Helpless

( 28 )

Overview

From the acclaimed author of Delirious comes a fast-paced, electrifying, and timely thriller where the greatest threats lie beneath a small town's peaceful veneer. . .

Tom Hawkins is an ex-Navy Seal turned high-school soccer coach, struggling to forge a good relationship with his teenage daughter, Jill. It's no easy task given the poisonous influence of his ex-wife, Kelly. It gets even tougher when Kelly is found dead in suspicious circumstances.

"If Palmer's second thriller ...

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Helpless

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Overview

From the acclaimed author of Delirious comes a fast-paced, electrifying, and timely thriller where the greatest threats lie beneath a small town's peaceful veneer. . .

Tom Hawkins is an ex-Navy Seal turned high-school soccer coach, struggling to forge a good relationship with his teenage daughter, Jill. It's no easy task given the poisonous influence of his ex-wife, Kelly. It gets even tougher when Kelly is found dead in suspicious circumstances.

"If Palmer's second thriller doesn't generate tingling spinal columns, then nothing will." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Moving back to Shilo, New Hampshire, to raise Jill, Tom ignores the whispers about his possible involvement in Kelly's death. Then an anonymous blog post accuses him of having an affair with one of his young players. As the allegations escalate to shocking proportions, implicating him in a sexting ring, Tom realizes he's being targeted by insidious, elusive enemies. Now the only way to protect his daughter is to reckon with the secrets in his past and unravel a web of greed, betrayal, and desperation that stretches far wider than he could have ever imagined. . .

"Palmer scores again with a terrific thriller that has it all." —Library Journal (starred review)

"A compelling and deeply puzzling thriller." --The Associated Press

"Warning: once you start reading this novel, you will not stop!" --Lisa Gardner

"Slam-dunk readable." --Andrew Gross

"A high speed thriller." --Lisa Scottoline

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
If Palmer’s second thriller, after 2011’s Delirious, doesn’t generate tingling spinal columns, then nothing will. From the moment 15-year-old Lindsey Wells texts a nude photo of herself to a boy she hopes will take her to the prom, all holy hell breaks loose. The photo becomes a metaphorical chicken whose Internet spawn come home to roost not just in Lindsey’s backyard but in the backyards of her soccer coach, divorced dad Tom Hawkins; Hawkins’s daughter and her best friend, Jill; and even strangers from her hometown of fictional Shilo, N.H., all the way to Boston and beyond. While Lindsey and a few other girls are the catalyst, it’s the life of coach Hawkins—a man with a past—that’s thrown into turmoil when that past re-emerges with a vengeance. Superbly crafted characters and catchy prose will keep readers turning the pages, though some parents may feel like reaching for the Prozac. Agent: Meg Ruley. (Feb.)
Booklist

A gripping thriller.

The Associated Press

A compelling and deeply puzzling thriller. . .Palmer has a gift with realistic characters and a writing style that guarantees a sleepless night.

RT Book Reviews

A well-written, well-plotted thriller. Don't miss this one!

