Die for You

Die for You

by Lisa Unger
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Die for You by Lisa Unger

Isabel Raine thought she had everything—a successful career, a supportive family, and a happy marriage. Then one ordinary morning, her husband, Marcus, leaves for work and never comes back.  She spends the day frantically calling his cell phone and his office, but receives no answer.  After a dramatic raid at his office in which she’s knocked unconscious, a homicide detective shows up wanting to question her about Marcus Raine—the real Marcus Raine.  Now the only thing Isabel knows for sure is that her husband of five years is gone. Where is he and who is he are questions no one seems able to answer. But Isabel will not rest until she discovers the truth about the man she loves, even if it means risking everything—including her own life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307476340
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/27/2010
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 433,969
Product dimensions: 4.58(w) x 11.10(h) x 1.32(d)

About the Author

Lisa Unger is the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Lies and Black Out.  Her novels have been published in more than twenty-five countries.  She lives in Florida with her husband and daughter.

Read an Excerpt

Part 1: Parting


The last time I saw my husband, he had a tiny teardrop of raspberry jam in the blond hairs of his goatee. We'd just shared cappuccinos he'd made in the ridiculously expensive machine I'd bought on a whim three weeks earlier, and croissants he'd picked up on his way in from his five-mile run, the irony lost on him. His lean, hard body was a machine, never gaining weight without his express design. Unlike me. The very aroma of baked goods and my thighs start to expand.

They were warm, the croissants. And as I tried to resist, he sliced them open and slathered them with butter, then jam on top of that, left one eviscerated and gooey, waiting on the white plate. I fought the internal battle and lost, finally reaching for it. It was perfect—flaky, melty, salty, sweet. And then—gone.

"You're not a very good influence," I said, licking butter from my fingertips. "It would take over an hour on the elliptical trainer to burn that off. And we both know that's not going to happen." He turned his blue eyes on me, all apology.

"I know," he said. "I'm sorry." Then the smile. Oh, the smile. It demanded a smile in return, no matter how angry, how frustrated, how fed up I was. "But it was so good, wasn't it? You'll remember it all day." Was he talking about the croissant or our predawn lovemaking?

"Yes," I said as he kissed me, a strong arm snaking around the small of my back pulling me in urgently, an invitation really, not the good-bye that it was. "I will."

That's when I saw the bit of jam. I motioned that he should wipe his face. He was dressed for an important meeting. Crucial was the word he used when he told me about it. He peered at his reflection in the glass door of the microwave and wiped the jam away.

"Thanks," he said, moving toward the door. He picked up his leather laptop case and draped it over his shoulder. It looked heavy; I was afraid he'd wrinkle his suit, a sharp, expensive black wool affair he'd bought recently, but I didn't say so. Too mothering.

"Thanks for what?" I asked. Already I'd forgotten that I'd spared him from the minor embarrassment of going to an important meeting with food on his face.

"For being the most beautiful thing I'll see all day." He was an opportunistic charmer. Had always been that.

I laughed, wrapped my arms around his neck, kissed him again. He knew what to say, knew how to make me feel good. I would think about our lovemaking, that croissant, his smile, that one sentence all day.

"Go get 'em," I said as I saw him out of the apartment door, watched him walk to the elevator at the end of the short hallway. He pressed the button and waited. The hallway had sold us on the apartment before we'd even walked through the door: the thick red carpet, the wainscoting, and the ten-foot ceilings—New York City prewar elegance. The elevator doors slid open. Maybe it was then, just before he started to move away, that I saw a shadow cross his face. Or maybe later I just imagined it, to give some meaning to those moments. But if it was there at all, that flicker of what—Sadness? Fear?—it passed over him quickly; was gone so fast it barely even registered with me then.

"You know I will," he said with the usual cool confidence. But I heard it, the lick of his native accent on his words, something that only surfaced when he was stressed or drunk. But I wasn't worried for him. I never doubted him. Whatever he had to pull off that day, something vague about investors for his company, there was no doubt in my mind that he'd do it. That was just him: What he wanted, he got. With a wave and a cheeky backward glance, he stepped into the elevator and the doors closed on him. And then—gone.

"I love you, Izzy!" I thought I heard him yell, clowning around, as the elevator dropped down the shaft, taking him and his voice away.

