5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping a promise...
Audie Palmer has been in prison for ten years for an armed robbery that went wrong. Although two of the gang died and Audie was arrested, the stolen $7 million has never been found. Since Audie's brother is suspected of being the fourth gang member, everyone assumes he's living a life of luxury somewhere and that Audie will get his share when he gets out. So why would...
Published 5 months ago by FictionFan
2.0 out of 5 stars So Disappointed
Really disappointed in this not very thrilling thriller--transparent plot, two dimensional characters, comic book-like evil versus good. I miss the more convincing sense of place in Robotham's English thrillers, as well as his interesting psychologist and ex-cop detectives. I ordered the book format so I could pass it on to a friend, but I'll put it in the library...
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping a promise...,
Audie Palmer has been in prison for ten years for an armed robbery that went wrong. Although two of the gang died and Audie was arrested, the stolen $7 million has never been found. Since Audie's brother is suspected of being the fourth gang member, everyone assumes he's living a life of luxury somewhere and that Audie will get his share when he gets out. So why would Audie suddenly choose to escape, just one day before he's due to be released? It seems he has made a promise that he must keep - but there are people who want to stop him. So not only is Audie running from the law, he's in a race to fulfil his mission before he loses his life...
I've been enjoying working my way through Michael Robotham's Joe O'Loughlin series recently, so grabbed the opportunity to read this new standalone novel. From the moment Audie escapes right at the beginning, the plot begins to twist and turn. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the reader is very much on Audie's side - we're not sure why he ended up in jail, but we're soon convinced that he's an honourable man and his intentions must be good. As we follow him on his present-day mission, we gradually find out about his past - the brother whose drug abuse and criminality brought Audie under suspicion more than once, the crime lord he ended up working for, the girl he fell in love with. And it gradually becomes clear that these past events are in some way connected to the present.
The book is told mostly in the present tense but in the third person and, although Audie's is the main viewpoint, we also see through the eyes of Desiree, one of the FBI agents on the case, and Moss, a former prison-mate of Audie's. Desiree has had the original robbery on her books as a cold case, but when Audie escapes her boss takes over the investigation and seems to want to keep Desiree out. But the diminutive Desiree is stubborn and she's determined to be in on it, especially since she's not sure things are quite what they seem on the surface. Moss is a great character - inside for life on the three strikes rule, he suddenly finds himself freed on condition that he hunts Audie down. But will Moss put his chance of freedom above his friendship for Audie? Even he doesn't seem too sure...
As always with Robotham, the characterisation is very strong. Audie himself might be just a shade too perfect to be fully credible, but that's more than compensated for by the characters of Moss and Desiree, both of whom come over as wholly believable and likeable. It takes a while for us to suspect who the baddies are but, when we do, boy, are they bad! And if Audie wants to keep the promise that he made ten years earlier, he has to be running towards the baddies rather than away...
This is a fast-paced rollercoaster of a thriller that reminded me of Harlan Coben at his best (and also just a bit of the Shawshank Redemption). Definitely movie material - has it been snapped up yet, I wonder? Loads of action, strong characters, great writing, a twisty plot and an explosive ending - this is the thriller of the year for me so far. Highly recommended, either for existing fans of the O'Loughlin series or as a great way for new readers to sample Robotham's work.
NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Little, Brown Book Group UK.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life or Death,
Audie Palmer has spent ten years in jail when he escapes from prison, without telling anyone of his plans. He was sentenced after a robbery on an armoured truck led to four deaths, Audie himself horribly injured, one man – Audie’s brother –missing and seven million dollars unaccounted for. .. Through all of the ten years Audie has spent in prison he has suffered threats, beatings and countless attempts on his life by people hoping to get their hands on the money. So, with his jail term almost over, his actions make no sense. Why would a man about to be released escape from prison a day early when, if caught, he could face another, harsher sentence?
During his time in prison, Audie’s closest friend has been Moss Webster. Now Moss finds himself sent to locate – and betray – his friend. Also on Audie’s trail is Special Agent Desiree Furness, while Sheriff Ryan Valdez (the man who nearly killed Audie after the robbery), of Dreyfus County, also offers to help with the search. During this fast paced, well plotted and exciting thriller, we are taken through Audie’s life and discover what happened ten years ago, what Audie hopes to accomplish, what happened to the money and why so many people want him dead?