Library Journal
Former Navy SEAL Tom Hawkins has moved back to New Hampshire to raise his teenage daughter after his ex-wife dies under mysterious circumstances. His spotless reputation as high school guidance counselor and girls' soccer coach begins to unravel when he is accused of sleeping with one of his players. And Tom is forced to confront a decades-old secret that may endanger not only him but his daughter as well. Palmer's sophomore effort, following Delirious, is every bit as gripping as the first, maybe more so. His background as an e-commerce pioneer is evident in his skillful incorporation of technology into an already enthralling plot. He is so successful that readers hardly realize they're being educated about one of the dangers of a commonly used technology—in this case, sexting among teenagers. VERDICT Palmer scores again with a terrific thriller that has it all—murder, drugs, kidnapping, techno-mayhem, romance, manly ex-Navy SEAL exploits, and a burgeoning father-daughter relationship. This reviewer enjoyed it so much she is going to suggest her husband read it next—its wide appeal is another plus!—Julie Pierce, Fort Meyers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL
Kirkus Reviews
Following his ex-wife's murder, things go from terrible to worse for New Hampshire high-school soccer coach Tom Hawkins, who is falsely implicated in a child-pornography ring, accused of sleeping with his 16-year-old daughter Jill's best friend and targeted by an old military pal who was involved in smuggling heroin from Germany with the dead wife. The book opens with Lindsey, Jill's friend, bowing to her boyfriend's pressure to sext him nude shots on her cell phone. The photos end up on a child-porn website that computer shenanigans link to Tom, whose daughter was already mad enough at him thanks to all the terrible things her mother told her about him. Now his careful campaign to win her back seems doomed, as are his efforts to convince the school that the kids are safe with him. Tom was a Navy SEAL stationed in Germany when his Army-enlisted future wife, a former high-school girlfriend, hid millions worth of drugs in his baggage for the trip home. Now their long-unheard-from third wheel overseas appears on the scene to skulk in the shadows, threaten Tom and whack him around. That sort of thing has been happening to Coach a lot lately, what with his old high school nemesis being the cop assigned to the case and other town folk wanting bad things to happen to this good person. Good thing he knows how to break out of a meat refrigerator. Palmer's thriller is nothing if not topical, and it's got enough plot for two novels. But the plot turns stretch for believability. Tom is too bland to attract the interest of an attractive FBI agent. And the novel is longer than it needs to be. The teenagers are sympathetic and believable, leading one to think that the book might have been better had they played a bigger role.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786022687
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 142,959
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Palmer
Daniel Palmer spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer, helping to build first generation websites for Barnes & Noble and other popular brands. An experienced musician and songwriter, Daniel has recorded two CDs and licensed his songs for commercial use. A graduate of Boston University, Daniel lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.
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Read an Excerpt

HELPLESS


By DANIEL PALMER

KENSINGTON BOOKS

Copyright © 2012 Daniel Palmer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-4665-3


Chapter One

Shilo, New Hampshire, sometime in March

Love can make you do surprising things. Lindsey Wells flashed on that thought as she unbuttoned her black sweater. Her racing heart knew she was crossing a line she'd never crossed before. The hairs of her arms stood on end, as though they, too, were anxious about this unfamiliar but exciting experience. Keep going, Lindsey urged herself. She smiled and released yet another button from its hole. There wasn't any little voice inside her head screaming "No" or "Don't." So Lindsey continued—undeterred, unashamed, and never in her fifteen years feeling more turned on.

Lindsey, known for her cheerfulness, enviable GPA, and deft tackling skills on the soccer field, tilted her head to the right, pinning her cell phone between her shoulder blade and ear. Through the phone's compact receiver, Lindsey listened to Tanner Farnsworth's hard breathing. Her body tingled with these strange feelings. She knew what she was doing was a little bit crazy. On occasion, her mind would flash a warning that something wasn't right with this. Even so, she ignored those nagging worries because that was part of the fun. It was what made her feel so exhilarated.

"Tell me what you're doing now," Tanner whispered in her ear.

His voice. God, his voice alone was amazing. Deep timbred, not quite yet a man's, but not too far off, either. His voice resonated with confidence, and he made her feel desirable, beautiful even. The last time Lindsey had felt this beautiful, she was a nine-year-old girl, competing in local beauty pageants. Those events ended quickly as her body changed and her mother lost interest in shuttling her daughter from one losing effort to another. Soccer was what gave Lindsey confidence in her physical abilities, but it was Tanner who made her feel confident about her looks.

Lindsey unhinged the front clasp of her bra, brushing her fingers against the heart pendant of a gold necklace (or gold-plated, as Jill Hawkins joked) that Tanner had given her. That necklace made her somebody's girlfriend for the very first time. Not just somebody, though, Lindsey thought—Tanner Farnsworth, whose Taylor Lautner good looks, amazing body, and really sweet nature inspired jealous fits from her friends and teammates.

