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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?
Photo of Lee Child © Sigrid Estrada
It's an exciting, engrossing read - highly entertaining and very much recommended!
The plot line is intriguing, the characters crisply presented; a nice blend of intrigue, twists and turns, unfolding mystery, and clever exposition.
I am not going to give up on this author,however, since I have heard good things about his other books including one that just came out.
I love his writing style and the ending always leave you guessing until the last page. He is by far one of my favorite authors and before I started reading him I was not a lover... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Carlene Inge
Author ran out of ideas but not out of violence. I was really disappointed. Better luck next time. d dPublished 3 days ago by S. A. Lacks
Amnesia is a plot device that can be a bit lame, but in this novel it works nicely. Daniel Hayes wakes up on a bleak Maine beach, half-naked and clearly traumatized. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Emmi331
I've read or listened to all of Marcus Sakey's full length novels. I am eager to read BRILLIANCE so it was time to get this one in with the interesting title. Read morePublished 2 months ago by M. ONEILL
This book keeps you guessing to the end. I like that in a good mystery. I'll be sure to look for more from this author.Published 2 months ago by Singer
It wasn't the page turner I had hoped for. I was very curious to discover the ending. And I don't have three more words to enter as a review.Published 2 months ago by Fellow online dater
I've read several other books by this author, Marcus Sakey, and this book has solidified my opinion that he is now one of my favorite authors of all time, and possibly will become... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tiffany
This is the only one of Sakeys books that I actually loathe. I love most of his work, vivaciously like the rest, save this piece. This piece proves to me that Sakey is brilliant. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Wylie Combroke
I did not like it as much as the godfather series that I have read so far, not very interestingPublished 3 months ago by Robert Ashby