I really enjoyed this novel, peopled with sympathetic main characters and which did not let down the pace from start to finish. This really is a roller coaster ride in every sense of the world and yet the author effortlessly holds together all the different strands of the plot; both past and present. If you enjoy really well written thrillers, then you will certainly enjoy this. I have never read anything by this author before, but as this is a stand-alone novel it is a great introduction to his work and I will certainly be reading more by him in the future. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ‘What sort of idiot escapes the day before his release?’,
Audie Palmer escapes prison the day before he is due to be released. Palmer has spent ten years in prison for an armed robbery in which four people were killed, including two members of his gang. The $7 million stolen during the robbery has never been recovered, and Palmer has never revealed its location despite years of beatings and threats. His (missing) brother is suspected of being a gang member, and (if he is) it seems logical to conclude that he has the money and that Audie will be in touch. Once Audie is on the run, a number of different people are trying to find him, including the FBI, and his former cellmate Moss Webster who is freed to try to track him down. Some hope that he will lead them to the money; most are wondering why he chose to escape the day before he would have been released.
‘You want to know why he escaped, but that’s the wrong question. You should be asking why he didn’t do it sooner.’
Audie Palmer has his own reasons for escaping. These gradually become clear to the reader as the story unfolds. With so many people in pursuit, it seems unlikely that Audie will survive. Along the way he forms some fleeting friendships, some of which unfortunately end in death as those pursuing Audie are not concerned about collateral damage.
‘There are moments in life when important choices have to be made. If we’re lucky we get to make them, but more often they’re made for us.’
This is a fast-paced story which I could not put down. The characters are well developed and believable, the setting realistic. While the story is mostly from Audie’s viewpoint, we also see some aspects from Moss’s perspective, and from one of the FBI agents involved.
This is a standalone novel: one which Michael Robotham (according to his website) has been considering for over twenty years. It’s one of the best crime thrillers I have read this year.
‘Odds don’t change because a coin has landed on the same side a dozen times or more.’
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller,
Life or Death – Beautiful Thriller
Life or Death that is the question that Michael Robotham poses to the reader throughout this excellent suspense thriller. I would go as far as to say it is a beautiful thriller in that it is an enjoyable read that is so well written the prose is beautiful and engaging the plot outstanding and the imagery as clear as day.
Audie Palmer has spent the last ten years of his life in prison for an armed robbery in which four people were killed and he pleaded guilty to the charges. According to the press and the wider world there is seven million dollars missing from the robbery and Palmer is the one who knows where the money is hidden. Palmer has had to avoid the attention of fellow inmates, criminal gangs and the guards every day who all want the money. He endures everything that they throw at him but somehow he survives. Then the day before his release he escapes from prison and nobody can understand why.
With the FBI, Dreyfus County Sheriff and the US Marshall Service all hunting him he also has a price on his head. We learn through the book that some people have very specific reasons as to why they want Palmer to die and that Palmer has a secret he wishes to deliver before he is killed. He knows he has a target on his back and is running for his life so that he can hide and deliver his secret and at the same time stay alive and away from prison.
Whether Palmer is believed by the person he wants to deliver the secret or the law enforcement officers actually care about what he has to say he knows he has to survive. The people who do not want him to deliver that secret keep increasing the bounty on his head to find and kill him. The question is whether he can and will survive and who can help him. The bodies pile up in the process and it seems like his luck, if he had any, is running out.
Robotham’s voice throughout the thriller is haunting and you identify with at times with Audie Palmer. We see both the good and bad of the human psyche which is one of the major driving forces throughout the book. Life or Death will leave you breathless and exhilarated at the same time and it is a pure pleasure to read.
5.0 out of 5 stars More excellent crime fiction,
I've long been a fan of Michael Robotham's crime novels, this one is a brilliant and addictive standalone story that had me madly reading in great big chunks as I was absolutely determined to find out what on earth was going on.
One day before he is due to be released, Audie Palmer makes his escape from Jail and appears to go on the run - but why? Another 24 hours would have seen him free. What follows is a heart stopping race against time as Audie attempts to evade his would be captors and right a wrong - there is a lot more going on than meets the eye and it is truly compelling stuff. At turns very emotional and then extremely thrilling, it twists and turns its way to an electrifying finale.
