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The Big Exit
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$25.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on December 25, 2012
I'd rate this a 4.5-star book.

I read a lot of mysteries/thrillers, and while I don't always figure everything out every time, I love books that have enough plot twists to keep me guessing without throwing out red herrings all over the place. David Carnoy's The Big Exit didn't let up the entire time, and although I saw a few things coming, I still thought this was a pretty great read.

It seemed like Richie Forman had it all--a successful career in marketing, a beautiful fiancée, and a terrific singing voice. Driving home with his best friend, Mark, following an impromptu bachelor party, they were involved in a terrible car crash that killed a young woman. Richie swore he wasn't driving; in fact, he remembered falling asleep in the passenger's seat, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, including his friend's testimony. His engagement ended when he was sent to prison, where he encountered some unspeakable incidents, and his former fiancé married his old best friend.

When Richie got out of prison, he started looking for a job to supplement the income he earned as a Frank Sinatra impersonator. Then Mark is murdered, and Richie is the prime suspect, although the police also suspect Mark's wife, Beth. As Richie tries to clear his name, the evidence mounts, as does his suspicion that Beth was trying to set him up. The more digging he and the police do into the case, the more the twists keep coming, until no one is quite sure just what happened the day Mark was murdered.

David Carnoy is a terrific storyteller, juxtaposing creative plot development with some really fascinating twists, as well as complex characters. Thanks to some serious insomnia, I read the entire book in a day, and it definitely is a fast and satisfying read.

Richie is a fascinating character, and as the action unfolded, I was surprised quite a bit when something different than what I expected happened. I did keep forgetting how old the characters were; they all seemed much older than they truly were, so I had to keep adjusting the pictures in my head. Richie is a fascinating character, and as the action unfolded, I was surprised quite a bit when something different than what I expected happened. I did keep forgetting how old the characters were; they all seemed much older than they truly were, so I had to keep adjusting the pictures in my head.

I'm not sure if this was the case with the print version of the book, but the e-book version of this book was one of the most poorly edited things I've ever read. Spelling and grammatical errors were plentiful, as were mistakes in characters' names and other facts, so I found it a bit distracting. But other than that, I really enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it to fans of suspense novels.
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on January 5, 2013
**Please note: this review was edited after its original posting to remove spoilers, at the request of the author.**

Carnoy is clearly a talented writer. He crafts sentences well, rarely repeats himself and has a smart, snappy style.

I liked this one a bit better than Knife Music, though both were enjoyable. As the book opens, we're introduced to some real characters and a potentially devious plot.

But as the mystery unravels, so does the book. My main gripes are:

- The bad guy's whole nefarious ploy hinges on an event I found to be too-fragile a frame for such an intricately planned, wide-ranging deception.

- The characters that start out with such promise at the beginning of the story seem to devolve into fairly common actors. Forman, for example, has this Sinatra-impersonator thing going on that gives him a nice quirkiness. But he doesn't stick with it, and without that there's nothing particularly compelling about him. Even worse for me, two main female characters, the young investigator Ashley and the attorney Dupuy, get full character treatments at the start but the traits that make them interesting seem to be a bit forgotten by the end of the story.

- The repeat of a "gotcha" from Knife Music.

The character I liked best was, surprisingly, the lawyer Lowenstein. Though he only makes brief appearances, he maintains his eccentric-yet-caring personality all the way through.

I'll continue to buy Carnoy's books; like I said I think he's a good writer. I simply found the character treatments in this novel to be unfulfilled.
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on January 15, 2013
I was originally familiar with David Carnoy from his work at CNET. When I came across Knife Music, I figured why not give it a try. As those of you who have read it know - it's an entertaining debut effort with twists & turns right up to the very end.

So with that background, I was excited to read The Big Exit, but also somewhat worried that it would be the typical sequel which falls short of recreating the magic of the original. I didn't need to worry -- I started the book on day 1 at the beach, and I couldn't put it down! I was finished by the end of day 2 -- a perfect vacation page-turner that draws you in and takes your mind to another time and place.