I smiled. After five years of marriage, a miscarriage, at least five knock-'em-down, drag-'em-outs that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, hot sex, dull sex, good days, hard days, all the little heartbreaks and disappointments (and not-so-little ones) inevitable in a relationship that doesn't crash and burn right away, after some dark moments when I thought we weren't going to make it, that I'd be better off without him, and all the breathless moments when I was sure I couldn't even survive without him—after all of that he didn't have to say it, but I was glad he still did.

I closed the door and the morning was under way. Within five minutes, I was chatting on the phone with Jack Mannes, my old friend and longtime agent.

"Any sign of that check?" The author's eternal question.

"I'll follow up." The agent's eternal reply. "How's the manuscript going?"


Within twenty minutes, I was headed out for a run, the taste of Marc's buttery, raspberry-jam kiss still on my lips.

When he stepped onto the street, he was blasted by a cold, bitter wind that made him wish he'd worn a coat. He thought about turning around but it was too late for that. Instead he buttoned his suit jacket, slung the strap of his laptop bag across his chest, and dug his hands deep into his pockets. He moved fast on West Eighty-sixth Street toward Broadway. At the corner, he jogged down the yellow-tiled stairway into the subway station, was glad for the warmth of it even with the particularly pungent stench of urine that morning. He swiped his card and passed through the turnstile, waited for the downtown train.

It was past nine, so the crowd on the platform was thinner than it would have been an hour before. A young businessman kept alternately leaning over the tracks, trying to catch sight of the oncoming train lights, and glancing at his watch. In spite of the rich drape of his black wool coat, his expensive shoes, he looked harried, disheveled. Marcus Raine felt a wash of disdain for him, for his obvious tardiness, and for his even more obvious distress, though he couldn't have explained why.

Marcus leaned his back against the far wall, hands still in his pockets, and waited. It was the perpetual condition of the New Yorker to wait—for trains, buses, or taxis, in impossibly long lines for a cup of coffee, in crowds to see a film or visit a particular museum exhibit. The rest of the world saw New Yorkers as rude, impatient. But they had been conditioned to queue one behind the other with the resignation of the damned, perhaps moaning in discontent, but waiting nonetheless.

He'd been living in this city since he was eighteen years old, but he never quite saw himself as a New Yorker. He saw himself more as a spectator at a zoo, one who'd been allowed to wander around inside the cage of the beast. But then he'd always felt that way, even as a child, even in his native home. Always apart, watching. He accepted this as the natural condition of his

life, without a trace of unhappiness about it or any self-pity. Isabel had always understood this about him; as a writer, she was in a similar position. You can't really observe, unless you stand apart.

It was one of the things that first drew him to her, this sentence. He'd read a novel she'd written, found it uncommonly deep and involving. Her picture on the back of the jacket intrigued him and he'd searched her out on the Internet, read some things about her that interested him—that she was the child of privilege but successful in her own right as the author of eight bestselling novels, that she'd traveled the world and written remarkably insightful essays about the places she visited. "Prague is a city of secrets," she'd written. "Fairy-tale rues taper off into dark alleys, a secret square hides behind a heavy oak and iron door, ornate facades shelter dark histories. Her face is exquisite, finely wrought and so lovely, but her eyes are cool. She'll smirk but never laugh. She knows, but she won't tell." This was true in a way that no outsider could ever really understand, but this American writer caught a glimpse of the real city and it moved him.

It was the river of ink-black curls, those dark eyes, jet in a landscape of snowy skin, the turn of her neck, the birdlike delicacy of her hands, that caused him to seek her out at one of her book signings. He knew right away that she was the one, as Americans were so fond of saying—as if their whole lives were nothing but the search to make themselves whole by finding another. He meant it in another way entirely, at first.

It seemed like such a long time ago, that initial thrill, that rush of desire. He often wished he could go back to the night they first met, relive their years together. He'd done so many wrong things—some she knew about, some she did not, could never, know. He remembered that there was something in her gaze when she first loved him that filled an empty place inside him. Even with all the things she didn't understand, she didn't look at him like that anymore. Her gaze seemed to drift past him. Even when she held his eyes, he believed she was seeing someone who wasn't there. And maybe that was his fault.

He heard the rumble of the train approaching, and pushed himself off the wall. He'd started moving toward the edge when he felt a hand on his arm. It was a firm, hard grip and Marcus, on instinct, rolled his arm and broke the grasp, bringing his fist up fast and taking a step back.

