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Scott Free [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

John Gilstrap , Martin T. Sherman
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 77.55 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

September 2003

One of America's most acclaimed suspense writers now serves up a bracingly original nail-biter that takes us deep into the rugged terrain of the Utah mountains.

Sherry Carrigan O'Toole can't seem to apply the prescriptions she offers in her bestselling self-help books to her own life. Six years after her marriage to Brandon disintegrated and he won custody of their son, Scott, there's no room in their lives for her. Hoping to win back the teenager's heart, Sherry arranges a week's skiing at the plush SkyTop Village resort.

But Scott has other plans. Determined to evade his mother's clutches, he jumps at the chance to join a foolhardy adventure: flying a Cessna through a nighttime storm to Salt Lake City for a Metallica concert. After the plane crashes, Scott is lost and alone in the frozen wilderness, miles from anywhere anyone would search for him.

As Brandon and Sherry revisit the old battles that tore them apart, they have to fight a bureaucracy that wants to abandon the search even as their son struggles to survive impossible odds.

Barely alive, Scott finally finds a cabin for shelter. He thinks his troubles are over. When he discovers the truth about the man who lives there, however, it's clear that his terror has hardly begun.

With his latest page-turner, John Gilstrap cements his position among today's most ingenious thriller writers.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Description

From Amazon

When a plane carrying Scott O'Toole to a rock concert in Salt Lake City crashes in the Utah mountains, the resourceful teenager manages to make it to what looks like safety--a cabin owned by a mysterious, heavily armed man who may be the protected government witness he says he is--or a killer whose presence in the area has more to do with a planned political assassination. Meanwhile, Scott's divorced parents are dealing with his predicament very differently. Sherry O'Toole, a bestselling self-help author, seems more concerned about her public image and refighting her acrimonious divorce than using her celebrity to focus attention on her missing son, while Brandon O'Toole, who won custody of the boy, is desperately trying to convince the authorities that Scott, who is trained in survival, should not be given up for dead. This is a thrilling, chilling mystery from a writer whose abilities to create believable, authentic teenage characters have marked his other novels, notably Nathan's Run. But Sherry is little more than a cartoon figure, whose ambivalence in the face of her son's catastrophe is unbelievable, and Brandon, while a much more sympathetic figure, is hardly more real. Despite these flaws, Scott Free is a compelling read, with excellent pacing and a narrative that drives to a thunderous conclusion. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gilstrap's fourth novel is just as exciting as its predecessors (nathan's Run,1996; At All Costs, 1998; and Even Steven, 2000). Sherry O'Toole is a best-selling pop-psychology writer with a messy personal life: her ex-husband has custody of their 16-year-old son, Scott, and she's running out of schemes to shift her boy's allegiance. A ski trip may be her last hope. But the rebellious Scott's plans don't exactly include spending time with Mom. A newfound friend, a pilot, plans to take Scott to a concert, but a snowstorm gets in the way, and they fly into a tree. Now, with his friend dead, Scott is alone, in below-freezing temperatures, with no idea where he is. And his parents, who can barely stand the sight of each other, must join forces to find him. Gilstrap takes a few chances here--especially interesting is his decision to make Sherry so immensely unlikable--and the reader is rewarded with an alone-against-the-elements story that's fresh, suspenseful, and memorable. Gilstrap is one writer who just keeps getting better. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've read in a long time June 7 2003
By A Customer
I'll be honest with you. I first saw this book listed in the Book of the Month Club brochure and thought it sounded great. After reading some of the reviews here, though, I almost gave this terrific book a pass. Boy am I glad I changed my mind! Scott Free is fast-paced and scary as hell. Kept me up all night. I've always loved Gilstrap's characters. He's never let me down in the past, and he didn't let me down this time either. I loved Scott! I loved his spirit and his willingness to keep going even when he thought he didn't have the strength anymore, and I loved how he grew from the beginning of the book to the end. I guess when all is said and done it's just a matter of taste, but the people who didn't like this book just don't know good fiction when they see it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing! June 3 2003
Unlike other Gilstrap novels, this book drags alone getting pulled by arrogant self centered, self serving characters. The missing boy asks too many questions of which there is no answer "Why me Lord?", etc.
P.S. I rate all the other Gilstrap novels very high. This one I gave up on after 150 pages.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Preposterous !!! June 2 2003
I found "no there, there" in John Gilstrap's "Scott Free."
Had I desired a soap opera I would choose Howard Fast or Harold Robbins and enjoy the ride with guilty pleasure.
All I wanted to do was slap the mother, send the son to military school and have the father see a shrink.
As if the central characters were not unsympathetic enough, the exploits of the son were beyond absurd.
I can suspend disbelief with the best of them, but this was ridiculous.
On the plus side it is a fast read. Many of the secondary characters are worthy, especially the cops...and the villain is colorful, interesting and entertaining.
Mr. Gilstrap's "Nathan's Run" remain a favorite---I expected much more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SCOTT WHAT A BOY! May 30 2003
I'm sorry, but I found Scott to be a typically self-centered, unfocused brat, one who could hardly come up with surviving the horrifying plane crash. Blue hair or not! He is pictured as an enterprising Indiana Jones, but he's really just a pain in the oops. Anyway, his mother and father, Sherry and Brandon, are just as bad, and Gilstrap lays a lot of blame on Cody Jamieson, who should have known better than to fly in a storm. But shouldn't Scott known better than to sneak off with him anyway? Scott's only 16, and his judgment throughout the book exemplifies his inadequacies.
I didn't like this book as much as I wanted to; I found myself intrigued to reach the end because Gilstrap's writing is good enough to sustain interest.
But, I may be getting old too quick, but Scott didn't charm me in the least.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A double black diamond thriller April 29 2003
As his canon develops, Mr. Gilstrap's fiction seems to be edging away from the imperiled-family-on-the-run suspense thrillers for which he was becoming typecast and this is an evolution that Atria Books, Gilstrap's imprint within Simon & Schuster, thankfully encourages.

