[5 stars] "Tight plot, thrilling twists and turns, complex characters, outstanding reveals - what more could you want. Highly recommended."
I absolutely loved this book. I read it cover to cover and was totally entranced by every twist and turn that it took. If you love a book that really messes with your head, you can't go past this one. This is very sophisticated writing, not just because it's got thrills, reveals, twists and a totally brilliant ending, but because everything else is done to build plot, explore and reveal characters, set the mood and send you into a whirl.
Just when you thought you had it all worked out..wham!
I first came across Frank's first brilliant psychological thriller Find Virgil when I read and reviewed it last year and rated that one five stars also. Again, a book, like this one that had me divided as a reader as to where I stood in relation to the characters (was I going to take sides?), what I thought the book as about and of course the silly idea of trying to guess what came next.
Frank takes you on a journey, a true story teller. If you just expect empty pretty glitter, look elsewhere, Frank gives you depth in his books. Grit and tackling some complex issues people face in everyday life and putting a spin on it all. How far will a person go? It truly kept me on my toes as the plot unraveled. Both characters Lock and Natalie are brilliantly flawed and messed up, therefore making the book very interesting as I indulged in "people watching" as I read, trying to get inside both heads or even to get a turn on the chess game they enjoy playing so much. Nothing will ever be the same again for either of them. Ever.
ALL LOCK GILKENNEY WANTS IS A FAMILY.
BUT HE’LL HAVE TO CROSS THE LINE TO GET ONE.
Lock is a dedicated investigator at Child Protective Services. An anonymous report of neglect comes in. He responds and finds the kids in good health. Lock concludes the report was a ruse, possibly part of a scheme to make Natalie Mannheim—the kids’ mother—look bad in an upcoming divorce trial.
Natalie needs Lock’s expertise to help her win custody—and a multi-million-dollar divorce settlement. He realizes she doesn't have a prayer in court against her shrewd husband, and only Lock can help her now.
Lock knows all about addiction, and he’s aware of the powerful hold Natalie has on him. But he can’t get her out of his head. Lock is caught between his commitment to take the high road and his burning desire to have a family. In this story of love, lust, deceit and murder, what Lock chooses to do will grab your imagination and never let go.
This book had me conflicted so much. I powered through this book, inhaled and gasped at every brilliant reveal and twist. Don't be alarmed or worried if after truly exciting moments the book seems to cruise for a while, no it's not a dud. What the author is doing is cleverly giving us background, building the characters and plot with great detail. This makes the twists as good as they are.
I am a real fan of Frank's writing. I like his plots, characters never feel let down as a reader. In a nutshell? It's really bloody good and Frank is an author to watch. I read many books in the last year by bestselling authors and his book was better than a lot of them. I don't hesitate to recommend this book or Find Virgil either, do yourself a huge favour and get both. Outstanding fiction.
[5 stars] "Unique plot, complex characters and definitely stirs up emotions"
Lock is a committed investigator at Child Protective Services who desperately wants a family of his own. He's also a recovering alcoholic coping with grief and abandonment issues. One of his cases involves Natalie who is going through a nasty divorce and custody battle. Lock becomes infatuated with Natalie, and it all goes downhill from there.
This was my first book written by Frank Freudberg, who definitely has a way with words. He really makes you feel things. The author truly succeeds in making you feel emotions towards the characters, but not necessarily in a positive way. For me this ranged from sad and disappointed to being so angry, I wanted to slap Natalie as well as Lock several times. Natalie for being such a horrible manipulating piece of work and Lock for being so weak and for making so many bad decisions. The character development was outstanding. Furthermore, there were really good twists and turns that I had not seen coming at all. Half way through I gave up on trying to predict what would happen next. I finally realized this plot was unique and totally unpredictable. I loved the ending.
[5 stars] "This is what I want. A family. Children to nurture, a wife to love.'
Pennsylvania author Frank Freudberg is a force of nature. His bio offers some insight into the background of his books: he is a novelist, journalist and ghostwriter, enjoying writing about underdogs and their battles with forces seemingly more powerful than they are -- and he particularly likes watching the little guy prevail. He has contributed to Reuters, Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Der Spiegel and others. His work has been mentioned in many notable publications including Time, Newsweek, and The Guardian.
His previous novel FIND VIRGIL (excellent, an dif you haven't read it, DO!) took on the tobacco industry and made that topic into a thriller. In this novel - BABY PLEASE DON'T GO - he takes on alcohol abuse and child protective custody and manages to once again work with a tricky subject and produce a novel that includes the subjects of love, lust, deceit and murder.
The book's synopsis sums the story well. `Lock Gilkenney is a dedicated investigator at Child Protective Services, a man who desperately wants a family - and a man who is an alcoholic struggling with sobriety. An anonymous report of neglect comes in. He responds and finds the kids in good health. Lock concludes the report was a ruse, possibly part of a scheme to make Natalie Mannheim, the kids' mother, look bad in an upcoming divorce trial. Natalie needs Lock's expertise to help her win custody--and a multi-million-dollar divorce settlement. He realizes she doesn't have a prayer in court against her shrewd husband, and only Lock can help her now. Lock knows all about addiction (his own alcohol addiction), and he's aware of the powerful hold Natalie has on him. But he can't get her out of his head. Lock is caught between his commitment to take the high road and his burning desire to have a family.'
Frank's way with character development is up there with the best of authors. He creates `heroes' who have weaknesses and it is their coping with their own weaknesses that helps them struggle against odds to perform heroic deeds. He places his story in Brandywine County - not far from the author's own Pennsylvania home - and his knowledge of the environs strengthens his story, too. Another very fine novel by Frank Freudberg.
[Freudberg has] " ... a narrative drive and a sense of plot that seize the reader and do not let him go."