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The Girl with a Clock for a Heart: A Novel

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart: A Novel

Scritto da Peter Swanson

Narrato da Paul Boehmer


The Girl with a Clock for a Heart: A Novel

Scritto da Peter Swanson

Narrato da Paul Boehmer

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (44 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
8 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 4, 2014
ISBN:
9780062308665
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

An atmospheric tale of romantic noir with shades of Hitchcock about a man who is swept into a vortex of irresistible passion and murder when an old love mysteriously reappears

George Foss, a forty-year-old employee of a Boston literary magazine, has passed the age when he thinks he might fall madly in love or take the world by storm, or have anything truly remarkable happen to him. He spends most of his evenings at his local tavern talking about the Red Sox and the minutiae of everyday life, and obsessing over a lost love from his college days who vanished twenty years earlier. Until she reappears.

George has both dreamed of and dreaded seeing Liana Decter again. She isn't just an ex-girlfriend or the first love George could never forget. She's also an enigma and quite possibly someone who was involved in a murder years ago, a woman whose transgressions are more in line with Greek tragedy than youthful indiscretion. But suddenly, she's back—and she needs his help. She says that some men are after her and that they believe she's stolen money from them. And now they will do whatever it takes to get it back.

George knows Liana is trouble. But he can't say no—he never could—and soon his quiet life is gone as he is pulled into a terrifying whirlpool of lies, betrayal, and murder from which there is no sure escape.

Bold and masterful, full of malevolent foreboding and subtle surprises, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is an addictive, nonstop reading experience—an ever-tightening coil of suspense that will hold you in its grip right up to its electrifying end.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 4, 2014
ISBN:
9780062308665
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Peter Swanson is the author of seven novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; Before She Knew Him, and Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.

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3.5
44 valutazioni / 20 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    I read this book as a group read and did enjoy it. It is a mystery suspense story with some rather unlikable characters. George is a rather pathetic man who does not like his life. He lusts after an old girlfriend who he just happens to run into at his local bar. His friend with benefits, Irene, is with him and is sent home. Liana tells George she is in trouble and he gets sucked in to help her. Liana is not a nice person and is using George. He gets into all kinds of trouble. We also read about the past where George and Liana met. I warn you the ending was not very enjoyable.
  • (3/5)
    Peter Swanson's The Girl With A Clock For A Heart threw me for a loop. I'll admit that I went into this book completely blind. This was a total case of succumbing to cover love when I was offered this for review. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It's got a bit of Hitchcock feel to it, and it's a nice easy read.

    George Foss is just an everyday kind of man. He's reached a point in his life where things have stalled. A mid-life crisis if you will. Which is why when a girl from his past, a girl he thought was gone for good, steps back into his life? He takes a chance. I liked George. He didn't always make the best decisions, his fascination with this girl wasn't always easy to understand, but underneath it all he was a good enough guy.

    The thing about The Girl With A Clock For A Heart is that the whole plot hinges on the girl from George's past. If you can't believe in their connection, you can't really understand why he makes the decisions he does. I found this part to be a little weak. We see flashbacks to George's history with the girl, from a short time during his college career. Can you really build that strong of a relationship with someone in that short of a time? Enough that you'd agree to put yourself in danger for them when they show up out the blue, years later? I just don't know.

