At First Sight [NOOK Book]

Overview

Meet Chick Best—a middle-aged self-absorbed, disaffected, California dot.com millionaire. Other than his house and high-priced foreign cars, Chick’s most expensive possession is his trophy wife. Evelyn is good at spending Chick’s money, money that has pretty much run out. Another problem is his drug-addled sixteen-year-old daughter, Melissa. Though concerned about his life and family, Chick has resigned himself to a miserable state of acceptance. That is, until he, Evelyn, and Melissa take a Christmas vacation in...
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At First Sight

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Overview

Meet Chick Best—a middle-aged self-absorbed, disaffected, California dot.com millionaire. Other than his house and high-priced foreign cars, Chick’s most expensive possession is his trophy wife. Evelyn is good at spending Chick’s money, money that has pretty much run out. Another problem is his drug-addled sixteen-year-old daughter, Melissa. Though concerned about his life and family, Chick has resigned himself to a miserable state of acceptance. That is, until he, Evelyn, and Melissa take a Christmas vacation in Maui. With this, Chick’s life changes...

Chick experiences unrequited love at first sight when he observes Paige Ellis emerging from the hotel swimming pool. His obsession, exceeded only by his need to possess her, isn’t diminished when he learns that she is happily married. Instead, he befriends Paige and her near-perfect husband, Chandler. A short time later, back from Hawaii, Chick’s obsession compels him to drive to Paige’s house, where he runs down and kills Chandler in a drugstore parking lot. But this is just the beginning of Chick’s nightmare as his life spirals homicidally out of control, resulting in the destruction of everything he holds dear.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Scott Brick turns Cannell's over-the-top and completely stereotypical story into a rousing and endlessly exciting listening experience. Cannell's latest tells the tale of dot-com millionaire Chick Best, a family man who becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman by the pool while on Christmas vacation. There is the spoiled housewife that spends without a care in the world, the drugged-out teenager who couldn't care less about her parents, and the sexy, mysterious stranger who becomes the object of Best's every thought. As familiar as it all sounds, Brick offers a fantastic reading in which he delves so deeply into the character of Chick Best that he almost starts to go crazy himself. The performance is not the least bit overplayed. Brick's uncanny ability to tear words from the page and breathe life into them is almost scary, and the end result is perhaps one of the best commercial thriller audio books in recent memory. A Vanguard Press hardcover (Reviews, May 26). (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786746743
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press
  • Publication date: 6/2/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 155,407
  • File size: 517 KB

Meet the Author

Stephen J. Cannell
In his thirty-five-year career, Emmy Award-winning writer and New York Times bestselling author Stephen J. Cannell has created more than forty television series. Among his hits are “The Rockford Files,” “Silk Stalkings,” “The A-Team,” “21 Jump Street,” “Hunter,” “Renegade,” “Wiseguy,” and “The Greatest American Hero.” He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and children.

cannell.com
atfirstsightbook.com

Biography

An Emmy Award-winning writer and producer of some of television's best-known pop cop dramas, including The Rockford Files, The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, The Commish, and Wiseguy, Stephen J. Cannell has spent more than 35 years of writing for the big and small screens.

However, in one of crime fiction's most successful second acts, Cannell's career as a bestselling novelist began over two decades after he left his prints on the television world.

His debut novel, a political thriller called The Plan, burst onto the crime fiction beat in 1995. Said the New York Times Book Review of his first literary outing: "The thrust of the novel is unassailable." Cannell's follow-up, Final Victim, was a serial killer tale in the popular Silence of the Lambs vein. "Relentless.... Mesmerizing... Stephen J. Cannell is a great entertainer. The man can write," said The Washington Post Book World of Cannell's sophomore smash. Feature film rights to his third outing, a rollicking mob tale entitled King Con, were sold to MGM for $1 million, with Cannell writing the screenplay for the film and John Travolta slated to star.

Two other stand-alone thrillers, Riding the Snake (1998) and The Devil's Workshop (1999), were also well received, both critically and commercially. But Cannell would truly hit paydirt with the introduction of Shane Scully, a renegade LAPD sergeant who would come to star in a string of bestsellers beginning with 2001's The Tin Collectors. Named for those Internal Affairs officers who "police the police" -- and take the badges of cops who don't play by the rules -- the new turn displayed Cannell's "knack for character and a bent for drama that will satisfy even the most jaded thrill lover," according to Publishers Weekly.

Cannell's most recent books -- The Viking Funeral (2001) and Hollywood Tough (2002) -- continue to find Scully getting into all manner of dicey situations. but Cannell will always be there to bail him out for another adventure.

Good To Know

Cannell has severe dyslexia, a learning disability that forced him to be held back three grades before graduation from high school. Says Cannell in our interview, "I made one up, but I was certainly thought Least Likely to Succeed. This condition has helped to motivate me and has allowed me to enjoy my unexpected success as a writer for 35 years."

He has never had writer's block, which Cannell says he thinks "is usually caused by the desire to be perfect. The idea that I would be perfect at anything was knocked out of me by third grade. I write to entertain myself."

On his approach to writing, Cannell tells us, "I always try to write something I have never written before. This is why I have created such diverse TV series, ranging from the cartoonish A-Team to dark, cerebral dramas like Wiseguy."

