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3.8 out of 5 stars153
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Never having previously read Simon Wood, I was pleased to pick up this book. I am so glad I did. This book is not an on the edge of your seat roller coaster ride but is, nevertheless, a book which grabs you and pulls you in. Terry Sheffield has arrived in America to start his life with his new bride. However, she does not arrive to meet him. The book is essentially his quest to find her, with a lot of surprising twists and turns along the way. I loved the characters in this book. Terry is well written and very much a real person. His new friend Oscar is a larger than life character and you couldn't help but love him. He provides some spots of humour. The ending is surprising and at no time did I guess it. This is a well written thriller, which is well paced and exciting. I would highly recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 2 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Simon Wood was new to me but as this was the first in a new series, I thought it would give me an opportunity to look at his writing. The plot starts simply. Terry flies to San Francisco en route to join his new wife while he had sorted out his green card problems involved in a transatlantic marriage and US immigration. Terry is a British scientist, and has been promised employment by a local experimental company. He is expecting to be picked up at the airport by his new wife for the start of their new married life-adventure. She does not appear and after an exhausting flight and a long wait, calls going to automated answering, he decides to abandon the airport and make his way to his new home. Sarah is a journalist and he presumes caught up in her work. However, arriving through a dodgy back door catch (having no keys), he finds mail stacked up and messages on the answering machine indicating an absence of several days. So the plot begins...within minutes the friendly neigbourhood watch has called the local sheriffs department and the cops turn out to make an arrest at the scene of a perceived break-in/robbery. Terry is soon at the local police station making explanations which, even to his ears sound ridiculous. Fortunately they do believe his story and let him go back to the empty house. The next day he tries to report her disappearance but the local police believe she has tired of the would-be wirlwind romance and has gone to ground, probably to return at some point. Terry's new boss in not understanding and demands he report for duty. He is being pulled from all directions until he meets Oscar Mayer - not the original weenie king - but the owner of the local miniature golf, arcade and cafe. Oscar proves to be a true friend and they begin a mission to track Sarah down.

The principle of the plot is good. The crimes that are unearthed interesting, but the character of Sarah does not ring true. Without giving anything away, she seems far from the picture initially painted of lovers on a beach, going through the incredible maze of passing immigration into the US and then just abandonment. There is certainly reason to believe she is on the run and not from Terry but there is a half-heartedness in her actions that lead me to doubt her sincerity of commitment. Knowing many couple who have endured this awful interrogation-to-get-a-visa, they are tested beyond measure and many do not make the course. If they do, they will move heaven and earth to be together and many remain in long-term relationships. I do not see this from the way Sarah's character develops, no matter what the problems.

As this is the first of a series, I trust we will see more of Terry and his sidekick Oscar again. I enjoyed their characters immensely so much so I had a mental image,especially of Oscar in my mind, so well was it portrayed. I was disappointed in the ending as it too gave no intimation of this possible outcome. Quick airport/plane/train read.No Show
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on 29 June 2013
I read others reviews on this before buying so my reading was slightly biased as I was looking for the things they had pointed out.
Firstly the English phrases used, they were a few insignificant words illustrating his English origins. Books with for example Germans, Russian characters etc in would do the same.
I also didn't think his workplace, a biotech company storyline was pointless- it was a sub-plot paralleling the whistle blowing of the women being investigated.
Overall it was a clever, easy read. Terry flew in from the UK to live with his American, journalist wife, Sarah. Unfortunately it soon becomes apparent she's missing. He tries to find her making a friend Oscar on the way.
There could have been more suspense built in, more twists, which is why I only gave it four stars. It did have a surprise ending that I didn't quite expect though.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
An earlier book by this author, 'Accidents Waiting to Happen', was one I was then reading and about one-third through when I accidentally left it at a friend's. Some weeks on, I am still waiting for it to be returned so that I can finish it. He had also written several more with which I am unfamiliar. That book was not a planned purchase but made on whim alone, without foreknowledge of the author or any preconceptions.

This is of a different nature and concerns a man recently married to an American journalist who is supposedly to join him at San Francisco Airport after his trans-Atlantic flight. When his new wife fails to arrive when expected, does not answer her phone and there is no obvious explanation for her absence, he naturally reports her as missing.

Then several dead women are discovered over time and Terry, our hero, begins to learn that his wife is not exactly who or what he had thought. She has her secrets, has a history of scandals and had chosen to go on the run to avoid the killer finding her.

Although, after one book part-read and then this, it is difficult to draw a thorough conclusion about the author's capabilities it appears that he is very capable of writing a believable story. The book is also enjoyable and the start of a new series. His other books, as best that can be judged from my limited knowledge, are individual.