"Take it easy, Marcus," the other man said with a throaty laugh. "Relax." He lifted two beefy hands and pressed the air between them. "Why so tense?"

"Ivan," Marcus said coolly, though his heart was an adrenaline-fueled hammer. The moment took on an unreal cast, the tenor of a dark fantasy. Ivan was a ghost, someone so deeply buried in Marcus's memory that he might as well have been looking at a resurrected corpse. Once a tall, wiry young man, manic and strange, Ivan had gained a lot of weight. Not fat but muscle; he looked like a bulldozer, squat and powerful, ready to break concrete and the earth itself.

"What?" That deep laugh again, with less amusement in its tone. "No 'How are you'? No 'So good to see you'?"

Marcus watched Ivan's face. The wide smile beneath cheekbones like cliffs, the glittering dark eyes—they could all freeze like ice. Even jovial like this, there was something vacant about Ivan, something unsettling. It was so odd to see him in this context, in this life, that for a moment Marcus could almost believe that he was dreaming, that he was still in bed beside Isabel. That he'd wake from this as he had from any of the nightmares that plagued him.

Marcus still didn't say anything as his train came and went, leaving them alone on the platform. The woman in the fare booth read a paperback novel. Marcus could hear the rush of trains below, hear the hum and horns of the street above. Too much time passed. In the silence between them, Marcus watched Ivan's expression cool and harden.

Then Marcus let go of a loud laugh that echoed off the concrete and caused the clerk to look up briefly before she went back to her book.

"Ivan!" Marcus said, forcing a smile. "Why so tense?"

Ivan laughed uncertainly, then reached out and punched Marcus on the arm. Marcus pulled Ivan into an enthusiastic embrace and they patted each other vigorously on the back.

"Do you have some time for me?" Ivan asked, dropping an arm over Marcus's shoulder and moving him toward the exit. Ivan's gigantic arm felt like a side of beef, its weight impossible to move without machinery. Marcus pretended not to hear the threat behind the question.

"Of course, Ivan," Marcus said. "Of course I do."

Marcus heard a catch in his own voice, which he tried to cover with a cough. If Ivan noticed, he didn't let on. A current of foreboding cut a valley from his throat into his belly as they walked up the stairs, Ivan still holding on tight. He was talking, telling a joke about a hooker and a priest, but Marcus wasn't listening. He was thinking about Isabel. He was thinking about how she looked this morning, a little sleepy, pretty in her pajamas, her hair a cloud of untamed curls, smelling like honeysuckle and sex, tasting like butter and jam.

On the street, Ivan was laughing uproariously at his own joke and Marcus found himself laughing along, though he had no idea what the punch line had been. Ivan knew a lot of jokes, one more inane than the last. He'd learned a good deal of his English this way, reading joke books and watching stand-up comedians, insisted that one could not really understand a language without understanding its humor, without knowing what native speakers considered funny. Marcus wasn't sure this was true. But there was no arguing with Ivan. It wasn't healthy. The smallest things caused a switch to flip in the big man. He'd be laughing one minute and then the next he'd be beating you with those fists the size of hams. This had been true since they were children together, a lifetime ago.

Ivan approached a late-model Lincoln parked illegally on Eighty-sixth. With the remote in his hand he unlocked it, then reached to open the front passenger door. It was an expensive vehicle, one that Ivan would not have been able to afford given his circumstances of the last few years. Marcus knew what this meant, that he'd returned to the life that had gotten him into trouble in the first place.

Marcus could see the front entrance to his building, gleaming glass and polished wood, a wide circular drive. A large holiday wreath hung on the awning, reminding him that Christmas was right around the corner.

He watched as a young mother who lived there—was her name Janie?—left with her two small children. He found himself thinking suddenly, urgently, of the baby Isabel had wanted. He'd never wanted children, had been angry when Isabel got pregnant, even relieved when she miscarried. Somehow the sight of this woman with her little girls caused a sharp stab of regret. Marcus turned his face so that they wouldn't see him as they passed on the other side of the street.

Reading Group Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group's discussion of Die for You, a spellbinding novel about love, marriage, and the secrets we keep from our families—and ourselves.

1. Why does Die for You open with the scene in Prague? Does knowing how Isabel’s investigation ends affect your reactions to the decisions she makes as the novel unfolds? Does it add to or lessen the suspense and/or the power of the climatic scene that comes near the end of the book?

