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Playing Dead: A Novel of Suspense [Mass Market Paperback]

Allison Brennan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 30 2008
DEAD MAN RUNNING

Sentenced to death for crimes he didn’t commit, ex-cop Tom O’Brien is now a hunted fugitive. After fifteen years in prison, he’s determined to prove his innocence–but first he must convince his daughter, whose testimony helped put him behind bars, that he has damning evidence of a plot to frame him.

Claire is no longer the naïve teenager who arrived home to find her mother and her mother’s lover shot dead and her father holding the murder weapon. She’s a successful fraud investigator who assumes everyone lies. Though Claire is convinced of her father’s guilt, curiosity propels her to look into the disappearance of a law student who claimed to have proof of Tom’s innocence. But seeking answers only leads to more questions, reinforcing Claire’s belief that there’s no one left to trust.

Obsessed with the O’Brien case, FBI agent Mitch Bianchi befriends Claire under false pretenses, certain that Tom is not only innocent but in grave danger–and not just from the cops. As the three race toward the truth, a murderous conspiracy tightens its noose–and Claire becomes the target of an ice-cold psychopath who will kill to protect his secrets.

Frequently Bought Together

Playing Dead: A Novel of Suspense + Killing Fear: A Novel of Suspense + Silenced
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Review

'Fans of Tess Gerritsen will love Allison Brennan' Publishing News 'New arrival Brennan wastes no time proving that she's a talent to be reckoned with ... Truly chilling' Romantic Times 'Four-and-a-half stars ... Top Pick! Terrifying!' Romantic Times Book Club '... an exhilarating tale that grips the audience' Harriet Klausner --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Allison Brennan is the author of nine bestselling romantic thrillers, including The Prey, Speak No Evil, and Killing Fear. For thirteen years she worked as a consultant in the California State Legislature before leaving to devote herself fully to her family and writing. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Dan, and their five children.

www.allisonbrennan.com

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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, unputdownable, unforgettable! Oct. 21 2008
By GinRobi
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Claire O'Brien is a successful fraud investigator, assuming that they are all guilty until proven otherwise. After her father went to prison, she wouldn't, and hasn't really, trusted anyone. As she goes out to investigate a suspicious fire, her father surprises her, begging for help. He doesn't care if he ends up back in prison, he doesn't care that in four weeks, he'll walk that stretch of corridor knowing he wouldn't be coming back. What he cares about is that he doesn't go to his grave without Claire knowing the truth ~ that he never killed her mother or her lover. That he was framed.

But the begging fell on deaf ears. Until, that is, when Claire found a letter from her father in her home office. That letter let curiosity out of the bag, and Claire began her own investigation. The more questions she posed, the more questions than answers she got back, and the more runaround the received, the more she believed that her father really was innocent.

Meanwhile, Mitch (FBI agent - we've met him in the first two books in the trilogy) had befriended Claire, hoping to get close to her, truly believing that her father would eventually contact her. What he didn't plan on was falling in love with her. Now the question is - will he be able to keep her alive and prove that her father really is innocent when a psychopath made it clear he wants Claire - dead?

Even though I enjoyed the first two novels in the series, this was the perfect ending to the trilogy. Gripping, chilling, suspenseful, you truly won't be able to put the book down. You'll pick it right back up.

You're sucked into the story and follow along with Claire as she tries to piece together what had happened 15 years ago. What and why.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Sept. 12 2008
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first person he killed was in college. It had been an accident. He thought no one knew. He was wrong. Ever since then he has been blackmailed. He has been their personal assassin. They pay him well for each target, but the assassin hated being told what to do. Fifteen years ago the target had been Taverton, a D.A. The assassin killed Taverton while he was in bed with Lydia O'Brien, a cop's wife. Of course he killed the cheating woman too. The time and place had been well planned out and framed the husband, Tom, who walked in very shortly after the deed was done. Even better, the fourteen-year-old daughter, Claire, walked in and she testified against her own dad.

Claire knew her dad escaped prison after the earthquake. He had been only months away from his execution date when the earthquake had hit. However, the last thing Claire expected was for her father to contact her. Tom claimed that Oliver Maddox had proof of his innocence. For once, Claire had reason to believe that her father may actually of been framed; especially when Maddox's body was dragged out of the Sacramento River. Coincidence? Or murder? Claire and her boyfriend, Mitch Bianchi, needed to find answers quickly. But Mitch had secrets of his own.

***** This tale is an outstanding suspense with several unexpected twists to keep readers guessing and on the edge of their seats. Readers get to view things from many angles rather than just from the main character's. Understanding how the killer thinks makes the entire experience even more chilling. Very well done and I highly recommend it to people who enjoy romantic suspense or thrillers. *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, unputdownable, unforgettable! Oct. 21 2008
By GinRobi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Claire O'Brien is a successful fraud investigator, assuming that they are all guilty until proven otherwise. After her father went to prison, she wouldn't, and hasn't really, trusted anyone. As she goes out to investigate a suspicious fire, her father surprises her, begging for help. He doesn't care if he ends up back in prison, he doesn't care that in four weeks, he'll walk that stretch of corridor knowing he wouldn't be coming back. What he cares about is that he doesn't go to his grave without Claire knowing the truth ~ that he never killed her mother or her lover. That he was framed.

But the begging fell on deaf ears. Until, that is, when Claire found a letter from her father in her home office. That letter let curiosity out of the bag, and Claire began her own investigation. The more questions she posed, the more questions than answers she got back, and the more runaround the received, the more she believed that her father really was innocent.

