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Third Degree: A Novel Hardcover – November 6, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 430 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While not as twisty as True Evil (2006), bestseller Iles's new thriller injects both depth and novelty into a genre convention—the jealous husband who's tipped off to his wife's infidelity. When Laurel Shields, a 35-year-old mother of two, discovers she's pregnant, she can't be sure her physician husband, Warren, is the father. Meanwhile, Warren is in trouble with the IRS. Laurel believes his obsessive search for a document in their Athens Point, Miss., home is related to a federal Medicaid fraud investigation focusing on his medical partner, Kyle Auster. As the Feds prepare to swoop down on Warren and Kyle's office to collect the evidence of false billings and bribes to patients without any actual illnesses, Warren takes Laurel and their two children hostage. Iles squeezes every drop of suspense out of the prolonged standoff between the doctor and the police. While the ending may be a little too pat to be plausible, Iles avoids turning Warren into a clichéd bad guy by making his descent into madness understandable. (Nov.)
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Review

"A keep-you-engaged-to-the-very-last-page thriller is born." -- USA Today --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743292502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743292504
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (430 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bill Garrison VINE VOICE on November 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Greg Iles latest novel, THIRD DEGREE, is a harrowing thriller that takes place over the course of an afternoon. Lauren Shields teaches a developmentally disabled class at the elementary school. Her husband Warren is a doctor. One morning she wakes up and finds Warren frantically searching the house for something. In fact, he's been searching all night. He says it has something to do with an IRS audit of his business. Lauren has problems of her own. She's pregnant, and the baby probably isn't Warren's. For the past several months, She's been having an affair with Danny McDavvitt, a war hero and a kind man who has marriage problems of his own. Danny wants to leave his wife for Lauren, but can't for fear that his wife will get custody of his autistic son. Warren's office is also under investigation for Medicare fraud, and Warren's partner, Kyle Auster is devious and amoral.

You throw the above beginnings of a plot into a a 12 hour period, and you get this novel. I glanced at a few reviews, and many negative reviewers seemed to dislike the story as not a traditional Iles novel. Iles is a great novelist and one of the few out there that constantly change genres. He started out with World War II novels, then moved onto standard thrillers. He wasn't afraid to try new things, like Footprints of God (a sci-fi look at the nature of religion) or Dead Sleep (a novel all Steven King fans would love). Iles has tried this before. His 24 Hours spanned a day. He's trying it again in this character driven thriller. If the entire novel is compressed into a day, then what keeps the pages turning? Iles introduces a desperate man in Warren and a confused wife in Lauren, thows in a couple of kids and then keeps adding characters who have parts to play in the drama.
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Format: Hardcover
This effort by Iles is one-part Lifetime Movie of the Week, and one-part Robert Crais-like thrill ride. The Lifetime sections can be long and overwrought, but the thriller sections are taut with anxiety. The problem is that there are too many parts reminiscent of Lifetime movies, compared to the parts that we thriller fans are looking for.

Iles is a skilled writer, but because he doesn't stick to a tried-and-true formula, he's a box-of-chocolates kind of author; we never know quite what we're going to get until we've bitten into the offering.

If you skim wisely, you'll be holding a page-turner. If you read every word, you might doze off.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not up to Iles standards..really really disliked this book and all it was about.
Did anyone else find the ending inane? Worried about what a child is going to think about his dead father if he committed suicide - as opposed to watching that father kill several people in front of him and beating on his mother. Felt like I was being asked to forgive the wife and lover their lack of morals but to accept the deaths of others easily because of their lack of same?? Whole thing was just tawdry.
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Format: Hardcover
"Third Degree," by Greg Iles, takes place in the small town of Athens Point, Mississippi. Thirty-five year old teacher Laurel Shields has slowly drifted apart from Warren, her husband of twelve years. For eleven months, she conducted a clandestine affair with a married man, Danny McDavitt, the father of an autistic child in her class. When Warren accidentally discovers evidence of his wife's betrayal, he is enraged and demands to know the identity of her lover. Laurel stonewalls and attempts to calm Warren down, but he refuses to be mollified. Ironically, Warren is a physician who has always been a model of stability, integrity, and compassion. Much to Laurel's horror, her calm and predictable husband suddenly becomes a violent, cruel, and unpredictable monster. Laurel's six year old daughter, Beth, and nine-year-old son, Grant are caught in the middle of their parents' potentially tragic domestic dispute.

This is a plot-driven, melodramatic, and unconvincing novel with trite dialogue and poorly drawn, one-dimensional characters. Laurel is a self-absorbed, foolish, and impulsive woman; her lover, Danny, is a former war hero who is too saintly to be believed; Warren is a cipher whose behavior is incomprehensible until late in the novel, when we learn that he is hiding a devastating secret; Warren's partner, Ken Auster is a greedy philanderer whose fraudulent financial practices have attracted the interest of the Medicaid Fraud Unit and the IRS. None of these people is remotely believable, nor do their troubles generate much sympathy. At almost four hundred pages, the book is heavily padded with plodding exposition and the omniscient narrator's recital of each individual's personal history and innermost thoughts.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a big fan of Greg Isles but this novel was pretty awful. I had to muddle through this one, it was torture. Where's the quality that was in "The Quiet Game" and his other novels. It's as if he wrote it over the weekend. His prose, especially when he describes the characters sex life, reads like a 15 year old boy wrote it. I always buy his books as soon as they come out but I may be waiting for the paperback on his next book.
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