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52 Reviews
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A talented literary writer delivers a suspenseful first novel
Michael Kardos first impressed me with his stories in literary magazines. Many of them were gathered in the terrific collection, One Last Good Time, that came out at the end of 2010. For his first novel, he tries his hand at the mystery suspense genre and does a terrific job. All his credentials as a literary writer remain intact because this is a very character-driven...
Published 23 months ago by J. Luiz

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars For Three Days
This novel is not without interest, even as one other reviewer noted how padded it is and still ends up rather short. The writing is okay, but, for me, the plot simply does not work. Do we accept that three adult men would go though with a kidnapping? I don't. It's pretty serious stuff. One of them, at least, would have refused to participate. Barring that, whatever...
Published 21 months ago by Ken C.


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A talented literary writer delivers a suspenseful first novel, September 6, 2012
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This review is from: The Three-Day Affair (Hardcover)
Michael Kardos first impressed me with his stories in literary magazines. Many of them were gathered in the terrific collection, One Last Good Time, that came out at the end of 2010. For his first novel, he tries his hand at the mystery suspense genre and does a terrific job. All his credentials as a literary writer remain intact because this is a very character-driven story, but one with a plot that'll keep you find turning pages and avoiding other activities because this one is hard to put down.

The basic premise is that three Princeton grads get together for their own personal reunion weekend. Things go wrong almost immediately, though, because one, who lost a fortune when his Internet company failed, impulsively decides to hold up a convenience store and kidnap the cashier. Before his two friends even realize what's happened, they are embroiled in the mess. The story is told through the perspective of Will - the least successful of the group who spent years as a drummer in a alternative rock band but then transitioned into working as a sound engineer in a recording studio. His two friends are Jeffrey, the failed Internet businessmen, and Nolan, a politician hoping running for the Senate in Missouri.

A fourth friend is a New York lawyer who misses the kidnapping incident, but eventually has to be called in for advice on how get out of the quagmire they've created for themselves. What keeps you turning the pages is the suspense of wanting to know what they're going to do with the beautiful young girl they've kidnapped. They're not career criminals, but they all know their lives will be ruined - not to mention the possible prison time - if what they did gets out.

The story is told in alternating chapters between the present moment of their kidnapping and the past days of their lives together at Princeton, details that serve to flesh out the characters and provide many layers of complexity to the situation they've found themselves in. As the layers of the onion keep getting peeled back, there are many unexpected twists and turns. To say any more would be give too much of the riveting plot away. If you're looking for a suspenseful story with more than paper thin characters, I think you'll thoroughly enjoy the ride offered here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars For Three Days, November 25, 2012
This review is from: The Three-Day Affair (Hardcover)
This novel is not without interest, even as one other reviewer noted how padded it is and still ends up rather short. The writing is okay, but, for me, the plot simply does not work. Do we accept that three adult men would go though with a kidnapping? I don't. It's pretty serious stuff. One of them, at least, would have refused to participate. Barring that, whatever happened would still be her world against three adult men of some reputation, and without significant criminal records. This irresponsible girl, known for leaving work early, would have had to make her story stand up against that of the three men. There would be no physical evidence of rape or assault. The men's story would be that she heard them speak of going to a recording studio and wanted to go along. Time got away from them, and look, it is now 3 days later. Oh, but the fun we had! If she then went and claimed rape or kidnapping, she would have no evidence. But that scenario doesn't work because the author has a trick in mind. First he has to get the reader to accept that this is a crime occurring, then he plays his trick. The guys are supposed to be friends, but there is a long history of double dealing among them, so in real life the trick might not have worked anyway. They can't trust each other!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One wrong decision can change your life forever..., September 16, 2012
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BJ "Brett Starr" (East Peoria, IL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Three-Day Affair (Hardcover)
I first heard about this book by way of another author touting it online. Chris Coake author of You Came Back: A Novel posted a link to the book online and it sounded like something I would be very interested in.

The book showed up quick and after reading the blurbs on the back of the book, I was definitely looking forward to it. Two of the four blurbs compare "The Three-Day Affair" with Scott Smith's A Simple Plan. Not only did I love that book, the movie was excellent as well.

"The Three-Day Affair" has great characters, Kardos knows how to make his characters live and breathe. The story of the novel is just what the synopsis says, three good friends from college get together for a golf weekend. Will, Jeffrey and Nolan are out on the first night and Jeffery makes a hasty decision that will change everything. The friends stop at a gas station and Jeffery comes out running out with the clerk and tell's Will to drive, NOW! In an instant they realize they have just kidnapped someone.

The story picks up from there and builds with flashbacks involving each friend's history. A fourth friend is brought into the mess with hopes of helping his buddies make the right decision.

Based on the reviews I read before purchasing the book and the glowing blurbs on the back from many well known authors, I was expecting much, much more from the ending of the book. Obviously you know how it starts, the catch of reading it is finding out how they came to that point and what happens next. The what happens next is what just didnt do it for me. I was expecting some serious twists and a powerful ending, but it just isnt there. The ending is good, don't get me wrong, the writing as well, the ending was just a bit too tame for my taste.

