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126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars just couldnt stop reading!
Whatever other reviewers have said about this book, you just can't deny it is totally gripping, which is really what you want from a thriller. The author is really famous in the US, and an American friend lent it to me when i stayed for a weekend at her house - big mistake! I barely spoke to her all weekend as I was so hooked.

Its about a parent's worst...
Published on 5 Oct 2009 by Paula Marrel

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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three weeks to say goodbye
This is the first book I've read by CJ Box and I picked this one because it's a standalone novel.

The plot sounded interesting; Happily married couple, Jack and Melissa McGuane have had their adopted daughter Angelina for 9 months when suddenly the birth father, Garrett Moreland, an 18 year old who it turns out hadn't signed the papers giving up his rights to...
Published on 19 Mar 2010 by Big Bertha


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126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars just couldnt stop reading!, 5 Oct 2009
Whatever other reviewers have said about this book, you just can't deny it is totally gripping, which is really what you want from a thriller. The author is really famous in the US, and an American friend lent it to me when i stayed for a weekend at her house - big mistake! I barely spoke to her all weekend as I was so hooked.

Its about a parent's worst nightmare. The McGuanes have adopted a baby girl but the real father (who is 18 years old and a really nasty piece of work) wants her back, and because of some legal loophole is allowed to take the adoptive parents to court. The 18-year-old's father is a judge, and for some reason, he is putting pressure on the parents as well. The McGuanes have 3 weeks to figure out why the boy and the judge want the baby so much (since it's pretty obvious they don't love her) before the baby is taken away from them. They get more and more desperate as the deadline gets closer, and start doing things that only really desperate parents would do.

The main reason this book works so well as a thriller is partly because the plot is unique (not the usual 'catch-the-murderer-before-he-strikes-again) and partly because of the timeframe: chapters are split up into the number of weeks or days left for the McGuanes to save their family, so there is a real sense of urgency throughout. If you have ever seen the TV series 24, you'll know what I mean when I say that as the time ticks down, your heart literally starts beating faster.

Also, there is quite an interesting back story, although i don't know if it is definitely true... apparently the novel is (very loosely, I hope!) based on a true story that happened to two of the author's friends.
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three weeks to say goodbye, 19 Mar 2010
By 
Big Bertha (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This is the first book I've read by CJ Box and I picked this one because it's a standalone novel.

The plot sounded interesting; Happily married couple, Jack and Melissa McGuane have had their adopted daughter Angelina for 9 months when suddenly the birth father, Garrett Moreland, an 18 year old who it turns out hadn't signed the papers giving up his rights to her, decides he wants her back. Their attorney advises them their hopes of fighting it through the legal system are practically zero as the birth father is the son of a powerful Federal judge. The judge and his son turn up at their house and announce that they've got three weeks to say goodbye to their daughter.

This sounded like my sort of book, and I was really looking forward to reading it. The story started off well enough, moved along at a good pace and the menace radiating from Garrett Moreland and his thug friends was well done. Although I enjoyed this novel I couldn't help but feel disappointed; much of the storyline was aimed at the question of why Garrett and his father so desperately wanted the child, I felt the answer was being spoon-fed to the reader and therefore was no real surprise.

In summary if you like books with violence, menace and not having to think too much, then you'll probably like this one.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stonking Thriller, 30 Sep 2009
By 
Nicola "nicola_in_southyorks" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Jack and his wife Melissa, having been unable to conceive a child of their own, adopt Angelina, a beautiful little girl whose mother chose them personally. AllI is well in their lives until the birth father, 18 year old Garrett Moreland, suddenly decides he wants his daughter back. What Jack and Melissa can't understand is why.

Garrett's father, Judge John Moreland, is behind Garrett and is an influential man. In any case, the law is on their side and so Jack and Melissa find themselves with, as the title indicates, three weeks to say goodbye to their daughter.

What follows is a very fast paced and exciting thriller, as Jack, Melissa and their close friends try to find out what is motivating Garrett and the Judge, as they know it isn't love for Angelina.

