Synopses & Reviews
They want what every young couple wants: a child of their own. But Paul and Joanna Breidbart have been trying to conceive for five long years a torturous process of failed medical procedures that nearly tore their marriage apart. When they finally decide to adopt, American agencies tell them they will have to wait years for their dream to come true. The couple agrees to fly to war-torn Colombia to adopt a baby girl.
Paul knows all about risks. As an insurance executive, he routinely calculates the odds of dying in a plane crash or being hit by a bus. Yet all the accident statistics in the world can't prepare him for what is about to happen. Paul and Joanna receive the baby girl of their dreams and their world seems perfect. Then one afternoon they briefly leave their baby daughter alone with their new nanny. When they return, something is disturbingly different about their child...and suddenly everything Paul values is in jeopardy.
Again, James Siegel gives us a tale of ordinary men and women thrust into extraordinary circumstances and a novel that confirms him as one of today's most powerful writers of psychological suspense.
"Siegel's acclaimed debut, 2001's Epitaph, was eclipsed by last year's electrifying thriller Derailed (to be a feature film starring Jennifer Aniston), which reached bestseller lists and marked Siegel as an author with serious chops. It's no surprise that Siegel's third novel offers yet another exhilarating ride, albeit not quite up to the bar set by Derailed. The premise is terrific. Paul and Joanna Breibard, childless Manhattan professionals, travel to Colombia to adopt a baby, but are kidnapped by left-wing militia who make an offer they can't refuse: Paul must swallow 36 condoms stuffed with cocaine and deliver the contraband to a contact in New Jersey within 18 hours; if he fails, Joanna and the baby will die. But in New Jersey, Paul finds a burned-out shell of a house at the contact's address. For help, he contacts Miles Goldstein, the Orthodox Jewish lawyer who arranged the adoption, and when a further delivery attempt ends in gunplay, Paul and Miles turn to Moshe Skolnick, a Russian mobster; later, a DEA agent steps in. Meanwhile, Joanna is held hostage in a country house whose walls are stained with blood. Siegel keeps tension at a steady high throughout, in part by employing short chapters and paragraphs la James Patterson. He makes great use of local color, not only of the easily exotic Colombian settings but also of the no less unusual Brooklyn Jewish and Russian enclaves where Paul finds himself. The novel features some smart twists, although a key one will be spotted by veteran thriller readers from the first page of its setup. Overall, this is first-rate entertainment, not quite as fresh as Derailed, but sure to brush bestseller lists as well as become a favorite airplane read both in hardcover and, eventually, mass market. Agent, Richard Pine. (Mar. 23)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The familiar formula...is given plenty of twists by the inventive Siegel. Crisp prose, a breakneck pace, a surprisingly tart sense of humor, and some pointed social commentary give this thriller a good deal of bite." Booklist
"Siegel shows all the ingenuity of Hitchcock....A thriller that explodes with the energy of a high-velocity bullet, even if it does lose both power and accuracy toward the end of its amazing trajectory." Kirkus Reviews
From the bestselling author of Derailed comes the adrenaline-charged story of one man who must betray everything he believes in to save his family.
From the author of "Derailed" comes the adrenaline-charged story of one man who is forced to transport cocaine from Colombia to a location within the U.S. within 18 hours, or his wife and newly adopted daughter will be killed. The decision seems obvious--yet the outcome will be anything but.