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Playing Dead (Prison Break, Book 3)

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Playing Dead (Prison Break, Book 3) [Mass Market Paperback]

Allison Brennan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 30, 2008

Sentenced to death for crimes he didn’t commit, ex-cop Tom O’Brien is now a hunted fugitive. After fifteen years in prison, he’s determined to prove his innocence–but first he must convince his daughter, whose testimony helped put him behind bars, that he has damning evidence of a plot to frame him.

Claire is no longer the naïve teenager who arrived home to find her mother and her mother’s lover shot dead and her father holding the murder weapon. She’s a successful fraud investigator who assumes everyone lies. Though Claire is convinced of her father’s guilt, curiosity propels her to look into the disappearance of a law student who claimed to have proof of Tom’s innocence. But seeking answers only leads to more questions, reinforcing Claire’s belief that there’s no one left to trust.

Obsessed with the O’Brien case, FBI agent Mitch Bianchi befriends Claire under false pretenses, certain that Tom is not only innocent but in grave danger–and not just from the cops. As the three race toward the truth, a murderous conspiracy tightens its noose–and Claire becomes the target of an ice-cold psychopath who will kill to protect his secrets.

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Editorial Reviews


'Fans of Tess Gerritsen will love Allison Brennan' Publishing News 'New arrival Brennan wastes no time proving that she's a talent to be reckoned with ... Truly chilling' Romantic Times 'Four-and-a-half stars ... Top Pick! Terrifying!' Romantic Times Book Club '... an exhilarating tale that grips the audience' Harriet Klausner --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Allison Brennan is the author of nine bestselling romantic thrillers, including The Prey, Speak No Evil, and Killing Fear. For thirteen years she worked as a consultant in the California State Legislature before leaving to devote herself fully to her family and writing. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Dan, and their five children.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; a edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345502736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345502735
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award winning author of two dozen romantic thrillers and mysteries, and numerous short stories. Most recently, she was nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers and the Daphne du Maurier Award by Kiss of Death. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, Allison lives in northern California with her husband, five kids, and assorted pets. She's currently writing, reading, playing video games, or attending her kids sporting events. She's currently writing two series, the Lucy Kincaid/Sean Rogan thrillers and the Maxine Revere mysteries. Visit her website for more information.

Dear Reader:

Like most writers, I am an avid reader. I started light - Encyclopedia Brown, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew - but by the time I was eleven, I'd discovered my mom's vast Agatha Christie and Ed McBain collections.

But two things happened on my way to becoming a mystery writer.

First, I discovered Stephen King.

As a thirteen-year-old book fanatic, I learned about page-turners early. I wrote Stephen King a fan letter after reading THE STAND and told him I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. He wrote back and told me: "If you want to be a writer, write." Which I took to mean, why wait until I grew up?

My problem? I never finished anything I started. As soon as I was well into the story and had figured out what was going to happen, I became bored and started a new project.

In high school, I became fascinated with true crime, and it wasn't until college that I started reading my mom's romance novels. They hadn't appealed to me as a teenager, but as a "mature" twenty-one year old, I found them entertaining.

Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, and others introduced me to contemporary novels that didn't involve murder, dismemberment, or deranged clowns living in the sewer.

Over the next decade, I built a career, married, had five kids, but never stopped reading--or writing.

I soon discovered a wonderful blend of suspense and romance with the romantic suspense novels of Tami Hoag, Kay Hooper and Lisa Gardner, and knew exactly what I wanted to write. I could take my mystery reader background, my fascination with true crime, and my desire for a happily ever after, and blend it into a romantic thriller.

I love romance because I want a happy ending. True love should win over adversity, if the hero and heroine are worthy. They need to earn it, because nothing achieved easily is truly appreciated. But I also love intense thrills and chills because they are physical--fear causes the entire body to react, heart pounding, head thumping, hands shaking.

DEAD HEAT, a Lucy Kincaid Thriller, is available now. Coming in July is the next Moreno & Hart Mystery, HIT AND RUN, co-written with Laura Griffin. Spring 2015 will have COMPULSION, the second book in the Max Revere series.

Thank you to all my readers. I appreciate your feedback and enthusiasm.

~ Allison Brennan


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, unputdownable, unforgettable! October 21, 2008
By GinRobi
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Claire O'Brien is a successful fraud investigator, assuming that they are all guilty until proven otherwise. After her father went to prison, she wouldn't, and hasn't really, trusted anyone. As she goes out to investigate a suspicious fire, her father surprises her, begging for help. He doesn't care if he ends up back in prison, he doesn't care that in four weeks, he'll walk that stretch of corridor knowing he wouldn't be coming back. What he cares about is that he doesn't go to his grave without Claire knowing the truth ~ that he never killed her mother or her lover. That he was framed.

But the begging fell on deaf ears. Until, that is, when Claire found a letter from her father in her home office. That letter let curiosity out of the bag, and Claire began her own investigation. The more questions she posed, the more questions than answers she got back, and the more runaround the received, the more she believed that her father really was innocent.

Meanwhile, Mitch (FBI agent - we've met him in the first two books in the trilogy) had befriended Claire, hoping to get close to her, truly believing that her father would eventually contact her. What he didn't plan on was falling in love with her. Now the question is - will he be able to keep her alive and prove that her father really is innocent when a psychopath made it clear he wants Claire - dead?

Even though I enjoyed the first two novels in the series, this was the perfect ending to the trilogy. Gripping, chilling, suspenseful, you truly won't be able to put the book down. You'll pick it right back up.

