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At First Sight

At First Sight

3.6 17
by Stephen J. Cannell

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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


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.

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)

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Product Details

Vanguard Press
Publication date:
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
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File size:
527 KB

Meet the Author

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.


Brief Biography

Pasadena, California
Date of Birth:
February 5, 1941
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
B.S., University of Oregon

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At First Sight 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
christytilleryfrench More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
BirdieOn8 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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raspa More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
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.
KindKat More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
KenCady More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!