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Life or Death
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Life or Death
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Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he's due to be released?Audie was sentenced to ten years for a Texas robbery in which four people died, including two members of his...
Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he's due to be released?Audie was sentenced to ten years for a Texas robbery in which four people died, including two members of his...
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  • Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he's due to be released?

    Audie was sentenced to ten years for a Texas robbery in which four people died, including two members of his own gang. Seven million dollars have never been recovered from the robbery, and everybody believes Audie knows where the money is.

    For a decade Audie has been beaten, stabbed, and threatened by inmates and guards, all desperate to know the secret. The day before he is due to be released, Audie suddenly vanishes. The hunt for Audie, and the money, is on. But Audie's not running to save his own life—instead, he's trying to save someone else.

    In what promises to be his most popular thriller yet, Michael Robotham has created the ultimate underdog hero, an honorable criminal shrouded in mystery and ready to lead readers on a remarkable chase.

About the Author-

  • Michael Robotham is a former investigative journalist whose psychological thrillers have been translated into twenty-three languages. In 2015 he won the prestigious UK Gold Dagger for his novel Life or Death, which was also shortlisted for the 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. He has twice won a Ned Kelly Award for Australia's best crime novel and has twice been shortlisted for the CWA UK Steel Dagger in 2007 for The Night Ferry and 2008 with Shatter.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 12, 2015
    Early in this so-so standalone from Australian author Robotham, Audie Palmer escapes from a Texas prison with only a day remaining on his 10-year sentence. A decade earlier, authorities named Audie Palmer as an accomplice in a high-profile armored-car robbery that left four people dead, including a security guard, and $7 million unaccounted for. Readers follow Audie as he tries to stay under the radar, his present peppered with flashbacks from his troubled past and bittersweet memories of the only woman he ever loved. While it’s obvious that Audie isn’t wholly guilty, the depth of the conspiracy isn’t clear, and Robotham (Suspect) teases out some genuinely interesting twists. Unfortunately, American readers will have a problem with Audie’s implausibly short sentence for felony murder in Texas (despite the intricate plot machinations to justify it) and the ease with which he gets away from a Texas prison unscathed. British usage also jars (e.g., an old man tells Audie he’s had a “row” with his girlfriend). Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management.

  • AudioFile Magazine John Chancer's narration skills keep the bullets whizzing in this on-the-run audiobook thriller. Chancer's modulation and timing add vocal drama to the action--whether it's a prison break, hand-to-hand combat, a shoot-out, or someone being smacked with a shovel (OUCH!). The story is built on three solid mysteries, involving a prison break, missing money, and some serious killers. The weak links are Robotham's sometimes-too-broad characterizations, a weakness that Chancer can't seem to rise above as he gives them broad stock voicing. But don't let that deter you. The production is paced so that each cliff-hanger unravels just as the next one is revealed, guaranteeing that you won't hit the pause button until the full story is told. R.W.S. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2015
    Australian novelist Robotham travels to Texas for this prison-break tale with a twist.Audie Palmer, who admitted his involvement in the infamous Dreyfus County, Texas, armored security truck robbery, escaped from prison with only one day remaining on his sentence. Audie pleaded guilty to helping steal $7 million-money that's never been recovered. But why did he disappear the day before his parole was to begin? That's the question on the minds of everyone, from diminutive FBI Special Agent Desiree Furness to his best prison buddy, Moss. Soon after Audie runs, everyone involved in his case, from the former prosecutor to a deputy who is now the sheriff, is pulling out the stops to find him, and it's obvious they'd prefer him dead rather than alive. Robotham generously shares information about the villains with readers, so there's little suspense there. However, the back story, skillfully interwoven with the search for Audie, provides plenty of edge-of-the-seat excitement, forcing readers to frantically turn the pages to find out how all these different strands intersect. Robotham's skill as a writer remains undeniable: He offers memorable characters caught up in an irresistible story. But the Aussie writer's choice of Texas as his setting is bound to ruffle some feathers since he portrays the state as uniformly and relentlessly corrupt, its citizens as the dregs of society. "Texas only executes people on death row, not when they're brain-dead because it might mean culling most of their politicians," reads one passage. And while the writing is top-notch, albeit inflammatory in places, the finished product is also puzzling in that the novelist and his editorial team populated the book with many British expressions foreign to the setting, from calling a woman's bangs a "fringe" to terming a flophouse a "doss house" to having a very Southern character refer to lines in a bank as "queues." Terrific storytelling that won't win Robotham many friends in the Lone Star State.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from December 1, 2014

    Why does Audie Palmer--sentenced to ten years in prison for a $7 million armored car robbery in which four people died--escape the day before his term ends? And why is Audie being on the loose so threatening to certain high-level officials? After continual unsuccessful attempts to have him killed behind bars, the men pulling the strings release Moss Webster, his closest prison buddy, with orders to find Audie. Meanwhile, answers are revealed gradually in flashbacks about the protagonist's earlier life, from his relationship with his no-good older brother, Carl, to his deep and abiding love for Belita, the sex slave mistress of his minor underworld boss, and, finally to what actually occurred on the day of the robbery. VERDICT Robotham's psychological suspense novels featuring Joseph O'Loughlin (Say You're Sorry; Watching You) have garnered high marks for a reason. This stand-alone is an absolutely compelling story, with suspense ratcheting up to a deadly confrontation, combined with a deeply moving love story, concluding with "Life is short. Love is vast. Live like there's no tomorrow." Don't miss this one. [See Prepub Alert, 9/22/14.] --Michele Leber, Arlington, VA

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from December 1, 2014
    Audie Palmer spent virtually every day of his 10-year sentence in a federal prison fighting for his life. Although shot in the head in a wild shootout between Texas county sheriff's deputies and the criminals who hijacked an armored truck, he survived. He remembers nothing from that time, but everyone believes he knows the location of millions of dollars that were never recovered. Audie has been beaten, stabbed, and burned, but for many inmates, his equanimity in the face of daily attacks makes him a combination of Yoda, Buddha, and the Gladiator. So, why, on the day before he is to be released, does he escape? That's the question that will keep crime lovers reading late into the night. Audie is a remarkable character. He's very bright, self-effacing, and calm in the face of nearly all the travails his imaginative creator (Watching You, 2014) requires him to endure. He's a true Samaritan, but only prison friend Moss Webster and Desiree Furness, a diminutive FBI agent, see him as anything more than a dangerous criminal. Crime fans will find plenty of action, but unexpectedly Life or Death also works as a mythic, fated love story. Robotham has a talent for creating fascinating and complex characters, and Audie Palmer may be his best yet.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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