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4.5 16
by James Siegel

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How far would you go for someone you love? Would you sacrifice your beliefs? Would you commit a federal crime? Would you risk everything you have? James Siegel's electrifying thriller, Derailed, captivated readers with its emotionally charged twists and turns, racing up national bestseller lists and landing a major motion picture deal. The Washington Post called it


How far would you go for someone you love? Would you sacrifice your beliefs? Would you commit a federal crime? Would you risk everything you have? James Siegel's electrifying thriller, Derailed, captivated readers with its emotionally charged twists and turns, racing up national bestseller lists and landing a major motion picture deal. The Washington Post called it "spectacularly inventive," and James Patterson raved, "James Siegel has arrived in high style." Now this acclaimed new master of suspense returns with the explosive story of a mother's love, a father's devotion-and an adopted daughter who turns their lives upside down. They want what every young couple wants: a child of their own. But Paul and Joanna Breidbart have been trying to conceive for five long years-a torturous process of failed medical procedures that nearly tore their marriage apart. When they finally decide to adopt, American agencies tell them they will have to wait years for their dream to come true. The couple agrees to fly to war-torn Colombia to adopt a baby girl. Paul knows all about risks. As an insurance executive, he routinely calculates the odds of dying in a plane crash or being hit by a bus. Yet all the accident statistics in the world can't prepare him for what is about to happen. Paul and Joanna receive the baby girl of their dreams and their world seems perfect. Then one afternoon they briefly leave their baby daughter alone with their new nanny. When they return, something is disturbingly different about their child...and suddenly everything Paul values is in jeopardy. Again, James Siegel gives us a tale of ordinary men and women thrust into extraordinary circumstances-and a novel that confirms him as one of today's most powerful writers of psychological suspense.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Siegel's acclaimed debut, 2001's Epitaph, was eclipsed by last year's electrifying thriller Derailed (to be a feature film starring Jennifer Aniston), which reached bestseller lists and marked Siegel as an author with serious chops. It's no surprise that Siegel's third novel offers yet another exhilarating ride, albeit not quite up to the bar set by Derailed. The premise is terrific. Paul and Joanna Breibard, childless Manhattan professionals, travel to Colombia to adopt a baby, but are kidnapped by left-wing militia who make an offer they can't refuse: Paul must swallow 36 condoms stuffed with cocaine and deliver the contraband to a contact in New Jersey within 18 hours; if he fails, Joanna and the baby will die. But in New Jersey, Paul finds a burned-out shell of a house at the contact's address. For help, he contacts Miles Goldstein, the Orthodox Jewish lawyer who arranged the adoption, and when a further delivery attempt ends in gunplay, Paul and Miles turn to Moshe Skolnick, a Russian mobster; later, a DEA agent steps in. Meanwhile, Joanna is held hostage in a country house whose walls are stained with blood. Siegel keeps tension at a steady high throughout, in part by employing short chapters and paragraphs la James Patterson. He makes great use of local color, not only of the easily exotic Colombian settings but also of the no less unusual Brooklyn Jewish and Russian enclaves where Paul finds himself. The novel features some smart twists, although a key one will be spotted by veteran thriller readers from the first page of its setup. Overall, this is first-rate entertainment, not quite as fresh as Derailed, but sure to brush bestseller lists as well as become a favorite airplane read both in hardcover and, eventually, mass market. Agent, Richard Pine. (Mar. 23) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Ready for a Detour with Siegal after being Derailed? The men who kidnapped Paul's infant daughter make a demand: transport lots of cocaine or say good-bye to his family. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A pair of American innocents ignore their friends' warnings about traveling to Colombia to pick up an adoptive baby. Complications ensue. Paul and Joanna Breidbart have it all except a family of their own. Their salaries-he's an actuary, she works in human relations-have given them a comfortable life in New York but no hope of conceiving a child. Unwilling to endure the long wait they'll have for a baby from Korea or eastern Europe, they jet to Bogota, the mountainous capital of a land torn by drug battles and civil strife. At first everything seems to go smoothly. Their driver, Pablo Loraizo, is an old hand who obviously knows what he's doing; Mar'a Consuelo, the coolly professional director of the Santa Regina Orfanato, duly approves their application for parenthood; and Joelle, the adorable little girl chosen for them, even comes with Galina, her own nurse, who's considerably better at parenting than the novice couple. And then Galina doesn't seem like such a paragon after all. She doesn't want to put Joelle down on her back the way the textbooks say you should, and she takes her out one day without telling Paul and Joanna. Her infractions are the first ominous sign that something's very wrong-something that won't stop till the happy couple have been kidnapped and separated, and Paul's on his way back home carrying a fortune in drugs in a most uncomfortable place. As in Derailed (2003), Siegel shows all the ingenuity of Hitchcock in leading his clueless heroes gently into nightmare, and if once more he's considerably less convincing when they start to fight their way out, exhausted readers will be grateful for every ounce of their spunk and unlikely skill. A thriller that explodes withthe energy of a high-velocity bullet, even if it does lose both power and accuracy toward the end of its amazing trajectory. Agent: Richard Pine/Inkwell Management. Film rights to Paramount, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce

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Grand Central Publishing
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Read an Excerpt


By James Siegel

Warner Books

Copyright © 2005 James Siegel
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-53185-5


It's an old saying. An adage. A reassuring word to the wise. Or actually, to the scared. It's meant to mollify, to calm, to show one the utter silliness of their thinking.

You say it when someone's frightened to do something.

To travel, for instance.

To ride the rails. Hop a plane. Charter a boat.

To scuba dive. Jet-ski. Rollerblade. Balloon.