2. Compare Marcus’s reminiscences of falling in love with Isabel and the regrets he feels as he contemplates their marriage [p. 6] with Isabel’s memories and musings [p. 30]. To what extent do these passages reflect their individual personalities and the differences between the way men and women think about romance and marriage?

3. After their conversations about Marcus’s affair Isabel says, “Those problems we agreed existed . . . . were never actually addressed” [p. 27]. Are Isabel’s explanations of why she avoided bringing the subject up again and for keeping the affair a secret from those closest to her understandable?

4. Die for You contains numerous statements about how novelists experience the world. Isabel says, “Strictly by my estimate, the fiction writer notices approximately fifty percent more details than other people. . . . . This happens in a millisecond and I’m only barely conscious of it” [p. 59]. And Linda, thinking about her sister, says, “It was the curse of the writer, a feral hunger to understand and by understanding to control” [p. 98]. Are these observations, as well as Isabel’s description of her reaction to Marcus’s proposal [p. 66], their discussion about language [p. 131], and other comments throughout the novel, apt descriptions of the writer’s art? How do they relate to Unger’s writing techniques and style?

5. There are also insights into the photographer’s art [pp. 99, 102]. How does Linda’s work as a photographer and painter influence her perceptions of her family, her affair with Benjamin, and initial reaction to Marcus [p. 102-3]? What impact do the ways the sisters engage with people and view events have on your impressions of them? What are the strengths and the flaws of each approach?

6. Linda remembers “their father’s favorite proud refrain: ‘The Connelly sisters are lovely and smart.’ There wasn’t a brighter one or a prettier one. Linda and Isabel had never felt the urge to compete with each other in those arenas” [p. 101]. Have the choices they’ve made as adults changed their relationship, causing resentments and conflicts? What aspects of Linda’s life does Isabel envy? Do Linda’s thoughts about marriage and motherhood and her life as an artist [p. 116] suggest that she is also envious of her sister?

7. “Suicide marks you in a way that no other tragedy does—especially the suicide of a parent” [p. 107]. Is grief over a suicide different from other kinds of grief? How honestly do Isabel, Linda, and their mother, Margie, deal with the sense of abandonment, sadness, rage, and shame they feel? What explains Linda’s hostility toward her mother and her angry reaction to Margie’s announcement that she is getting remarried [p. 129-130]?  Why is Isabel more accepting of her mother’s behavior? In what ways does their father’s death shape the way his daughters think about men and marriage?

8. “She'd done the same with Erik, put her signature where her husband asked. Two smart women who knew better, who should have learned earlier, the hard way, not to surrender our power,” [p. 141]. Is this common among educated women today, and if so, why?

9. Discuss the conversation Isabel and Detective Crowe have about infidelity [p. 131-132] and Linda’s feelings about her affair [p. 147]. Whose point of view do you think is most realistic? Is Isabel right in saying that Crowe “still believed in fairy tales”? Is this also true of Linda? What do Linda’s reasons for having an affair, as well as her reaction to Erik’s “financial” infidelity [p. 220] reveal about her and her marriage?

10. Do the relationships between Linda and Erik, and Crowe and his ex-wife confirm Isabel’s reflection that “Love accepts, moves forward” [p. 133]? After she learns the full extent of Marcus’s deception, Isabel says “maybe, in my case, love accepts too much, wants to live so badly that it creates what it needs to survive” [p. 210]. Can you think of other examples in the book, in other novels, or in real life that represent this kind of love?

11. How does Unger bring to life the different aspects of Marcus’s character? What does she achieve by alternating between Isabel’s voice and a third-person narrator? Does Marcus have genuine feelings for Isabel or for other people he knows? What incidents support your answer? Do his childhood and the ties he has with his brother explain his behavior? Do they make him a more sympathetic character?

12. On several occasions, Isabel questions herself about missing the signs that Marcus was not the person he appeared to be [pp. 159, 182, 192, 275]. Is she naïve, or, as she later says to Erik, “guilty, like any wife who is guilty for ignoring all the signs, all her instincts” [p. 253]?

13. How is Jack different from the other men in Isabel’s life?  What is it about Jack that eventually brings them together?

14. Isabel's quest to find and confront Marcus puts her and her family and friends in danger. Does her need to discover the truth justify the risks she takes?

