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Don't Say a Word Kindle Edition

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Length: 386 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Matchbook Price: $2.99 What's this?
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Klavan, an Edgar winner who also writes as Keith Peterson, expertly interweaves the disparate worlds of a psychiatrist who takes on the hard cases: catatonics, schizophrenics and the criminally insane.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- This psychological thriller chronicles the kidnapping of the adored child of a successful psychiatrist in New York City. From the time two men knock at an elderly woman's door and ask permission to conduct a maintenance check until Jessie is reunited with her mother, the pace never slackens. The vulnerability of the honest person to the evil purpose of criminals is made bone-numbingly clear as readers are alternately privy to the inner thoughts and actions of family members (including Jessie), the terrorists, and the police. Escape literature to spellbind mature teens and perhaps nudge them closer to discarding their youthful sense of immortality. --Barbara Hawkins, West Potomac High, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 776 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0765341522
  • Publisher: Forge Books (October 14, 2001)
  • Publication Date: October 14, 2001
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,469 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Andrew Klavan has been nominated for the Mystery Writer of America's Edgar award five times and won twice. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Don't Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas, True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Empire of Lies. He is currently writing a series of thrillers for young adults called The Homelanders. The first two novels in the series are The Last Thing I Remember and The Long Way Home. Klavan is a contributing editor to City Journal and his essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other places. His satiric video commentaries can be seen on

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Ann Minners on June 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book after seeing the movie. Of course, that can sometimes be a big mistake. However, knowing that the book is usually different from the movie, I kept an open mind as I began to read the prologue. After that, there was just no putting the book down. I couldn't wait to find out what happens next!
Psychiatrist Nathan Conrad has a flourishing practice, a gorgeous wife, and a beautiful daughter. He considers himself a bit run-down, but is happy with his life. Until he meets Elizabeth Burrows and his happy life is turned upside down. Elizabeth is a patient placed in a city-run psychiatric hospital. She has committed a brutal murder and Nathan is called by a colleague who seeks to discover whether she is fit to stand trial for the crime. As Elizabeth begins to trust Dr. Conrad, someone else takes notice. A man called Sport has a large stake in the doctor-patient relationship. If Elizabeth trusts Dr. Conrad enough, she might tell him everything, including the number that can make Sport a very rich man. How will he ensure that this comes about? ... What follows is a fast-paced suspenseful journey to discover the number that Elizabeth has locked in her head.
I really enjoyed reading this book, but gave it three stars because some of the graphic language in the novel turned me off a bit. If you are a fan of the movie, you may be a bit disappointed as the book goes on a completely different tangent. The premise is the same: psychiatric patient has a number that the bad guy needs, so he steals the psychiatrist's daughter to ensure his cooperation. However, the rest of the novel is almost completely different. No matter! The book is a great read! You won't be able to put it down!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sebastien Pharand on August 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Don't Say a Word is an in-your-face novel that practically reads by itself. Although the dialogue is often laughable and the characters are paper-thin, the hundreds of twists and turns are enough to keep you entertained well past your bedtime.
A psychologist's daughter is kidnapped by men who pretend to be able to see everything the shrink and his wife do. They want to get a number from a psychotic patient of the good doctor, a number which, of course, will bring them to a loot worth millions. The doctor has only a few hours to get the number and find his daughter.
The race against time plot is always entertaining. The action is non-stop and the finale is beyoung belief. This is a book you just can't put down. The plot lets you forget that the author has no real style of his own and that the dialogue is often horrendous. This is one novel that satisfies its reader from beginning to end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Asali on October 17, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ask yourself what you want of this book. If its an entertaining, reasonably suspenseful timekiller you seek, then this is a great choice. It's an old book experiencing a (slight) renaissance due to the release of the Michael Douglas movie. I would rather pick my own eyes out with a grapefruit spoon than see that movie but the book is the source and introduces a flawed psychiatrist and his small family and then subjects them to psychotics of every stripe. As a parent, I feel compelled to warn adults with children in the house that the novel preys on basic child-kidnapping fears. But you already know that, don't you? The ending is a bit pat and the improbable seems to trump the likely at every turn. Even so, it's a nice little romp, sort of thriller lite. It is particularly effective in its compression of time and its varied perspectives. If you've ever wondered about the mind of a psychopath, Klavan will gladly oblige you a peek.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Gitlits on October 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all - don't watch the movie. It really butchered the book, changing its core elements into something quite different and less interesting.
This book is the closest you get to Hitchcock, without watching the movies. The main character is an ordinary man, who is face with the order: "We have your daughter, we are watching you, do as we tell you and don't say a word, or we'll kill her".
Thus he is sent on a task he doesn't understand, and he is trying to deduce the wereabouts of his daughter and the mystery of the number the villains are trying to get out of his patient in a mental hospital.
The pace of the novel is superb, and the language is perfect for this kind of book. This is really the kind of book to keep you through the night.
The situation the characters are put in is really your worst nightmare - when the violence shatters your cozy little world, and you have to fight for everything you hold dear.
This book is equal to "Marathon Man" by William Goldman, shame it didn't manage to get as good movie version as that novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Norburn on April 19, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a highly entertaining page-turner that had me hooked from the opening line. The plot isn't overly original - a prominent psychologist's daughter is kidnapped by a trio of degenerate thugs who threaten to kill the girl if the psychologist doesn't do what they want. What they want is a piece of information, a number, from one of the doctor's patients, and they are convinced he's the only one who can get it from her.

This is a well-plotted novel that is hard to put down. The pacing is relentless. I also liked that the author created a protagonist who is a little flawed (for example, he has inappropriate sexual fantasies about his young patient) and killers who are not exactly criminal masterminds. (Stupid criminals are almost always more entertaining than smart ones). Overall the writing is solid, in some instances reminiscent of Steven King (notably the extensive use of 'italicized internal dialogue').

One unconventional aspect to this novel is that there are times when scenes happen `off the page'. One of the bad guys for example is taken into custody and the reader only learns of this `after the fact'. This narrative technique is used multiple times in the novel and in most cases works quite effectively. It reinforces the element of the `ticking time-clock' and isolation that drive the story. So many things are happening simultaneously in the novel and, in a world before cell phones, the characters are often functioning in isolation, unaware of what is occurring `off the page'.

As entertaining as I found this novel, I have to admit that some of the plot points are pretty implausible and there are elements of the novel that are painfully melodramatic.
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