Normally, footballers and soccer players didn't mix at Shilo High School. Soccer players were accurately typecast as the studious ones. Football jocks ate their meals in C house like rowdy animals, while soccer players enjoyed a cerebral lunch in the F house cafeteria. Soccer players didn't take drugs, and most didn't even drink. Sandy Wellford, who'd had her stomach pumped clean of Jägermeister before getting booted off the team, inspired most players to abstain. The going rumor (which really wasn't a rumor, because Tanner told her it was true) had half the football team shooting steroids or popping some sort of speed. But not Tanner. Her boyfriend (God, her boyfriend!) didn't do any of that stuff.

Lindsey's body pulsed with energy. She felt ready to explode from the most scandalous act of her young life. Talking on the phone. Getting undressed. Sharing the details with him. It felt so wrong. It felt sexy. She felt powerful.

"Okay, my sweater is off," Lindsey cooed.

"Oh, you're killing me, Lin. Just killin' me."

She loved it when he called her Lin. It was just so sweet, the way he said it.

"Well, you asked for it."

"Yeah, but I didn't think you'd actually do it. I wanna see."

"What? Come over?" Lindsey cringed, fearing she sounded more panicked than she'd intended. Of course she wanted to see Tanner. She wanted to see him more than anything. But Lindsey was still a virgin, and Tanner wasn't. It had been a source of tension between the two early on, until Tanner assured her it was no big deal. He agreed to a compromise. Kissing. Touching. All fine. Now, add dirty talk to the mix. But the deed? No, it wasn't time for that yet. Maybe after the prom. Prom was only a few weeks away. If he could hold on until prom, then just maybe ...

"Look, Lin, I think I should go."

No! she wanted to scream. Don't hang up. Not yet. Her mind raced with all sorts of imagined reasons for his ending the call with such abruptness. "He's going to dump me" topped her growing list of fears. She felt the pain of her heartbreak as though it had actually happened, and bit her lower lip to keep from saying too much.

"Why do you have to go?" Lindsey asked. Her voice had the force of a whisper.

"I don't know. I'm kind of bored, and you're just getting me frustrated."

Another wave of panic swept through her. Oh no, he said the "B" word. "I don't want you to hang up." Lindsey put her sweater back on but left the front open.

"Well, I thought this would be fun, but it's sort of lame. I mean, I can't see you. What's the point?"

Lindsey again pinned the cell phone between her shoulder and ear as she tied her straight brown hair back into its usual ponytail. The heat of the moment had vanished, and she regretted what she'd already done.

"Why do you have to see?"

"Because you're too sexy, that's why."

"My mom might come home."

That was a lie. Lindsey's mother had gone down the street to Ali's house, probably commiserating, again with too much wine, about their recent divorces. Mother would be home sometime after midnight, and snoring in her lonely drunken stupor a few minutes after that. And her dad had moved too far away to drop by unexpectedly.

"Like I said, it's no biggie. But I gotta run."

"I don't want you to go." You're going to break up with me. I know you are. Lindsey thought that but didn't voice it.

"Well, show me something to keep me sticking round."

"What do you mean?"

"You got a new phone for your birthday. I got one, too. Take a picture and send it to me. Like I said, I wanna see."

Lindsey's face reddened. She didn't debate him, though. Instead, while sitting centered on the green peace sign embroidered into her duvet, with her legs dangling over the side of her twin bed, Lindsey arched her back and took a picture of herself. Her bra was unhinged, though her sweater concealed her breasts. Still, she let the sweater hang open seductively. The top of her head got cut off in the picture, but at least she managed a smile. He's going to think I'm ugly. He'll dump me before prom for sure now. Even so, she text messaged him the picture.

Seconds were all it took for Tanner to get her digital snapshot, open it, and respond.

"You're amazing. I can't believe how hot you look, Lin. Forget Megan Fox. You've got the bod. I want more. I think I'm falling in love."