You're sucked into the story and follow along with Claire as she tries to piece together what had happened 15 years ago. What and why.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never saw it comming..... October 6, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Brennan, sure knows how to keep a reader on thier seat. The entire book I was betting that the culprite was someone else. The sub characters were just as strong as the main characters and it was good to see Nelia KinCaid have a story. I hope we see more of her in future books, and see her reconnect with her family as that leaves only two KinCaids without a main story (Jack and Patrick). Looking forward to her next book, even though March 09 is 6 months away.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Experience April 30, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'd never read a murder mystery before. I love watching them on TV, figuring out whodunit, but what I found here was an amazing experience. The romance between Mitch and Claire was almost cliche. The guy loses the girl then wins the girl... But with "The Assassin" and being secretive and the flashbacks about Jeffrey. I fell in love with murder. It's easy to get hooked on Allison Brennan's novels, the FBI, the weapons, the witnesses/suspects. You can't see it! With TV, you can guess the murderer and you're usually right, but with her books, she's keeps you guessing! It was so fun to read! This is on my list for if I was trapped on a desert island and could only have like twenty books. It's number 6 or something. :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Stop Reading Thriller!!! April 14, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Playing Dead is a superbly written mystery, thriller, suspense and romance novel all in one. Once you pick the book up you will have trouble putting it down. I finally finished the book and have to say that this book is filled with suspense, mystery and romance. You are introduced to the characters and given the back ground information needed to know the basis of the book.

Fifteen years ago, Claire O'Brien, then 14 decides to go home from school for lunch. She walks in on her mom and her mom's lover, an assistant district attorney. Claire calls her father because she is upset about finding her mom in that situation.

Tom O'Brien decides to confront his wife and lover so that he can end this charade of a marriage. When he arrives at his house he finds his wife and her lover shot dead in bed. Claire is the one that sees her father in the room and assumes he killed her mother and the other man. She is the prime witness in her father's trial.

Claire goes through years of believing her father is guilty, and starting a new life without him. An aspiring young attorney does research and discovers things that can prove her father's innocence. Claire does not believe the guy and ignores everything he tells her, until her father, who had escaped from prison during an earthquake, leaves Claire a note telling her everything she needs to know to try and clear his name. She is torn between wanting to believe her father is innocent and a murderer.

The story is now set for a page turning, full suspense thriller that you won't be able to put down. The FBI does everything to capture the fugitive Tom O'Brien. There is one FBI agent, Mitch Bianchi, who believes Tom is innocent and befriends Claire. He wants to find Tom before the local PD does, otherwise Tom is a dead man.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review November 2, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Claire O'Brien knows all about liars. Her father, Tom is still lying even after being convicted fifteen years ago of murdering her mom and her mom's lover. Claire is now all grown up. Claire has only one regret and that is testifying against her father. Maybe that's why Claire wants so bad to believe her father is innocent, especially when Claire learns her father has escaped prison but is Claire setting herself up for a big heartache putting faith in her father. FBI agent, Mitch Bianchi has been following the O'Brien case for a long time, so when he sees his chance to get close to Claire he seizes the opportunity.

Unfortunately the more time Mitch spends with Claire, the harder it is for him to keep his secrets from her. All of Claire's digging makes her the prime target for a serial psychopath that will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden.

Playing Dead is the third and final book in Allison Brennan's Prison Break trilogy. I have enjoyed reading this trilogy, though I have to say not as much as Ms. Brennan's No Evil series. This book started out good and ended on a high note. I was glad to see that Claire was no wall flower, just because she was surrounded by lots of male testosterone. The mystery that FBI agents bring to the table I think really makes them sexy as well as attractive. Mitch definitely had both qualities, which made him a great male lead character in this story. I have been hooked on Ms. Brennan's book since I read her No Evil series and still remain a fan. I can't wait for her next series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!!!!
Best author ever.
I love all of her stories. I can't wait for her next Lucy Kincaid novel. I do wish she would shed light to who killed her sister's child.
Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read.
This is another great story. This one actually had a Kincad in it. Great whodunit with a happy ending for all.
Published 23 days ago by D. Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed each one of Alison Brennan's books that I have read.
Published 1 month ago by Sandra Dzialo/Alan Matarazzo
5.0 out of 5 stars another great novel of suspense
Once again it was intriguing fascinating and I couldn't put the book down I would recommend this to anyone to read what a wonderful story
Published 2 months ago by Jean B. Morin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Thriller!!
Ms. Brennan is adept at not only telling compelling stories but also fleshing out real characters that you genuinely care about or flat out hate. Read more
Published 3 months ago by C-Note
4.0 out of 5 stars Good series
As always Allison Brennan delights me. I like all of her characters, they have a lot of substance to them and the stories are always good.
Published 4 months ago by Peggy J. Trussell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great -- as expected
Another hit. You can't go wrong when the author is Allison Brennan. While this is third in a trilogy, it stands alone nicely. Did read them in order, though far apart in time.
Published 4 months ago by Grammie
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece
I fell in love with this author years ago and I have never been disappointed since! If it says Allison Brennan I know it's good! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book
Great characters and would like to see more about them. I assume this takes place prior to the Kincaids being introduced.
Published 6 months ago by Debbie
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting drama
Allison Brennan is great at bringing drama and suspense to her stories. This storyline does not disappoint. I would recommend reading her series of books.
Published 7 months ago by margarita s pacini
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