The Hidden Man (Jason Kolarich Series #1)

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Overview

Another exhilarating thriller from Edgar Award winner David Ellis, introducing the new series protagonist Jason Kolarich.

J ason Kolarich is a midwestern Everyman with a lineman's build and an easy smart-ass remark. He's a young, intelligent maverick, but he's also struggling with an overwhelming emotional burden-one that threatens to unravel his own life, and possibly the lives of those around him.

Twenty-seven years ago, two-year-old Audrey ...

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The Hidden Man (Jason Kolarich Series #1)

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Overview

Another exhilarating thriller from Edgar Award winner David Ellis, introducing the new series protagonist Jason Kolarich.

J ason Kolarich is a midwestern Everyman with a lineman's build and an easy smart-ass remark. He's a young, intelligent maverick, but he's also struggling with an overwhelming emotional burden-one that threatens to unravel his own life, and possibly the lives of those around him.

Twenty-seven years ago, two-year-old Audrey Cutler disappeared from her home in the middle of the night. She was never found. All the detectives had to go on were vague eyewitness accounts of a man running down the Cutlers? street, apparently carrying someone. Without enough evidence to suggest otherwise, Griffin Perlini-a neighbor with prior offenses against minors-was arrested, but never convicted.

The case is long closed when Perlini is murdered nearly thirty years later. Now a man named Mr. Smith appears in Jason Kolarich's office, saying only that he represents a third party who wants the man charged with murder off the hook and that Kolarich is perfect for the job. The new client: Audrey Cutler's older brother, Sammy? Kolarich's estranged childhood best friend-a man he hasn't seen in nearly twenty years.

But when Kolarich starts receiving violent threats from Mr. Smith's enigmatic employer, he figures out that the secrecy behind this nameless third party-and the key to winning Sammy's case-is entangled with the mystery of Audrey's disappearance. With his own life and Sammy's in the balance, Kolarich has to put aside not only the mounting anxiety of the job but also a heart-wrenching personal tragedy in order to find out what really happened to Audrey all those years ago.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Edgar-winner Ellis (Line of Vision) is off to an exhilarating start with this first in a series set in an unnamed Midwestern city featuring grief-stricken attorney Jason Kolarich, who blames himself for his wife and child's death in a car accident. Jason is shaken out of his emotional coma when a stranger called “Mr. Smith” hires him to defend an old friend, Sammy Cutler. About 26 years earlier, Sammy's two-year-old sister was kidnapped from her bedroom during the night. Suspicion centered on Griffin Perlini, a convicted sex offender who lived a few blocks away, but police could never prove that he took the child. Now Sammy is accused of killing Griffin, who he believes murdered his sister. Mr. Smith demands Jason get an acquittal for Sammy, conveniently supplying witnesses and a scapegoat for the case. Ellis avoids clichés in a multilayered legal thriller that depends on precise character studies, an original plot and a surprising but logical twist at the end. Author tour.(Sept.)
People Magazine
With an ear for banter that recalls Richard Russo and a giddily complex plot, Ellis provides the perfect transition from the Summer That Wasn't to whatever's next.
Library Journal

Jason and Sammy grew up together, best friends until high school; Jason went on to college and law school, while Sammy coasted after his baby sister was kidnapped and never found. Jason became a star at a top law firm but left to practice solo after his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. Then the past comes back to haunt them both. Jason receives a $10,000 cash retainer from a mysterious "Mr. Smith" to defend Sammy, who is accused of murdering the man long ago suspected of kidnapping his sister. But he won't plead temporary insanity, which would allow the dead man's past into evidence, and Jason is frustrated. "Mr. Smith" has explicit ideas about how he wants the defense handled, and things start going awry when Jason deviates from the plan. VERDICT Edgar Award winner Ellis (Eye of the Beholder) has created an involving character, a damaged lawyer who's not afraid to get his hands dirty, to build this new series around. Fans of Philip Margolin's thrillers (e.g., The Associate), which shares similar pacing, grit, and character development, albeit with more violence, will enjoy this. [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/1/09.]—Stacy Alesi, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., Boca Raton, FL


—Stacy Alesi
Kirkus Reviews
A buried crime bears bitter fruit 27 years later. Audrey Cutler was two years old the night she was stolen from her bed. Her kidnapping left her mom a permanent emotional wreck. Its impact on Audrey's brother Sammy is harder to calculate. Is it the reason that so much of his ensuing life has been spent behind bars for one transgression or another? Attorney Jason Kolarich thinks it might be. Best friends as kids, Sammy and Jason have been out of touch for longer than Jason is comfortable remembering, and now they're reconnecting in an unforeseen, unsettling way. Sammy's in jail again for the murder of Griffin Perlini, the sex offender who was once accused of Audrey's kidnapping. Jason has been hired for the defense under bizarre circumstances. The man who turns up in Jason's office one day calling himself Mr. Smith makes it clear that money is in ample supply and that his interest in Sammy's acquittal is intense. But why? Exactly who is Mr. Smith? Is he the shadowy stand-in for someone who, like the Cutlers, has lost a child to a pedophile's perversion? None of these excellent questions will be answered in a way Jason could possibly have predicted. Plotting with Christie-like care, Edgar winner Ellis (Eye of the Beholder, 2007, etc.) lifts the curtain on a promising new series. Agent: Larry Kirshbaum/LJK Literary Management
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399155796
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/3/2009
  • Series: Jason Kolarich Series , #1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

