Sunday, May 4, 2014

Desperate by Daniel Palmer

*complimentary review copy received for this post.
Desperate is the latest technical thriller from Daniel Palmer and I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy to read. In fact, I was finishing the last chapters earlier this week when the book was released.

The book did not disappoint. The story is told from the viewpoint of Gage Dekker and centers on the story of him and his wife Anna Miller. Gage lost his first wife and his son in a tragic car accident. He is still very much so dealing with that loss, years later when this story takes place. His second wife Anna met him at a grief group that he was attending and which she had joined to help her cope with the loss of her son. After a quick relationship, they were married and had decided that adoption was the way for them to start a new family together, after a miscarriage. They decided to go the route of a direct adoption and had built an online profile on a site that allows parents seeking to find a family for their child a way to review families that are looking to adopt.

As the story opens, Gage and Anna come upon a young woman, Lily, crying at the bus stop. Newly pregnant and homeless, they invite her to move into their apartment to give her a safe place to live while she carries a child, that they plan to adopt. When she gives them gifts for welcoming them into their home, Gage begins to question her motives. It seems that as time passes, more unsettling things begin to happen and as Gage begins to question whether there is something going on, a wedge is driven between him and Anna.

Desperate was a real page turner, that I simply didn't want to put down. Fortunately for me, I was on a four and a half hour flight, so I had time to read most of the book uninterrupted (other than by the beverage cart stops). Of course, when I arrived at my destination, I wanted to just focus on finishing the book but my schedule forced me to wait until later to finish.

Daniel Palmer does a nice job developing the characters. Gage and Anna are a couple that you can't help but care for and cheer on in their desire to become parents again. Of course, since the story is told from Gage's perspective, he is the one that you get to know best, but Daniel Palmer does a great job developing the other characters too - Anna, Brad, Lily and Roy.

Sometimes, when reading thrillers, I wonder to myself, which is more scary - the events happening in the story or the fact that someone came up with this idea for a story. This story was no different. With all of the twists and turns, it makes you wonder how could the characters have discerned happenstance from plot.

There were some really good twists and turns in the story and as each became apparent, I found myself asking "really?". The book started slower than some of the other books I have read by Daniel Palmer, but once it got moving, it was non-stop.

I would recommend Desperate to any lover of thrillers.

Gage Dekker still blames himself for the car accident that claimed the lives of his first wife and young son. Then he meets Anna, who understands grief all too well. Within a year, Gage and Anna are married, his career is thriving, and both feel ready to become parents once more.

After a heartbreaking miscarriage, they begin the long adoption process, until fate brings Lily into their lives. Young, pregnant, and homeless, Lily agrees to give her baby to Gage and Anna in exchange for financial support. It’s the perfect arrangement for everyone. Seeing his wife’s happiness and optimism for their new life and child, Gage begins to feel a sense of hope he thought he’d lost forever.

But something isn’t right once Lily enters their lives. At work and at home, Gage is being sabotaged, first in subtle ways, then things take a more sinister turn. Every attempt he makes to uncover the truth only drives a wedge between him and Anna. Even as he’s propelled toward an unthinkable choice to save his marriage and his job, Gage discovers that the most chilling revelations are still to come…

No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary advanced reader's copy was provided for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.