I absolutely loved this book. It's so easy to read. I got through it very quickly, and it's certainly an absorbing thriller. The narration is by Jack throughout the novel, and I wouldn't say there is a lot of depth to the writing, but this book does what it says on the tin, and it's nice to have a thriller based around such an emotive and different subject.

I think this would appeal to fans of Linwood Barclay, as I found the style very similar. I note that other reviews of this book are not so complimentary, but take it at face value, and don't question it all too much and you've got a great read ahead of you. I had never heard of C.J. Box before, but would definitely read abother of his books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant & Un-nerving, 3 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Three Weeks to Say Goodbye (Kindle Edition)
As a C.J . Box fan I found this stand alone novel disturbing & different from all the others I have read. It covers adoption, gang members, an evil young man, & horrendous crimes against children. There is also corruption in high places, murder, & a father who feels desperate when he & his wife risk losing their much loved adopted daughter. Aided by friends ,some of whom pay a dreadful price for helping , good cops & Judges he tries anything & everything to save his child. The story raced along & the conclusion surprising. One of those stories I will definitely remember.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I willingly lost a good night's sleep to this great book, 10 Dec 2009
I feel compelled to agree with the other reviewers about how gripping this book is. C.J's exciting new thriller ticks all the boxes but also felt very original to me. I don't normally read thrillers but occasionally feel the need for one and 'Three Weeks to say Goodbye' surpassed my expectations. The story centers on very likable adoptive parents who are under threat to have their gorgeous nine month old baby taken away by the real father- a malicious and disturbed 18 year old and his too powerful father, a federal judge. They have three weeks to figure out the father and son's motive (they clearly don't love the child) and to find away to save their daughter and themselves from this tragic outcome.

I particularly liked that it was centered on a homey situation and that the protagonist Jack Mc Guane, his wife and friends are not the type of people to get caught up in this kind of dangerous territory. The usual thrills of the chase, shoot outs and challenges are seen from their humble perspective which relates to the reader and makes you realize how tricky as well as thrilling their story is. It raises interesting questions of right and wrong as these seemingly normal and decent people are pushed to extreme limits to do the right thing and save their child.

A friend who adores thrillers recommended this to me, knowing I'm not a regular in that genre and we both loved it. If you can help it try to avoid reading the end before bed- I was buzzing after I closed the last page!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for true fans of American crime thrillers, 23 Sep 2009
By 
GT (Cumbria UK) - See all my reviews
I'm not really a fan of American crime but after reading the rave reviews for this book - not on Amazon - I decided to give it a go. The story is about an ordinary American couple Jack and Melissa McGuane. The McGuane's had a happy marriage but were unable to have a child of their own, decided to adopt. Just before the adoption was finalized the birth father came to claim the child. It was obvious from the start that Garrett Moreland who is a member of a notorious gang and son of a very rich and very powerful judge did not want the child. Jack attempts to get Garrett to sign the adoption papers with the offer that he would give Garrett anything he wanted. Garret did want something, but what did Jack have that the son of a powerful and rich man could possible want? The judge, who had his own reasons for wanting the child gave the couple three weeks to say goodbye to the daughter they loved.
When I started to read this book, I couldn't help but read it in the monotone style of the old black and white private eye films. It just had that sort of feel to it so I was surprised when Jack turned out to be a travel development specialist! However, as the story progressed and the tension began to rise I did lose this 'voice'. The book is a fast paced read with plenty of action that I am sure will appeal to the fans of this genre, but it isn't my type of book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new author I will read again, 4 Aug 2010
By 
Ms. Lynda Cartner (Bedhampton, Hampshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I hadn't come across this author before, but will certainly read more of his work. I wasn't sure at the start if I was going to like the McGuane's or whether I was going to be irritated by their apparent naivety.
It wasn't long in to the story before I was hooked by their dilemma and felt their frustration and helplessness at the awful situation they were in. Their baby is going to be reclaimed by her biological father. A clearly unsuitable and unstable 18 year old boy with a rich and powerful father.
Added into this mix are two completely different and both, in their own way, flawed friends of the McGuane's. The friends, Brian and Cody both push and pull the plot in different directions.
The author weaves such a web around the lives of the central couple, the father and son and the two friends that it is impossible not to get drawn into it.
The tragic death of one of the central characters only jacks up the pace and I believe even the most placid of readers would have hoped for revenge.
The ending is extremely satisfying, it works out, but happy ever after it isn't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three weeks to say goodbye - Parents worst nightmare, 3 Dec 2011
By 
Tom Stronach (Essex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Three Weeks to Say Goodbye (Kindle Edition)
This was a departure for me in terms of CJ Box. I haven't posted any reviews of his books to date although I have read 3 novels by him in his Joe Picket series. Those books I loved and I really do need to remedy the review situation surround them.