For Tanner to offer up a comparison to Megan Fox, the latest Hollywood "it" girl, gave Lindsey a fresh jolt of confidence. Not to mention, he said the "L" word (way better than the "B" word), and she could tell he meant it.

"You liked it?" Her voice still lacked certainty.

"More."

Lindsey knew what "more" really meant. There's no way he'll break up with me now, she thought. Not when he sees this. The sweater came off. One carefully placed arm across her chest to conceal her breasts.

Sent.

Received.

"Nice. How about more?"

"I don't think so, Tanner."

"No worries. Look, I'll call you tomorrow, if I can."

If! He said "if."

"Hold on," Lindsey said.

She kept her arm on the bed in the next picture. Nothing left to the imagination this time, she thought after sending it.

"Nice," Tanner said.

Lindsey frowned. He sounded less enthused. My chest is too flat, she lamented. She knew that her best features were her legs, long and toned, and her butt. She slipped out of her jeans. Next, off came her underwear. She wanted there to be no doubt. Lindsey stood in front of her full-length mirror. She turned her body sideways so Tanner would be able to see enough, but not everything.

Click.

Sent.

"Wow! Wow. I mean, whoa. You're so freakin' hot. Dammit, Lin. That's what I'm talking about. I'm totally in love with you. Do you know that? I'm the luckiest guy. Give me more!"

"Tanner, I'm not sure—"

"Prom's coming up," Tanner said.

She understood perfectly well his implied threat. It could be next week, or even prom day, that Tanner would suddenly decide not to go. But she wasn't going to let that happen. Lindsey went back over to her bed, lay down on it, and closed her eyes. With one hand she caressed her body; with the other she held the camera so that Tanner would see everything going on. Everything. Her breathing grew shallower. Her heart beat faster. She fantasized about kissing Tanner in the back of the limo. Pressing her body against his. She touched herself as she thought of him.

She sent him more pictures but deleted the ones she didn't like.

"This is for you, Tanner. Just you."

"No doubt. Can I tell you something?"

"Yes."

Lindsey slid under the duvet, hiding her nakedness from herself.

"This has been the most amazing night of my life."

"Really?"

"Really."

"Those pictures. Promise me you'll never show them to anybody. I'd die if you did. Promise me, Tanner."

"I promise, Lin. I promise."

Chapter Two

Shilo, New Hampshire, late August

"I've got ball!"

Jill Hawkins closed in to apply pressure on her opponent. It didn't matter that Jill played striker for the Shilo Wildcats girls' varsity soccer team. Being the player closest to the ball goal side made Jill her team's first defender. Jill's teammates, each of whom wore the same colored orange mesh practice jersey, sprinted into position to get compact behind the ball. The girls moved as a team and kept their opponent from pressing the ball forward.

Jill covered her gap at precisely the right time, and Lindsey Wells couldn't play the angled ball she had wanted. Lindsey faked left, but Jill wasn't fooled. Jill made a perfectly timed tackle and was dribbling the ball downfield before Lindsey even knew what had happened.

"That's how you attack the ball!" Jill's father, the girls' varsity soccer coach for the past ten years, shouted as he followed his daughter's progress down the sidelines. "Well played, Jill! Well played!"

Jill Hawkins lifted her head and flashed her father a bright smile. Tom stopped running and choked back his emotions. An outsider wouldn't have noticed anything unusual in the exchange between father and daughter. But Tom knew not to read too much into Jill's beaming face. Despite the warmth of her expression, he suspected their frigid relationship was no closer to thawing.

Battles.

Tom Hawkins understood from personal experience that soccer was a game of battles. He had been an all-American soccer player for the Shilo Wildcats boys' varsity soccer team. He also understood that soccer was a lot like life. Both were just a series of battles, each constrained by a time limit—a whistle to end one, and death the other.

