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Play Dead
Play Dead
Author: Harlan Coben
No sooner had supermodel Laura Ayers and Celtics star David Baskin said "I do" than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia's Great Barrier Reed, David went out for a swim-and never returned. Now widowed and grieving, Laura's search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back thirty ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780451231741
ISBN-10: 0451231740
Publication Date: 9/28/2010
Pages: 560
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 231 ratings
Publisher: Signet
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Play Dead on + 301 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
If I had never read Harlan Coben before, I would think this was a great book. And it is good. It just that, as I read it, I could see a lot of things he'd have done differently today because he's matured so much as a writer. So whether you're a fan of Coben's or not, go ahead and read it.
jilld avatar reviewed Play Dead on + 156 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Grade C+

Play Dead is Harlan Coben's first published novel. It has been rereleased this year. There is a letter from the author warning readers that if this is your first experience to reading one of his books he suggests that they stop reading, go and get another of his books and then come back to this one. I had to laugh because this book is my first by Mr. Coben and I couldn't read a different one because this was December's book club choice. So, I went into reading this book with an open mind.

I can completely see how Harlan Coben has been able to keep readers spellbound and why he has such a following. The story he weaves is one that makes readers try to figure out what the hell is going on. He gives the reader just enough information to keep them hanging on to find out what next little secret he is going to reveal.

Now having said all that, I can see why he was apologizing to his fans and telling new readers not to start with this book. It is painfully obvious to me that this is an inexperienced author. The story is rich with its twists and turns, but it is executed poorly. The book was 500+ pages and could have been told in 300 and I would have been satisfied. Often times the clues where all too stingily delivered to have them pounded into the ground over and over by different character view points.

I found Play Dead to be an entertaining read. But I thought the two main characters were slightly superficial and the book a little too long. Other than that, I felt that Harlan Coben has great potential and wouldn't be averse to trying something else by him.
sfc95 avatar reviewed Play Dead on + 686 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Coben is too hard on himself...this book is great. It is a total edge of your seat thriller. It starts a bit muddled with alot going on and it takes 100 pages or so to really get into. Also this is not a book you can read in 10 min. periods, especailly at first, you need to devote some serious reading time in the beginning for it to make sense, but stick with it because it is great!
reviewed Play Dead on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Another great Harlan Coben! If you have never read Harlan Coben, what are you waiting for? He is a master of the plot twist. Other books I know who "it" is by at least half-way throught, his I know, then find out I was wrong, then wrong again. Terrific writer!!!!!
reviewed Play Dead on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Right off the bat, this book pissed me off. Page six has a rape joke. Husband David is too worn out by prior sex with his new wife Laura that he must rest. She doesn't want to rest. She wants another go round. I was flabbergasted to read his joking response that he would cry rape, and she (also jokingly) told him to go ahead and do so.

Disrespectful to those who have actually survived such an odious event, not to mention a PTSD trigger.

Shame on you, Mr. Coben, for resorting to that. Never again.
Read All 27 Book Reviews of "Play Dead"

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reviewed Play Dead on + 204 more book reviews
Excellent book.
justreadingabook avatar reviewed Play Dead on + 1705 more book reviews
Holy Sheep Dip Batman!
This one is awesome, a keep turning the page cause you have to find out what the heck is going on.
Twists, turns and what the heck! all over this story.
Great read.
taryndesigns avatar reviewed Play Dead on + 37 more book reviews
Harlan Coben has grown so much as a writer. While this is a great book, it can be very confusing and the plot a little far-fetched. I also grew tired of the line "they didn't know that would be the last time...". The story could probably have been told in half the pages. It was still a good read and the "killer" was a bit of a surprise for me.
justreadingabook avatar reviewed Play Dead on + 1705 more book reviews
Intense and hooks you from the first page to the very last.
reviewed Play Dead on + 66 more book reviews
This is one of Harlan Coben's early novels. You can see the roots of some of his later themes developing but the story is overly convoluted and many of the situations and character behaviors improbable, impractical, or confusing. Coben has always been one of my favorite authors and it is interesting to see where he started but he certainly greatly improved with his later works. Scott Brick's excessively dramatic narration for this book further emphasizes any shortcomings rather than helping to overcome them. It's not up to Coben's later excellence but it's still an interesting read and overall, enjoyable.
buzzby avatar reviewed Play Dead on + 6062 more book reviews
The first of Harlan Coben's books.
my2luvsemmyandmally avatar reviewed Play Dead on + 758 more book reviews
FANTASTIC !!! It really surprised me to see this was his very first book! I had read all his others and they re-released this first one so of course me being a huge Harlan Coben fan I just had to get a copy! I honestly was so into this book once I started it that I hated to put it down! Great plot and storyline kept moving along. Did not find anything in this book that I could complain about. GREAT BOOK ! If you've never read any of Coben's books pick this one up....I doubt you would be sorry and think you will be hooked!!!
reviewed Play Dead on + 5 more book reviews
I really liked it.I'm a hard sell on endings but I liked this one and even though Harlan Coben is one of my favorite writers I don't think he writes a good ending most of the time however this time I did like it. I like the story very much also, I have to say he has wrote a few better ones but all in all it was good. I think you'll enjoy it. It keeps you guessing and you'll really be surprised at who the killer is!
jacquiemeck avatar reviewed Play Dead on + 94 more book reviews
Lots of twists and turns. A good story.