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The Big Exit
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The Big Exit

4.2 56
by David Carnoy

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By the acclaimed author of the remarkable debut novel, Knife Music, The Big Exit is a suspenseful crime novel that keeps the surprises coming right up to the end.
Richie Forman is freshly out of prison. By night, he makes a living impersonating Frank Sinatra in San Francisco’s lounges and corporate parties. But then his ex-best friend—the man who


By the acclaimed author of the remarkable debut novel, Knife Music, The Big Exit is a suspenseful crime novel that keeps the surprises coming right up to the end.
Richie Forman is freshly out of prison. By night, he makes a living impersonating Frank Sinatra in San Francisco’s lounges and corporate parties. But then his ex-best friend—the man who stole his fiancée while he was in prison—is found hacked to death in his garage, and Richie is the prime suspect. In a murder mystery with the twists and turns of a microchip, Carnoy weaves his characters like a master. He has written an authentic, unputdownable thriller that is sure to chill and delight.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Carnoy follows his 2010 debut, Knife Music, with a thriller set in California’s Silicon Valley that has it all: a convoluted but convincing plot, a likable protagonist facing terrible odds, and a meaty supporting cast working for and against him. While Richie Foreman served seven years in prison for vehicular manslaughter, the friend he claims was actually behind the wheel, Mark McGregor, not only achieved success as “a hotshot Internet entrepreneur” but also married Richie’s former fiancée, Beth Hill. When Beth finds Mark’s bloody body on the floor of the garage of their pricey Menlo Park home, she and Richie become natural suspects in Mark’s murder. Evidence suggests that Richie was at least involved in the killing. While troubled lawyer Carolyn Dupuy represents Beth, and charismatic Marty Lowenstein (aka “the DNA Dude”) defends Richie, local legend Det. Sgt. Hank Madden seeks definitive proof of Richie’s guilt. This exceptionally satisfying murder puzzle should whet readers’ appetites for more.

Harlan Coben
"Gripping, suspenseful, totally believable - and shockingly good."
From the Publisher
"Gripping, suspenseful, totally believable - and shockingly good." — Harlan Coben

"A gripping thriller debut that is just what the doctor ordered." — Kirkus Discoveries

"This exceptionally satisfying murder puzzle should whet readers’ appetites for more." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

Library Journal
Driver Richie Forman served time for a tragic car accident in which he accidentally killed someone. Or he might have been framed for the crime—he really doesn't remember. But Richie's fiancée, Beth, moved on and married Silicon Valley wunderkind Mark, the other man in Richie's car. One fateful afternoon following Richie's release from prison, Mark is found bludgeoned to death and, not surprisingly, Richie moves to the head of the suspect list. Thanks to their Silicon Valley location, the local cops must match their old-time methods against a fast-paced social media scene that muddies the investigation. Suffice to say that reality shifts at 4G speed in Richie's search for a killer. VERDICT Twisty and dark, this addictive thriller (after the originally self-published Knife Music) showcases Carnoy's ability to surprise the reader. Match with Barry Eisler (Fault Line) or Kirk Russell ("Ben Raveneau" series).
Kirkus Reviews
Carnoy (Knife Music, 2008) heads to high-tech Silicon Valley for his sophomore thriller, but the story is as old-fashioned as betrayal, greed and murder. Colorful characters abound in Carnoy's legal caper. Richie Forman was big in dot-com marketing before ending up in prison. There was a bachelor party for Richie, after which he and his best friend, Mark McGregor, headed out in Richie's classic Cadillac. What followed was a missed red light and a young woman dead. Richie's blood alcohol was .12, but he was certain he wasn't driving. Convicted anyway, he spent years in the pen. While Richie was doing hard time, his financee, Beth Hill, gave in to the wiles of the best friend, Mark, and married him. Now Richie's out, making a living as a Sinatra impersonator and volunteering at the Exoneration Foundation run by the DNA Dude, attorney Marty Lowenstein. Mark, still in the dot-com business but on apparent shaky financial ground, has been murdered. The police have suspects, including Beth, but the police like Richie the most. Enter Hank Madden, a detective involved in the accident investigation, and Beth's attorney, Carolyn Dupuy, the prosecutor who put Richie in the clink and who is now coping with an off-and-on doctor boyfriend and a ticking biological clock. Then there's the muckraker guy, Tom Bender, a Drudge-digital-clone with a must-read website covering the dot-com business world. Carnoy knows the territory perfectly, and with judicious use of clever phrases that never distract from the crime caper, he's spot on with his characterizations, all of which seem both archetypal and yet sparkling with individual personalities and interesting back stories. Add an intriguing semi-red herring or two, and the climax comes with a satisfying twist. A first-rate crime caper.

