• Or Else

  • A Thriller
  • By: Joe Hart
  • Narrated by: Graham Halstead
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (267 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A secret love becomes a fatal affair in a twisting novel of suspense by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart.

When novelist Andy Drake returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father, a reconnection with his childhood friend Rachel escalates into a secret love affair. For Rachel, struggling to maintain the facade of a picture-perfect life, it’s an escape from an emotionally abusive marriage. Then Andy receives an anonymous note warning him to end the affair. Or else.

Whoever’s been watching is going to make Andy pay. Weeks later, Rachel’s husband, David, is shot to death. Rachel and her two young sons vanish without a trace. One misstep, one careless reveal, and Andy could look as guilty as sin. Clue by clue, as his investigation into the mystery unfolds, Andy discovers that he and Rachel weren’t the only ones keeping secrets.

Nothing in this quiet neighborhood is as it seems. No one peeking from behind the curtains of their homes can be trusted. And the worst is yet to come. Because David isn’t the only one who will die.

©2022 by Joe Hart. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Hart remains a suspense writer to watch.”Publishers Weekly

Or Else is a thriller/suspense tour de force. Joe Hart has knocked it out of the park with a start-to-finish roller coaster ride of perfectly executed twists and expertly timed chills. Deep character development and rich narrative seals Or Else’s place as the not-to-be-missed domestic thriller/suspense of the year.”—Steven Konkoly, author of the Ryan Decker series and Deep Sleep 

“The perfect thriller for a rainy afternoon, Or Else draws you into a web of small town secrets, lies, and intrigue and doesn’t let you go. Hart’s well-rendered setting and characters resonate like people and places you’ve known. Loved every minute of this absolute page-turner!”—D.M. Pulley, bestselling author of The Dead Key 

What listeners say about Or Else

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Just w.o.w!

I’m speechless…ok, almost :)
What a story! Well written and gripping. I could not put down this book. I liked that the H was a regular guy…just a little flawed, with struggles like most of us. I couldn’t stave off the occasional cackle at the snark. Highly recommend this if you’re looking for an unusual murder mystery.

1 person found this helpful

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  • SB
  • 04-02-22

Listen to this or else...I choose or else

The narration is fine, but the story and writing are terrible. The plot is thin and weak, so the author resorts to alot of filler. There are plenty of clichés, irrelevant details, and odd asides where the author drops in his little pearls of wisdom. There is no depth to the characters and the story does not progress organically. To me, this had the feel of an amateur high school effort.

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining Enough!

Although the story was average ...the book was thoughtfully written. It had some twists and turns and was well thought out. The book was entertaining enough for a days work in the garden. The narrator did a great job! I'd listen to the book again!

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It Was A Good Story.

This book wasn’t excellent or bad, It simply was okay. I enjoyed it for the most part.

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Accidentally purchased

I love my accidental purchase ofJoe Hart’s audible book! Now I have to read them all! Narrator was perfect! Do yourselves a favor and read this book “Or Else”.

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so so but S L O W

Reading the reviews before going ahead and listening they were very mixed and after completing the book I understand it. It was very slow and the reader easily could have put you to sleep with his voice. He did not make this exciting. I made it through but could not recommend it. It was not really worth the time. In plus catalog so at least I did not use a credit.

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Great Characters, Good Story

This doesn't happen often, but I find myself in the strange position of having liked the characters better than the story. Main character Andy is an author who is caught between his next (hopefully) bestseller, his aging father, and a married woman. As the narrator of the story, he's very engaging. His life seems to tap dance on the line between chaotic and insane.

I enjoyed both the writing style and the depth of the characters, especially Andy, his father, and his siblings. Their relationship is close yet retains that familial tension that adds to their realism.

That being said, the story just didn't grab me completely. It was good: full of unexpected and hair-raising moments. Andy finds himself caught in a completely unsustainable position when he realizes the husband of his lover has been murdered and his lover is missing. It's difficult to go to the cops to admit what's been going on and then add, "but I didn't do it." We all know how these things go. There really isn't a good way out of his dilemma. So, he puts his literary detective skills to work on his own.

Overall, it's a solid 4 star read.

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Ummm

This is so boring. And I’m not sure what’s going on because it’s so thin on context and stakes.

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wow, is all I can say

this is the best thriller I've read in years. I normally have them figured out in the first 1\3 of the book. this one had me stumped until the last chapters of the book

Very well written and I'm looking to read more from this author. Give it a read, I think you'll also enjoy it.

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A heading is required: truly awful

I tried. This is the second Joe Hart book I've sincerely given my unbiased attention. In this book, as in the other, the writing is so insubstantial I've found it plotless, shallow and silly. The author goes off on tangents that (if he had a sense of humor) could be hilarious: from breaking into a "murder house" to showering while drinking a bottle of bourbon to phoning the police to pondering the need to prepare a nice casserole - all within about four paragraphs! I personally found the narrator annoying, but given the material the guy had to work with, welp... maybe I'm being too harsh.

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 04-10-22

A one 📕

I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t stick to this but so glad I did. I think listening to Graham Halstead voice was a a reason.
The story about Andy and his dad was one I truly loved.