Meanwhile, Mitch (FBI agent - we've met him in the first two books in the trilogy) had befriended Claire, hoping to get close to her, truly believing that her father would eventually contact her. What he didn't plan on was falling in love with her. Now the question is - will he be able to keep her alive and prove that her father really is innocent when a psychopath made it clear he wants Claire - dead?

Even though I enjoyed the first two novels in the series, this was the perfect ending to the trilogy. Gripping, chilling, suspenseful, you truly won't be able to put the book down. You'll pick it right back up.

You're sucked into the story and follow along with Claire as she tries to piece together what had happened 15 years ago. What and why. You really feel what Claire and Mitch feel for each other, including their inner battles. Great action, tenseful scenes, an excellent mystery. Plenty of colourful characters, but not too many; just the right amount that you knew exactly who all the players were - except for one.

The more questions Claire poses, the more questions she comes up with that are left unanswered. And the more you twist and turn into the story, the more you think you believe who the psycho is that's after Claire. And I was so sure of myself, so darn sure. And I was off, way off... And I adore it when an author does that to me. If an author leaves me completely clueless until you find out exactly who it is, or all clues point to someone else and you're totally wrong in your assumption, to me... the best romantic suspense thrillers around.

Allison Brennan is definitely an author not to ignore! I can't wait for her next trilogy!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never saw it comming..... Oct. 6 2008
By Nita Holliday - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Brennan, sure knows how to keep a reader on thier seat. The entire book I was betting that the culprite was someone else. The sub characters were just as strong as the main characters and it was good to see Nelia KinCaid have a story. I hope we see more of her in future books, and see her reconnect with her family as that leaves only two KinCaids without a main story (Jack and Patrick). Looking forward to her next book, even though March 09 is 6 months away.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Experience April 30 2009
By A. Mazer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'd never read a murder mystery before. I love watching them on TV, figuring out whodunit, but what I found here was an amazing experience. The romance between Mitch and Claire was almost cliche. The guy loses the girl then wins the girl... But with "The Assassin" and being secretive and the flashbacks about Jeffrey. I fell in love with murder. It's easy to get hooked on Allison Brennan's novels, the FBI, the weapons, the witnesses/suspects. You can't see it! With TV, you can guess the murderer and you're usually right, but with her books, she's keeps you guessing! It was so fun to read! This is on my list for if I was trapped on a desert island and could only have like twenty books. It's number 6 or something. :-)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Stop Reading Thriller!!! April 14 2009
By Monica Wyant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Playing Dead is a superbly written mystery, thriller, suspense and romance novel all in one. Once you pick the book up you will have trouble putting it down. I finally finished the book and have to say that this book is filled with suspense, mystery and romance. You are introduced to the characters and given the back ground information needed to know the basis of the book.

Fifteen years ago, Claire O'Brien, then 14 decides to go home from school for lunch. She walks in on her mom and her mom's lover, an assistant district attorney. Claire calls her father because she is upset about finding her mom in that situation.

Tom O'Brien decides to confront his wife and lover so that he can end this charade of a marriage. When he arrives at his house he finds his wife and her lover shot dead in bed. Claire is the one that sees her father in the room and assumes he killed her mother and the other man. She is the prime witness in her father's trial.

Claire goes through years of believing her father is guilty, and starting a new life without him. An aspiring young attorney does research and discovers things that can prove her father's innocence. Claire does not believe the guy and ignores everything he tells her, until her father, who had escaped from prison during an earthquake, leaves Claire a note telling her everything she needs to know to try and clear his name. She is torn between wanting to believe her father is innocent and a murderer.

The story is now set for a page turning, full suspense thriller that you won't be able to put down. The FBI does everything to capture the fugitive Tom O'Brien. There is one FBI agent, Mitch Bianchi, who believes Tom is innocent and befriends Claire. He wants to find Tom before the local PD does, otherwise Tom is a dead man. Mitch is falling for Claire, just as Claire starts to be able to trust someone.

Once you start reading Playing Dead you will be pulled into the suspense, thrills, mystery and romance of the 3rd book of the Prison Break trilogy. If you haven't already picked up this book to read I suggest you do.

I know I will be reading the first two books in this trilogy!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review Nov. 2 2008
By Cheryl Koch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Claire O'Brien knows all about liars. Her father, Tom is still lying even after being convicted fifteen years ago of murdering her mom and her mom's lover. Claire is now all grown up. Claire has only one regret and that is testifying against her father. Maybe that's why Claire wants so bad to believe her father is innocent, especially when Claire learns her father has escaped prison but is Claire setting herself up for a big heartache putting faith in her father. FBI agent, Mitch Bianchi has been following the O'Brien case for a long time, so when he sees his chance to get close to Claire he seizes the opportunity.

Unfortunately the more time Mitch spends with Claire, the harder it is for him to keep his secrets from her. All of Claire's digging makes her the prime target for a serial psychopath that will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden.

Playing Dead is the third and final book in Allison Brennan's Prison Break trilogy. I have enjoyed reading this trilogy, though I have to say not as much as Ms. Brennan's No Evil series. This book started out good and ended on a high note. I was glad to see that Claire was no wall flower, just because she was surrounded by lots of male testosterone. The mystery that FBI agents bring to the table I think really makes them sexy as well as attractive. Mitch definitely had both qualities, which made him a great male lead character in this story. I have been hooked on Ms. Brennan's book since I read her No Evil series and still remain a fan. I can't wait for her next series.
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