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Desperate [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Palmer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $15.00
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Kindle Edition $2.51  
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Book Description

"Palmer burnishes his status as one of today's best thriller writers with this emotionally gripping and steel-trap plotted standalone. Palmer is so successful at getting readers to invest in Gage that his travails are almost too painful to read about." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This is one of those thrillers where you know something is going on, and the writer gives you plenty of clues, but there are still some twists and turns he keeps hidden away until just the right moment. A smartly constructed tale that operates on multiple levels." - Booklist

"Fans of well-crafted Hitchcock-like thrillers will enjoy Desperate." - Associated Press

"If you've somehow missed reading Daniel Palmer, it's time to -- pardon the pun -- get Desperate." --Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Brimming with suspense and unrelenting twists, acclaimed author Daniel Palmer's latest thriller delves into the waking nightmare of a well meaning couple whose biggest--and most ordinary--dream has gone terrifyingly awry. . .

Gage Dekker still blames himself for the car accident that claimed the lives of his first wife and young son. Then he meets Anna, who understands grief all too well. Within a year, Gage and Anna are married, his career is thriving, and both feel ready to become parents once more.

After a heartbreaking miscarriage, they begin the long adoption process, until fate brings Lily into their lives. Young, pregnant, and homeless, Lily agrees to give her baby to Gage and Anna in exchange for financial support. It's the perfect arrangement for everyone. Seeing his wife's happiness and optimism for their new life and child, Gage begins to feel a sense of hope he thought he'd lost forever.

But something isn't right once Lily enters their lives. At work and at home, Gage is being sabotaged, first in subtle ways, then things take a more sinister turn. Every attempt he makes to uncover the truth only drives a wedge between him and Anna. Even as he's propelled toward an unthinkable choice to save his marriage and his job, Gage discovers that the most chilling revelations are still to come. . .

Praise for the novels of Daniel Palmer

Desperate"If you've somehow missed reading Daniel Palmer, it's time to--pardon the pun--get Desperate." --Harlan Coben


"Unrelentingly suspenseful." --Publishers Weekly

"A twisting, suspenseful chiller of a book." --William Landay


"Warning: once you start reading this novel, you will not stop!" –Lisa Gardner


"Not just a great thriller debut, but a great thriller, period." --Lee Child

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In Palmer’s latest, a couple who came together under tragic circumstances—they met at a support group for parents whose children have died—decides to adopt. This doesn’t sound especially implausible, but theres also the fact that the child Gage and Anna decide to adopt is the unborn baby of Lily, a young woman they happened to meet at a bus stop (who then tracked them down to their house and offered them her child). The book is full of crazy-person red flags, and, to be fair, Gage does see them, does think something’s not quite right with Lily. But every time he accuses Lily of something, Anna jumps to the girl’s defense, and there’s always a seemingly simple explanation. This is one of those thrillers where you know something is going on, and the writer gives you plenty of clues, but there are still some twists and turns he keeps hidden away until just the right moment. A smartly constructed tale that operates on multiple levels. --David Pitt


"If you've somehow missed reading Daniel Palmer, it's time to--pardon the pun--get Desperate." –Harlan Coben

"Firmly places Palmer alongside the likes of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner." --The Providence Journal

"Palmer burnishes his status as one of today's best thriller writers with this steel-trap plotted standalone." –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"This is one of those thrillers where you know something is going on, and the writer gives you plenty of clues, but there are still some twists and turns he keeps hidden away until just the right moment." --Booklist

Product Details

  • File Size: 1211 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (April 29, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,963 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
You’re walking home one night and you see a young woman sitting on a curb, crying softly. Basic decency requires (demands, perhaps?) that you go up to her and see what’s the matter, maybe offering assistance as well. Somehow, in his new novel, Daniel Palmer creates just enough doubt with that identical scenario that you will be screaming “No! Run!” before you’re even done with the first paragraph.

How does he do this? You’ll have to read DESPERATE, Palmer’s fourth and best book to date, to get an inkling. The weeping young woman is a near-waif named Lily. In due course, she tells a Good Samaritan couple who assists her --- the happily married Gage and Anna Dekker --- about being pregnant and announcing the news to her boyfriend, who, in turn, promptly kicked her to the curb. Gage and Anna are no strangers to tragedy. They have each lost a child during their respective prior marriages and have experienced a devastating failure in their own efforts to conceive. Gage, a quality assurance director for a lithium battery designer, and Anna, a self-employed management consultant, have already begun the steps to arrange a direct adoption with a birth mother but have yet to pinpoint a likely candidate to contact them.

