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Don't Tell - Karen Rose

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Author: Karen Rose / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 21 January 2010 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Thriller / Suspense General / Publisher: Headline Publishing Group / Title: Don't Tell / ISBN 13: 9780755371150 / ISBN 10: 0755371150 / Alternative EAN: 9780446618960

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      30.06.2013 11:10
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      Excellent thriller

      ==Synopsis of the book:==

      Seven years ago Mary Grace Winters ran away from her abusive husband with their son. In order to do this she created a new identity for them both and moved from North Carolina to Chicago. She became Caroline Stewart and her son Tom. Added to this her husband believed she was unable to walk unaided due injuries he inflicted on her when he pushed her down some stairs at their home. And because Rob Winters is a well respected Cop no-one suspected he was abusing her. So when they disappear into thin air he believes she has been abducted and killed, and he is able to play the grieving father and he is not suspected of any wrong doing.

      However when a Lake is dredged her car is found and Winters starts to believe she isn't dead and that she has outsmarted him and disappeared. He vows to find her punish her and bring his precious son back home. And as he is still a Cop he is able to use Police Intelligence to start the process off. Meanwhile Caroline is unaware that he is after her and carries on with her new safe life but with for the first time in her life a new love interest in the shape of Max Hunter the new Professor at the College she works out. What will Caroline do? Will she share her troubled past with Max? Will her abusive husband find her or should she run away again?

      ==My thoughts on this novel:==

      I had no preconception or illusion about this book, which I think is unusual me for. And overall I found it to be a good well written suspense thriller. My reason for having no illusions about this book is because this is not an author I had ever heard of let along read before I picked this one up at a Local Car boot sale. It just seemed a bargain at 30p and one I could not really lose from. And because it is not an author I had any prior knowledge of I did not know what to expect or indeed what style the author would write in.

      I bought this book in two factors. The first was the tittle and the line above it it said 'Shhhh... he's coming for you' From this my interest in reading the book was apparent as I really like a good suspense or mystery and this sounded right up my street. The second thing that made we want to read it was the summary of the story on the back cover of the book. This told of Mary Grace's escape from a violent husband and now he is looking for her. I thought this sounded very good as a concept and it sounded full of suspense, which indeed the story was.

      This novel was Karen Rose's first. It was published in 2003 and she has followed it up so far with an additional 12 books. She is an American writer who specialises by suspense stories. For me an American author is quite a challenge as I do not normally like writers from there. I think this is because of the cultural difference between our two countries, means for example we have a different view most issues. Added to this I do not generally enjoy new authors to me, as it takes me a book or two to understand a writers work and their perspectives. However to give Karen Rose a lot of credit I did not feel like this at all and I very quickly enjoyed her story. I would compare this authors style of writing as similar to Lisa Gardner another excellent crime thriller writer.

      The story for me began in the best way possible with a prologue. It was about four pages long and it set the background to Mary Grace's troubled relationship with her husband. It made total sense to start the story like this so the reader knew exactly why she had decided to run and it certainly made me understand her perspective and what an awful life he had nine years before. It was also a good introduction because it brought me straight into the story and drew me into this characters life.

      When the first chapter began it immediately went to the present day and brought the reader up to date with Mary Grace's me life and identity. It made sense and it was both honest and believable to see how her life had changed but the insecurities she still had. I found it very easy to relate to her and I enjoyed what I was reading. The story however did not just focus on her, it also introduced the new man (Max) that she was attracted to.

      I like the way each new chapter undated the reader on not only the time and date but also the location, so you could tell if instantly who you were following. I did not enjoy it so much when it followed the abusive husband Winters, but that was probably because I despised what he had done to his wife. This was because it was well described what he had done to her and there was little to like about him or his intentions. He was clearly the bad man and yet no-one seemed to have picked up on this or maybe they didn't want to admit he was. I found this quite hard to believe but then it is easy to criticise from afar.

      The story continued to have a good feel for it and because it moved from character to character within it, there was always a lot of suspense as to if or indeed when Winters might catch up with his wife and what would happen. But to say this was the only feature of the story would be doing it an injustice. As it was also a love story between Caroline and Max as they sort to deal with their emotions and both deal with their own ghosts. It was well written and because it came from both of their perspectives you got a real understanding of why they thought the way they did.

      I do not particularly like slushy love stories but with these two having to deal with their very different pasts I find it more than palatable. As they seemed to both difficult issues to deal with and this entered their relationship. I am sure this would appeal more to those who like love stories but because of the above and the feeling this horrible husband was going to track her down their was always suspense to enjoy.

      The story had a good pace about it and I enjoyed the raw emotion within it. At no time was a bored or not interested in what was happening. I found Winters pursuit particularly interesting to see to what lengths he would go to find this women. It was the sort of story for me that had almost everything, yes I would personally have liked mystery but it was always obvious that it was Winters who was doing the chasing.

