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Hooked: A Thriller About Love and Other Addictions Audio CD – Bargain Price, June 1, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Nat Idle Series

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Audio CD, Bargain Price, June 1, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This oddly flat thriller from first-time novelist Richtel opens with a warning in a dead girlfriend's handwriting, followed by an explosion in a San Francisco cafe. Nat Idle, who barely escapes, is perplexed by the note: his girlfriend Annie--from a very wealthy family involved in various opaque concerns--was swept off her sailboat four years ago and never seen again. Nat tracks down survivors of the blast, including waitress Erin Coultran, whose actions make Nat suspicious; when the home of aspiring novelist Simon Anderson, another survivor, catches on fire, Nat's suspicions intensify. Nat's investigations take him to Strawberry Labs, Annie's family company possibly named after Annie's childhood Labrador retriever. Despite intentionally short chapters à la The Da Vinci Code, Richtel (who writes the comic strip Rudy Park under nom de plume Theron Heir) has trouble bringing Nat to life or tension to the plot--in part because of Nat's first-person flashbacks to his relationship with Annie. Richtel's trying to do a brainy update of classic noir, but falls slightly short.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Nat Idle is a romantic. After finishing medical school, he abandons further training to become a freelance journalist; and he falls in love with Annie Kindle as soon as he hears her laugh. She is taken with his romanticism, even though her father, the alpha shark in Silicon Valley's venture capital sea, is grooming her to become his "smiling assassin." But Annie is lost in a sailing mishap, and four years later, Nat is still infatuated, still mourning. So, when a pretty woman leaves him a note in an Internet cafe, he follows her out the door--and escapes a lethal bomb blast. The note was written in Annie's distinctive hand. The scientist in Nat won't believe that Annie is still alive, but he begins to investigate the blast and finds himself immersed in Silicon Valley intrigue. Fully two-thirds of Hooked is a shrewd cinematic thriller, filled with knowing insights about San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and the wired-wireless world. But Richtel, a reporter for the New York Times, stumbles a bit as the story unfolds into an uberplot to turn us all into Internet addicts. Still, many readers will happily suspend disbelief and simply enjoy the yarn. Thomas Gaughan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594839689
  • ASIN: B005X4HW68
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,078,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
HOOKED is a heavily hyped thriller from Hachette's new "Twelve" imprint. Unfortunately, this novel is a really weak effort that I can't recommend.

The beginning of the book is the best part. Nat Idle, a medical school graduate turned freelance journalist, is sitting in a coffee shop when a woman hands him a note. He then opens the note, and discovers that it's telling him to get out of the shop. The shop then explodes. Interestingly, the note is written in the handwriting of Idle's old girlfriend, lost at sea over two years ago and presumed dead.

Unfortunately, after this exciting beginning, HOOKED doesn't go much of anywhere. This book just isn't very tightly plotted at all. The story moves forward rather slowly, with an endless series of flashbacks detailing Idle's relationship with his lost love. To make matters worse, Idle is a remarkably bland leading man, and virtually all of the supporting characters are thinly drawn. A lot of their dialogue is stilted and lacks any semblance of style.

HOOK has some clever moments, but it really doesn't flow very well as a story. In the end, it just never grabbed me or even held my attention. My advice is to skip this book and read superior efforts by writers such as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Greg Iles, and Tess Gerritsen.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up a copy of Hooked on a last minute book stop after realizing, suddenly, that I was leaving for my meticulously planned week in Tahoe with no email, cell phones or clients, but then, as of yet, nothing new to read.

I had thirty minutes to plan my assault on the local Border's so I texted a friend who dutifully responded back with some suggestions including Hooked, which he recommended because it was "a good page turner".

Turned out he was right, and it also proved an appropriate antidote for someone trying to take a breather from work-encouraged ADD and you know, get away from it all and things like that.

Hooked is a totally fun book about an overly sentimental Bay area journalist who stumbles upon a nefarious plan hatched by local venture capitalists who have created the next big technology innovation and they have figured out what we always suspected the Microsofts and Googles of the world were secretly up to...getting us feeble-minded consumers literally addicted to their products. There's love, mayhem, mystery and death...and truly, it becomes addictive as you try to figure out what's really going on. I read it in a day.

Trust no one, but read Hooked.

My only real complaint is that there wasn't a Part Deux for those of us who got hooked.

Makes an excellent stocking stuffer.
Or Hanukah/Kwanza gift.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book definitely had a lot of potential, but it never quite realized it. I thought that not only was it slow in periods, but I just found myself disinterested altogether. Additionally, I would have to back-track and re-read certain parts to understand what just happened. It was unnecessarily confusing at times.

Then there were some totally implausible parts that took place near the end where the narrow-escapes were ridiculous and one part in particular where the main character bursts into a meeting looking like he'd been through WWII and the people in the meeting continue discussing top secret plans with him sitting in the room and participating - that was the worst.

The end of the book tries to clean up the loose ends and justify why I've read all that I just read, but it was a case of too little to late. Definitely ambitious, but doesn't quite make it as a recommendation.
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Format: Hardcover
Nathanial Idle has finished medical school, finds himself $100,000 in debt and begins having second thoughts about his career path. He is, however, very interested in medical stories --- both the breakthrough discoveries and the abuses in his field of study. So, instead of completing the required residency program to become a doctor, he turns to investigative journalism.

It is during this time of great decisions that he meets the love of his life. Annie is everything he could hope for, more than he imagined could exist in a human being. Their romance is storybook perfect --- perhaps too perfect to last --- and as quickly as he finds her, an accident snatches her from him. Nat is beyond consolation and feels himself destined to go through the rest of his life with a gaping hole in his being.

Yet he continues moving mechanically from day to day, from assignment to assignment, taking comfort from the various people in his life who offer it to him. It is at this point that the story opens with Nat sitting in the Sunshine Café and someone sliding a piece of paper onto the table. He picks it up and reads: Get out of the café...NOW. And then the place explodes.

The explosion sets off a series of fires and deaths that seem too connected to be coincidental. Simon Anderson, a patron in the Internet café, does not recover from his wounds. Andy, a friend of Erin (one of the waitresses), becomes depressed and jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. The police uncover Erin's history and suspect that she may have had something to do with the explosion. What is the connection, the common thread that pulls these events together?
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