(For a complete list of available reading group guides, and to sign up for the Reading Group Center enewsletter, visit www.readinggroupcenter.com)

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Die for You 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Novelist Isabel Connelly and high tech game designer Marcus Raines have been happily married for five years and seem deeply in love. Marcus leaves their Manhattan apartment for work after telling Isabel he loves her. He never made it to work nor comes home. Panic stricken, when she finally receives a call that she assumes was from him, she hears a terrified man screaming. She rushes to the police, but they offer nothing as they insist it is probably a nasty prank by her spouse.------------ Isabel rejects the official position as she believes her Marcus loves her and would not desert her. She goes to his office only to find the FBI raiding the place; in the melee she is knocked out. She regains consciousness in a hospital where she learns all of Marcus's associates are dead and he remains unaccounted for. She checks their finances only to find zero in their accounts. Police Detective Grady Crowe digs deeper into the background of Isabel's husband only to be shocked that Marcus Unger died years ago.--------------- Mindful of the Goldie Hawn movie Deceived, DIE FOR YOU is an exhilarating thriller starring a fascinating heroine who after the initial shock needs to know who her husband really is and why the deception. When the story line stays focus on disappearances and reactions to it, this is a super tale. However, when the plot contains unnecessary cul de sacs especially about the personal lives of support players, it loses momentum. Still overall Lisa Unger provides an engaging tale of spousal deceit.----------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This bbok is Ms Unger's best yet! As is so often done,she did not sacrifice rich characters with deep relationships for a racing plot. Ms Unger meshed both seamlessly. And, as i am writing this at 2am, I would also like to thank her for the dark circles under my eyes, which I will be sporting tomorrow!
MyFunnyDadHarryAuthor More than 1 year ago
This is the story of a novelist, Isabel Raine, whose husband disappears and she launches into her own investigation to figure out what happened. Fiction writers make pretty good detectives. She loves her husband and does not hesitate to go looking for him even though it puts her in great danger. Die For You is a fast-paced novel about trust, love, marriage, forgiveness, betrayal and identity theft. This is one of those books that is difficult to put down because of the mystery and suspense created from the start. I liked the insight the author gives into four different marriages, the excitement of the mob involvement, the trip to Prague and the theme of trust and forgiveness that runs through the book. The lesson taught in this book is to get to know someone well before you marry them!
DEVILICIOUS More than 1 year ago
Isabel, emotional, over-analytical, learns that her husband of five years is not who she trusted him to be. We've all heard that one before. Isabel Raine is a successful fiction author. Isabel's husband, Marcus, is a passionate lover but can be emotionally distant. Marcus seems to be missing as he didn't come home to their New York apartment. Everyone's response to Isabel was suspicion that he's at least having an affair or left her. However, Isabel suspects foul play and when she wakes up in hospital with head injuries after meeting FBI agents at her husband's office she decides to put to good use her creative writing, investigative mind to get to the truth. The fun begins..
momoftwinsMM More than 1 year ago
Die for You was thrilling and bittersweet, a book that I did not want to put down. I have never read anything by Lisa Unger so I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. The whole idea the story was constructed around (do you really know your spouse, do you know yourself?) and the wonderfully written characters really drew me in. However, I also found that the story was almost too perfect, things just fell into place too easily. Isabel could have had a little more difficulty finding the information she needed, finding Marcus; marriages were almost too easily reconciled. I think some of the emotion that is naturally mired in the process of forgiveness was inarticulated. Despite these criticisms, I enjoyed the story, felt Isabel's angst, and the bittersweet knowledge of their love despite the betrayal. The story covered the spectrum of infidelity and examined the difference of who we are, who we want to be and whether we are able to put aside our fears to make that leap. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
Isabel Raines was a famous author married to Marcus a successful Software Developer. Her sister Linda, a successful photographer seems to have the perfect life married to Erik. While everything on the outside appears great, there are a great deal of secrets. Things get set off when Marcus disappears and Isabel gets a mysterious phone call from him. People working with Marcus are murdered and Isabel is attacked. Linda and Erik's marriage is a house of cards waiting to fall. Isabel tries to find out what happens to Marcus and as she searches there is danger lurking everywhere and she finds that her life with Marcus was a total lie. The police immediately suspect Isabel and she does many unorthodox things in her pursuit of the truth. The author weaves an intriguing tale with a lot of psychological overtones which seems to relate to Isabel and Linda's father's suicide several years before. Isabel's portions of the tale are told in first person, where everything else is in third person. This gives the reader a good view of everyone from all angles. I had a little problem with how several characters seem to practically ignore infidelities of their loved ones and this kept me from giving it a higher rating. It still is a good thriller that held me until the next to last chapter (there is an epilogue that doesn't seem to add much). Overall Four Stars.