I was particularly drawn in by 2 things - the characters (for example, Richie Forman continuing his Sinatra impersonation even as he's being questioned for murder) and the realistic details about the police work. I wasn't surprised to learn that Carnoy had actually spent some serious time on drive-alongs with the cops as part of his research. For my money, those details, along with the all the little details about the Silicon Valley start-up culture that Carnoy probably drew from his CNET days, separate this book from other thrillers out there. In short, a great second act, and I highly recommend it.
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on January 11, 2018
I loved this book! It was exciting and full of unexpected twists and turns (it almost read like a screenplay). I thoroughly enjoyed it. Carnoy paints a vivid picture. The dialogue rings true. The story takes place mostly at a turnout along the freeway in the Rockies between Utah and Colorado. That is all I'm going to say about the plot. If you like thrilling and unexpected plots, read The Big Exit. Now.
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on December 26, 2012
A solid read and good value for the money.

Richie Forman, a technology entrepreneur, had the good life -- a beautiful fiance, a promising marketing career and a great sideline job as a Sinatra impersonator at local joints. It all came to an end after an impropmptu bachelor party in which Richie and his best friend Mark crased into another vehicle, killing someone...Richie claims he wasn't driving...or was he? The story starts after Richie is released from prison after serving his sentence -- he is trying to rebuild his life, still maintaining his innocence. Then Mark is found murdered and Richie becomes the number one suspect.

The plot is interesting enough to keep you engaged -- you don't have to have read Carnoy's other book (though a couple of the characters from that book appear here in sideline roles). The story is well-done with good enough character development and reasonable plot twists to keep you wondering until the end. Richie is a likable character and you actually believe in his innocence, but wonder how the whole convoluted circumstances came about. It's somewhat of a classic who-done-it with no need for a lot of deep thought or machinations to get to the climax. There aren't many side plots to speak of and the author keeps you on track with the main storyline in a capable fashion. Read and enjoy!
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on March 24, 2015
Having just finished Knife Music in book format I jumped over to the CD version of The Big Exit. I found both books excellent stories. I like the intermingling of characters in both books. I enjoyed the mystery of each story. If you are looking for a great Beach Read...this is IT!
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on October 23, 2012
This sorta-sequel to Carnoy's earlier "Knife Music" reunites detective Hank Madden and attorney Carolyn Dupuy as they take on an all-new murder case. This time, the accused is Sinatra impersonator (and ex-con) Richie Forman, who's implicated in the brutal slaying of a Bay Area tech entrepreneur. While "Knife Music" was a great debut novel, this one feels leaner and more focused. It's also less confusing (no alternating between flashbacks and "now") and -- thanks to the presence of tech blogger/muckraker Tom Bender -- has some refreshing scenes of wry humor that were missing from the earlier book.

All in all, this is a breezy and entertaining mystery that will appeal to fans of Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and Harlan Coben.
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on December 18, 2012
David Carnoy keeps you guessing in this intriguing crime novel. The characters are all interesting and pretty well-drawn, but could have used more back-story to fill them out and make them truly three-dimensional. However, it's the pace and development of the story that keep you attached until the ending you don't see coming. Very good read.
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on April 5, 2013
Alluding to the bells and whistles of today's technologies while developing a good variety of characters with appropriate depth in a twisted mystery.
Will look for more offerings from this author.
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on February 6, 2013
Carnoy had me at the first page - a transcript of a 911 call. I flew through this book in a couple of days, after starting and ultimately not bothering with about a dozen others who tried to do what Carnoy did but couldn't pull it off. Great characters, smooth, unobtrusive narration with just the right amount of ironic, clever asides to enjoy and linger over. I know nothing about Silicon Valley and hi-tech, so that was a treat too. This story was really well crafted. It delivered on all it's promises. I will most definitely be reading Knife Music by the same author.
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