Then Lily enters their lives. She seems like the answer to their prayers, and Palmer doesn’t do anything to dissuade the reader about that. That’s true on the surface, but (and I’m not sure how he does this) you can feel the water going up incrementally from page one, just a half-degree or so every few pages. You just know that Gage and Anna are making a mistake of monster-sized proportions here. But you’re wrong, in a way. It’s a mistake, though you have no idea how huge a mistake it is when they let Lily take up residence in their home and in their lives.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rising Star May 18, 2014
Daniel Palmer, the son of the late Dr. Michael Palmer (who has a book out this month) has provided progressively impressive novels. I stumbled onto Daniel quite by accident…I was ordering one of his father’s books and placed an order for one of Daniels by mistake. Well as it turned out it was a blessing rather than a mistake.
In his most recent novel “Desperate” Daniel once again tugs at your emotional heart strings, and then begins to lay out a plot that is twisty and throughout the book turns in directions that would lead the reader to conclude that the ending will be one way. Once that is believed something is introduced that has been there all along that completely turns the reader in another direction. Like Jeffrey Deaver, Harland Coben, Linwood Barkley (to name a few), Daniel provides the reader a challenge; “think, engage, and be prepared to come to an ending that is unforeseen and unforgettable”. I like a writer that engages me and causes me to think as I’m reading, to feel, and to escape for just a while into a world that things happen that really could happen to someone, or a group of people given situations that are possible, not far out or unbelievable.
I think it is hard to develop a story, characters and introduce things throughout the story that keep you guessing and hold your attention until the end. With each new novel Daniel has sharpened his skill to provide a great read. Sure there are some folks that like the monthly James Patterson books that are preformatted and read like a script (I have to admit I like Patterson too sometimes too) it’s a quick fun read. I do like those books sometimes, but must admit that I really like a good book that leaves a memory, that you want to read again.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best book to date ! May 8, 2014
By Kelly D
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Think you know what this book is about ? Believe me you don't ! What a thrill ride. To think his mind works this way is just fascinating and lucky us for getting to read his books ! this book is unbelievable. I read it in a day, I didnt want to put it down but at the same time I was afraid every step of the way where this book was going..............and I was way off. It was way more devious than I could have imagined. Buy the book you wont be sorry or disappointed. Best book I have read in a while and I read alot of books !
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Intense May 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I could not wait to write a review for this book. At dinner last night my non-reading husband (well, tech stuff) asked how was my latest book and what was it about. I summarized for him and he looked a little shocked, as what I was saying was rather depressing. But, I told him, it is really well-written, so I will finish it, as I want to know how it turns out. A word of warning to anyone who has lost a child, perhaps you wouldn't want to read this book. The main character lost his child, and while the book handles his loss and grief well, it might prove too close to reality and make you uncomfortable. That being said, it is critical to the plot. The story is so intriguing, and I didn't see the big twist coming, which made it even more fun. It's believable, tense, intriguing, and hard to put down. I cannot really say a lot more without being a spoiler, but WELL DONE, Daniel Palmer!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read May 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading the first few chapters, I thought, this couldn't be a thriller, the beginning was about a nice couple doing nice things for others. Then bam. All sorts of weird things began to happen. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to read a Good Story? Try Desperate
I enjoyed the story but I did find it quite lengthy
Published 6 hours ago by Emily
3.0 out of 5 stars it was okay
I didn't enjoy the book. There was too much going on, no rest in sight.
Not an easy read. I wouldn't recommend it
Published 3 days ago by Dreena Goode
5.0 out of 5 stars Try to Figure What Happens Next ... You Can't!
I just finished reading DESPERATE, and I can only say that I am delighted to discover a new author - that is, one previously unknown to me. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Helene Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars READ ONLY IF YOUR HEART IS STRONG AND HEALTHY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Published 5 days ago by marcia riley
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
A couple in love are desperate to have a baby. One night after dinner, they comfort a sad woman crying because she is pregnant and her boyfriend doesn't want the baby. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Page-Turner!
Great novel! This is the first story I have read from Daniel Palmer. I have read many of his father, Michael Palmer's books. Read more
Published 19 days ago by gdthoms
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
This is a fantastic thriller that kept me guesding the whole time. I hope the rrst of his books are this good.
Published 23 days ago by redapple
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
This story is touching, exciting, thought-provoking, and above all enjoyable. Grief affects everyone to some degree, but hope and healing come eventually...if we let it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. Larkin
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a really good read - suspenseful
This was a really good read - suspenseful, kept me guessing right up until the end, and even the ending was stellar. I definitely recommend it highly!
Published 1 month ago by Heather Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This book had me guessing all the way through. Being the genius I am, I had it figured out at least ten times. Or more. And was wrong each time for a new record. Read more
Published 1 month ago by bon
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More About the Author

Daniel Palmer spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer helping to build first generation websites for Barnes & Noble and other popular brands. An experienced musician and songwriter, Daniel has recorded two CDs and licensed his songs for commercial use. Daniel's co-written two short stories for the trade organization International Thriller Writers, which were published in Thriller (edited by James Patterson) and First Thrills (edited by Lee Child). Daniel's novels of domestic suspense frequently explore the hidden dangers and vulnerabilities of an increasingly tech-centric world. He holds a master's degree in mass communications from Boston University, and currently resides in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.

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