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    1. Hometown:
      Pasadena, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 5, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Oregon
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed for Midwest Book Review

    Chick Best, erstwhile dot.com millionaire, was at one time on top of the world, with a luxurious home in Hollywood, cabin in Big Bear, married to a beautiful woman, with a teenage daughter. But lately things have turned sour. Chick's business is going under, his wife is having an affair, and his teenage daughter's only interest is hanging out with a criminal biker and taking drugs. The family goes on vacation to Hawaii, where Chick encounters beautiful Paige Ellis and falls in love "at first sight." Chick is despaired to learn Paige is married to Chandler, a handsome, altruistic man from a wealthy family who uses his time and money to help learning disabled kids. Chick makes an effort to get to Paige through Chandler, but it's evident Paige is very much in love with her husband. Back home, Chick can't keep his mind off Paige. When an opportunity arises to go to New York, he flies there, rents a car, and drives to her home in North Carolina, where his life begins its slow, horrific spiral downward into madness and deception.

    Cannell's depiction of the shallow mindsets of the materialistic rich is revealed with humor, although at times, it seems sad and unfathomable that people actually think this way. Chick is a character readers will not like, but his inner thoughts and insights, while usually obnoxious are, nonetheless, entertaining. The story has its suspenseful moments and the reader will root for Paige, an intelligent woman who grieves the death of a man she was very much in love with while trying to deal with Chick, a middle-aged, portly man with no morals who is slowly going mad.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    A DIFFERENT STROKE FOR STEVE CANNELL

    Steve Cannell takes his readers down a completely different trail with AT FIRST SIGHT. Somehow, with his uncanny gift with words and characters, he has created a protagonist who is funny and likeable,yet, at the same time, morally bankrupt and unable to control his urges. We are simultaneously amused and held in gripping suspense as we watch the tragedy of Chick's wild plummet toward self destruction unfold. Lots of humor,action, and amusing, mostly dysfunctional characters, make this fast- paced novel a terrific read. You'll not want to put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Never got better

    I love his TV shows so kept hoping it would get better. The main character was self absorbed and obsesssed but so uninteresting. I was disappointed but will try his other series

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  • Posted September 18, 2012

    Not nearly as good as the Shane Scully series

    Disappointing read after having thoroughly enjoyed the Shane Scully series. Mr. Cannell adopted a completely different style (IMHO) for this book and I just can't get myself to care about Chick.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Nothing short of Amazing!

    Awesome writer, great and funny (at times) story. Charles "Chick" Best first spots his dream woman while vacationing in Hawaii. The problem? She's married. So's he. Drama and sometimes hilarity soon follow.
    I would also recommend: King Con and the Shane Scully series by the same author. You may also like the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.

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  • Posted May 8, 2009

    Disappointment

    When I first picked up the book I found it very borning and hard to keep my attention. I put it down and picked it up after a month only to find it still boring. I did finish the book; however, was disappointed in it. I love his other books so I find it hard not to give him credit for this one. As always, his writing is great but I would not recommend it. I am looking forward to another Shane Scully novel soon.

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  • Posted April 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fast-paced and Furuous

    Reading this story is like watching a train wreck about to happen - you know it can't end well but it's impossible to tear yourself away. Chick Best, L.A. entrepreneur with a tanking internet company, at first comes off as just a loser, until we realize he's a psychotic loser. Chick is willing to go to extreme lengths to obtain and possess a beautiful young woman he's set his sights on, including murder. Spouses in the way? No problem. Chick knows how to "take care of things". Cops on his tail? Chick is savvy about covering his tracks. Maybe. An entertaining book you may want to finish in one sitting - it's pretty hard to put it down.

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Novel of Obsession

    Stephen J. Cannell has provided me with much entertainment, both in his tv series, but primarily with his Shane Scully novels. As a result, I simply cannot write a bad review of his novel of obsession, At First Sight. I just won't do it. The Shane Scully novels are great and I recommend them to you. I hope he writes another one real soon and does not get distracted with something that just doesn't play to his talents.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Thought I Saw It Coming

    Very fast read. Plot seemed pretty predictable, until the end, when it turned out that I hadn't really figured it all out! Good book for a rainy day read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2008

    exciting thriller

    Fifty-five years old Chick Best has run an Internet business for the past dozen years however recently competition from the global chains threatens to bury him. The affluent Los Angelino is married to philandering Evelyn though she cheats on him he thanks God for that. He is concerned with his sixteen year old daughter Melissa who knows more drugs personally than any pharmaceutical company. Chick and his two indifferent towards him women go to Hawaii on vacation. When he sees newlywed Paige Ellis emerge from the Maui hotel swimming pool, Chick finds himself in love at first sight. He insures he meets the object of his adult rated fantasy and to his chagrin, her spouse Chandler though he is cleverly nice to the man in his way. Back in the Forty-eight states, Chick is on a business trip to New York, but instead of going home he heads to Charlotte where the Ellis couple lives. There he accidentally runs over Chandler several times to eliminate the only person in the way of happily ever after with his obsession. --- This is an exciting thriller with morbid dry humor as Chick allows his fixation for his love interest to get control of head as if his brain had one icon: Paige. The story line is told by the prime players, for the most part Chick. Although somewhat satirical, the reaction of Chandler¿s family including to a lesser degree his new wife seems too indifferent (especially when they learn how they died) even though that purposely contrasts their apathy to his killer¿s passion. Still Stephen J. Cannell provides readers with a fascinating ¿novel of obsession¿. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    I really enjoyed this mystery novel, At First Sight is funny and has some great twists and turns. I actually read this in one sitting, which I never usually do!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 20, 2009

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    Posted March 31, 2012

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    Posted July 18, 2009

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    Posted January 1, 2009

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    Posted April 11, 2009

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    Posted November 9, 2010

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    Posted May 8, 2009

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