David Ellis

David Ellis is the author of seven novels, including Line of Vision for which he won the Edgar Award. An attorney from Chicago, he currently serves as Counsel to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and was recently appointed the Impeachment Prosecutor in the Blagojevich trial. Ellis lives in Springfield with his family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

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(9)

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(3)

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(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2009

    What a surprise

    I happen to be at Barnes and Noble and Mr. Ellis was speaking to a group of people. I do not usually pick up thrillers, murder mysteries, or crime novels. I decided to give his book a try and I was pleasantly surprised. The characters are magnificent. The plot wasn't predictable. He doesn't go in to long, drawn out descriptions and really gets to the point. He created deep, powerful characters with few words. I was a bit disturbed by the premise of the story - a man murders the man who murdered his sister - but I found it to be very easy to read. I tried to get his other books, but they were not available in the store (I ordered online). This is an author to follow.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A great thriller!

    Jason Kolarich,a troubled young criminal defense lawyer,is hired to defend
    his boyhood best friend on a murder charge.But the case goes much deeper,
    and Jason,a tough former football star,finds himself caught in a web of
    lies,betrayal,and violence.David Ellis has crafted one of the year's best thrillers,fast-paced and suspenseful,with a strong story,well-developed characters,and some nice twists.This is a terrific debut for a great new
    hero.Men,action fans,and thriller addicts will love it!More Jason Kolarich,David,please!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    UUUMAZING

    Okie let me get this out of my system while I still can, WOW!!!! That word alone basically cover's my review for this book. I had my doubts but as usual, I was wrong. This is a new series by David Ellis staring Jason Kolarich, a broken man who to top it all off is a lawyer. When Audrey, who was abducted twenty seven years ago, vanishes from her home, it left her family and close loved ones very distressed. The person who was presumably her murder was killed by non other than her older brother, Sammy, who also happens to be Jason's childhood best friend. The book was like riding a rollercoaster, each turn it took was unexpected and honestly left me in pure awe! The characters were phenomenal; you have the jock turned lawyer with the troubled past, the brother who's life is a little off balance and the oh so mysterious Smith, who's real name we don't even know. Throughout the novel I could feel myself connecting to Jason just because of his situation. All throughout high school, he was reffered as the star or the hero, when in reality he felt anything but. This novel is mostly written in Jason's point of view, with occasional shifts to third person from Smith's perspective (although it happens very little). This book was really beyond awesome! You should def check it out!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fast-paced and action-packed!

    Truth be told I bought The Hidden Man by David Ellis because a local bookstore was going out of business and they were having a great sale. It is the first book I've read by David Ellis, but it won't be the last. I enjoyed both his writing style and his down-to-earth dialogue. Action-packed from the beginning, David Ellis tells an intriguing story. Little Audrey Cutler is taken from her bed one summer night and that is the beginning of a downward spiral for her big brother Sammy. Jason Kolarich, Sammy's best friend, remembers that night as any child would. Now over 20 years later, Jason, an attorney, is forced to face the truth about his friend Sammy, the truth about his memories of that horrific night, and the truth about what lengths some people will go to hide a secret. Sometimes, it is a matter of life and death, but who lives and who dies is the question!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    Good Read

    surprising ending

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Read

    Although I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as his Eye of the Beholder, it was a great read that held my interest from beginning to end. I like this protagonist Jason and look forward to future stories featuring him. I kept wondering how he was going to get himself and his brother out of the mess they were in, not to mention his client. I really enjoy Mr. Ellis's writing style and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast-paced mystery/thriller.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Great read

    I came across this book by chance and glad i gave it a try. Great thriller but also witty and humorous. You get to know jason throughout the story in way that adds to the overall story without distracting from it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    I recommend this to all who like mysterys!

    Very good, Jason is a very interesting man. I hope David Ellis writes more storys with Jason as the main character.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Hidden Writer

    As much as I liked the plot of The Hidden Man, the writing disappointed me. The author writes in a very workmanlike fashion- one word follows another, but there is little artistry or cleverness of technique. He has an annoying habit of starting multiple sequential sentences with "I." So, my hopes are that he will produce something with the same good plot line, yet show a little more creativity in portraying it.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Highly Recommended!!!

    A very good book to read, supenseful, a good plot!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Excellent thriller--wonderful new author!

    An old crime, an old friend, and a new tragedy are the backdrop for a young Chicago lawyer who takes up a defense case where the past and present collide in a twisting, thrilling ride. Jason Kolaris, prosecuter turned defense attorney, takes up the cause in a search for the truth. Is his childhood friend guilty of murdering a pedophile suspected of abducting his sister many years ago? Who is the mysterious Mr. Smith with his money and explicit offers of defense strategies? Plot twists abound, legal issues are explored, relationships come into play--all making for an exciting new legal thriller about a new character who is not afraid to get his hands dirty in search for the truth and justice. You will not be disappointed and will quickly look to read the next books in this series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 25, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2011

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    Posted November 27, 2013

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    Posted January 7, 2010

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    Posted January 20, 2011

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    Posted June 9, 2010

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    Posted January 16, 2010

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