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Mania Paperback – November 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: P Mass Paper; 1 edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786021543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786021543
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CRAIG LARSEN is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Columbia Law School. A single father, he has lived in Northern California, New York, and in Europe. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.


Customer Reviews

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beta: what do you think?
  • "Writing" 14
  • "Suspense" 7
  • "Characters" 4
  • "Emotional" 3
  • "Action" 2
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lynn McNamee on November 27, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Plot/Storyline: 3 Stars

This book starts off with a bang, or perhaps a slice. Either way, it's a terrific start that pulls you right into Nick's world as he and his brother are attacked by a vagrant, an attack which results in his brother's death.

The story then goes back in time to a couple of months before the attack. This is a common tactic, but it's still not one of my favorites. I don't really like knowing what happened first. My dislike stems from the fact that when I already know what happened, I find myself rushing through the back-story with a `get to the action' attitude. This author does do a better job using this format than some because he switches from past to present often, telling the current and the back-story at the same time. It did get a little confusing now and then, especially when I had to put the book down for awhile to do other things. However, overall, it was an interesting way to tell the story.

The story is told mostly from Nick's viewpoint, which is an excellent method to hold suspense due to his brief memory lapses. However, for some inane reason, there are occasional bits thrown in from other viewpoints. Not only are these portions unnecessary, but one such bit actually gave away a major spoiler. It wasn't a direct giveaway, just one sentence that hinted at something, and perhaps some people will miss it. After reading that bit, I kept thinking, "No, I have to be wrong. No author would give so much away right in the beginning." Unfortunately, I was not wrong, which ruined quite a bit of the ending for me.

As I stated, the book starts off at a good pace with a fast draw, but there are some middle portions that drag almost interminably. For instance, Nick makes a trip to visit a childhood girlfriend.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on November 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
MANIA is one of the most impressive thriller debuts of 2009. Craig Larsen, who started writing what he describes as "Dick and Jane" stories at a very early age, apparently has decided not to stick with that genre. The loss to children's literature is indeed the thriller genre's gain.

The heart of MANIA lies with Nick Wilder. Be forewarned: Nick is not a particularly sympathetic character. It is evident almost from the beginning that there is something wrong with him. A freelance newspaper photographer who barely ekes out a living, Nick constantly has blackout spells, repressed memories, hallucinations --- and a habit of turning up at murder scenes where the guest of honor is a victim of a Seattle serial killer known as the Street Butcher. Nick does this so frequently that it has caused a split in the Seattle police department between Adam Stolie, the detective investigating the case, and Lieutenant Dombrowski, Stolie's superior officer. Stolie thinks that Nick is innocent, just unlucky, while Dombrowski believes he is guilty as sin.

The worst part about it is that Nick isn't totally sure himself. His older brother, Sam, is wildly successful and very supportive of him. But Nick is jealous --- and he keeps having these weird memories of Sam, memories that are not only strange but incomplete as well. While so much is wrong with his life, there is Sara Garland. He meets her in a coffee shop, and it is like love at first sight. Sara is beautiful, intelligent and wealthy, but most importantly, she is incredibly supportive of Nick as she aggressively pursues him. How can a loser like Nick be so lucky? Well, for one thing, as we discover, he is definitely not a loser...but there is something that is most definitely wrong with him.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By F. Martins on November 13, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story kept me off balance and guessing from the first page. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Larsen twisted the plot another direction. Will we see Nick again?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jordan on August 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Full disclosure: I won this book.

I entered a giveaway for this book based on a small blurb of a description. It was the best giveaway I've ever entered. The plot of this book requires the reader to think and to engage in the action or risk losing the threads of the story. The title couldn't be more appropriate. I read this book in a fever. I couldn't put it down and when I was forced to, I mean you've gotta eat right, all I could think avbout was what would happen next. I devoured this book in a day. Nick and his brother are attacked and from there, Nick's life unravels. The past and present are mixed together throughout this book as Nick's mind jumps around trying to figure out exactly what is going on in Seattle. I would describe the plot flashes back and forth as that of Pulp Fiction. Everything will make sense at the gripping, heart-racing end. You won't be able to put this book down once you get within several chapters of the conclusion. Is Nick guilty of murder? Was his childhood really as he remembers it? Is he mentally ill? Exactly who is this woman who has no business loving a man like Nick? You'll be guessing to the end and even then, you'll probably guess wrong.

If you like your thriller/mystery books to be intelligent, then this book is for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Gaskey on January 5, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read for pleasure and as a recent retiree I have ripped through the current offerings of all my favorite authors. I sample Kindle freebies as a cheap way of finding new authors to follow. Mania was one such freebie and is well worth the "standard" 9.99 Kindle price. The writing style included flashbacks that I initially didn't care for but these flashbacks were handled differently than I've seen before: as the story progressed the flashbacks "tightened" and were essential to the story, an integral part of the protagonist's mind and thought processes.

I eagerly await the next Craig Larsen book, due in 2010. I'll actually buy that one.
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