• Play Dead

  • By: Harlan Coben
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (3,099 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Theirs was a marriage made in tabloid heaven, but no sooner had supermodel Laura Ayars and Celtics star David Baskin said “I do” than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, David went out for a swim - and never returned.

Now widowed and grieving, Laura has a thousand questions and no answers. Her search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back 30 years - while on the court at the Boston Garden, a rookie phenom makes his spectacular debut....

©2010 Harlan Coben (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Play Dead

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,650
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    98
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    536
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    57
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    41
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,387
  • 4 Stars
    610
  • 3 Stars
    328
  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    94

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

I love Harlan Coben, but...

Mr. Coben is a good storyteller (the reason I actually finished this book), who's writing has matured considerably since he wrote this book. Note to Mr. Coben: Just because you are famous now is not a reason to publish a sub-par book that you wrote years ago. I purchased it right away, not realizing that it was an older book, and suffered through 17+ hours. In this book:

1. All the women are either the most beautiful woman in the world, or fat cows, and their beauty seems to be their reason for existence. All is accepted and forgiven, even some serious character flaws that would get those fat cows booted out in an instant.
2. Everyone, especially the women, is supposed to be a smart business person, doctor, or cop, yet they are so stupid that I found myself continually yelling at them.
3. One of the main characters is a cop, but he acts more like a mobster, lying, threatening, etc.
4. The writing is so melodramatic that when combined with the reading of Scott Brick (who I usually enjoy), it was so annoying that I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Yes, I finished it. As I said before, the story was interesting. I also hate not finishing a book that I paid for. I finished it, but I was glad when it was finally over.

87 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Harlan Coben is the Master

At the beginning of this book, Mr. Coben tells readers if they have not read another of his novels, stop and return it. This is one of Mr. Coben's first novels that he only recently released. I am forever thankful that he did. I am an avid fan of Mr. Coben's novels and this one did not disappoint. From his great character development to the twists and turns, it will keep you riveted and not let you put this one down. Thank the heavens Mr. Coben stuck with his true talent and did not follow in the family business. You will not regret this fantastic read.

72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Give him a break! This is pretty good...

Yes, this book is one of Harlan Coben's first releases. He states that in the book's preface. As an early contribution, I expected a lot less from Play Dead than I got. Ok, it was obvious from the onset who the new blonde basketball superstar was, so the pussy-footing Coben did on this was unnecessary; however, I liked the twists and turns throughout the book. I didn't know who the murderer was, nor did I guess the motive. Overall, I was quite pleased with the story. Of course, Scott Brick can read the phone book and make it interesting, so I am to the point where I'll buy a book that Scott is reading, because I figure that he's choosy enough to pick only good works. Buy and enjoy!!

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A different Harlan Coben novel!

Play Dead is not the only novel Coben has written about a basketball star; indeed, his Myron Bolitar series is about a basketball star. In this book Boston Celtics star David Baskin dies in while alone in the ocean in Australia on his honeymoon. This is a story of twists and turns as his wife seeks to find out what happened.

Play Dead has been criticized as being to long, being like a soap opera, being melodramatic, etc. I disagree with all except for the book being to long. It is an excellent mystery story well told.

Two reviews of the audiobook complain about Scott Brick's narration. I disagree most with that criticism.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Mistake!

I picked this up without checking the reviews because I have always enjoyed Harlen Coben's stuff when I have been in the market for a light read. Mistake!

Coben introduces it by telling us it is the first book he wrote, evidently only recently published. Sounded like a fun opportunity to track a writer's development. After all, it could not be too bad or he would not have put it in print, right? Mistake!

It is tedious, transparent and therefore completely lacking in suspense, written in the language of amateur enthusiasm, and excruciatingly drawn out. By the end I was literally moaning, "Please, God, let it be over." But I finished it because I dislike reviews written on partial reads, and I really felt a duty to write this cautionary tale. Probably a mistake!

One thing about the book does fascinate me, however. That a young author who wrote such an irredeemable piece of tripe could later develop into a competent professional with a nice facility for turning out enjoyable mysteries is interesting. It suggests that anyone with the requisite desire and persistence can develop into a decent writer of fiction, right?....Nah! Mistake!

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Ambivalent feelings

I have never written a review before but felt compelled to comment on this book. The narrator has a dramatic style of delivery that becomes a little wearing over time. Add that to the fact that this book is an exercise in hyperbole and it is all just too over the top! I did finish it because the plot was intriguing and kept me listening to find out who-done-it, but I periodically had to shout at my iPod about how stupid some of it was. If I hear the words stunning or gorgeous again it will be too soon. Sorry to say so because I have liked his other works, although they all have a hint of the hyperbolic style and holding back on obvious clues that mar this book.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

AN EMBARRASSMENT. PURE SOAP OPERA!!

Debbie from La Quinta nailed it pretty well. Coben is simply squeezing every buck he can out of his loyal fan base by publishing this adolescent farce. I resented every minute of this silly waste of time.
I finally decided to fill my brain with THC and laugh insanely as this inane joke plodded along. "We're brother and sister!" Pause. "So what!"...............
Coben has never really achieved gravitas as a storyteller. He's always been entertaining, but a lightweight. This thing validates that notion.
I would have given it no stars but Audible.com will not allow it!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Story But A Little Difficult to stomach

So this is in fact my first Harlan Coben novel, I totally see why he said to put it back if you haven't read anything else of his. I definitely felt a twinge of embarrassment for him with some of the writing. EVERYONE in the story is too gorgeous for words, some of the characters are a bit over-characterized. BUT...it was a good story with a couple of good twists at the end, if still just a bit implausible, but it's fiction right? If you can stand that it almost seems like young adult fiction (not all the way but close) then you'll be able to enjoy this book.
The narrator on the other hand almost sunk this whole ship! He is overly dramatic and everyone seems like they are in constant agony the way he reads it! It's not the worst ever but I wonder if a different reader would have made me give it another star.
Overall, this is a good "filler" audio for when you want to pick something up that's a good length and not too expensive until your credits renew.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not your normal Coben

I am a Coben fan so I decided to try the re-release of his first novel. I guess some things are just better left on the shelf. Play dead is in a word, tedious.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

His Worst Ever.

I have enjoyed many Harlan Corbin books, but was amazed at how truly bad this book is. Not until I downloaded it did I discover that it was his first attempt at writing, a fact that should have been obvious in the summary. In any case it is one of the few that I will never finish, Scott Brick does his worst job as a reader, and coupled with a bad book means I just chalk this one up to a wasted credit.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Margaret
  • Margaret
  • 01-11-17

Thought the story was a bit shallow

Any additional comments?

I think the author was paid by the amount of time he used 'beautiful'! Rather shallow storyline, with an over dramatic delivery by the narrator.

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