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New York Daily News Pick: “Summer’s Top New Thriller Novels.”
Publishers Weekly Editors Pick: “The Best New Books for Week of June 25th, 2012″
“Stellar. . . . Heartbroken should be on everyone’s summer to-read list. For best results, read it alone on an island on a dark and stormy night.”
—USA Today (4 stars)
“Heartbroken has all the makings of a high-wire thriller. But it’s the twisted psyches of its main characters that really unsettle. . . . Unger expertly shows how quiet betrayals can rupture a life as deeply as an act of violence.”
—People (3 ½ stars)
“A can’t-put-down thriller interlaced with insightful family drama and echoes of Wuthering Heights.”
“Lisa Unger is one of the few women to first break into the genre of thrillers, then to dominate it.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Lisa Unger masterfully writes of the joys and frustrations of family life in her latest novel. . . . What makes [it] shine is the struggle of multidimensional characters with issues that all of us face but sometimes don’t want to acknowledge.”
“Suspenseful. . . . An intense psychological thriller that explores a family with complex relationships, destructive secrets and uneasy legacies. . . . [Unger] keeps the tension high as she delves deep into each woman’s psyche, showing how the smallest decision can have far-reaching consequences.”
—South Florida Sun Sentinel
“[An] insidious psychological thriller. Set, quite appropriately, on a claustrophobic island.” —Chicago Tribune
“A superb stylist. . . . [Unger] probes the psychological dimensions of her characters with tremendous empathy and acumen. . . . Readers will be haunted for a long time by this profound and heart-pounding thriller.”
“[Lisa Unger is] a genuinely formidable voice in the world of dark thrillers, taking a back seat to no one. When [she] hits the ground, she does so at a full out sprint and leaves the reader breathless trying to keep up.”
“Just in time to chill readers to the bone on some steamy summer night… Unger creates complex, believable family relationships, especially those between mothers and daughters, and uses those familiar scenes to anchor and contrast the creeping dread of her plot.”
—Tampa Bay Times
“This page-turner is multi-layered and intriguing, as master storyteller Lisa Unger weaves a compelling plotline.”
“Unger delivers compelling, fully drawn characters while at the same time putting the thrill in thriller. A first-class page-turner.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“[A] tense psychological thriller. . . . Unger skillfully builds the fissures of each of [her characters’] lives as she illustrates the power of the heart and the corrosive nature of lies.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Will captivate fans of mystery and psychological suspense. This is one of Unger’s best novels yet.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“A triumvirate of strong women pitted against a shared past and dangerous future. . . . Unger knows how to write a taut thriller.”
Posted July 1, 2012
Posted July 10, 2012
Three women. Three lives. All come together on an island where things will never be the same. Everything comes back to the choices one makes and in this emotional and suspenseful tale those choices leads to a trek both past and present with repercussions that will be long lasting. The frenzy pace of this drama quickly became a page. There were some tense moments that had my heart pounding as the story moved towards an adrenaline-charged conclusion. With a well-developed plot, a dynamic cast of characters, from the matriarch Birdie to the mysterious man, and a mesmerizing setting, this was an excellent read and I look forward to the next book by this talented author.
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 12, 2012
Posted June 28, 2012
Posted July 10, 2012
Could not put it down. The charters are engrossing...very entertaining novel. Looking forward to reading more of this author soon.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 11, 2012
The outcome of this story was nothing in comparsion to what I had expected. The author spent a lot of time building the characters which robbed this book of an interesting climax. I was hoping for more mystery and suspense. There were some slow areas within the plot; however, it eventually took off when the climax begun, which was near the end of this book. Wouud not recommend this book to someone who is trying Ms. Unger's books for the first time. Try Blackout. It was far more interesting than this novel.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 14, 2012
Posted June 6, 2014
I am a Lisa Unger fan, so of course I loved the book. Perfect escape for me. I do think you can enjoy her books more if you read them in order. I couldn't find anything written that it is a sequel but the stories overlap, character show up again in other books.