The characters, their back stories and the whats next, kept me reading. I finished the book in one night, as it has short chapters and only runs 247 pages.

I'll definitely look into Kardos next book, but I can't guarantee I'll read it based off this debut effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pretty good neo-noir, June 16, 2013
This review is from: The Three-Day Affair (Hardcover)
Four college friends agree to meet after a long break. Will, the narrator, has become a sound engineer and moved to the suburbs after the murder of the bassistof the band, where he played the drums, and he wants to share the idea of seting up an indie label with friends. Will is sure his well settled friends will help him with money. Nolan went into politics and runs a campaign to the state senate. Jeffrey earned millions during the dot-com boom. Evan is about to become a junior partner at a law firm. Jeffrey and Nolan arrive in Newark, and Evan is delayed, so the three friends are planning a weekend full of golf and the telling of tales. But on the first night of the meeting Geoffrey tries to rob a store and then pushes a young saleswoman from this store against her will into the car where his friends are waiting. Will doesn't understand what's happening but follows the instructions of his friend, and so the three law-abiding friends for the first time break the law on a grand scale - kidnapping. The girl is taken to the recording studio, where Will works. Jeffrey explaines to friends that he went bankrupt and lost all his millions, and, in desperation, he commited the crime. Friends realize that their hopes for a brighter future have come to an end.

The Three-Day Affair wins the reader's heart not from the start. The heroes of the novel are office workers, hipsters, kids of middle class parents, quite effeminate creatures. Problems in their lives are nothing comparing to the problems of hard workers, criminals and sociopaths, the traditional heroes of noir. White-collar workers are rather well-off: they do not know hunger, cold and constant humiliation. When dreams of the middle class break - not becoming a senator, not creating a label, not becoming a partner in the firm, - tired used car salesman and pickpocket dance on the ruins.

Crime of the three characters also looks like a whim of assured people. Some mind-boggling theft in the bakery, kidnapping a young dumb cashier, it's immediately apparent that these thoughtless actions are easy to fix without any consequences. This is where the fun begins.

Friendship begins to crack, kidnapped girl confuses the facts and the situation is getting worse. Kardos with flashbacks makes the projection of the past: college friends, too, have the secrets from each other.

White collar or not, but the emotions come out, and that's when you start to empathize to unlucky kidnappers.

The Three-Day Affair is a debut novel, astute, well-crafted and gloomy. Oh yeah: finale here is mind-blowing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for fans of Sartre's No Exit, June 25, 2013
This review is from: The Three-Day Affair (Hardcover)
In answer to Kardos' question (presented by his character Sara), "Do you think No Exit is a good play", my answer is YES, and Kardos, YES, I think you wrote a brilliant novel as well!

The Three Day Affair is a rich story of deception and self-deception, and how readily we will repeat and escalate our mistakes while torturing and imprisoning ourselves with the choices we make.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of twists, April 5, 2013
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Excellent book. Very exciting, lots of suspense. The twists really took me by surprise. You knew what (most of) the twists were going to be, but who they involved was the real surprise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Careful Who Your Friends Are, February 25, 2013
This review is from: The Three-Day Affair (Hardcover)
My Thoughts...

I must admit when I first started reading this I began to think it pretty lame and really didn't want to finish. But, as I progressed and things started falling together it became quite interesting in some respects. In other respects I would give The Three Day Affair three stars just because, realistically, I don't know of too many people that would actually go through with the plan of action portrayed in this novel, the kidnapping, robbery-gone-bad scenario all for financial gain, but you never know what people will do for money. It may be better left for a made-for-TV movie. At three stars it was still somewhat entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting At First, Then Not, February 16, 2013
This review is from: The Three-Day Affair (Hardcover)
The writer's voice is good and draws you in. But the plot and characters are nothing other than silly. Who would act like this? Who cares? NOT a 'thriller' either.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Does not reach its potential!, August 16, 2014
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Just finished this book and not sure that I should think. To be honest I am a bit dissappointed. The idea for the story is interresting but it does not live up to its potential. In the middle of the book I almost gave up, as it was very boring and very unrealistic - why would three successfull people do something like this? For me it is a bit too far streched and also just not realistic - especially the part about the girl and the way she behaves. There are some good points about the book as well. I like how the Author descripes the main character and how he builts and develops him - but the rest falls short.

In conclusion, this book just did not do it for me. Good idea, but in my opinion the story just does not reach its potential.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish, November 16, 2012
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n.rivot (Rockville, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Three-Day Affair (Hardcover)
I thought this book was silly and terribly amateurish. The situation was contrived and not really believable. It is not particularly well written either. Don't bother!
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The Three-Day Affair
The Three-Day Affair by Michael Kardos (Hardcover - September 4, 2012)
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