Sunday, July 07, 2013

Book Review: Out of Range

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (June 4, 2013)

Out of Range comes from Without a Trace creator Hank Steinberg.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, as soon as the characters are introduced, there is a mysterious disappearance.

Not only is this book a fast-paced action thriller, it is original but also feels as if it is taken right out of Homeland.  Steinberg comes from the screenwriting world of television and in his debut novel, he writes a hit.  He writes a thriller that feels as if it could also be a movie as well--which, it should come as no surprise that Paramount Studios owns the rights for the film.

The book starts 6 years ago in Andijan, Uzbekistan where there is a protest for democracy similar to what we have seen in the Middle East over the last few years.  The day ends with a massacre and both Charlie and Julie Davis decide to leave and would settle in Los Angeles.  Charlie is an idealistic war journalist.  He put himself in harm's way and on that day, he decides to bring up is son in a better environment.

Cut to present day and Julie Davis is taking her two young children to Disneyland after coming back from visiting her sister in New York.  She mysteriously vanishes after pulling off the interstate on the way back.

Julie has secrets that she is keeping from her husband, Charlie.  Does she still have feelings for her ex-boyfriend from college?  Is she missing the life she lived before they moved to California?

Steinberg combines the domestic suspense that one expects in a book from Harlan Coben and David Balacci with the international intrigue found in the Jason Bourne novels.  What we get is an entertaining story full of suspense, secrets, mystery, and marriage.  There are twists and turns along the way that will make this a breakout hit of the summer.

The Disneyland aspect is inspired by true events as he guided his own wife back from Disneyland and she had to pull over to calm their son down.  Steinberg takes the extreme.

Steinberg admits that in writing the book, he was "trying to combine the domestic set-up that you will find in a great Coben novel with the expansiveness and morally ambiguous, gray universe that you find in [John] Le Carre's work."

Next up for Steinberg is a sequel to Out of Range.  One that will stay in the States.

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