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Life or death
2015
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  Library Journal Review

Starred Review. 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 (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

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. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* 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.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist
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