    If you let all that go though, and just travel with the flow of the book, it's not a bad read. The mystery George finds himself wrapped up in is beautifully designed. I didn't see most of it coming. Even the ending, which wasn't entirely unexpected, was a surprise. I'm a little upset about the fact that it was so open-ended, but then again that's just me. I like resolution. The Girl With A Clock For A Heart gets three stars from this bookworm.
  • (4/5)
    The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is a true literary thriller with references to novels and other literature here and there, and a main character, George Foss, who works in the accounting department of a struggling Boston literary magazine. The book is about the consequences of George’s running into the girl he fell head over heels in love with twenty years earlier during their first semester as freshmen at Mather College, whom he hadn’t seen or heard from since.Even with a murder, police detectives, and a private investigator, also a blurb from Dennis Lehane on the cover and elements of noir, I wouldn’t suggest this to a reader looking for realistic crime fiction, but to a literary fiction reader who maybe also likes Patricia Highsmith or Dennis Lehane. You do have to be willing to suspend disbelief a few times and go along for the “sexy, electric thrill ride,” as Dennis Lehane describes the book.For longer, spoiler-free version of this review, visit the Bay State Reader's Advisory blog.
  • (3/5)
    The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is described as an “electrifying tale of romantic noir.” The book is the story of a man named George Foss and his interactions with a mysterious woman who seems to always be in the middle of some intense trouble. George first met Liana in college and had an intense relationship with her for one semester after which she completely disappeared from his life. Even now, two decades later, he still can’t get her out of his mind and is constantly watching for her and comparing other women to her. When she finally shows back up in his life and asks for his help, the logical part of him knows she is dangerous and warns him to run away. But George has built up a nostalgic fantasy in his mind and finds he cannot say no to Liana even with all of the alarms ringing in his face.The book has three main narrative timelines. We have the story of when George and Liana meet in college and how their relationship progressed and eventually ended with her vanishing without a trace but with indication of her involvement in some crime. We have the present-day story of Liana walking back into George’s life with a random meeting at his local bar followed by a string of dangerous intrigue and adventure. And we have the intermediate story told in flashbacks and flat dialog telling the story of what each of them has been doing over the past twenty years.I really enjoyed the narrative style of this book. The way the story is laid out sets for a pair of mysterious thrillers to be solved. First there’s the case of Liana’s disappearance twenty years ago and whatever strange crime she may or may not have been involved with back then. Second we have the thrilling adventures that Liana and George are working through in the present day. Because we have these two stories, the author is able to bounce us back and forth between them and keep them both pacing along nicely while keeping the answers just out of reach. The college mystery is less a suspenseful thriller than a methodical mystery to be solved. The “modern day” mystery is definitely a suspenseful thriller with strange and interesting characters and motives driving George deeper and deeper into danger.As I read, I was often distracted/annoyed at the use of vulgarity…primarily the F-bomb. I know that I’m somewhat in the minority as a person who doesn’t swear and doesn’t approve of swearing. I fully acknowledge that some people swear profusely and I’ve been briefly around people who can’t seem to communicate without vulgarity. I also acknowledge that in some of the intense situations that George finds himself in, it is likely that a person like that would curse. I tried to overlook it and just skip by it, but even in fairly normal, low intensity conversations the F-bomb was dropped again and again and just felt extraneous and unnecessary as it didn’t (to me at least) make the characters or situations any more believable or intense in any way.The story had its share of violence and murders and I was pleased that they were not overly graphic in the depiction. I also liked that even though this was presented as a thriller and our protagonist was in the center of the action much of the time, the author kept us distanced enough to pose a good mystery as to what was going on.As the novel finally started to wrap down there was a very fast unraveling of clues and situations. Even that close to the end it was still difficult to pinpoint the exact answer to the problems being posed. Who was the mastermind? Who was the murderer? What was the motive? What was the plan? Cruising down the last 50 or so pages, the author keeps us guessing as we turn page