I've always loved the depth that this author brings to his characters - there was a definite touch of the "Shawshank" about this one as we learn about Audie, his time in Jail and eventually what it is that is driving him. Surrounded by a beautifully drawn cast of eclectic characters, the whole thing is ingeniously constructed, completely hooks you in right from the start and has such a wonderful flow to it that you won't want to put it down. Indeed as I headed into the final part of this, I couldnt put it down - I completed it bleary eyed yet satisfied at 3am one morning.
Michael Robotham never fails to deliver on great writing, intelligent plotting and people you will fall for and this was no exception to the rule. I have absolutely no hesitation in giving this, and all the other books from this author, a highly recommended tag.
Happy Reading Folks!
Source: Review copy via Netgalley.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fe drake,
a totally brilliant book..don't let this being a standalone put you off. it's entirely immersive and so worth reading...but my heart breaks for belita
2.0 out of 5 stars So Disappointed,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really disappointed in this not very thrilling thriller--transparent plot, two dimensional characters, comic book-like evil versus good. I miss the more convincing sense of place in Robotham's English thrillers, as well as his interesting psychologist and ex-cop detectives. I ordered the book format so I could pass it on to a friend, but I'll put it in the library donation box instead.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life or Death Michael Robotham,
Audie Palmer has one day left of his ten year sentence, but he chooses to break out the night before. FBI Agent Desiree Furness is sent to Three Rivers FCI to interview the governor and Audie’s closest friend there, Moss Webster. She finds it strange that Sheriff Ryan Valdez of Dreyfus County is already there as the news hadn’t yet broken about the escape and even more puzzling when her boss takes the case away from her and puts Frank Senogles in charge. However, having spotted so many inconsistencies, she’s reluctant to give up her investigation.
This book is so much more than the story about Audie Palmer escaping from prison, it’s about love, betrayals, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Written in beautiful expressive language, you find yourself instantly liking Audie Palmer and even his friend from prison, Moss. Early on you kind of get the idea as to who the real criminals are, but it doesn’t matter, because Audie’s life before being shot in the head and then sent to prison is in ways, the story. Although heart broken, he must fight on and destroy the nest of vipers, hell-bent on silencing him for good.
Michael Robotham’s characters are full and thanks to his descriptive writing, easy to identify with. He’s captured this story so that long after you’ve finished reading it, you’ll remember Audie, Moss and Desiree and somehow know that there will always be a special bond between them.
A truly excellent book. I finished it thinking that I’d learnt something from Audie about life, love and forgiveness and for that reason want to quote one of the last paragraphs in the book: “We get given our faces, thinks Audie, but we inherit our lives, our happiness and our unhappiness. Some get a lot, some get a little. Some savour every morsel and suck the marrow out of every bone. We take pleasure in the sound of rain, the smell of cut grass, the smiles of strangers, the feeling of dawn on a hot day. We learn things and realise we can never know more than we don’t know. We catch love like a cold and cling to it like wreckage in a storm. - Treebeard
bestsellingcrimethrillers.com was provided with an advanced copy for review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
Another scorcher of a story. Michael Robotham weaves a tense plot which has you racing to the end, willing for the good guys to win out. I've read all of his books and never been disappointed. Treat yourself to this one NOW!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nerve-snapper,
AS Norman Stanley Fletcher famously pointed out in Porridge – if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. It seems that Audie Palmer can hack it, though. He’s done 10 years for a multi-million dollar armed blag and he’s taken a hiding just about every day from lags and screws wanting to know what he’s done with the loot.
That’s hard time, so it’s no surprise that he breaks out of the nick. What is surprising is that he does it just a day before he’s due to be released anyway. Finding out why anyone would be that bonkers is what the rest of this red hot thriller is all about.
You might twig from the title that it’s a matter of life or death, the question’s got to be: Whose? Palmer’s on the run, but he’s clearly got a destination in mind and a job to do, not just an inclination to vanish off the face of the earth. The authorities are soon right on his tail, along with a few others with more dubious reputations.Among those in the hunt is Desiree Furness, a tasty FBI agent who alone has doubts about Palmer’s guilt in the original crime, in which he was injured so badly he was nearly in a box.
This is a bullet-dodging, psychological, race against time number with tension racking up to the point where nerves snap. Damn near perfect, people.
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