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Thriller Award-winner Deaver (Edge) delivers a clever, demanding stand-alone that moves backward in time over the span of a three-day weekend, from Sunday evening to early Friday morning. In the first chapter, office manager Gabriela McKenzie, whose six-year-old daughter, Sarah, has been kidnapped, waits in her Manhattan apartment for news from fund manager Daniel Reardon, who's attempting to deal with kidnapper Joseph Astor. Gabriela must not only pay a $500,000 ransom but also fork over the mysterious "October List," which belongs to her former boss Charles Prescott, the head of Prescott Investments, who has fled from a police investigation. As the ingenious plot folds back on itself, the reader has to reevaluate and reinterpret the constantly shifting "facts" in the case. The finished picture finally emerges with a shock of recognition. This is brilliant craftsmanship in a vastly entertaining package. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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In his second thriller of 2013 (after The Kill Room), set amid the high-octane world of Manhattan's investment brokers, Deaver delivers a devilishly deceitful plot in reverse. Occurring over a three-day weekend, the story begins with its supposed clincher, which takes place on a Sunday afternoon, then moves back to Friday morning's startling climax. Confused yet? Beginning in the present, Gabriela, an office manager at Prescott Investments, waits in her apartment for an update from Daniel Reardon of the Norwalk Fund, who's striking a deal with her daughter's kidnapper for a $500,000 ransom and the notorious missing "October List." This was a document kept by Gabriela's former boss. Verdict Although Deaver doles out plenty of surprising twists and cliffhangers, fans accustomed to his staccato pace, fluid style, and exceptionally clever plotlines may feel a bit hoodwinked after finishing this overly convoluted tale and its disappointing big climax reveal. In the novel's foreword, Deaver wonders if he could pull off telling a tale in reverse. Nope, not in this case-this superb thriller writer missed the mark here.-Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.