Play Dead

Play Dead

eBook - 2010
Average Rating:
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When her husband, Boston Celtics' star player David Baskin, dies on their Australian honeymoon, fashion model-turned-entrepreneur Laura Ayars begins to suspect that David's death wasn't a simple accident and launches her own investigation.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Signet, [2010]
ISBN: 9781101439616
1101439610
9781101443613
1101443618
Characteristics: 1 online resource (550 p.)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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m
mysteryjoan
Jul 07, 2017

Despite reading mixed reviews on this, one of his earliest books, I think a star was was born. 520 pages of can't put it down because I'm sure I know who the murderer is but then I don't and then I do and so on.

r
Russ_A
Oct 12, 2015

It’s never a good sign when the author begins with a foreword apologizing for the quality of the book. Coben’s re-release of his first novel was apparently some sort of eye-opener for him. Until he went back to review it he didn’t realize how amateurish it was. That said, it was pretty typical Coben, in my opinion. He didn’t get much less amateurish in his later books.

The lead character, Laura Ayers, is apparently the most beautiful woman in the world, a supermodel and business/fashion whiz. Virtually every man, and most of the women, are dumbstruck or driven to overwhelming lust upon laying eyes on her. Her body is mentioned about 4,000 times (although not graphically described, so voyeurs need not bother). Her love interest, David Baskin, a Boston Celtics forward, is the best basketball player in the history of the game. Laura’s sister, mother, aunt, and lead model are the 2nd through 5th most beautiful women in the world. Just your routine everyday group of pals and family, right? Baskin’s brother Stan is also handsome, but a sleazy con man and gambler. On Laura’s and David’s honeymoon in Australia David goes missing, apparently drowned in the surf. Or was it suicide? Or homicide? Or is he really dead? (Hint: did you notice the title? That’s how obvious his “mysteries” are.)

The book is horribly overwritten, but as I said, that’s typical Coben. He seems to have a thing for basketball players, or at least really tall people. His main characters in his later books are also very tall men. I’m guessing the author played some B-Ball or at least is a big fan.

The convoluted plot sets up several mysteries, all tied somehow to what happened 30 years earlier. There’s something going on between Laura’s mother and aunt and the Baskin men. David’s money goes missing. His best friend, a cop, seems loyal but a bit shady. Mysterious threats and break-ins occur. It’s all resolved in what is supposed to be a shocking twist ending, but it’s all rather predictable because the author telegraphs the twists so far in advance. Still, the action moves along fairly smartly and if you’re a high-school dropout you won’t have any trouble with the vocabulary or style. If you dislike the pottymouth style, avoid this one. I listened to the audiobook, and Scott Brick’s overacting didn’t help it any. I can’t recommend it, but it was okay to play solitaire by.

c
CrystalTony
Jan 10, 2015

I have read almost all of Harlan Coben's books and this one is my favorite. I know its the first book he's ever written and a lot of people said its not as good as his other books. He even said it himself at the beginning of this one (that its not his best work)however I would tell people to give it a chance it is quite good. This book made me want to read everything else he's written afterwards. I haven't read one so far that beats this one. Although all of his books are really good except for Caught which is a bit disappointing.

lilylib Oct 05, 2013

Very disappointed. I wouldn't even call it a crime fiction, but a sirupy romance novel. I do like other Coben's books, but if read this one first, I would've never picked up his book again. In all fairness though, it was his first book.

g
gtct
Sep 26, 2013

My least favourite Harlan Coben novel. However, considering it is his first ever I'd say it is a job well done.

n
nitetraino
Feb 05, 2013

Excellent story of plots and thrills that leaves the reader wondering what will happen next. This is one wild ride and story and you don?t have to be a basketball fan to enjoy it. 9 of 10 stars

m
mblaser
Aug 20, 2012

A great novel, especially since its Coben's first ever novel. Lives up to the rest of his books.

c
charlie2911
Jun 20, 2012

In my opinion, (and with all due respect to personal choices - )anyone who gives this more than 2-3 stars does not read much real crime fiction -or is very easily pleased .

mikeyppl Mar 28, 2012

Excellent book, his first novel.

nypl_morris_park Mar 28, 2012

Great Book

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jgrnlees
Feb 10, 2012

jgrnlees thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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jgrnlees
Feb 10, 2012

Violence: There are several questionable deaths (suicides, accidents, murders) and it can be very dark and depressing in places.

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