At forty-three, despite a full head of dark hair, blue eyes that still reminded people of a husky, the same waist size from high school, and a muscular physique visible even through his Windbreaker, Tom Hawkins had essentially arrived at the halftime of his life. He had spent the last ten years teaching the girls to battle until the final whistle blew. He would do the same. It was why Tom had fought so hard to win back his daughter.

Tom blew his coach's whistle to signal it was time to practice set pieces. In soccer, corner kicks often decided who got the championship trophy. Coaches picked the drills, but it was the captains who ran them. Team captains Chloe Adamson and Megan McAndrews got the girls into action.

"Hey, orange, ball does not get past us!" Hawkins demanded of the girls with the pinnies on.

"Up, out, and far!" somebody yelled.

The girl's kick came at Tom low to the ground and did not travel nearly far enough.

"Nice try, Becky!" Lindsey Wells exclaimed.

"No, Lindsey," Tom scolded her. "It's not a nice try! That stunk, and you know it."

Tom's expression darkened. The girls nearest to him looked at the ground and kicked at the dirt with the toes of their cleats. They understood perfectly well why their coach had snapped at Lindsey the way he did. They had been taught to pound their teammates on the pitch. Outwork every player on the field. There were rules against Bobby Talk (talking about boys). Phrases like "Nice try" and "I'm sorry" were treated with the same disdain as curse words.

Tom had coached both boys and girls at the high school level, so he knew the inherent difference in their style of play. His first priority as coach for the Shilo girls' squad was not to accept those differences, but to change them. He began his coaching tenure by asking the girls as a group, "Why are you here?" Not a single player volunteered an answer. Tom prodded until at last one shaky hand rose and a girl meekly replied, "Because I have good foot skills." Just as Tom had expected, the other girls soon chimed in and offered supporting evidence of their teammate's brave claim.

"No, you have great foot skills!" one said, before then offering several examples.

Boys got their confidence from bravado. Girls seemed to get it from their teammates. Good, because it showed a respect for the team. Bad, because they tended to be less selfish players. They'd look to pass before they'd look to shoot.

"Play like you're six years old again," Tom often instructed. "Remember? My ball! Mine!"

Transforming his players into instinctive, selfish, smart winners depended on his ability to enhance their individual resourcefulness, while teaching them how to work effectively as a team. He applied many of the techniques he'd learned from his time with the Naval Special Warfare Command. Tom often quoted one of his favorite SOCOM mottos: "Alone I am lethal. As a team I dominate."

Tom might have gone on to become a collegiate all-American soccer player if not for the career day event organized by the faculty of Shilo High School. At that event, a young Tom Hawkins had stopped by a metal folding table manned by a navy recruiter. A small television set on that table played a looped video depicting the physical demands and mental fortitude required to become a Navy SEAL. Two minutes into the three-minute production, Tom was hooked.

The recruiter never gave Tom the hard sell. He'd caught the excitement exploding like fireworks in Tom's eyes. Tom enlisted in the navy the day after he had his diploma in hand. College could wait, he explained to his somewhat surprised parents, but the youthful endurance and strength required to become a Navy SEAL could not.

Tom wasn't the only Shilo youth to forgo college for military service. Roland Boyd, Tom's childhood best friend and fellow soccer teammate, followed Tom's lead and enlisted on the very same day. While Tom had surprised his parents by deciding to serve his country, Boyd had enlisted to spite his father's wishes. But motivation didn't matter for shit once you signed on the dotted line. Tom was dead set on the navy, and Roland, who was somewhat prone to seasickness, decided to enlist in the army, same as their other military-bound classmate, Kelly Kavanagh.

Kelly and Tom had dated for most of their senior year in high school. Tom's decision to enlist might have influenced Kelly's choice as well, but not because she wanted to keep their relationship going. Unlike Roland, Kelly didn't come from money and claimed she needed the promised college financial assistance when she got out. Tom hadn't spoken with Kelly since graduation and assumed she'd followed her "go to college" plans. He certainly hadn't expected to see Kelly again when he arrived at a military base in Germany for training exercises with his SEAL platoon. He had no idea she'd re-upped for another six years with the army. It was a chance encounter for the two former sweethearts that altered both their lives profoundly and forever.

