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Stolen Hardcover – April 30, 2013

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Stolen + Delirious + Helpless
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington House Pub Ltd; First Edition edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758246668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758246660
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When John Bodine’s wife, Ruby, is diagnosed with cancer and their medical insurance won’t cover the drug she needs to save her life, John does what you or I probably wouldn’t do. He steals someone else’s identity and files a fraudulent claim with another insurance company. This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. Palmer establishes that John operates an online computer game and that he sifts through his subscriber files to find a suitable identity to borrow for a while. But he doesn’t count on the unwitting identity donor finding out, tracking him down, and threatening to kill people unless John plays along with his sick, twisted game, in which John is required to do increasingly illegal things. Someone like Gregg Hurwitz or Linwood Barclay would have hit this one out of the park, but as it stands, the book is more like a ground-rule double—solid contact but not quite enough oomph to reach the fence. Helping hold it back is John’s plan to extricate his wife from one of his tormenter’s games, which, frankly, is so “oh give me a break!” implausible that it almost deserves to fail miserably. There is one pretty nifty plot twist about three-quarters of the way into the book, but by then we’re starting to grow tired of John and Ruby and their plight—they are committing major insurance fraud, after all—and by the tormenter’s increasingly unbelievable cat-and-mouse game. Definitely weaker than the author’s excellent debut, Delirious (2011), and about on par with its weaker follow-up, Helpless (2012). --David Pitt


<DIV>"In Stolen, Daniel Palmer updates a classic premise, the ordinary man thrust into an extraordinary situation, and the result is a twisting, suspenseful chiller of a book." --William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob

Hanging from a mountain cliff with two other climbers, John must make a gut-wrenching decision: which man should he cut loose in order to save John and one other. John's action gives us a preview of his personality and capabilities, as the theme of "what would you do to save yourself?" plays throughout the rest of this suspenseful thriller. John and Ruby are young, in love, and on their way to success when Ruby is diagnosed with cancer. After finding out their insurance will not cover the lifesaving medicine she needs, John uses his technology skills to steal an identity and file a false claim. But the couple are pulled into a horrible cat-and-mouse game when the identity theft victim threatens to kill people close to them if John and Ruby refuse to play a game called Criminal.

Verdict Palmer's (Delirious; Helpless) whirlwind of a thriller takes readers into the mind of a psychopath as his victims go to extremes to come out alive. This well-written, well-paced nail-biter will please adrenaline fiction junkies. --Library Journal

In the prologue of Palmer's unrelentingly suspenseful thriller, John Bodine, an avid mountain climber from Boston, faces a horrific choice after an avalanche sweeps his two companions over a ridgeline in Tibet. To survive, John must cut one of the ropes that connect him to his friends, causing one of them to fall to his death. Years later, John learns that his insurance company won't pay for the expensive treatment his wife needs after being diagnosed with late-stage cancer. Desperate, he succeeds in stealing the identity of another man, Elliot Uretsky, who has the proper insurance. The problem is, Uretsky is a serial killer. Uretsky calls John and tells him he knows what John is doing and will turn him in unless John agrees to play "a game." John must commit ever-more-dangerous crimes, and when he balks, Uretsky kills someone close to him. Readers should note that Palmer (Helpless) sets a high bar for serial killer brutality. --Publishers Weekly

More About the Author

Daniel Palmer spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer helping to build first generation websites for Barnes & Noble and other popular brands. An experienced musician and songwriter, Daniel has recorded two CDs and licensed his songs for commercial use. Daniel's co-written two short stories for the trade organization International Thriller Writers, which were published in Thriller (edited by James Patterson) and First Thrills (edited by Lee Child). Daniel's novels of domestic suspense frequently explore the hidden dangers and vulnerabilities of an increasingly tech-centric world. He holds a master's degree in mass communications from Boston University, and currently resides in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

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Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Writing" 18
  • "Suspense" 15
  • "Characters" 5
  • "Action" 3
  • "Emotional" 2
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Hammond on May 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book has me from the opening line: "Let me tell you how it feels to learn that your wife is going to die." Before this there is a prologue that is a short and chilling introduction to the main character, John Bodine.

