Book Reviews of Play Dead

Play Dead
Play Dead
Author: Harlan Coben
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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 224 ratings
Publisher: Signet
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

18 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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.
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.
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 + 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.
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 + 757 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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
Helpful Score: 1
This book was great, it kept my attention!
reviewed Play Dead on + 7 more book reviews
I read this while on vacation in Mexico. The story never failed to have a new surprise every few chapters, especially toward the end when everything started coming together and the "mysteries" were explained.

Very suspenseful and in my opinion, well-written (despite Coben's "apology" in the front of the book. It was his first book and he didn't feel that it was a good book for someone reading Coben for the first time. I wholeheartedly disagree!)
reviewed Play Dead on + 114 more book reviews
Good read
reviewed Play Dead on + 36 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.
reviewed Play Dead on + 1538 more book reviews
This was Coben's first novel written, though published after some others. All I can say is that if he gets better than this, the later mystery/thrillers are going to cause heart attacks!
From back cover:
Theirs was a marriage made in tabloid heaven, but 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 years--while on the court at the Boston Garden, a rookie phenom makes his spectacular debut...
reviewed Play Dead on + 75 more book reviews
LOVED this book. I really enjoyed reading this one. I thought I had it figured out early, but, boy, was I wrong! Would definately recommend to others to read. Keeps your interest. Great read!
reviewed Play Dead on + 24 more book reviews
Unique twist! Good Read! Do not want to say more without giving away the story line.
reviewed Play Dead on + 7 more book reviews
good one...typical of a Coben book with lots of twists & turns. I recommend it
reviewed Play Dead on + 175 more book reviews
Like the New York Daily News said, it kept me riveted in suspense and eager anticipation! I thought I had it all figured out and then changed my mind toward the end and it still surprised me! Great book!
reviewed Play Dead on + 4 more book reviews
Both my husband and I very much enjoyed this book. One of those "hard to put down" ones with many twists and turns. We certainly recommend it.
reviewed Play Dead on + 83 more book reviews
Excellent.. To date, my fav Coben book. Fast paced, great characters & twisting ending.. really enjoyed..
reviewed Play Dead on + 2661 more book reviews
too long, print too small--didn't bother with it