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VINE VOICEon October 7, 2003
Business and life are good and Josh Michaels thinks he has life by the tail. Procurement manager and happily married he is on the way home to his wife, Kate and their daughter, Abby. As is his habit, he drives down backcountry roads at higher than posted speeds for the sheer exhilaration of it all and the lack of people to interfere. He likes to push the edge and has gotten away with it in the past.
That is until he is forced off the road by what initially appears to be a very reckless SUV driver. Josh's car goes airborne off the road right before a bridge and sails into the middle of the Sacramento River. Stunned by the impact but still alive Josh is faced with drowning as the car sinks because he can't swim. Trapped in the car as it slowly sinks, Josh sees the SUV driver standing on the bridge above him. Expecting help, he is horrified when the unknown driver gives him "a thumbs down gesture" reminiscent of the gladiators in the Roman Coliseum before driving away from the scene.
Josh survives his near drowning experience and eventually tells his story to the Police while recovering in the hospital. Outright skeptical from the start of the investigation and with little to go on, the Police dismiss it as yet another road rage incident. The stalled investigation does get some media airplay and subsequently brings him unwanted attention from his past.
His life as he knows it begins to dissolve as he is the target of killers who want him dead for only reasons they know and a blackmailer who hasn't made him suffer enough just yet. While the blackmailer works to end his relationship with his wife and child and to see him in jail, the killers want him dead. Slowly, Josh learns that he isn't the only target marked for death and that the blackmailer might be just the tip of the iceberg in regards to yet more problems. Other targets are being liquidated and the blackmailer is stepping up the pressure and Josh has lost all control over his life and may not be able to get any of it back.
While over written at times in terms of dialogue and scene narration, this debut novel overall is extremely enjoyable. The main character, Josh Michaels, is complex and believable as is the supporting cast. This novel moves forward at a steady pace, despite the large number of pov shifts through the novel, which actually work well to bring deeper depth to the characters. Full of twists and turns, this novel is an intriguing look at one man's journey to the edge of the abyss where all hope is lost before being pulled back from the edge.
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on May 28, 2008
To say this is a thriller is a an understatement. This writer must be deranged (in a GOOD way only) to be able to conceive such concepts. The 1st half of the book was great, if a runaway train aiming for you can be great. Do not attempt to read the 2nd half of the book unless you're sure you have enough time to finish it because, believe me, it will compel you to finish it, bedtime be darned!

Can't wait to read the others by him but I'm going to have to recoup from this 1 first! Buy it, you'll LOVE it if you're a fan of thrillers that make you relialize this could happen to you!
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on October 30, 2002
Simon Wood has a terrific imagination. The plot is excellent and kept me guessing, although the denouement is expected once the climax begins. I kept thinking that this was made for the big screen. Unfortunately, it reads more like a script than a novel, and there are numerous textual errors and typos that should have been caught by the editor. With a better editor, Simon Wood could have a promising career as a novelist.
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on July 9, 2011
The description looked very encouraging so I decided to take the plunge - - good reading for our vacation to Cancun...NOT! The story was simple, with barely a plot turn, and the narrative and dialog were contrived and amateurish. I thought I was reading a first effort by a recent high school graduate. There were also glaring misuses of words, like "prosperity" instead of "posterity," and "diffuse" instead of "defuse." I found the actions and reactions of the book's characters to be illogical throughout. **SPOILER ALERT!** For example, when the protagonist tells his wife about taking a $10K bribe to help pay for their daughter's huge medical expenses, she's ready to leave him, but later when she finds out many more "problems," including gross infidelity, she takes him back with nary a bat of the eye. I read this book after finishing Charlie Huston's "Henry Thompson trilogy," which is outstanding, so maybe I just came to expect superb writing skills. I purchased a second Simon Wood Kindle book at the same time as this one, but chose to delete it rather than wasting more time with an amateur.
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I have mixed feelings about Simon Woods' writing. To his credit, there are times when Accidents Waiting to Happen is a bona fide page-turner. But, there are others when the writing is almost amateurish. As a matter of fact, I was tempted to stop reading after several initial pages. I'm glad I persevered. Over all, his character descriptions are fleshed-out (pun intended), yet, yield to stereotyping. His portrayal of the protagonist's daughter and his interactions (dialogue) with her led me to believe she was far younger than her eight years of age. If you can forgive him for these weaknesses, then you'll enjoy the book.

Plot writing is Woods' best feature. He takes an initial premise and then twists and turns it so that, readers are second-guessing their own predictions. The readability of the prose is a bit choppy. He excels when describing action and lags with (sometimes) stilted dialogue. That seamless flow between plot turning points and dialogue needs improvement.

Woods's writing is reminiscent of a weather report; intermittent sunshine with bouts of thunderstorms.
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on July 6, 2011
Based on the time I wasted reading this book, I've decided to no longer trust any review on Amazon that doesn't show a verified purchase. Who are the people that gave this book 4 and 5 star reviews? As a constant reader, I've come to expect a certain level of literacy and pacing from a novel. This has neither. It had its characters doing absolutely unrealistic things in unrealistic ways. If you've read the book to its conclusion you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, don't bother. Trust me on this: it's not worth your time. As other reviewers have written, this book needs some serious editing. Someone should've sat the author down and forced him to make his lead character act in believable ways. I can't say enough bad things about this book.
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on June 26, 2011
It's very hard to get involved with a book when the main character is a complete jerk. The man deserves everything that happens to him. Unfortunately, innocents suffer because of his actions. It is extremely difficult to root for a character like that. Because of this, it is a difficult read.
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on June 21, 2011
Oh my, what a painful read. Didn't think the author would ever get to the subject at hand, just filled the dialogue with so much "fluff and puff" The main character's stupidity led him to the next crisis throughout the book. Sorry, this book almost did me in, couldn't wait for it to end. Not a bargain at .99 cents.
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on June 20, 2011
Got fooled by good reviews. Glad it was only 99 cents. The main character is so annoying, that I was rooting for his death. There are some good parts...but with no one to root for, it was hard to finish the book.
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on June 26, 2011
I'm sorry, this book was terrible. The author wastes time needlessly explaining the most obvious things. I was actually embarrassed for him. The plot and characters are just completely unbelievable, and the main character is especially annoying. Really, this is the worst book I've read in a long long time. There are so many more talented authors writing books at this ridiculously cheap $0.99 price point, I can't even justify the price. Don't waste your time on this garbage.
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