Scott O'Toole is not Nathan Bailey redux. Nathan, the title character in Gilstrap's incredible debut NATHAN'S RUN, is eluding capture by both the police and some bad men who want him dead. Sixteen-year-old Scott O'Toole is running toward something, namely a cabin in the middle of the Utah wilderness after his plane crashes that is his only shot at survival.

In that cabin is a mysterious man who claims to be in the witness protection program. But as Scott waits out a terrific blizzard, less and less adds up and his savior doesn't appear to be what he claims. The president of the United States is in town and when the bodies start piling up around the cabin like cordwood, Scott puts two and two together and begins a Nathanesque run back to civilization.

Gilstrap is obviously enamored of the movies, and he's tried and failed to make a career as a produced screenwriter. Still, his love of movies prevails and SCOTT FREE would've benefited from less allusions to specific movies, genres and cinema in general that Gilstrap obviously threw in to make producers realize, Look, see how cinematic my book is!

Gilstrap's saving grace is that SCOTT FREE, despite its shameless attempts to cozy up next to and identify with action/adventure films, remains one of the freshest and most captivating concepts since Jan Burke's BONES and Michael Prescott's NEXT VICTIM. Scott O'Toole does nothing that a gutsy, level-headed sixteen-year-old boy couldn't do with the proper training and a few aids.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Escape April 21 2003
I loved this thriller by John Gilstrap. Not since The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by King have I been on such an intense merry-go-round with a young protagonist. Nathan's Run sealed my implicitly silent contract of approval for Gilstrap, and this time around, the protagonist is a blue haired teenager, full of bravado, with incredible learned skills, resolve, and vulnerability, as well as adolescent 'attitude'. The descriptions of the hardships are vivid, visual reality-charged moments of reader recognition.
The novel speaks for itself. A teenager visiting with his detached but famous mother, who is taken on an exorbitant ski vacation to woo him away from "team bachelor", decides on the spur of the moment to fly with a new found skiing buddy to a rock concert. A storm ensues. From that point on, weather, survival, horror, and where-with-all co conspire to build great tension and a very satisfying book. Scott is compelled to call on inner resources, those he was trained for, and those which he is unaware that he possesses. I bought it all. The villain is great, wearing more guises than an entire halloween party. Dad is a devoted supporter who never gives up, knowing in his gut that his son is still alive. Even egocentric mom changes over time. Scott Free is a page turner and a great escape. I found Scott Free to be very satisfying and an entertaining distraction from current events.
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