They're frightened a terrible something will befall them, that they'll set out to experience an enjoyable afternoon, a day, a vacation, a life, but instead, they'll end up dead.

And what do you say to them?

There's more chance you'll get hit by a bus while crossing the street.

Because how often does that happen, huh?

He kept a secret file in his bottom drawer, buried beneath his myriad charts, pulled out and dusted off for special occasions, as a kind of reminder.

J. Boksi, thirty-eight, about to be engaged. He was walking out of the jewelers, admiring the sparkling oval-cut two-carat ring set in filigreed white gold.

S. Lewes, twenty-two, newly earned MBA in business administration from Bucknell University. She was coming from her first job interview and staring up at the grandest buildings she'd ever seen.

T. Noonan, seventy, doting grandfather. He was taking a walk with his four-year-old grandson and explaining why Batman could not beat Superman in a fair fight, never ever, not on your life.

E. Riskin, sixty.

C. Meismer, seventy-eight.

R. Vaz, thirty-three.

L. Parkins, eleven.

J. Barbagallo, thirty-five.

R. and S. Parks, eighteen-year-old twins.

They'd all been hit by a bus while crossing the street. Every single one of them.

They were all dead.

It reminded him that despite what you think, it can happen.

It can.

It can even happen to you.

The Insurance Actuary calculates the tipping point between risk and probability, thereby hoping to reduce the likelihood of undesirable events. -The Actuary Handbook

Chances are, your chances are, pretty good. -Johnny Mathis


Excerpted from Detour by James Siegel Copyright © 2005 by James Siegel. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Jayne1126 More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book by James Siegel that I've read (read the first one last week) and I am impressed with this writer! He takes normal people like you and I and puts them in abnormal situations that we hope we never have to deal with. It's suspenseful without being overly detailed with law enforcement details and is written entirely from the perspective of the main charactor. You feel his pain, you feel his agony over the situation he finds himself in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book as much as "Derailed." I didn't want to put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having just finshed and enjoyed Siegel's 'Derailed' - which I found considerably better than the film - and 'Deceit', I opened 'Detour' with eager anticipation. While the basic plot 'childless couple clutching desperately at the last chance of parenthood in an alien environment' is intriging, I found the novel lacked the structured, sustained intensity of his earlier two novels mentioned above. Although Siegel throws in a timely crisis here and there to keep the plot-pot boiling, this time it's with mixed success. In particular, the parenting sequences between the Breidbart couple and their new, adopted baby drag a little 'mothers of newborns might disagree here!', while the extended biographical digressions involving their Colombian nanny-turned-kidnapper, although enlightening as background information on the country's political turmoil, detract somewhat from the tension of the couple's own predicament. Siegel is a gifted storyteller and a welcome addition to the ranks of contemporary thriller-writers. His style and prose are taut, however, more critical editing might have prevented a couple of small derailments - smells, however strong and varied, are not cacophanous 'p. 18' and the adverb, 'equivocably' 'p.199' doesn't exist -and tightened up the storyline. In summary, I found 'Detour' to be a fascinating read, yet rather a let-down by comparison with 'Derailed' and 'Deceit', both real page-turners.
DiamondTN More than 1 year ago
Whenever I decide to read a novel written by James Siegel, I know that every page, from beginning to end, will be captivating and impossible to put down. The only reason this particular novel took a little while longer for me is because I tried my best to keep it from coming to an end. I usually finish a Siegel novel in two sitting. There were some very gruesome moments in Detour and some lighthearted moments involving Joanna and Jollele. I also admire the lengths this father would go to protect his family. A must read for anyone looking for a fast and enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great writing, relatable characters, fast-paced plot. The ending was a bit too perfectly wrapped up, but other than that, believable.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you just can't get into a book and then when you revisit it, you can't put the book down. I read 70 pages and it just wasn't grabbing my attention the way Derailed did. I put the book aside and just picked it up again today. I also finished it today. Detour will keep you guessing it is not predictable or hackneyed. The prose is tight, sparse and easy to read. Give James Siegel a try.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definetly a thriller that keeps you going the whole time. I never wanted to put it down and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. This book was about many disturbing events happening to one man and his wife and it was kind of stressful for me to read so I do not suggest this if you do not like reading fast-paced books containing many stressful situations. The author is excellent at making you empathize with the characters and making you forget that you are reading fiction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As with his other book Derailed I read this book in 24 hours. Non stop thriller with plenty of twist and turns. A great book and a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love finding a great book! Detour was fantastically fun and intriguing. I read it in one day and now can't wait for another by him. He is right up there with Harlan. Thank goodness.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The question resonating throughout the latest spine-tingler from James Siegel is 'Just how far would you go, what would you risk to save the person you love?' Stage, film and television actor Holter Graham gives an accomplished reading to this story of a man caught in a life or death struggle. Paul and Joanna Breidbart are a devoted married couple. Their lives are happy and complete save for the absence of a child. The waiting list to adopt a child in America is lengthy, so they decide to fly to Colombia to adopt a baby there. Their happiness is all too brief as Joanna and the baby are kidnaped; they're in the hands of drug dealers who will stop at nothing to achieve their ends. Paul is told that in order to secure the release of his wife and baby he must smuggle cocaine worth millions into the U.S. and turn it over to a mysterious person in New Jersey within one day. If he does not do this, Joanna and the baby will both die. But, when Paul arrives at the meeting site in New Jersey the house has been destroyed. What will he do and where will he turn in order to save his wife and child? Siegel, the author of Derailed which Miramax has optioned for a major motion picture, delivers his story a bit like gunfire, in staccato bursts. And, it's frightening. If a fast-paced thriller laced with memorable characters is your pleasure, Detour is for you. - Gail Cooke