Product Details

The Overlook Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.08(h) x 1.14(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Harlan Coben
"Gripping, suspenseful, totally believable - and shockingly good."

Meet the Author

David Carnoy is an executive editor at CNET and is interviewed regularly on television as a tech expert, appearing on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, The Huffington Post, and other media outlets. He lives in New York City with his wife and children.

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The Big Exit 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Dr_Nicole More than 1 year ago
The Big Exit proves Carnoy is no longer a rookie player. His second book, The Big Exit, places him as a true contender in the crime thriller genre. I rightly looked forward to reading this book. His signature prose is crisp, imbued with wry, witty dialogue sure to keep you entertained and engaged. I found myself comfortably in suspense, laughing out loud with these all too plausible characters. Carnoy is a mixologist of relevant socio-cultural-techno trends and vernacular with criminal-legal bytes. This book is for anyone seeking a fast paced, light, yet intricately woven thriller that will only keep you up at night turning to the last page, not with nightmares. The Big Exit will capture your attention like a crime thriller on TV, if not scripted a notch above the standard fair. Highly recommended for a quick escape.
Atthebeach More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed "The Big Exit" as a suspense thriller in which figuring out whodunit and how/why was a surprise until the end. I really liked the main character, a complex and wronged person, yet a determined survivor, with a sense of humor. Another interesting character was the primary police investigator who let his instincts keep his mind open on the central murder despite substantial evidence. The only negative was that the reveal at the end came hard and fast and was a bit too neat. I felt it should have unfolded more over time and allowed us to understand what all had happened rather than just having it laid out all at once. Still, it was a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This intricate mystery is set in Silicon Valley and involves a fascinating cast of characters. I really got wrapped up in it. Particularly appreciated the author's details on all the high tech wheeling and dealing. They provided a great background to the fast moving dialogue.
DoingDewey More than 1 year ago
Convicted of vehicular manslaughter, Richie is released from prison still claiming his friend actually swapped places and put him behind the wheel. While Richie served his sentence, his friend has gone on to business success and marriage to Richie’s ex-fiance. When that same friend turns up dead, Richie is the obvious suspect. However, while evidence against both Richie and his ex-fiance mounts, not everything is as it seems. Plot twists and intriguing leads kept me reading this one late into the night. The atmosphere was by far my favorite part of the book. Despite the modern, Silicon Valley setting, this book felt like a 1940′s noir. Although their are multiple view points, all of the characters voices reminded me of the hard-boiled, dedicated detective featured in mysteries from The Maltese Falcon to the computer game LA Noire. To an extent, I missed having characters with more unique voices, but I also liked and admired them all for their  shared stubborn insistence on finding the truth. As a result, I really enjoyed the narration, despite it’s uniformity. The dialogue and the writing did a lot more to flesh out the characters and I very much enjoyed both. The dialogue was funny, but not unbelievably witty or over the top. And the writing was very good, with descriptions of appearances and background stories both worked seamlessly and naturally into the plot. The technical jargon got a little heavy on one or two occasions, deserving of more explanation that was given, but this was rare enough that it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book. I did appreciate the fact that the author seemed to understand how crime labs work. He certainly gave a much more realistic representation than most stories, especially popular TV shows! I was also constantly intrigued by the plot, especially all the tantalizing clues leading me to re-work my theory about what happened. While this wasn’t the sort of mystery I typically go for, more based on clues and action sequences than an understanding of human nature, I definitely enjoyed the ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read! Very convoluted story and excellent entwinning of the characters. I thought I had figured out the ending at least three times and was completely off base. The ending is out of the blue. Good for the serious "Who done it" types.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining and great story line. A must read!