But, Three Weeks to Say Goodbye! I knew it wasn't a Joe Pickett novel when I downloaded it to my Kindle but Box's writing in the previous offerings were most certainly 5 * but I had initial misgivings about this one in the opening pages.

"God, I hate to be the one to tell you ." "Tell me what?" A Beat. "The biological father wants Angelina Back."
I made her repeat it in case I hadn't heard her correctly. She did.

Jack and Melissa have adopted a baby girl only to find that the adoption agency have not crossed all the T's or dotted the I's and after settling into the routine with the baby and loving her for nine months, the `father' receives a phone call from Julia Perala, the placements officer who handled their adoption, stating that the natural father had not signed away his rights to his daughter and that he now, through his father a Federal Judge, wanted his daughter back!

The father and grandfather turn up at the house to discuss the situation and it is clear that the baby's father is less than interested, but the grandfather, the Federal Judge, gives them three weeks to give up the baby or he will turn up with the Sherriff!
The book now started to look interesting imagine, how would you feel in those circumstances. You and your wife had been trying to make a family, suffered miscarriages and then `successfully' and at great financial and emotional cost, managed to adopt a child who you had loved and nurtured for nine months.... not a pretty thought.

Not my cup of tea, or so I thought. However I continued to read for a few more pages and Mr Box, like a couple of other authors I read at the moment, just sucks you in. It is an easy writing style, well constructed and flowing. Whether he had any knowledge of the subject of adoption or whether he just researched it I'm not sure. But he was writing an emotional book about parents losing a child to a teenage father who didn't want it and to complicated matters the teenager had a disturbing personality and a Federal judge as a father. And so a fight back began, but it was a fight back that was limited by circumstances, time, social standing and money, who wins, well, you're just going to have to read it for yourself.

All I will say is; that this was not a Joe Picket book, and it is good to see that Mr Box has more than one story to tell and that augurs well for any reader who likes a well written story laid out in a compelling and easy flowing way that just encourages you to turn each page! And as the story develops you discover that it is even darker and more horrible than you could have imagined, what could be more horrible than having a child, nurtured and loved by you for the first nine months of its life, taken from you..........

This isn't a terribly long book, but it doesn't need to be, at only 359 pages it starts of slowly and builds to an amazing climax. 26 chapters and in chapter 23 YOU too are ready to kill...

5 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No real surprise, 19 Aug 2011
This review is from: Three Weeks to Say Goodbye (Kindle Edition)
I did enjoy this book and found it a goos easy read but I was left a little disappointed in that the ending became obvious.

Some parts were unbelieveable and you found yourself questioning the authenticity of some of the characters, but for some reason I did want to read on and it did still have me gripped until the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent thriller, 9 Aug 2011
This review is from: Three Weeks to Say Goodbye (Kindle Edition)
Plot revolves around a nightmare situation and progresses to a tense conclusion. Well-rounded characters invite empathy although the latter part of the story is a bit too focussed on the gangster-land side of things and would have been improved by more exploration of the mental anguish of the parents. Written from the father's point of view, the book lacks emotional input from the mother's perspective, but is nevertheless a good read. Ending raised a few questions about credible motivation for the Judge's actions but maybe that was just me missing something!
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