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The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 9, 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, June 9, 2011
$3.79 $1.28

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lee Child Reviews The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes

A native of England and a former television director, Lee Child lives in New York City, where he is at work on his next thriller, The Affair.

Like any reader, I love my old favorites…but I love new voices too, and I especially love it when a new voice starts to become an old favorite. It doesn’t happen often, but right now it’s happening with Marcus Sakey.

I read his first book pre-publication, and his next four confirmed what I sensed at the start, which was that this guy is the real deal and the complete package. He’s got it all. He writes likes a dream (or a nightmare), he creates characters exactly like people you know (or don’t want to know), he scares you (or makes you laugh), and above all keeps you turning the pages.

But most of all, he does the “what if” thing better than anyone in the business. What if you’ve gone straight for years, and then an old buddy gets out of prison and tries to drag you back? What if you get back from Iraq and find home is worse than the desert? What if you buy a house and find a bag of cash hidden in the floor? Would you keep it? What if you saw a way to steal a bad guy’s money - no harm, no foul? Would you do it?

“What if” questions power a lot of plots, but Sakey is special. He doesn’t just check a box or construct a neat twist for the sake of it. Reading him between the lines, I guarantee he really lives this stuff…he thinks it through and sweats it out, probably for weeks at a time. I can see him, looking around at the things he loves, looking at his house, turning and looking at his wife, asking himself, “What if? What is I had to put all this at risk? Would I? Could I? How would it feel? What would be the effect on me?”

It’s that kind of depth and intelligence and passion and emotion that sets Sakey apart.These are not just clever plots. These are real people with night sweats and wide eyes and everything to lose.

The new book The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes takes “what if” in a new direction and to new heights. Every writer muses, “What if the reader isn’t sure whether the husband killed his wife, or not? That’s a basic whodunit. But Sakey asks, ‘What if the husband isn’t sure whether he killed his wife, or not? That’s a terrific premise, and it boosts an already–terrific thriller plot into the stratosphere. Add in LA’s easy glitz and glamour, and coast-to-coast chase tension, and a bad guy to die for (or be killed by, and shocks and surprises galore, and you’ve got the kind of story you’ve never read before.

Or, to sum it up in one line, a what-if question of my own: what if Dennis Lehane wrote a Harlan Coben story?

--Lee Child

Photo of Lee Child © Sigrid Estrada


"The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes confirms Marcus Sakey's place as one of our best storytellers. This is a tight, intuitive and terrific read."
-New York Times bestseller Michael Connelly

"A brainy, twisty, sometimes twisted mystery, The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes is part dazzling California noir, part dark American road trip, part sly psychological thriller-and entirely ingenious."
-New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (June 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052595211X
  • ASIN: B005M48BDW
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,605,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marcus Sakey's thrillers have been nominated for more than fifteen awards, named New York Time's Editor's Picks, and selected among Esquire's Top 5 Books of The Year. His novel GOOD PEOPLE was made into a movie starring James Franco and Kate Hudson, and BRILLIANCE is currently in development with Legendary Pictures (Inception, The Dark Knight.)

Marcus was also the host of the acclaimed television show "Hidden City" on Travel Channel, for which he was routinely pepper-sprayed and attacked by dogs.

Prior to writing, he worked as a landscaper, a theatrical carpenter, a 3D animator, a movie reviewer, a tutor, and a graphic designer who couldn't draw.

He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. His website is MarcusSakey.com, or follow him on Facebook (Facebook.com/MarcusSakey) or Twitter, where he posts under the clever handle @MarcusSakey.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This novel had my full attention from the first page and never lost it. It is one of the best crime drama/thrillers I've read this year so far. The book opens with Daniel Hayes struggling for life in the ocean off Maine. He has no idea where he is or who he is...he has amnesia.

I don't want to give too much away or just rehash the plot line here. Since Daniel has amnesia, the reader discovers things when Daniel does. There are so many twists and turns and surprises that the reader becomes completely immersed in the story and you really cannot stop reading...you have to know what is going to happen next. The characters, the plot, the settings...everything works perfectly to move the narrative along at a breakneck pace that does not detract from the story telling. I love the introspection where Daniel explores himself and his world throughout the novel. Who are we really? Do others really know us? Do we really know other people? The amnesia prompts Daniel to really delve into himself and to ponder those who have been around him. Does he really know his wife? Issues of trust and issues of identity flow through this wonderful tale.