shmeyers More than 1 year ago
I would definitely recommend this book. Lots of twists and turns. I really liked the characters including the ones from Knife Music. I will definitely be reading his next one.!
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars 'The Big Exit' is a thrill-ride of twists and turns that keeps the reader on their toes throughout the entire novel. There are several layers within the plot that weave seamlessly together to create a web of intricate lies, deception, mystery, and even murder. What starts out looking like a horrible crime - a murder of a wealthy Internet businessman - quickly escalates as evidence connects people from the victim's past and a very public trial to the murder. At the heart of the novel is the victim's wife, Beth, who discovers her husband's body and quickly becomes ensnared in the ensuing investigation. Alongside Beth, we have other intriguing main characters: Richie Foreman, Beth's former fiance and the victim's old friend - who just happens to have been involved with them in the earlier homicide of a young woman and served prison time because of it. There is also Hank Madden, an older homicide detective who is determined to find the connection between these two crimes; Carolyn Dupuy, a lawyer who is representing the victim's wife; and Marty "the DNA Dude" Lowenstein, a local pro bono legend, who is representing Richie. All of these people must come together to uncover the truth about who killed Mark McGregor and why. The writing was impeccable and had me captivated from the first paragraph. The plot slides effortlessly from past to present and easily entwines the varying perspectives of the characters as well as the different subplots throughout the book. The characters are very realistic and easy to identify with, but they were also written in a way that made the reader sympathize with them all while being suspicious of the truth. The book is a true mystery and had me guessing and second-guessing until the very end. I loved how there were so many different twists and turns and nothing was really how it seemed. There's tons of action and thrills along with real character interaction and incredible mounting tension until the truth explodes from the pages. Overall, I loved this book. It was a tantalizing thriller wrought with mystery and intrigue. I highly recommend it to lovers of puzzling mysteries and thrillers that keep you eagerly flipping the pages. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Defintely recommend this book !!! It is a fast read and a page turner.... hard to stop reading. As with this author's first book KNIFE MUSIC ...not all is as it appears to be. Twist and turns up to the end. Look forward to his next book !!!!!!
Shortylee More than 1 year ago
OMG! I think that is the best way to describe how entertained I was by this author's work. I have a fairly large list of regular authors that I read. I decided to try this author on a whim. What I didn't expect was just how talented this writer is. His story draws you in from the very beginning and then takes you on a ride that is filled with twists and turns. At one point, you are wondering, "How is this all going to tie together?" Just when you think that will never happen, he puts you in that first car, front seat of that roller coaster and up the hill you go. Needless to say, your heart starts pounding as you reach the very top and then plung over for the wild ride down. This writer's words do exactly that! I was so impressed with his writing skills that I ordered 3 mores books by him for my Nook and can't wait to start reading them. I am sure they all will meet my high expectations. The only problem I have is which one should I read next!
mmr More than 1 year ago
This was a can't put it down book. It really is a mystery that keeps you guessing.
wattfarms More than 1 year ago
This book was a very good read keeping my interest throughout.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never saw it coming.
TomFairfaxStation More than 1 year ago
I read this book before I read Carnoy's first book. I enjoyed it. Enjoyed enough to read his first book, Knife Music. This book is the lesser of the two but still an excellent read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed The Big Exit by David Carnoy. It had many of the same characters as in Knife Music which made it easy to remember characters backgrounds. It had an interesting plot and a good overall mystery base. I would recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed finding a new-to-me author worth my time and money!