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Reprisal [Mass Market Paperback]

Mitchell Smith
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 13 2000
Such a nice young lady. So giving, so understanding, so loving. She's the perfect friend. We just thought we'd warn you...

Reprisal is...
"Pulse-pounding--a literal cliffhanger.--The Boston Herald

"Offers much suspense.--Publishers Weekly

"Tense."--Kirkus Reviews

Mitchell Smith is...
"One of the finest mystery writers of the decade."--Clive Cussler

"A terrific storyteller who creates fascinating characters."--Phillip Margolin

"One of those rare writers whose talents at crafting sentences, pegging human nature and recreating dialogue are equal to his storytelling skills."--Jeffrey Deaver, author of The Coffin Dancer and The Bone Collector

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Product Description

From Amazon

Mitchell Smith writes deceptively quiet, outwardly civilized thrillers about people we can identify with--people whose lives are suddenly ripped apart. He's fascinated by the way his characters react to stress, by how much pressure they can absorb before they either break or change into another kind of person.

In Reprisal, Joanna Reed, a poet and professor, is sorely tested by various demons. She battles breast cancer, and then her husband Frank, an experienced sailor, drowns in the Atlantic Ocean. Joanna tries to work out her grief and pain as she has always done, by spelunking in dangerous caves. Meanwhile, her elderly father is burned to death in his cabin in the woods--another "accident."

We quickly find out that a strange young girl named Charis--the college roommate of Joanna's daughter--is connected to the deaths. Tough and endlessly resourceful, Charis wants to destroy Joanna's life as reprisal for a past grievance. It takes the equally smart but grief-slowed Joanna some time to realize what's happening, but Smith is so good at getting into her mind and soul that we can easily forgive this small lapse. He also rewards our patience with an ending that is both terrifying and sadly inevitable. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Quaint New England beaches and disorientingly vast, scary caves are among the effective settings used by Smith (Sacrifice) in this absorbing tale of memory, murder and long-postponed revenge. Smith's sixth novel offers much suspense but little mystery, since the villain is known from the outset: she's Charis Langenberg, sexually abused at age six, who has grown up to be, at 20-something, a full-time graduate student and sociopath. Charis has staged, only days apart, the "accidental" deaths on Asconsett Island of the father and grandfather of Rebecca Reed, her teenage summer-school roommate. Joanna Reed, the novel's heroine, is Rebecca's mom and also a poet. When she arrives at Asconsett Island to grieve, she has a hard time believing the deaths were accidents. How could her husband, a skilled seaman, have drowned? Could her elderly, obsessively cautious father have died accidentally in a cabin fire? After much suspicion and several flashbacks, Rebecca herself "falls" off a dormitory roof. When her death is ruled a suicide, Joanna suffers a minor breakdown and Charis returns to Asconsett to help her recover. Will Joanna figure out who is behind the deaths, and why? Smith's prose prowess and skill with psychology and landscape offset his sometimes jerky plotting. His credibly flawed, offbeat characters and vivid descriptionsAparticularly of the underground caverns that Joanna, an avid spelunker, exploresAwill keep readers deeply involved. But Joanna's incessant introspection can be wearying. Her understanding of what's really going on, when it finally arrives, seems forced and sudden, marring what would otherwise be the gripping underground climax to a novel that, while not Mitchell's best (that's probably Stone City), is a reliable page-turner.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid work by a great author Sept. 7 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think Mitchell Smith is a fabulous writer and I've read every one of his books. This isn't his best work (I strongly recommend his others), but the story is compelling and interesting. And Smith always creates intriguing, multi-dimentional characters. I think Smith is a bit of a rara avis, and his books appeal to people who appreciate a deeper insight, a different point of view and a lot of character analysis. And his writing is rhythmical, but every book makes me gasp at least once with surprise. I think the characters in this book are less sympathetic than some of his other work, and the plot a little more obvious. Nonetheless, it's solid work by a great author - but read his other work for a real treat.
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1.0 out of 5 stars No Terror - just Terrible June 28 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the worst book that I attempted to read in about two years. The author is very wordy in telling the story. The characters in the books were not set up well at all and therefore I could not connect with them. I read word for word only 41 pages of this book and skimmed about three places in the book and felt secure that I knew everything that happened. This is the first book that I have tried of Mitchell Smith and will not try another. There are too many good authors out there to waste my time here. I suggest that you don't waste yours.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Couple Hours I'll Never Get Back May 8 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Simply one of the worst books I've read in a long time. Smith's writing style is cumbersome, him making use all too frequently of fractured sentences. Don't be fooled by the so-called suspense or mystery as to the Charis character's motives....you can see this one coming after a couple of chapters (if not sooner). I mean come now...how many motives can there be for a this Charis woman of whom we have no backround suddenly start killing Joanna's (...)? And what's with Smith's odd fascination with women peeing, both him writing it and the characters talking about it? Who cares? Skip this one and move on.
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