I highly recommend this entertaining, intriguing, fast-paced crime drama/thriller. So thrilled to have discovered this amazing new-to-me author. If you are like me you won't be able to put it down. 5 Stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes
BY Marcus Sakey

After reading the reviews I was so excited to get an ebook copy to review. Honestly, I was extremely disappointed.
The plot had started out great but just got boring really fast. The characters to me weren't that likeable. Even with the little twist at the end it wasn't enough to make me view this book in a better light. The writing was well done but I was bored in the middle and the storyline seemed to drag on. I wasn't too intrigued or excited. I just couldn't wait to finish so I could read something else. This is the first book that I have read by Marcus Sakey so I may give another of his books a try but he isn't an author I am going to run out and buy.
3 Comments 18 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
He is naked, half-drowned, and doesn't know how he landed on this remote beach. Far worse, he has no memory of who he is. The only object in sight is an abandoned BWM. The man pulls himself in, shivering violently, and cranks up the heat. He finds a Rolex watch, a bottle of booze, an envelope of cash, and in the glove compartment, vehicle registration in the name of Daniel Hayes. And a gun. Eventually, in the Beemer's trunk he finds dirty clothes. They fit him. He decides he's Daniel Hayes of Los Angeles, California. He has absolutely no idea how he wound up in Maine.

Exhausted physically and emotionally, he wants nothing more than to sleep. The cash buys him a couple of nights in a cheap motel room. No closer to remembering his identity, he's trying to figure out his next step. Then the cop shows up at his door. He runs, asking himself, "Why had he run? More important, why was he chasing you? Who are you? Who were you before you woke up on that beach?" These are the first of many questions he'll ask himself. Later, "What if you were a bad man? A criminal, a killer? Are you that person still?"

He has a long journey to unravel his identity, and to tell more wouldn't be fair. Sakey's brilliant premise puts readers smack dab in the protagonist's shoes, searching right along with him for the clues that will piece his history together. Details unravel at a satisfying and believable pace, and along the way there are a few jaw-dropping shockers. It's a different kind of a mystery, and Sakey held me rapt until the final revelations. The writing and characters were strong, and the plot was complex and clever. This is a beach read it'll be a pleasure to recommend all summer long.
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By A Customer on June 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
He awakens on a beach with no one around wearing no clothing. The man realizes he has no idea who he is though he knows he nearly drowned. Nearby he finds a car. Inside is a California license for a Daniel Hayes with his picture on it. He wonders how he who apparently lives in Los Angeles ended up in coastal Maine.

Daniel knows the truth lies in Southern California though he feels a niggling of remorse that he cannot fathom why. He heads across the continent as glimpses of his pre-amnesia life flash by in his mind. Soon Daniel learns he is a screenwriter whose TV star soap opera wife died in a vehicular homicide. The cops believe he killed his spouse while someone is stalking him.

This dark thriller grips the reader from the moment the amnesia victim awakens on a deserted New England beach and never slows down until the final exhilarating climax. Daniel is terrific as he evades police and a hunter while trying to rewire his brain as the replay button is too slowly coming into focus. Set aside time, readers will find it difficult to put aside The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes as Marcus Sakey provides a fresh exhilarating spin to the amnesiac in peril theme.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific thriller/mystery. the main character and narrator starts his saga very wet and cold on a beach in Maine with a severe case of amnesia. Since the narrator has no idea how he got there or what he was doing, neither does the reader. After finding his car with his registration and California plates, he starts west. Soon he learns - the hard way - that he is a wanted man. he has no idea why. As he heads west, glimmers of a past come back to him and more when he gets to L.A. Along the way, Mr. Sakey intersperses interludes of what appear to be an evil woman and an evil man. The three characters converge and the tension turns into action and tension.

This is a very good mystery on its own with a terrific psychological overlay.

The characters are very good,especially the narrator and the female. The evil man is extremely diabolical. There is not a cardboard cut-out figure here. Even the detective, who has a very limited role is not your standard stereotypical cop.

Near the end, I began to think that only by some ridiculous turn of a novelist's pen could Mr. Sakey bring all this together. The ending was as superb as the rest of the book. It all fit together perfectly.

Highly recommended.
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