      In the past I have found suspense thrillers often finish too quickly and the ending is disappointing. However this stories exciting conclusion certainly did the story complete justice. It was full of suspense and I had no idea what would happen to all the leading characters. The author really described these fast moving and chilling scenes well and I really enjoyed what I was reading, unaware of what the final conclusion would be.

      This was followed by what in my opinion should have been the stories epilogue although this was just another chapter. For me this put everything that had preceded it into context and updated the reader on the progress following the exciting conclusion to the story. It was a good way to end the story and it certainly tied up most of the loose ends within it. Although I was surprised Caroline's best friend Dana was not involved more directly in this or even the second half of the story as she seemed to be forgotten and only played a very fleeting part.

      The leading character in the story was Caroline Stewart or Mary Grace. I found her a very likeable character and one because of everything she had been through that deserved happiness and a good life. Obviously this wasn't going to be the case as it would have been a very short and quite dull story if it was that easy. I admired her strength and courage and found her a well thought out character. Although she really did seem a totally different person to the wife she was previously, but then time had changed her and clearly made her strong.

      She was well supported by a number of very good well rounded characters. If it had just been Winters trying to find his wife I think the story would have not been half as good as these characters added new dimensions to the story. What the author did very well was share their thoughts and ideas within a scene so the reader got to understand what they were thinking that helped us form a relationship with them and made the story come to life as it wasn't just Caroline/ Mary Grace's story.

      The stories length was for me about right to tell an absorbing yarn. Yes it was quite long as my paperback version was just over 500 pages long, but this was justified by this wonderful story. I found it a very easy story to read and while I find domestic abuse and suffering a hard subject to read about I felt the author dealt with it in a sympathetic way and did not over elaborate on the punishment. I think this was a very impressive début novel and I will certainly be looking to read another from this author in the near future to see how it compares with this one.

      ==Conclusion:==

      I found this a very enjoyable suspense thriller and one I would certainly recommend as a great read.
      And despite it being a new author to me and an American author I found this a very well written and engrossing story. As well as being a suspense thriller it was also a love story and I found it was a realistic and honest story dealing with two people with troubled pasts. This was a refreshing story and one I enjoyed from the first to the very last page.

      ==Other Information:==

      Paperback Version:

      Pages: 503
      Price: 5.59
      Publisher: Headline
      ISBN-10: 0755347765
      ISBN-13: 978-0755347764
      Year first published: 2003
      More about the author: www.karenrosebooks.com
      Also available in Kindle Edition and Hardback formats

      Thanks for reading my review.

      This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo

      © CPTDANIELS June 2013

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      • More +
        08.02.2010 14:29
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        I probably wouldn't bother

        Don't Tell - Karen Rose

        Description: Author: Karen Rose / Genre: Crime / Thriller.


        I must start by explaining that I only paid £1 for this book from Asda last week when they had a big sale on books. Despite the low price, the cover told me that it was a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller so I had high hopes that it would be a good read.

        Unfortunately, I quickly found the book to be a let down and ended up wishing I had saved the £1 and bought something else!

        The book introduces us to Caroline Stewart and her son Tom. This isn't their real names though as seven years earlier, Caroline was Mary Grace Winters and had fled an abusive relationship, leaving her brutal cop husband to believe that she was dead. When, seven years later, her car is recovered by chance when police are looking for a missing diver, suspicions are raised that Rob Winters (Caroline's husband) may have killed her. Rob however realises that this can only mean one thing - that Mary Grace is still alive and has taken his son away from him.

        Rob is a vicious bully who has no qualms about removing any obstacles to finding his wife, which quickly proves to have deadly consequences.

        Around the same time, Caroline meets her new boss, Dr Max Hunter who is handsome and attractive, despite having a big chip on his shoulder following an accident some years before. Against all of her better instincts, Caroline and Max quickly fall for each other, presenting problems that Caroline has never encountered before, having never been in a loving and non abusive relationship.

        For me, it was the addition of Dr Max Hunter that let this book down, the rest of the storyline was quite powerful and dark, with some chilling moments. However, the scenes between Caroline and Max bordered on embarrassing, with the sex scenes being cringe-worthy at best. Don't get me wrong, I am all for a bit of erotica in books but this was written like a bad Mills and Boon and toe-curlingly cheesy!

        There was something a bit unbelievable about the Caroline and Max story which didn't really gel with the rest of the book in my opinion. It seemed to focus more on this than on the damage and hurt that abusive relationships can cause, and while it can be nice to read a positive slant on such horrors, I couldn't help thinking "yeah right" in several places.

        Of course, everyone has different tastes and people must like this book or it wouldn't have made the Top Ten Bestseller list but I found it a little tedious and unrealistic. The ending was predictable and the whole thing not nearly as disturbing and fast paced as I had hoped for. If anyone is considering buying this book, don't bother - message me and I will send you my copy!

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