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Heartstopper: A Novel Hardcover – April 3, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Fielding (Mad River Road) delivers another dependably entertaining thriller. When Sandy Crosbie and her physician husband, Ian, move to Torrance, Fla. (pop. 4,160), from Rochester, N.Y., to make a new start, Sandy quickly discovers that the real new start is Ian's affair with "Barbie clone" Kerri Franklin, whom he met on an Internet chat line. Sandy, who's irritatingly docile about being deserted, trudges forward, getting a job teaching at the local high school and keeping an eye on her two teenage children, Megan and Tim. The author convincingly portrays the Crosbie siblings and other students, while examining in more depth than some readers might prefer teenage angst and puppy love. A popular girl, Liana Martin, disappears and her body later turns up in a swamp. Amid the offstage drama of the school play rehearsals, Sandy's painful blind date and Ian's affair, tension builds and cracks appear within and among local residents. Every few chapters, the anonymous killer offers an entry, which adds to the suspense, though the generous time spent with our mystery villain takes some of the kick out of the ending. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In Fielding's latest suspense novel set in tiny Torrance, Florida, a serial killer's journal entries are interspersed with the stunned reactions of various of the town's citizens when two teenage girls go missing. Sandy Crosbie, a high-school English teacher and the mother of two teenagers, has relocated to remote Torrance from Rochester, New York, at the urging of her handsome doctor husband. But his reasons for the move soon become apparent when he leaves her for Kerri Franklin, a "Barbie clone and Internet paramour extraordinaire." Sandy, along with the rest of the town's citizens, is jolted out of her self-absorption when the body of the most popular girl in school is found buried in a shallow grave. Now it's up to exhausted, overweight Sheriff John Weber, unhappily married to the TV-addicted Pauline, to calm residents' fears and find out what happened to the pretty blonde teen. But even as he fends off the town's obnoxious mayor, intent on calling in the FBI, Sandy's daughter goes missing. Fielding crafts a suspenseful plot, with a stunner of a twist, while giving her characters a depth of humanity not frequently found in formula fiction. Exciting and unexpectedly touching reading from the talented Fielding. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; 1st Atria Books Hardcover Ed edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743295986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743295987
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,231,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joy Fielding is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Still Life, Charley's Web, Heartstopper, See Jane Run, and other acclaimed novels. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach, Florida.

Customer Reviews

It had too many characters and almost all of them were extremely annoying.
The story is a page turner and I read it in a short time because I couldn't put it down!
L. Juarez
This is a book you want to unfold in front of you as you can't wait to turn the page.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Packed with plenty of suspense, a plethora of suspects and a look into the mind of a serial killer, HEARTSTOPPER is a book you will find hard to put down once you start reading.

The opening chapter begins with an excerpt from the killer's journal describing the "cat and mouse" game being played with the girl who is about to be murdered. This gambit immediately hooks the reader and you eagerly get on board for the rest of this ride.

Fielding gives us a liberal amount of suspense, but in addition she give us an up close and personal look at life in a small town (pop. 4,160) where every adults sins and foibles are known to the entire community, high school is a place where taunting and humiliation are the order of the day and being different is akin to wearing a scarlet letter on your chest.

The book is written from the perspective of several of the characters, both adult and adolescent, and leads the reader on a merry chase as each new chapter exposes more and more personal truths about the residents of Torrance, Florida that continuously reshape and alter your thoughts as to the identity of the culprit.

I liked the fact that descriptive scenes of actual bloodletting and gore were held to a minimum, and instead the author chose to portray the cerebral by focusing on the thoughts and emotions of the murderer, the victims and the people of the town.

All in all, Heartstopper has a strong sense of character and place, excellent dialogue, and a story that crackles like lightening.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By barry TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This latest novel from the always satisfying Joy Fielding is a definite page turner and one of the best from her entire career.

I haven't read a book this fast in ages. I could not put it down. She does a measterful job of incorporating the mystery of some murders taking place in a small Florida community with wonderful three dimensional portrayals of all the players.

These people are real. You care about them. And the suspense grows throughout and is very believable. I was on the edge of my seat and making sure I didn't peak ahead. Try to avoid any reviews here that give away too much of the plot. This is a book you want to unfold in front of you as you can't wait to turn the page.

The ending was totally satisfying. I remember how much I loved SEE JANE RUN which was my introduction to this author. HEARTSTOPPER is even better. She is often put in the same category as Mary Higgins Clark and this is so unfair. The only similarity is that the main character tends to be a woman. Joy Fielding writes with a depth and psychological insight that Clark doesn't come close to.

Thanks Joy for a book I never wanted to end. You are always at the top of my favorite seller's list. Keep em coming !
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ange on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just finished this book and must say, I was quite disappointed. First, the author frequently sermonizes on: society and its expectations for women (primarily thinness but also extreme beauty), marijuana use, popularity issues in high school - a lot of issues glossed over and mentioned again and again, but without any impact on the story.

The most likable character is Sandy, the spurned wife of a doctor who left for a surgically-enhanced Barbie doll. I'm assuming we're supposed to be upset that the Barbie character gets so much attention (and indeed, much time is devoted to explaining why she had multiple cosmetic surgeries), but the character is actually quite nice and displays sympathetic qualities. Why this is so is never explored - we're not led to believe she's either great or awful... like many of the characters, she's just there. Another character, Megan, is the star of the third act - but is portrayed as an empty-headed teenager who spends her brief mentions in the first 2/3 of the book mooning over a teenage boy named Greg. Oh, and Greg is a popular kid who's alternately mean, sensitive, moody, sweet, gets beaten up by his father and yet stars in the high school musical.

Lastly, there is only one male character in the entire book that you even have a chance of liking - and he's cheated on his wife multiple times. Another couple of male characers, teenage boys, you might like if the author had spent a little more time developing them instead of creating Joey, the archtypical popular teenage boy who calls everyone homophobic slurs and teases the girls.

I'm loathe to post a negative review, but I was very disappointed in this book. The author would have better served her readers by cutting the sermonizing, focusing a little more on character development, and forgoing the character cliches. (Oh and a few less mentions of apple martinis.)
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on April 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
HEARTSTOPPER by Joy Fielding

Amazon Rating: 4/5 stars

Joy Fielding's latest thriller is a page-turner. Starting with the opening chapter that comes straight from the killer's journal, the reader will enjoy HEARTSTOPPER until the killer is finally revealed. In a nutshell, the story takes place in a small Florida town, where a pretty (and popular) young teenage girl has gone missing. When her body turns up, the town begins to talk, and soon people realize there is a murderer on the loose. Signs point to a serial killer, and now it's up to the authorities to find him. In between the murder mystery, the story delves into the lives of several key characters, with varying viewpoints to allow the reader to try to figure out who the killer is. A very enjoyable book!

I've read a few Joy Fielding books, and have enjoyed each one, but this book I think out of all of them had the most potential for some gruesome violent scenes. However, there is not much gore depicted at all, and a lot is left to the reader's imagination, which I found refreshing. Fans of Fielding will enjoy HEART STOPPER. I read it in two days flat, and did not figure out the killer until the end. It's probably going to be one of my favorite Joy Fielding books so far!
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