I read books fast, once Im on the the next I get titles mixed up with the stories and lose some of the details and names. I wish I would have realized in advance to jot down names and connection between people and some of the details of the Hollows. Because several stories take place there. my best guess on order is Fragile, Darkness my old friend and heatbroken.
I think the only one I have left is sliver of truth. It looks like that may go with a set that I read a long time ago and may not remember much from.
Posted February 3, 2014
Posted February 3, 2014
Posted October 16, 2013
I mistook the name of this story for another one I was looking for, but it held my interest anyway. Good look into the various character's psychologies, and a nice mystery to solve.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2013
Posted August 31, 2013
Im soo sry it is just u difnt talk to me for a day and i thought u were cheaten on me im very sry like really.......bye;(
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2013
Posted August 6, 2013
Posted July 27, 2013
I am two-thirds into this book and I still have yet to grasp the "thriller" part of it. The seemingly major protagonist, Emily is dumb, dumb, dumb; but she has to be that stupid for the story to proceed. And, yet, as an adult, Emily can find an island that she last visited when she was a very young child and has not been back since, nor has she discussed it with her mother, who took her there. Where was the editor when this book was published? Emily's telling Dean about the island is out of sequence with Dean telling Brad. DUH! I have put the book down in favor of other more interesting authors.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 20, 2013
Elderly matriarch Birdie Burke came from old money. She grew up going every summer to vacation on an island, in the middle of an Adirondack lake, nicknamed Heart Island after her family’s last name. Birdie’s siblings grew up resentful and wary of one another and when their parents died, after a bitter battle for the inheritance, Birdie kept Heart Island, which was the place she loved most in the world.
Birdie was an angry woman. Not only she was jealous of her parents’ affections for her siblings, but she also overpowered her husband and children in hurtful ways. Her tongue was like a sword. No wonder for the latest summer vacation her son Theodore didn’t want to visit the island. Kate, on the other hand, never said no to her mother’s request so she was always her victim, until now.
Kate has been planning a family trip to Heart Island, as every summer. Because of work, her husband Sean can’t travel with Kate, her daughter Chelsea, and Lulu—Chelsea’s friend—to upstate NY. Sean stays behind at home with their son Brendan, who has had a foot injury.
At the same time in New Jersey, the life of Emily, a waitress at a local diner called the Blue Hen, has collapsed due to her relationship with good-for-nothing Dean, a man with a rap sheet as a juvenile who hasn’t been able to keep a straight path since he lost his last job. Upon the visit to Dean of a criminal friend, they conceive a plan to rob the Blue Hen and bring Emily as an accomplice, only the robbery goes horribly wrong and now they’re running from justice.
Unbeknown to Kate, Birdie and the girls, these two criminals and Emily intrude on Heart Island and knock on the front door during a stormy night. Their lives will collide in unimaginable ways and only the strong will prevail.
I really liked Heartbroken by Lisa Unger. It is a fast read and completely absorbing. In fact I read the first hundred pages on the first day I started reading; it is that captivating.
I think this story would make a very creepy suspenseful movie because there are Hollywood-esque elements very prominently featured such as a stormy night in the middle of nowhere, a group of females cutoff from civilization, a robbery gone wrong, restless ghosts and deeply buried secrets from a generation ago.
As I said there are strong, good Hollywood-esque themes present in the plot, but there are corny ones as well, such as people popping up at “convenient” times in the story (e.g. a former FBI agent driving home in the night through a road in the middle of nowhere who gets carjacked and people who leave the boat keys in their boats), again, how “convenient”.
The characters and their dynamics in the story are very strong, very well outlined, particularly Birdie, the relationship between teen girls Chelsea and Lulu, and Heart Island, which I believe is another character in the story.
I liked the subplot involving a ghost but I don’t think that took a satisfactory turn in the end. I think that ghosts appear to finish a cycle and move on, not to linger aimlessly.
In summary, Heartbroken by Lisa Unger is a very suspenseful read with very successful plot twists. I strongly recommend it.
Posted May 3, 2013
Posted April 29, 2013
Posted January 9, 2013