John and wife Ruby are madly in love and struggling to make ends meet. Ruby is a student at an acupuncture and herbal medicine school that teaches the healing arts. John is a video game designer who is trying to launch an online game and make it big in the world. One night, while giving Ruby a foot rub, he notices an odd patch of skin and things go downhill from there. It's cancer. The good news, there's a treatment and their insurance will cover the generic drug Ruby needs to stay alive. The bad news, the generic isn't available and the insurance company won't pay for the other medicine, basically signing a death warrant for Ruby.

What John does next is against everything he believes (and everything Ruby believes in) but he has to save his wife. John steals the identity of a couple whose insurance will cover the treatment and shortly thereafter John and Ruby become Elliot and Tanya Uretsky.

Everything is going as smoothly as can be expected, until one day the phone rings and the man on the other end says he's Elliot Uretsky. The real Elliot wants them to play a game he calls Criminal and in return he won't report them to the police, and more importantly, to the insurance company paying for Ruby's life saving treatment.

The real Elliot plays games with them and wants to see how far he can push them into a life of crime. Everything comes with consequences, especially failing his games. If they go to the police, or anyone else for help, someone close to them will die. They're no longer worried about the insurance company discovering their deception, they're just trying to stay alive and prevent a death.

I read this book in 2 days and loved it. This is Palmer's third standalone and it's his best yet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Smith on May 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have you ever wondered how far you really would go to save someone's life,especially a loved one? The story is centered around a young married couple that is dealing with Cancer. Issue at hand is the potential life saving medicine is unavailable in a generic form and the couple's health insurance company won't pay for the brand name(surprise!) The out of pocket cost for the medicine is astronomical and they can't afford it. John says he will do whatever it takes to save his wife, but will he, if it means taking someone else's life. Every action has its rewards and its consequences. This novel pulls you in immediately and you feel the emotions of the characters. Palmer takes you into the mind of a young man faced with decisions that no one should ever have to make. Stolen is page turning thriller that dosen't disappoint. I have always loved his dad's (Michael Palmer) books, he is my favorite author, but this book by Daniel Palmer is pure gold and can't wait to read more from him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By plane on April 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Daniel Palmer, in an engrossing novel, brings us the ultimate identity theft tale, and as he has done in his previous stories keeps the reader riveted to the pages right up
to the final sentence. John and Ruby are young marrieds seemingly on top of the world both with John's growing on line gaming business, and a perfect marriage when like a bolt of lightening their world crashes around them. Ruby is hit with a devastating diagnosis of cancer, and the low end insurance they have will not pay the bills for the proper treatment. John, frantic at his wife's apparent death sentence devises a scheme based on his knowledge of computer controls. He searches out and grabs the identities of two people that have played his games on line and have the profiles of barely hanging onto a much better insurance plan. The scheme seems to begin working immediately with Ruby's treatment being paid by the other insurance plan when out of the blue he gets a call from the man whose identity he has stolen. John is told that the scam will not be reported if he does what the man wants him to do. His nightmare begins when he is ordered to steal expensive scarves from a high end store and doesn't do so. A woman living in the same building as he and Ruby is killed in a violently gruesome fashion and John is told that this is the price for not playing "Criminal" the game devised by his caller.
More demands are made and John finds himself in a web of terror attempting to comply with those demands and trying to save lives threatened by the man tormenting him. He has to carry on in order that Ruby continues to receive her treatment or she will die, but lives a life trapped in the hands of what is really a serial killer in action. Characterizations of the people in the story are excellent and in keeping with Palmer's previous books. The ending is not telegraphed at any point but is logical and well thought out. Chalk up another winner for Daniel Palmer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mattie on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Daniel Palmer has done it again! This book is a real page turner. It grabbed me from the beginning and didn't release its grasp. Great character development and prologue. What extremes would you go through for someone you love? You won't believe what extremes! This reads like a ripped out of the headlines story. You may lose sleep...yes, I did,,, well deserved however! I was fortunate to receive an advanced readers copy from the publisher in return for an honest review. I received no compensation. In my honest opinion: Run (don't walk) for your copy. Cancel all appointments for a day or two and enjoy the ride. YES... It's that good!!!
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