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The Big Exit [Kindle Edition]

David Carnoy
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $7.96 (50%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

By the acclaimed author of the remarkable debut novel, Knife Music, The Big Exit is a suspenseful crime novel that keeps the surprises coming right up to the end.

Richie Forman is freshly out of prison. By night, he makes a living impersonating Frank Sinatra in San Francisco’s lounges and corporate parties. But then his ex-best friend—the man who stole his fiancée while he was in prison—is found hacked to death in his garage, and Richie is the prime suspect. In a murder mystery with the twists and turns of a microchip, Carnoy weaves his characters like a master. He has written an authentic, unputdownable thriller that is sure to chill and delight.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Seven years ago, Rick Forman was convicted of vehicular manslaughter despite his insistence that the apparent passenger, his friend Mark MacGregor, was driving. Evidence seemed to contradict Rick’s story, and he served the manslaughter sentence, plus some. While Rick is away, MacGregor adds insult to injury by marrying Rick’s fiancée, Beth. Now released, Rick is building a life around his job with the Exoneration Foundation and steady gigs as a Sinatra impersonator. But when Beth finds MacGregor horrifically murdered in their garage, she and Rick become suspects. This time, though, Team Rick includes famed attorney Marty Lowenstein, Rick’s sleuthing coworker Ashley, and a hilariously narcissistic blogger bent on breaking the case. Carnoy’s skilled backstory navigation in this follow-up to his well-received debut, Knife Music (2010), invites new readers to jump right in. Multiple narratives are somewhat unbalanced and maybe unnecessary, but the characters’ round-robin of distrust will keep readers guessing, and the ever-present humor (ranging from sharp irony to snort-worthy scenes) warrants a recommendation on its own. --Christine Tran


"Carnoy follows his 2010 debut, Knife Music, with a thriller set in California's Silicon Valley that has it all: a convoluted but convincing plot, a likable protagonist facing terrible odds, and a meaty supporting cast working for and against him...this exceptionally satisfying murder puzzle should whet readers' appetites for more." -Publishers Weekly, starred review.

"Carnoy (Knife Music) heads to high-tech Silicon Valley for his sophomore thriller, but the story is as old-fashioned as betrayal, greed and murder. Colorful characters abound in Carnoy's legal caper... Carnoy knows the territory perfectly, and with judicious use of clever phrases that never distract from the crime caper, he's spot on with his characterizations, all of which seem both archetypal and yet sparkling with individual personalities and interesting back stories. Add an intriguing semi-red herring or two, and the climax comes with a satisfying twist. A first-rate crime caper." -Kirkus

"Carnoy's skilled backstory navigation in this follow-up to his well-received debut, Knife Music (2010), invites new readers to jump right in... the characters' round-robin of distrust will keep readers guessing, and the ever-present humor (ranging from sharp irony to snort-worthy scenes) warrants a recommendation on its own." -Booklist

"David Carnoy's debut novel was a surprise hit and his follow up, The Big Exit, is a knockout that will put him firmly on the map." -Harlan Coben

"Twisty and dark, this addictive thriller showcases Carnoy's ability to surprise the reader." -Library Journal, starred review.

Product Details

  • File Size: 513 KB
  • Print Length: 319 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1590205154
  • Publisher: Overlook (October 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0093XAUWI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,096 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.5 Stars

'The Big Exit' is a thrill-ride of twists and turns that keeps the reader on their toes throughout the entire novel. There are several layers within the plot that weave seamlessly together to create a web of intricate lies, deception, mystery, and even murder. What starts out looking like a horrible crime - a murder of a wealthy Internet businessman - quickly escalates as evidence connects people from the victim's past and a very public trial to the murder. At the heart of the novel is the victim's wife, Beth, who discovers her husband's body and quickly becomes ensnared in the ensuing investigation. Alongside Beth, we have other intriguing main characters: Richie Foreman, Beth's former fiance and the victim's old friend - who just happens to have been involved with them in the earlier homicide of a young woman and served prison time because of it. There is also Hank Madden, an older homicide detective who is determined to find the connection between these two crimes; Carolyn Dupuy, a lawyer who is representing the victim's wife; and Marty "the DNA Dude" Lowenstein, a local pro bono legend, who is representing Richie. All of these people must come together to uncover the truth about who killed Mark McGregor and why.

The writing was impeccable and had me captivated from the first paragraph. The plot slides effortlessly from past to present and easily entwines the varying perspectives of the characters as well as the different subplots throughout the book. The characters are very realistic and easy to identify with, but they were also written in a way that made the reader sympathize with them all while being suspicious of the truth. The book is a true mystery and had me guessing and second-guessing until the very end.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "He's a phony. But he's a real phony." October 11, 2012
Carnoy is a natural storyteller with an unerring eye for irony and human foibles in a mystery that confounds to the last page. A Mr. Toad's Wild Ride through Menlo Park in northern California, The Big Exit captures the excitement of tech opportunities for those brave souls with the business acumen to offer the newest thing, plus an opportunity to cash in on a shockingly lucrative market, a new age of young millionaires riding the crest of the public's hunger for the next app in the digital marketplace. A few years prior to the novel's opening, Richie Forman and Mark McGregor are two such IT geniuses until the night of a tragic automobile accident. Richie has spent years in prison because of the death of a woman in the other vehicle, in spite of his claim that he wasn't driving. McGregor walks away free. As the rigors of incarceration destroy Richie's future with fiancé Beth Hill- who later marries McGregor- Richie, finally released, finds himself applying for a position with the Exoneration Foundation, an innocence project, making ends meet through his gigs as a frank Sinatra impersonator.