Their reunion in Germany might have been the first time Tom had laid eyes on Kelly since graduation, but his attraction to her had never waned. Less than a year after rekindling their romance, Kelly got her requested discharge, gave birth to a daughter, married the baby girl's father, and changed her last name to Hawkins.

The marriage lasted only six years.

The divorce turned uglier than any battle Tom ever fought with a gun.

Unable to get what she had wanted from Tom, Kelly took every opportunity to poison the father-daughter relationship and drive a permanent wedge between them. Kelly believed Tom would eventually cave in to her demands—even if it took years to accomplish her goal. From the age of six on, much of what Jill learned about her father were the lies her mother told.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from HELPLESS by DANIEL PALMER Copyright © 2012 by Daniel Palmer. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON BOOKS. 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2012

    Super Thriller

    Given how much I enjoyed Daniel Palmer’s debut, DELIRIOUS, last year, I was looking forward to reading HELPLESS. That said, I wasn’t sure I’d love it because I’m not a fan of infallible heroes, and I was afraid lead character Tom Hawkins, a former Navy SEAL, would be just that. Frankly, I also wasn’t sure a guy author would be able to capture the motivation and voice of Tom’s teenage daughter, Jill and her friends, around whom the story turns. I need not have been concerned. HELPLESS will appeal to different readers for different reasons. For parents, it’s a cautionary tale about the aspects of what kids can get up as they tap away on tiny keyboards, and the devastating implications their communication can have. For those amongst us who eschew the online universe, it’s testament to the importance of paying attention to what people are saying about you online. For those interested in what the FBI really does on a daily basis, it’s a fascinating look into their Innocent Images National Initiative. And for those who just love crime fiction and throat-grabbing thrillers, it’s the whole package. HELPLESS is far from a simple story, but it is in no way difficult to follow. It follows what happens to Tom when his bland suburban existence is fractured by his ex-wife’s murder, which brings secrets from his military past back to the fore as he endures an online attack that graphically accuses him of horrible crimes against the kids whose soccer team he coaches. As in DELIRIOUS, it’s unclear until the very end who the bad guys are here. The know-it-all teens? The old friend from his SEAL days? The mysterious stranger? The town cop? All of the above? One of the things that made Tom most believable for me was that when his reputation is attacked, he is truly and genuinely shocked. His distress comes in part because he can’t believe someone would say such things about him, but it’s also because he is confronted with the reality that when this happens, there’s not a whole heck of a lot he can do. It’s not like the old days, when someone posted a nasty flyer on the school bulletin board and all one had to do was take it down. Before reading HELPLESS I also had no idea that the FBI’s Innocent Images Initiative even existed, never mind what it does. It’s very real—I’ve been lucky enough to work with Daniel and have had the opportunity to speak with folks at the FBI—and their work is accurately described in the story, but more importantly to readers, the subplot Palmer creates around this aspect of the story adds layers to HELPLESS that make it immeasurably richer. Palmer also captures both the trepidation and bravado of kids today. We all remember worrying that someone won’t like us. The world might have changed, but that has not. But today, bullying has so many more forms than it did way back when. I also found Tom’s relationship with Jill fascinating. For much of the story, Tom seems afraid of his daughter, constantly asking her rather than telling her. Very different from my relationship way back when with my single dad. HELPLESS has already gotten a bunch of rave reviews, and each is well deserved. This is a page-turner, to be sure, a story that races along and leaves you breathless.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2012

    This one starts out slow and confusing. The main character Tom

    This one starts out slow and confusing. The main character Tom is seriously flawed, I mean he is a trained Navy Seal but sets himself up time and time again almost getting killed several of those times and in real life he would have, no one truly takes the time to explain in detail the entire plot of sabotage right before killing you, although many stories use this "trick" But all that being said, I devoured this. Once it picked up about half way through there was no putting it down. I guess that is why they call it fiction!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2012

    Read This - You Won't Regret It!

