidman, who wakes up in hospital to discover his wife was brutally murdered and his daughter has been missing for the past 10 days. He responds to a ransom note but is caught out when he gets the police involved, and is told there is no second chance. But nearly two years later, he is given a second opportunity to put right what he messed up the first time
This book is interesting, well-written and very dynamic; the characters are developed and interesting. This book is action-packed and fast-paced but sometimes reads like a movie yet to be made, full of dramatic fast editing.
All in all, a great thriller to sit down for a few days with
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on 26 February 2004
If you like a good thriller then this book should be high on your to-be-read list.
Murder, kidnapping, betrayal, action, intrigue, big-bucks, conspiracy, old friendships renewed - it's all there. Guaranteed to keep you enthuasiastically turning the pages right to the end - you won't want to put it down.
The plot starts with the shooting of Marc and his wife. As he wakes in hospital he finds his wife is dead and their 6-month old daughter missing. A ransom drop goes badly wrong and hope is lost...or is it? Eighteen months later there is a renewed demand...a second chance. Is she alive or dead? Have the ransom demands come from the real kidnappers? Who were the shooters? Why do the Feds suspect Marc and an old flame of orchestrating the whole thing? Who can be trusted?
This is the first of Coben's books that I've read...and it certainly won't be the last.
If you enjoy this book you may also enjoy the medical thrillers by Robin Cook or the books of Tami Hoag.
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on 22 January 2004
The book opens with an attention grabbing account by the protagonist, Dr Marc Seidman, describing his reaction to being almost fatally shot. From here we are soon thrust into emotional turmoil as Marc finds out that his wife is dead and 6 month old daughter is missing. With this set-up its all systems go for a fast paced thriller to unfold.
When the ransom note is received from the kidnappers, he is warned not to notify the authorities and that he would be given “no second chance” if he didn’t comply. Adding pressure to Marc is the realisation that the police may actually consider him a suspect in his wife’s murder and daughter’s abduction.
I think the supporting characters are a strong point of the book, too. The introduction of former FBI agent / former girlfriend Rachel Mills injects real confusion into the story as she brings along a secret past and raises all sorts of suspicions. Then there are the kidnappers, an odd couple of the truly unhinged variety that make you wonder how they’ve stayed free for so long. But the most memorable of the supporting characters is Verne, the scene stealing, gun loving redneck, who is quite willing to tell it like it is and blow the consequences.
Harlan Coben has once again stepped up and delivered an excellent thriller filled with an array of twists, poignant moments and cold, calculating killers. Although I’m desperately hanging out for another Myron Bolitar book, I’ll still be satisfied to read more books like this.
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on 8 April 2004
When I read the first chapter of this book I knew I had to get to the end and fast!
Now I'm not a great book reader. I go through periods when I read a lot but I am the kind of person that gets half way through a book and gets bored so I stop and start another one. With 'No second chance' there was no danger of this. I was hooked from the very beginning, totally absorbed in the characters and the story line and having a young daughter myself I could understand the pain and the thoughts of Dr Marc Seidman. This book was so good that I even turned the TV off and chose to read instead. I've been sat up in bed until gone 1O'Clock in the morning reading, 'just one more chapter', and I went to bed at 10!!
I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants an absorbing, fast paced thriller. I'm off to buy another Harlan Coben book and just hope it is as good as this one. Fantastic.
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on 25 February 2004
If you ever want a distraction from the mundane trappings of modern life, here is the ideal book to whisk you away to another world. It is not a fantasy, a romance or comedy, but instead a fast-paced absorbing thriller. It is however, far above average, and incredibly involving. I admit, I was a little unsure on receiving the book as to whether it would hold my attention, but the book contains some beautifully observed moments. Instead of dragging us through the details of a grisly ordeal, it relates the story to us in a number of ways. The mixture of third-person story-telling and first person narrative gives this book an edge above others of this genre. But I stress again, it is the nuances, the details of thoughts and emotions, usually in the narrative, that delivers the books weighty punch. A story told to you that reminds you of some point in your life is always more compelling, and this doesn't disappoint.
The basic plot, which I won't spoil, is full of enough twists and turns to keep you guessing all the way, and is a little more thought out than the majority of best sellers.A man in his thirties is largely pre-occupied with his career, and it takes a tragedy to really see where his life is going.
There is nothing profound here, just good story telling.
Highly recommended for an absorbing read.
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on 2 March 2004
Oh, wow! Where have they been hiding this author. I am a lover of the thriller genre and I thought I knew them all - those writers who have you burning the midnight oil. I had never heard of Harlan Coben. I awoke at 4.30 the other morning, picked the book up from my bedside table and read for an hour before going back to sleep. I've never done that before with any book. Now I am rationing myself. I don't want it to end, although I have bought/ordered five more of his books in the last week. Why is he not better known?
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on 29 April 2004
No Second Chance is a classic thriller following Dr Marc Seidman, a manwho wakes up in hospital to find that he has been shot, his wife murderedand daughter kidnapped. He becomes obsessed with finding his daughter andgetting her back home safely. However, the kidnappers have otherideas.
The pace is fast with plot twists galore and the characters are strong andwell-developed with each of them showing their strengths andvulnerablities along the way. It is a very absorbing read too - I endedup staying up hours longer than I intended just so I could find out theending.
I had never read anything by Harlan Coben before No Second Chance, but Iwill certainly be reading some of his other titles in the future. Recommended.
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on 20 February 2004
I first discovered Harlan Coben a couple of years ago and have read most of his books since. Not one has disappointed me and this is no exception. A really good book to take on holiday, or for in front the fire, or just anywhen you want an entertaining and intelligent read.
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on 5 May 2004
I just love Coben. His characters are alive, his writing is crisp, and he just can't help but be funny.
He also really LIKES and respects women and is not homophobic - two traits virtually unheard of in male mystery writers.
I couldn't put this book down and kept on reading even though I had LOTS of other things to do - it was that good.
And ... for what it's worth, I think the final twist is fine. I would also recomend "A Tourist in the Yucatan"
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