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Out of Range: A Novel Hardcover – June 4, 2013

78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Steinberg, known for creating the popular TV series Without a Trace, delivers a moving and suspenseful first novel. Charlie Davis and his wife, Julie, barely escaped a riot in Uzbekistan six years ago. Charlie was there as a reporter, and after he and Julie got out with their lives, he vowed to never put himself or his family in harm’s way again. That oath has slowly drained the spark from their marriage, to the point that Julie contemplates leaving Charlie. On a trip to Disneyland, Julie disappears, leaving the kids locked in the car. As Charlie tries to find answers to her kidnapping, he soon realizes that she was keeping major secrets from him. The police consider those new facts enough motive for Charlie to have arranged the kidnapping himself. Tense and intriguing to the last page, this domestic thriller promises a bright future in crime fiction for Steinberg. Recommend this to fans of Harlan Coben and Lisa Unger. --Jeff Ayers

Review

“Gripping from the start . . . this action-thriller shines in its action scenes.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

“A high-action thriller that stands out in a crowded field. . . . Charlie sets out to rescue Julie with all the determination of a Vince Flynn or Brad Thor hero. Good backstory, original characterization, and a cinematic prose style add up to an exciting read.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“A moving and suspenseful first novel. . . . Tense and intriguing to the last page, this domestic thriller promises a bright future in crime fiction for Steinberg. Recommend this to fans of Harlan Coben and Lisa Unger.” (Booklist)

“Hank Steinberg’s Out of Range blasts out of the gate and never stops galloping.” (Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan and Tory Brennan series)

“With the speed of an ICBM and a plot straight out of ‘Homeland’, Out of Range is for those who like their terror stakes on red alert and their action set to high.” (Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds)

“Hope, desire, heartbreak, global intrigue, swift plotting and characters you’ll love—Hank Steinberg’s stunning debut has it all.” (Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Stay Close)

Out of Range is an explosive international thriller, gritty and real, with vivid characters, dramatic international settings, and a sense of menace that grows almost unbearable. I absolutely loved it.” (Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Monster of Florence and co-creator of the Pendergast series)

“The mysteries of marriage collide with the page-turning suspense of a breakneck thriller in one of the most combustible reads of the year.” (Chuck Hogan, award-winning author of The Town and co-author of The Strain Trilogy)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st Printing edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062080539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062080530
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,422,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

HANK STEINBERG was the acclaimed creator, writer and producer of the award-winning, hit television series Without a Trace and screenwriter of the acclaimed HBO film 61*. He has been nominated for an Emmy Award and Writers Guild of America Award for screenwriting as well as a Humanitas Award. He lives in Los Angeles and is currently working on the screenplay for Out of Range for Paramount Pictures and writing and producing the TNT series The Last Ship. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ethan on June 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Charlie Davis is a man who has settled. Six years ago, he was living a life of excitement and purpose. As a journalist, he was based out of Uzbekistan, chronicling the people's turmoil from government oppression. While there, he met the love of his wife, Julie. A native of London, Julie worked in Uzbekistan, helping citizens and trying, like Charlie, to raise awareness of their situation. This life of excitement peaked one day during a protest demonstration.

A very pregnant Julie attended the demonstration with Charlie and her old friend and romantic flame, Alisher Byko and his wife and son. In the heat of the demonstration, a passionate Byko stood on the statue of the Uzbekistan leader and begin to speak in resistance. In that same instant, the government's police arrived and began shooting at the protesters. Charlie climbed a tower to get a better vantage point for photographing the horrific scene. From this higher view, Charlie witnessed Byko's wife an child being murdered. He felt a shot of pain in his back and soon realized that he too had been shot.

Fortunately, those days are behind them now. Charlie accepted a position at the LA Times and Julie stays home, raising their two children. Everything seems to be normal. But as is often the case, especially if you're reading a thriller, turmoil rests just below the surface.

Julie has recently returned from a trip to New York to visit her sister. To celebrate, she decides to take the family for a day of fun at Disneyland. In a rather terse exchange, Charlie states that he has to go into work, so Julie ends up taking the kids by herself. In this moment, we are first given a glimpse into a bit of tension in their marriage.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Kay VINE VOICE on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As one might expect from the creator of Without a Trace: The First & Second Complete Seasons, this book has nearly non-stop action from beginning to end. The action kept me turning the pages, but after I reached the end, there was time to think about some bothersome inconsistencies that reduced my enjoyment of the book.

Charlie and Julie Davis met and married in Uzbekistan where he was a journalist and she worked for an NGO. After nearly dying in a protest gone wrong, they moved back to Los Angeles and a quiet suburban life. In a scene much like his TV series, Julie takes their children to Disneyland after returning from a 4-day trip and vanishes without a trace and then the action begins.

I enjoy fast-paced thrillers and because of that I do not expect the writing to be literary in nature -- the story is the driving force, not the words. And I accept that I have to suspend disbelief so the "good guys" can improbably succeed against the bad guys, even when they are outnumbered and out-weaponed.

In the case of this book, the writing shows the author's background in the visual media of television -- meaning that this would be a better movie or TV show than a book. Most of the action takes place in a foreign country and I didn't get a good feeling of place or people from the writing. The words tell the story but not enough for the reader to "see" and feel the acton while reading.

I was more troubled by questions that came after I finished the book and, to some extent, when I slowed down to think while reading. At the beginning of the book, Julie Davis worked for World Vision but she was passing out placards for a protest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on June 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I won't do a full story synopsis as you can get that on the product description page.

I really enjoy "discovering" new authors; sometimes it pays off big. Other times ... not so much.

This is supposedly a "thriller" of "international espionage". Charlie and Julie Davis, former globe-trotters - he a journalist, she an aid worker - "retire" to Southern California after being swept up in a massacre during a demonstration in Uzbekistan. Years later, she's kidnapped by international terrorists, and amateur Charlie must take them on to save his wife, and both their lives.

This book has several things going for it. A lot of action, international settings. But it suffers from many of the problems I've come to associate with first novels from authors who made their names in the visual media (TV and/or movies): writing that's more dependent on action than story or character development. This results in a lot of inconsistencies and mistakes, as well as a certain lack of depth.

I think the problem derives from the fact that those folks are used to dealing with scripts, which don't have the types of explication or inner dialogues one finds in well-written novels. Scripts describe what one sees and hears from the screen; novels demand a whole lot more, as they have to drive the imagination of the reader.

Specifically as to this particular book the problem leads to inconsistencies and plot holes that left me scratching my head a lot of the time. Why does one of the Bad Guys (Quinn) ever even go to Charlie's house in the first place, other than to drive the plot? He certainly couldn't have expected to gain any useful information from clueless Charlie.
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