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Die for You: A Novel

2 Ratings: 3.5
A book by Lisa Unger

Isabel Raine thought she had everything–a successful career, a supportive family, and a happy marriage to the man she loved. Then one ordinary morning, her husband, Marcus, picks up his briefcase, kisses her good-bye, and simply vanishes.    Th … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Lisa Unger
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
1 review about Die for You: A Novel

"The screaming just went on... until the line went suddenly dead."

  • Jun 13, 2009
  • by

New Yorker Isabel Raine has made peace with the single life when she meets her charming, somewhat enigmatic Prague-born husband, Marcus. After five years, the romance is still fresh, Isabel a much published author, Marcus a successful software designer. Why then does Marcus walk away from their home one morning never to return? After a night of anxiety, fear and rage, Isabel begins a desperate search for her husband that leaves her reeling and distraught. After a run-in with the FBI at Marcus' office, a brutal attack and a concussion, the trashing of her home and assorted dead bodies, Isabel balks at revealing all her secrets to the police, crashing blindly through crime scenes in search of clues. Isabel's intransigence draws everyone in her family into a vortex of violence, all put at risk as Isabel compulsively races from one conclusion to another. While her stubbornness may ultimately reveal the answers she needs, Isabel's hubris does not make for a likable protagonist.

Luckily, Isabel's impetuous and provocative actions are tempered by her sister, Linda, an artist/photographer with a healthy marriage and two children. But even Linda has feet of clay in this tale, both girls traumatized by a childhood incident that haunts them still. In contrast to Isabel's abrasiveness, Linda is all the more sympathetic, bravely supporting her younger sister in spite of an unraveling personal life, one character's flaws balanced against another's. In an attempt to tether the plot to the possible, the voice of a young detective injects another perspective, Grady Crowe battling his own demons and marital disharmony while chasing Isabel from one crime scene to another. Perhaps it is the author's choice of protagonist-as-writer that burdens the story with too much detail and not enough nuance, the sometimes tedious rationalization of aberrant behavior in service of plot.

Without doubt, Unger is a talented storyteller. Although this bizarre cast- successful New York women, a rogue husband, a deranged stalker and a female adversary with blood in her eye- requires some suspension of belief, the novel exhibits the energy of Unger's other work: I find it necessary to make a conscious decision to follow Unger's lead. With unusual plot twists and the random threats of suspicious characters, count on Unger to deliver a compelling version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Would I like more depth in her characters? Sure. But I'll settle for a few hours of a fast-paced mystery from a very consistent writer. Luan Gaines/2009.

Die for You

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