karenvaughanwrites More than 1 year ago
Very good story of family deceptions finding out that people you love aren't always what they seem and some of it's pretty dark. It's also about forgiveness and moving on I am not going to spoil it for you all but I do recomend it. Lisa Unger uses this theme in a few of her novels but does it in such a way that the reader doesn't get the rehashed dejavu feeling.
ciaralin More than 1 year ago
At the heart of this book, Lisa Unger has crafted a very good, potentially great, mystery - what would happen if one day, you realized that the person you were married to was a mirage. But while the whodunit winds its way through the book, it is slowed down, and too often stopped in its tracks, but the author's unending need to be deeply poetic. Despite being caught in what could and should be a rapid and breathtaking mystery, Unger's characters spend pages at a time navel-gazing, lamenting their fate - going on for so long that by the time they step out of their heads and return to the action, you've forgotten where they were. Indeed it seems that sometimes so have they. Also bringing the action to a grinding halt is the completely unnecessary sub-plots. Neither of the sub-plots really add anything to the main action, and neither of them get resolved in any meaningful way, so I am at a loss to explain their presence. It is almost as if two, or more, books were merged together by accident. The characters varied from those that were so very interesting (and almost without exception, completely underdeveloped) to the so very unnecessary. The only consistency in the character development seemed to be that the men playing the good guys were completely and utterly inept and at the mercy of every woman who came their way - and not in a good way. On the whole, I wouldn't recommend it for others. However, I bought it as a vacation read (i.e.: quick and easy), and it filled that requirement admirably. It's a decent plane read, if you're on a long flight (nearly 500 pages)
SANDYBNYC More than 1 year ago
Lisa Unger's writing is awesome, always keeps you catpured in the plot. This story was very different from her other books at it took place in a foreign country but I never wondered what the tie in was. She is a brilliant story teller. If you haven't read this or her other books I would definitely say run out and get the books. I was hooked since her first book, Beautiful Lies and have looked forward to reading all her books. BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was super excited about reading another Lisa Unger book. This one is okay...I think I just had a hard time connecting with the characters. Also, I felt that there was an sub-plot which wasn't necessary. I wish she (Lisa Unger) would have used the pages she used for this to futher develop the main characters/story.
topsy More than 1 year ago
One of the best books that I have ever read
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
In Lisa Unger's DIE FOR YOU, Isabel thought she knew her husband, until the night he didn't come home. Married to Marcus for five years, and except for one brief indiscretion by her husband, Isabel thought they were happy. After alternating between anger and panic all night, she finally gets a phone call from his cell phone- and hears a violent struggle and a man scream on the other end of the call. A call to the police goes nowhere, as a husband who doesn't come home is not high on the priority list. Isabel goes to her husband's office, a successful high-tech game software company, to talk to his partner. The partner is evasive, angering Isabel. Before she can get any more information, the FBI raids the office. Confusion reigns, and Isabel is knocked out. When she awakens in the hospital, she finds out that it wasn't the FBI, and several people were killed, including her husband's partner. Her apartment has been trashed, and all of the money she and Marcus had in the bank is gone. Isabel discovers that her husband conned her brother-in-law Erik out of his life savings as well. Police Detective Grady Crowe is wary of Isabel's claims of ignorance of her husband's activities. More bad news arrives when it is discovered that her husband is not the real Marcus Raine- that man was murdered years ago, and it appears that her husband assumed his identity. Did he also murder the real Marcus Raine? Isabel is determined to discover the truth about her husband. Crowe warns her against that, particularly when more people show up dead, and Isabel seems to be the one closest to the dead bodies upon discovery. Is she a victim or a murderer? Unger writes a fast-paced thriller, and she uses the setting of New York City to good advantage. Anyone familiar with the city will recognize the spot in Central Park where a confrontation takes place, and the Upper West Side area where Isabel lives. A journey to Prague brings that city to life as well. Some thrillers/mysteries sacrifice character for action, but Unger's characters are fully drawn. The family dynamic between Isabel and her sister Linda, Erik and their kids is realistic and interesting. Erik and Linda's relationship is loving, even though both make big mistakes that threaten that relationship. Even Detective Crowe and his partner have