Richie becomes a prime suspect he night McGregor is found in his garage by wife Beth bludgeoned to death. Here Carnoy kicks it into overdrive, pulling in familiar faces from Richie's trial in the vehicular manslaughter case, former prosecutor Carolyn Dupoy, now Beth Hill's attorney, lead detective Hank Madden on this case as well. Only now the media is always hungry. Savvy tech blogger Tom Bender inserts himself into the investigation, prodding the detectives and posting updates online as the case progresses. McGregor's murder looks like any easy solve until conflicting information between the wife and ex-boyfriend gives the detectives cause for worry.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a fabulous mystery! February 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Mysteries are one of the trickiest stories to tell, especially these days. Throw in technology, procedure and the fact we are basically spoon fed crime drama's throughout popular media it makes it even harder to present a truly outstanding and gripping tale. David Carnoy has done it with this book. It was three-hundred plus pages of non stop, breath-holding action. The characters were easily embraced and so well fleshed out you felt like you were a fly on the wall in every scene.

It could easily be coined a murder mystery, except the murder mystery is just one thing going on in the book. It is the anchor for everything else going on, the aging detective, the depressed and confused trophy wife (who also happens to be the lead suspect in the cases ex-fiance). Oh and the lawyer who is introduced to us while trying to inject herself with hormones for invitro. There are many other characters who you fall in love with or at least love to despise, including the dead guy!

The story flows back and forth in time and place with such ease and no jarring effect I was never confused at what was going on! Well wait, that is not entirely true, I saw a few things coming but most of the time Carnoy had me hopping trying to figure out all the pieces in this huge puzzle which stretched from the Valley to the Bay.

One of my big pet peeves with story telling these days is name dropping tech devices or items which will end up dating the book later down the road. I few mystery writers have done that and it kills the read a decade from now. I do not think this will be the case with The Big Exit. Only in a San Fransisco based criminal mystery do we have cops where the station has gone green and they use iPads instead of paper and the statement will last as long as the book does.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars review of David Carnoy
Excellent writer!! I really enjoy his work. He only has two books out now. I'm waiting on his next edition
Published 3 months ago by John Talbert
5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Mystery; Suspenseful, Clever and Real.
In this mystery/thriller a number of characters have believable reason to be suspects. And that in itself leads you to doubt the few who couldn't be suspects. Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read
I enjoyed "The Big Exit" a lot. The writing is brisk and modern, and the Silicon Valley setting is interesting, with great internet / technology references. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Daniel Holland
4.0 out of 5 stars a fast read
I listened to the audio book and found the narration excellent. The story moved along and new characters were introduced as the mystery evolved - keeping things interesting. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Nursisin
4.0 out of 5 stars The Big Exit
An enjoyable, easy read. Liked the twist at the end. I ordered another David Carnoy book after this one, with the hopes of another twist at the end! Not a very big book.
Published 11 months ago by E. Decker
4.0 out of 5 stars A very Now mystery
Alluding to the bells and whistles of today's technologies while developing a good variety of characters with appropriate depth in a twisted mystery. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Gidget
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid craft means truly memorable characters & story
An ex-con, possibly wrongly convicted in the first place, who works nightclubs as a Sinatra impersonator. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Night Owl
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging characers and many surprising twists and turns.
Interesting concept and characters you liked even when you disliked them! Liked the continuation of characters from the earlier novel.
Published 15 months ago by Avid ReaderVA
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovered a great new writer
This was my first book by David Carnoy.

Very clever writing, kept my interest till the end.
A very unexpected end.
Published 15 months ago by Marta Melar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new author!
This author was new to me and I really enjoyed him. Got his other book and read it too. Highly recommend it!
Published 16 months ago by Dee
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More About the Author

While David Carnoy lives in New York City with his wife and children, his novels take place in Silicon Valley, where he grew up and went to high school (Palo Alto). His debut novel, Knife Music (2010), was a Top-10 bestseller on the Kindle and also a bestseller on the Nook. More medical thriller than high-tech thriller, to research the novel Carnoy spent a lot of time talking with doctors, visiting trauma centers, and trailed a surgeon at a hospital in Northern California to help create the book's protagonist, Dr. Ted Cogan.

The Big Exit (2012) isn't a sequel to Knife Music per se. However, a few of the characters from Knife Music figure prominently in the story. His second novel has more of a high-tech slant and reflects Carnoy's experiences as an executive editor at, where he currently works and is trying resolve his obsession with consumer electronics products. He went to college at Wesleyan University and has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.

"A lot people ask me how I have time to write novels when I have a full-time job and four little kids and I just say I got a hold of some of those pills Bradley Cooper's character popped in the movie Limitless," Carnoy says. He adds that if Bradley Cooper is reading this, he'd make "an excellent Dr. Ted Cogan for the film version of Knife Music."

Carnoy is also fan of The Big Lebowski and all Coen brothers movies except The Ladykillers.

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