after page and end up with more twists and turns to navigate. When we finally get to the end of the main story plot, George has an epiphany and presumes that there’s actually a different answer than supposed. He sets out in search of the “TRUE” answer to the problem…and the book abruptly ends. It’s unclear whether this is intended to be the first part of a series or if the author is just trying a semi-Hitchcockian ending that leaves the reader off balance and in a position to evaluate and reassess the story to try and determine the true conclusion. The quick wrap up and then the unwrapping of the tidy wrap-up left me a little dissatisfied but also intrigued and left me thinking about the ending for a bit after finishing the book.I had a hard time fully believing George as a character. After all of the trouble that Liana put him through again and again, it was hard for me to believe that he kept jumping at her requests. Still, it’s crazy the things a man will do for a woman. Liana’s character was intriguing. I’m not a particular fan of the title of the book. It is used once in the book as a reference to Liana and while I agree she has seemingly no morales or no real emotion not driven by her own selfishness, I think I was expecting something different with the “clock for a heart” title. Maybe I’ve just had too much steampunk on the brain *grin*. Generally I think the “clock” metaphor works as she is definitely methodical and meticulous in her planning and she has certainly removed emotion from the equation.Generally I enjoyed the story. It had nice pacing and I liked the way there were multiple mysterious story paths progressing and slowly revealing Liana’s character to us in different ways. I really didn’t care for the swearing and would have enjoyed the book a lot more without it. I thought the mystery was wrapped up nicely..maybe not wholly believable in every aspect but I’m sure it’s really hard to create a fully believable thriller. I am still a little torn on the ending but I liked the way it made me think and re-evaluate the situation. Overall I did enjoy this book and recommend it to an audience who is mature and not adverse to vulgarity and is looking for a fun and twisted thriller.***3 out of 5 stars
  • (3/5)
    It has been twenty years since George Foss last saw the first girl who broke his heart. He and Audrey were inseparable for the first semester of college but over the Christmas break he was devastated to discover he never really knew her at all, not even her real name. In the intervening years he has both dreamed of, and dreaded the idea of, seeing her again and now she sits across from him, Liana Dector, begging for his help. George knows he should turn Liana away, she is a con woman, a fugitive, suspected of murder, but he finds he can’t resist and is soon ensnared in her web of lies, theft, violence and betrayal.Swanson justifies George’s willingness to become involved with Liana’s manipulations in the present by illustrating the fervour of their short-lived college romance. Despite time and truth, George’s youthful obsession with the enigmatic Liana has barely faded and given the opportunity to be her hero, to save her, and perhaps win her back, he disregards the danger to himself. In part his involvement is also a manifestation of a mid life crisis, George’s life has been ordinary, and he has never recaptured the intensity of his time with Audrey/Liana. I believed in George’s motivation to help Liana but I can’t say I understand his compulsion, as such I didn’t really engage fully with him.Liana is a classic femme fatale, a manipulative, intelligent, seductress who uses men to get what she wants. As the narrative shifts between George and Liana’s past and their reunion, the author slowly exposes her history, though never really confirming what George, or the reader, suspects, and makes it clear that she can’t be trusted.As such the twist to the tale is not entirely unexpected but it does have impact. There is no tidy resolution to The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, leaving Swanson the opportunity to revive the characters at a later date. I don’t mind an open ending, and think in this case it is appropriate, but it may irritate some readers.The Girl with a Clock for a Heart has a noir-ish feel which is evident in his characterisation and Peter Swanson’s admiration for Hitchcock shows in his storytelling. It didn’t grip me but the novel is an easy read and a solid debut thriller.
  • (3/5)
    This was an interesting book with some great elements. The book ended in a way that I was not expecting and I feel that may have caused it to become a 3 star read. I am actually not really sure what else to say. I think that you will find yourself engaged enough to finish, but the ending may fall flat. 3 stars
  • (3/5)
    This book kept me hooked through the end. It also keeps the reader guessing. Just as I thought I had figured it out, there was a hook thrown into the story and was made unsure. It wasn't quite as fast paced or busy as I tend to like my mysteries, but that's just my opinion and taste. Also, the ending kind of leaves the reader hanging and this drives me insane.*I received this free of charge as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for a review*