a good chemistry. One thing bugged me though. Isabel's actions frequently put herself in danger, but also endanger her family. Isabel's quest to find out the truth about her husband caused her family great pain, and I couldn't understand that. Was her need to personally discover the truth about her husband worth the agony she put her family through? Isabel also knew nothing about her and her husband's finances. She signed papers he put in front of her, and agreed to use her name on all the paperwork for his company. Could she be that naive, particularly since her father left her mother, sister and her broke when he killed himself. Yet her sister makes a similar mistake. Perhaps this is a cautionary reminder to the reader to always pay attention to your family finances. I didn't understand Isabel, but maybe that is the point of the story. Maybe we never really know anybody, even the person sleeping next to you for five years. I give Die For You three and half stars because Unger kept me turning the pages when I should have been sleeping.
alexia561 More than 1 year ago
A bestselling writer and her software designer husband are living the ultimate urban dream. With a beautiful home in Manhattan, skyrocketing careers, and an extravagant lifestyle, they seemed to want for little. Except that when it came to Isabel Connelly and the man everyone knew as Marcus Raine, nothing was as it seemed. Isabel and Marcus seem to have the perfect life until one day Marcus goes off to work, but doesn't come home. This sets Isabel on a quest to discovering who the man she married really was, and whether or not her whole marriage was based on a lie. Really enjoyed how the book wasn't just from Isabel's point of view, but also featured her sister, Marcus, and even the lead detective as narrators. I liked sister Linda's side story, but could have done without Detective Crowe's drama as I didn't think it really added anything to the main story. Isabel came across as a strong confident woman who, like a lot of New Yorkers, is a little arrogant in her belief that she can find out the "truth" instead of leaving things up to the police. But I thought that her decisions and impulsiveness were believable, and understood most of her motivations. While Isabel does make some startling discoveries and suffers the consequences, I was satisfied with the way things played out in the end. I had never read anything by Lisa Unger before, but think that she's an excellent writer and am looking forward to reading more of her work. Four stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was proud to be with his clan. Brokenclan. His father never liked him anyway........his mom was right to leave.
Sam-C More than 1 year ago
**spoiler alert** I dislike disliking a novel, but this is another book/author that/who I will add to the "unimpressed" category. This was my first and, most likely, last Lisa Unger book. The most common criticism I've seen in other reviews is the chaotic changing of points of view. While this was somewhat irksome, I managed to keep track of who was speaking and therefore, it isn't why I disliked the story. I wasn't a fan of the verbose prose, which completely deflated any semblance of suspense. It became a tedious read and at no point was I fully invested in the plot. The plot simply surrounded a protagonist, who was that typical female character playing detective and placing herself in situations way beyond her control. The supporting cast consisted of the cheaters, murderers, and, well, the annoying. I don't think I liked any character, as a matter of fact. The chapters that delved into Isabel's confrontations with her "husband" in Prague might have been the only interesting points of the plot and they were rushed. Later on, we basically discover what transpired by "watching" a newscast recapping the situation with the characters. The last chapter or so deluded the reader into believing that some sort of twist, which would justify the plot, was coming when Isabel pressed Detective Crowe with more questions, but nothing came to fruition. It ended with more preachy prose and a "happily ever after." To summarize, the book read like a soap opera (not that I watch, but I've seen a few minutes here and there to confidently make the comparison).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Lisa Unger books. I discovered a shelf of them at the library and now I am determined to read all of them. This one was not my favorite. But that's not necessarily a criticism. I just didn't LOVE it as much as some of the others. It is still a great mystery that is a relaxing read when you need an escape. I got frustrated a few times with the decisions Isabel makes during her investigation for the truth. Overall a great read.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
We read this book for my book club, and it was my first exposure to author Lisa Unger. One of my issues with this book is the constantly changing perspective. This person to that person to this person to that person. I always have trouble with shifting perspectives. There is always a moment of disorientation as I realize that someone else is now speaking, and have to figure out who it is. Add to that the fact that it would shift from past to present, and I found myself often left confused. I began the book enjoying the first half. It was gripping, keeping me turning the pages, wondering what would happen next. At moments I loved the turn of a phrase and where the author was taking me, but then the last half of the book took over, and the story just wound up sort of preposterous. This book wound up just being sort of "okay" for me.
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