Harlan Coben, Author, Carrington MacDuffie, Read by , read by Carrington MacDuffie. Penguin Audio $39.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-14-280056-0

Coben's latest thriller (after No Second Chance ) is a riveting, albeit perplexing, nightmare that finds hapless New Jersey wife and mother Grace Lawson dealing with an assortment of fearful developments, including a missing spouse, a terrifyingly adaptable hit man, deceitful friends, hidden agendas and ghosts from the past. Reader MacDuffie wisely takes her cues from Coben's prose. When he describes a policeman as "patronizing," she lends just the right vocal inflection to his lines, then quickly switches to the sarcastic tones of feisty Grace. And for the novel's most ingratiating character, Charlene Swain, MacDuffie's voice subtly shifts from vague to vital as the Percodan-popping, bored-to-tears housewife rises above her ennui to give Grace a helping hand in combating the wicked hit man Wu. Coben fills his thriller with unoriginal characters (including a murderer on death row, a rock-and-roller in comeback mode and a gentrified mobster with revenge on his mind), but MacDuffie's skillful interpretation brings the characters and action into sharp focus. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Forecasts, Mar. 29). (May)

Reviewed on: 06/07/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Audio
Hardcover - 589 pages - 978-1-59413-069-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-4807-1
Hardcover - 589 pages - 978-0-7862-6628-9
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Hardcover - 370 pages - 978-0-525-94791-2
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