The storyline has all the twists and turns of a good thriller and a few surprises thrown into the mix. It will keep its readers engaged and happy until they have finished reading it. It may not be brilliant, but it is far from bad.
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VINE VOICEon 1 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A new author for me and one who captures my reading enthusiasm from the first page. A missing newly-wed wife, a distraught husband arriving in America to set up home with her, an oddball sheriff who thinks the husband has bumped her off and, thankfully, an American friend who steers him in the right direction.

This is an easy read and a story which demands you keep on reading. I wasn't expecting the ending nor did I really latch on to the killer who, having murdered five women, intends to have a sixth victim to complete his mission.

It is here that the book wavers a little. Fortunately, we don't know who the killer is until the last chapter or two, so the mystery of the 'missing wife' remains pretty well covered. But the revelation as to why the killer does what he does seems just a little too far-fetched. No matter, it's a good storyline, making this author one to watch out for in the future.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I can't fault any of the books I've read by Wood. They've all been fast paced with interesting storyline and characters. This one is no different. It's interesting that the main character here is English. I felt this made the book more appealing to me. I finished it quickly but that's because the scene and characters are set and introduced quickly so you naturally want to read more!
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VINE VOICEon 9 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Englishman Terry moves to San Francisco to start a new life with his new wife, Sarah, a woman he hardly knows following a whirlwind romance. But Sarah is not at the airport to meet him and their new house is empty, abandoned.

So far so interesting. Except that it isn't. Terry doesn't really come to life (and how can you have a hero called Terry?) and the other characters are no better: paper-thin ciphers, moving via uninspired prose through a moderately engaging plot which, nevertheless, signposts many of its developments.

That said, it's a page-turner and if that's all you want from a thriller than you may well enjoy it. The best thing about it is the denouement, which throws up some surprises as well as one heavily foreshadowed event.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Really good story and held my interest right from the start. I love stories like these where someone goes missing but there's no obvious clues as to why or where. This is the type of book that would make a great movie.

I like Terry, an Englishman in San Fransisco and I love his new friend Oscar who brings a little light relief. A few twists but not as many as you'd expect from something in this genre but the ending was very well done and I didn't see it coming at all. It was a very quick read for me and I might even go back and re-read this one again at some point, which is something I rarely do. Very well written and cleverly done and I'll definitely be reading more by this author.
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on 21 January 2014
I wish I hadn't read the reviews for this book before I downloaded it! Despite what earlier reviews said it was a thrilling story and a really good read. It isn't high literature but it is a very readable story. I am inclined to read more so Simon Wood's work

I am not going into detail about the plot, except to say that a Englishman arrives in the USA expecting to be met by his new wife. From thereon an exciting and believable plot unfolds, keeping readers gripped to the very end.. The writing makes you care about what happens to the characters, and an awful lot happens to them. I encourage all thriller readers to add this one to your library.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the fifth Simon Wood book I've read and three of the others have been excellent (the other wasn't as good but still worthwhile), so my expectation for his latest novel was high. Would that expectation be satisfied, or would it be like a well-worn pair of shoes; comfortable but nothing outstanding?

Scientist and Englishman Terry Sheffield gets off a plane in San Francisco to start a new life with his new wife, journalist Sarah. Except she isn't there to meet him and he can neither get hold of her or find any trace of where she might be. When he reports her missing, the local Sheriff is rather incredulous to learn the couple have only been together for eight weeks in the 18 months they've known each other. After a whirlwind romance and a marriage in Las Vegas, it seems Terry doesn't really know much about Sarah. Understandably, Sheriff Holman isn't too enamoured with looking for a woman he thinks has changed her mind. That is until the body of a female is dragged from a lake.

Sucked into a nightmare where no one believes him, author Wood (himself English) tries to convey the difficulties Terry faces with being a new arrival in a country where they do things differently. The diverse vernacular both him and the people he encounters use gives the impression of a man totally lost in his unfamiliar surroundings, never more so than when a man he is talking to upturns his tray in a McDonalds. With silent stares all around, Terry comes out with, "I think he wanted a Happy Meal" and you can actually imagine the humour being lost on the indigenous population. Though not impinging on the story itself, I'm glad to see speech such as "Sod it!", "Bollocks!" and "Don't get out of your pram" used.

Unfortunately, though being the highlights of a book that, in all honesty, reads like someone's GCSE paper, they don't work. This might be Wood's seventh novel to be published but this seems as if it's his first effort at writing one; it certainly comes across as such. It isn't until getting on to halfway through that we start to learn something. However, the frustration of an Englishman abroad aside, the schoolboy dialogue does nothing to improve on an interesting idea. (I knew it was Year 10 stuff when Sheffield, trying to think of a pseudonym, comes up with Blair Anthony.) It all reads as if there's an unobtrusive camera following someone around who is just very bad at acting.

The reason behind Sarah's disappearance warranted no more than an "Oh, is that it?" but the culmination is the only redeeming feature. In an overflowing genre, at least this was something unexpected. It's a pity all that went before didn't lift this out of the mire. Sorry Mr Wood, you're much better than this. Your poorest effort to date.
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