    Daniel Palmer is the son of renowned author, Michael Palmer but that's not why you should read this book.

    Tom Hawkins is a former Navy SEAL who is now a high school teacher and girls soccer coach in Shilo, New Hampshire. Tom left Shilo nine years previously. He returned to the small New England community after the murder of his former wife, Kelly, to raise his daughter, Jill. Tom figures he can stay close to Jill and overcome Jill's bitterness to him by taking advantage of his role as soccer coach of her high school team. This are slowly returning to "normal" - but the return quickly comes to a halt when Tom is visited by one of Shilo's detectives who informs Tom that he is the chief suspect in the death of his ex-wife Kelly. Add to this mysterious allegations that Tom is having an illicit relationship with one of his players and the Town of Shilo is in an uproar. Tom tries desperately to hold on to his relationship with his daughter at the same time as he tries to clear his own name and understand the mess created by his ex-wife's own crimes and secrets. This was a great book - the second of Palmer's that I've read. Don't miss "Delirious," his other novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    What makes a good book for me? I think most of all it is really

    What makes a good book for me? I think most of all it is really three things; characters, continuity and plot.

    I want likeable characters. I need to be able to connect with them and see them as real people. The book must also have solid continuity. I don’t like to be reading a book and have to stop and think - no wait, they were not there or nope that never happened. Then lastly a great book needs a smooth intriguing plot. No matter how real or farfetched; I need to believe in it, feel it and breathe it. Helpless had all this and more!

    This book kept me up late and I mean really late. I kept telling myself one more chapter, but the way Mr. Palmer wrote his novel, I couldn’t find a great stopping point. At 6am, yes you read that right, I simply had to say ENOUGH! I was absolutely engaged from the beginning of the book to the very end.

    One would think that Tom had an ideal start to his adult life. He worked hard and became a Navy SEAL, reconnected with his high school sweetheart and now has a baby on the way. Unfortunately, that was the beginning of the end for him. From that moment forward, Tom’s life would never be ideal again. After their divorce, his ex-wife Kelly took every opportunity to turn his baby girl against him. Now that she is dead, he needs to work especially hard to earn his daughters trust and love. All they have is each other, but when they should be grieve the loss of Kelly’s life; they are thrust into a conspiracy of lies and betrayal. Can they repair their already shaky relationship?

    Tom is an innocent man whose life has been ruined by falsehoods. He has no idea why these awful things are happening to him, but he will do anything to prove his innocence and protect his daughter. Helpless has a scary realism to it that should not be ignored. In our current world of technology, anyone is at risk to the perils that Tom faces. It’s a reality that any one of us could face at any time. Seemingly innocent actions can have lifelong terrible repercussions. One message or photo can change a person’s life forever.

    While Tom’s ordeal was on the extreme side of things, this could happen to anyone. Not just the horrible events that happened to him, but also to the innocent children. Mr. Palmer has written an engaging and captivating tale. He kept me guessing and wondering what could happen next to this poor man. Within society it truly is a misconception that we are innocent until proven guilty and what happened to Tom is a prime example.

    Helpless is an amazing rendition about perseverance, tenacity, faith and love. Tom’s fight was a long arduous journey, but he has the heart of a loving father and the ferocity of a warrior. Helpless is a story for anyone who devoted to technology. This is an eye opener to the scary possibilities of our current reality. So sit back and take a look at what there is to fear.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2012

    This is a must read for all.

    Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers Favorite “Helpless” by Daniel Palmer is a great book. It is a thriller, a mystery, a twisting and turning plot that will hold your attention from beginning to end. This is the story of a single father and a teenage girl’s worst nightmares. “Helpless” is about Jill Hawkins, her recently murdered mother, her high school friends and Tom Hawkins, the divorced father she has heard only bad things about from Mom and old Navy enemies. The world as they know it suddenly becomes turned upside down. “Helpless” is a psychological thriller. Tom, a former Navy SEAL, is the main suspect of his ex-wife’s murder. He is forced to deal with lies from his past and present. Tom enlists the help of his friends and lawyers to prove his innocence while trying to slowly build a bond of trust between himself and Jill that is tested over and over again. “Helpless” delves into the world of child porn on the internet, cut-throat businessmen, murder, kidnapping and love. There is constant intrigue as the readers are kept guessing as to who the good guys and bad guys really are. Daniel Palmer has written a winner with “Helpless”. This book has all the makings to become a long standing number one bestseller. It is written tastefully and emotionally. “Helpless” has strong characters that we find ourselves cheering on or not liking at all. It is a book that will keep you up way beyond your bedtime because it is just too good to put down. This is a must read for all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2012

    Hurry and buy this book

    It is a great book, you will like it as well as his last one. Was up till 3 am finishing the book. From the first page it keeps you reading, you don`t want to put it down. You feel sorry for the guy in the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Framed

    Tom Hawkins is the hometown hero and soccer coach for the State Champion Shilo High School Wildcats Varsity team. In the ten-year estrangement from his ex-wife Kelly, Tom has had only two purposes in life. To rebuild the relationship he once had with his now teenaged daughter Jill, a hard fought mission in its own right as Kelly is determined to continue her assignment to degrade him at every turn, and coach his teams to victory. His success with the soccer teams is noteworthy, a continuous stream of championship titles; his success with Jill not so much. A strange turn of events (of which Tom chooses not to question), finds him now coaching Jill as a member of the girls team. The chance for his dream of reconciliation allowing Tom to be the full-fledged father he should be looms on the horizon. Although his newly forged relationship with Jill, strained at best, Tom fears the ominous arrival of a police car at practice will shatter all hopes for the future. An exemplary career as a Navy Seal is of no use to Tom as he finds himself embroiled in an investigation whose evidence, although circumspect, even his hard fought skills cannot assist in proving his innocence. As the lead suspect in a tragic murder and rumors of impropriety abound Tom is helpless to save himself. People Tom thought were his friends now turn their backs on him, driving Tom in desperation to turn to an old teammate who is now an attorney. With Tom’s tenuous relationship with his daughter, Jill on the line along with his reputation, fear that the long-kept secret he has shared with no one is about to surface putting an end to everything he is.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Rather mediocre.

    Better than a lot of mysteries but certainly not among the best. Obviously the author is up to date on internet manipulation and that was over my head. However, I stayed with it until the final page and until that time was not completely sure who the culprits were. Not bad, There are too many excellent authors of mysteries and I would put this author about halfway there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Book

    I love is book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    ?...

    Can i join????

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2012

    A little far fetched!

    Had problems with the main character's involvement in concealing a crime. Plus certain events were beyond reasonableness!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    Underdeveloped characters and a predictable storyline contribute

    Underdeveloped characters and a predictable storyline contributed to this book's snoozability.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    Eye opening

    WOW! This book will open your eyes to possible realities you never imagined could happen to the common person. The book appears to have multiple story lines going in the begining but all changes later on. This book is riveting and keeps on the seat. A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    Rade

    He fondles ur b.o.obs and squeezes roughly sucking on ur tounge.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    jazmine

    Im so sorry but i wont be on for a few weeks i am grounded and u will expain it ti yiu when i get back on i love you bbi!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Wow

    Exceptional read and attention grabber

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    ?.

    Ppppoooo
    Mp

    ?pppooool

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Anonymous 28 April 2012

    Geez people! There is already an overview of the story written so is it really necessary to rewrite it multiple times? It seems also that some sort of chat forum is taking place in these review sections. What's up with that?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Ravenkit

    Laughs " Join the club!" •o^ Ravenkit

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Terrakit

    She followed her new friend, and before they left, she took one last glimpse at the other two cats.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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