Synopses & Reviews
Two strangers on a train,
A step taken toward temptation
And a life terrifyingly thrown off course...
Charles Schine and Lucinda Harris are two successful professionals, two suburbanites married to other people, and two strangers on a train who never should have met. After they exchange pictures of their kids an undeniable attraction ignites and compels them to arrange a tryst in a seedy Manhattan hotel.
Barely after they walk through the hotel room door, a hidden attacker strikes. In a bout of cool savagery, he beats Charles, violates Lucinda, and robs them both. Yet Charles's ordeal is only beginning. For the assailant, who calls himself Vasquez, tracks Charles down and blackmails him. A long, horrible nightmare of dark conspiracy and insidious psychological warfare will force Charles to risk everything he has his savings, his lover, his family, his very sense of manhood. Desperate to take back his life, Charles resolves to take Vasquez down. But with every gambit Charles attempts, Vasquez grows only more demanding and more powerful. Even when Charles reinvents himself, Vasquez shadows him like a cold, dark, almost unnatural force. With one last, astonishing revelation in a world that has long ceased being what it seemed, Charles will have his final reckoning deep inside the forbidding confines of a maximum-security New York State prison.
Portraying an ultimate duel of minds and packing visceral emotion and pure page-turning power, Derailed will leave readers breathless with every twist of its heart-pounding, suspenseful plot. Brace yourself for a roller-coaster thriller more shocking and riveting than anything you've ever read.
"[O]ne of the most exciting thrillers in years....[A] terrific yarn, which will blindside [readers] again and again with shocking but plausible twists. With its clean prose, high-velocity plotting and just the right amount of emotional shading darkening its sharply drawn characters, this novel is the bomb." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"The immensely satisfying plot is marked by multidimensional characters, a highly original structure, and ever more gripping duels, and authentic details." Library Journal
"[P]reposterous, compulsively readable....Irresistible hokum written with an obvious eye on Hollywood, where producers will have to decide whether to make Charles's tribulations believable or hope viewers, like lucky readers, will surrender themselves to its spell." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] pulp-fiction cautionary tale....All of this is delivered in one-note, depressive style, with the writing veering from bland tough guy to poor man's poetic....Siegel's over-the-top tone and the flatness of his characters detract from the improbable yet intriguing plot." Connie Fletcher, Booklist
"Derailed sure derailed me for a couple of nights....James Siegel has arrived in high style." James Patterson
"Siegel is a great new talent, a keen student of the human condition as well as one helluva storyteller." Christopher Reich
"Intense and startling...a top-notch novel of suspense with unexpected twists that are shocking and satisfying...will keep readers hooked to the last page." Nelson DeMille
"It's been years since I read a book as gripping as Derailed. Mesmerizing from the first chapter, the novel is full of whiplash twists, compelling characters and visceral and wrenching dramatic moments. The pace is relentless, the emotions powerfully real. Like only a few of our best thriller writers can do, Seigel left me limp and gasping." James W. Hall
Two Strangers on a Train. A Taste of Temptation. A Life Thrown Terrifyingly Off Course. Successful ad exec and loyal family man Charles Schine has never missed the 8:43...until today. He's late for his usual ride, but he's right on time for his worst nightmare. Sitting across from him on the 9:05 is the type of woman he's only dared to dream about. He takes a risk, breaks a vow, and soon his life is spiraling violently out of control. He betrays his family. A man is murdered. And a small fortune is lost. Now Charles must begin the most perilous journey of all-the fight to get his life back on track.
The "New York Times" bestselling thriller about a businessman whose life becomes a nightmare when he gets involved with the wrong woman on a train is now in paperback. "Full of twists and surprises."--"Newsday."
About the Author
James Siegel is vice chairman, senior executive creative director and member of the Board of Directors of BBDO New York and is one of the agency's top creative talents. His work includes such accounts as Visa, Frito-Lay (Tostitos), Charles Schwab, Office Depot and Pepsi Twist, where his contributions have played a significant role in enhancing the agency's creative reputation.
Siegel has been recognized for other spots, including two from Federal Express: the poignant and heartwarming "Adoption," which received a gold and silver at the New York Festivals in 1991, and "Secretary," which was selected "most humorous" and "best 30-second commercial" of 1992 by the Hollywood Radio and Television Society as well as being named both an Adweek and an Ad Age "Best Spot." Beyond this, Jimmy has won numerous other awards from the London International Advertising Festival, National ADDY's, Andy's and other prestigious industry competitions.
Siegel holds a B.A. from the City University of New York. He lives on Long Island in New York.