  • (3/5)
    This story had echoes of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl: The conniving central character, the puzzled male character running to catch up. But it left me wondering at the end if he was in on it all along?
  • (4/5)
    I read Swanson's three mysteries in reverse order, and I actually enjoyed this, his first one, the most. Obsessive love, going back to college days, has been a shadow on the life of George Foss, so when his former girlfriend Liana appears at his neighborhood watering hole twenty years later, he's still so drunk with lust that he thrusts aside his skepticism and his mild-mannered life to join her. As the thlot plickens, George thinks back to his earlier history with Liana, and even though he remains under her spell, the reader wakes up rather quickly. Other than the ending, I thought this was a fine thriller, with meaty twists and turns.
  • (4/5)
    File this under thriller, different time period story lines, twisty-turny, kept me reading, liked but didn't love, debut book, great title, may look for more by this author. Also, I feel kinda sorry for Nora the cat and maybe Irene.
  • (2/5)
    Is anyone else as p'd off as I am???? The book was ok and held my interest up to the end despite the fact that I thought the lead character was a dolt but the ending was amateurish at best! There was no leading up to it although I had long before realized that Lianna had survived and orchestrated the ending. I would have at least liked a POSSIBLE sighting of her on the beach in Tulum. That would have been a smooth ending, not the abrupt drop that I heard in the audio version.
  • (3/5)
    There are some people that you meet and fall in love with. Try as you might, you can’t get them out of your heart. Poor George Foss; set up time and time again. George and Audrey Beck met when they were both freshmen at Mather College in Connecticut. He was a local boy and she was from Florida. When he returned to school after Christmas break, he was told that Audrey had committed suicide. Completely devastated and looking for closure, he traveled to Florida. Well, Audrey was dead but she wasn’t the same girl he met in college. Eventually, he was able to locate her – the girl he fell in love with — Liana Dector. But then, she managed to vanish again.In the present time, he lives in Boston. He hasn’t seen Liana for twenty years. Life has settled down for George and he’s in an ‘on again off again’ relationship with his co-worker, Irene. They occasionally meet for happy hour at Jack Crow’s Tavern. One Friday night, Liana is there. She’s in trouble; she needs George to do her a favor. She had stolen some money (a lot of money) from her former boss / lover. Now someone is trying to kill her for it. She asks George to return it for her. George is concerned for Liana’s safety; he agrees to do it. Now someone is after him. They even injure Irene in order to send George a message.The story is told in the present time with italicized ‘flashback’ chapters highlighting George and Liana’s past. The premise is very appealing and the action is fast-paced. But George’s gullibility didn’t compute. I kind of wanted to sit him down, point my finger in his face, and shout “Just get over her!” The ending left openings – so no real closure for the reader. I rated this novel at 3 out of 5.
  • (5/5)
    George is reunited with a woman from his college days. Everything about her reeks of trouble yet he can't seem to stay away or say no to her and the reader is pulled in right along with him. Like in the film noir movies Body Heat and Double Indemnity, the protagonist has a huge blind spot that makes him act in an incredibly stupid manner much of the time yet I still liked him. Terrific book.
  • (2/5)
    I first bought this book because the title and he blurb on the book sounded really intriguing.
    Although now I can say the title is irrelevant and has nothing whatsoever to do with the book. Which was somewhat disappointing.
    The plot however was very well thought out. A seriously devious con to say the least.
    But the translation of that plot into an actual novel was a bit on the flat side. Many recurring scenes that felt unimaginative, and on a whole it felt like it could do with some punch.

    I did really appreciate the flashbacks, that created some tension and mystery but just not enough to make this an exciting novel for me.
  • (5/5)
    Great book and keeps me interested the whole stirt. would recommend
  • (5/5)
    Very good listen.. Time flew by. Wish it were longer.
  • (4/5)
    keeps u guessing from the first minute to the last. I don't want to have to wait for the next one
  • (3/5)
    A reasonable thriller with plenty of twists, but ultimately it falls a little flat. The prose is competent but a little stiff, and the characters are a bit two-dimensional. To cap it off, it ends rather abruptly.
  • (4/5)
    good story with hitchcock feel to it, but the ending is somewhat disappointing
  • (5/5)
    This book is amazing I recommend it