Customer Reviews for

Play Dead

Average Rating 4
( 380 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(150)

4 Star

(100)

3 Star

(76)

2 Star

(28)

1 Star

(26)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Intriguing

Great bedtime reading...but I do skip over extensive descriptive passages.

posted by Anonymous on December 6, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Lots of twists and turns - little too drawn out.

Play Dead is Harlan Coben's first published novel. It has been rereleased this year. There is a letter from the author warning readers that if this is your first experience to reading one of his books he suggests that they stop reading, go and get another of his books a...
Play Dead is Harlan Coben's first published novel. It has been rereleased this year. There is a letter from the author warning readers that if this is your first experience to reading one of his books he suggests that they stop reading, go and get another of his books and then come back to this one. I had to laugh because this book is my first by Mr. Coben and I couldn't read a different one because this was December's book club choice. So, I went into reading this book with an open mind.

I can completely see how Harlan Coben has been able to keep readers spellbound and why he has such a following. The story he weaves is one that makes readers try to figure out what the hell is going on. He gives the reader just enough information to keep them hanging on to find out what next little secret he is going to reveal.

Now having said all that, I can see why he was apologizing to his fans and telling new readers not to start with this book. It is painfully obvious to me that this is an inexperienced author. The story is rich with its twists and turns, but it is executed poorly. The book was 500+ pages and could have been told in 300 and I would have been satisfied. Often times the clues where all too stingily delivered to have them pounded into the ground over and over by different character view points.

I found Play Dead to be an entertaining read. But I thought the two main characters were slightly superficial and the book a little too long. Other than that, I felt that Harlan Coben has great potential and wouldn't be averse to trying something else by him.

posted by Romance_rookie on January 26, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    One of his first novels

    Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors. This was obviously one of his first novels and not as well written as the ones following, however, it is still worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Very suspenseful!

    Very enjoyable. Keeps you guessing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    I WOULD BUY THIS PRODUCT AGAIN

    GOOD READGOOD PLOTKEPT ME GUESSING

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    I love this author and subject

    The subject and suspense is great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Quick read

    Not as good as his later books but you can still tell how good of a writer he would become.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Good read

    Early work by Coben, and a bit wordy; but worth getting through it. Good plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Good Book

    I love Harlan Coben & this is another of his great books. It kept me intriged.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    One of my favorites of his!

    I thought it was interesting that he decided to publish his first book he wrote without even reading it again-or changing anything. Turned out to be one of my favorites by him!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Fantastic

    I love all of Coben's books. This book was chosen for my Mystery Book Club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    good read

    Great book - lots of twists

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Play Dead immature early Coben work!

    Great introduction to the author for his later works.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    "Not to be missed first novel"

    This author started with a "good" book and then went on to really roar.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    love Harlan Coben

    I just started reading Harlan Coben and love his books. Quick fun, thrillers that keep you reading long after you should be going to sleep. Can't put his books down.

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  • Posted November 3, 2011

    early novel that should have remained unpublished

    I generally enjoy Coben's works. I was thoroughly enjoying Play Dead until I realized that there was a gaping plot inconsistency. Coben either made an honest mistake or deliberately misled the reader. Neither is acceptable and probably explains why this novel, written in the early 90's, was only recently published, capitalizing on Coben's amazing success. In this novel, we learn that a young boy witnesses his father's murder. The murderer doesn't know he has been seen and the boy is young enough not to pursue with the police. Who committed the murder (and others) is a huge part of the story. Coben has the young boy eventually meet the murderer thirty years later, recognize him, and start a blackmail scheme which evntually unravels all the other mysteries in the novel. Unfortunately, while this recognition occurs quite explicity about 2/3 of the way through the book, Coben seems to have forgotten that only a little earlier in time and nearly 300 pages earlier in the book, the young boy (now a man) met all the possible suspects. Since he didn't recognize the murderer at page 80, when he recognizes him at page 380, you have been misled for 300 hundred pages into eliminating possible suspects. I undertand this explanation is probably confusing, but if you want to read a 'whodunit' that is interanally consistent, however implausible, this is not the novel for you. With a little effort, Coben could have reworked the novel a bit, removing this problem, but chose to publish as it was originally written, with a very, very serious plot flaw. Very disappointing.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Wow

    This book when purcharsed i wasnt sure how good this was going to be.. There are many places were you want to cry with the person then at the same time you feel sick about something you read.. This book was very hard to put down many twist and turns wasnt expecting.. I have always loved Harlen Coben books they are all amazing.. When he has the author note in the first few pages about not reading it if you have never know him he's right.. One of he best books for me is the woods. Thumbs u!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2011

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    Posted October 15, 2011

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Loved it

    Fun read. Hard to put down

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Great book

    Highly recommend this one, along w/all of his books.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    predictable

    It was an okay book. I enjoyed this book but was disappointed it was so predictable.

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