Review: Stolen by Daniel Palmer

April 29, 2013 Kensington, Review, Thriller 1

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington House Pub Ltd; First Edition edition (April 30, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0758246668
  • Source: Publisher/Author

John and Ruby are leading a happy life. John’s online gaming business is growing, allowing Ruby to go back to school to become an acupuncturist.  John is still recovering from a devastating climbing accident in which he was forced to choose between his life and the life of another. Unfortunately, he’ll have to face this decision again and far too soon…

John notices a strange mark on Ruby’s foot and insists she go to the doctor. The news she receives is unexpected and life-altering. Her condition is treatable, but the generic brand of the drug she must have is unavailable. She’s forced to opt for the name-brand drug, one that is not covered by her insurance. The cost is astronomical, but John won’t let that prevent Ruby from getting the treatment required.  Despite maxing out their credit cards and borrowing from friends and family, they still don’t have enough money to fund Ruby’s full treatment. John does the unthinkable; he steals the identity of one of his online gaming customers and files a false claim for her treatment. They move to a new apartment, live under the other person’s name, whatever it takes.

Their plan is running smoothly, Ruby’s condition is improving. Then one day they receive a phone call from the man whose identity they have stolen. He won’t report the fraud one one condition: John and Ruby must take part in a “game” he’s contrived. The point of the game is for John and Ruby to commit real crimes to show they are, in fact, real criminals. The crimes start with armed robbery, then arson. Each time they don’t follow the rules of the game to the specifics demanded, someone is killed. John and Ruby soon learn the individual inflicting this torturous plan on them is not the man whose identity was stolen. Their situation is far worse than they suspected for their life is in the hands of a psychopathic serial killer. They can’t go to the police, the only thing they can do is to follow through with the game to the end. In playing the game, they must figure out a way to outwit this monster before they become his next victims.

Once again, Palmer has created another page-turning techno-thriller. Despite the crime the main characters have committed, Palmer creates in them truly sympathetic characters. Who wouldn’t risk everything to save the one loved? Additionally, Palmer throws in several red herrings, leaving the reader pondering just who is responsible for this vicious game.

While some aspects of this novel are a tad far-fetching and unbelievable, the reader that can suspend disbelief will instantly become immersed in a truly heart-pounding, terrifying thriller. Highly recommended.

Thanks to the publisher, I have a copy of STOLEN to give away. To enter, please fill out the form below. The winner will be contacted by email on Friday, May 10.


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