The Wrong Man by John Katzenbach

Book Description:

Published: September 26,2006

Scott Freeman is a man of reason-a college professor grounded in the rational and practical. But he becomes uneasy after finding an anonymous love letter hidden in his daughter’s room: “No one could ever love you like I do. No one ever will. We will be together forever. One way or another.” But the reality of Ashley’s plight far exceeds Scott’s worst suspicions.
One drink too many had led Ashley, a beautiful, bright art student, into what she thought was just a fling with a blue-collar bad boy. But now, no amount of pleading or reasoning can discourage his phone calls, ardent e-mails, and constant, watchful gaze.
Michael O’Connell is but a malignant shadow of a man. His brash, handsome features conceal a black and empty soul. Control is his religion. Cunning and criminal skill are his stock-in-trade. Rage is his language.
The harder Ashley tries to break free, the deeper Michael burrows into every aspect of her life, so she turns in desperation to her divorced parents and her mother’s new partner-three people still locked in a coldly civilized triangle of resentment. But their fierce devotion to Ashley is the common bond that will draw them together to face down a predator.
For Ashley’s family, it is a test of primal love that will drive them to the extreme edge-and beyond-in a battle of wills that escalates into a life-or-death war to protect their own.

From the bestselling master of suspense, John Katzenbach, The “Wrong Man” is an elegantly crafted and breathtakingly intense read that asks the question, “How far would you go to save the child you love?”

Review:

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Just how far would you be willing to go to rid your only child of a crazed stalker? That is the question Ashley’s father, mother, her partner, Hope, and her partner’s mother, Katherine, ask themselves after they have tried several other  tactics to get rid of Michael O’Connell. They didn’t get a retraining order because Sally (Ashley’s mother, a lawyer) said it sometimes made things worse.

Ashley and Katherine are given minimal parts to play in the “let’s frame Michael for a crime and have him put in jail  for a very long time” scenario so that they can honestly say they didn’t know anything if the police should come around asking questions. 

Scott, Ashley’s father, Sally and Hope plan a crime of murder but something goes horribly wrong and the consequences are far-reaching. Even though they attain their goal, their lives are never the same.

The story starts out with a woman (we learn her identity near the end of the book) asks a writer if he wants to hear a story and then starts to relate the facts of the case. The the chapters go from current day to the time a few years ago when the “murder” occurred. 

This is a long book, over 450 pages if reading or over  16 hours if listening, but don’t let that deter you-you will be mesmerized by the story, characters and the cruelty of the stalker. It’s a love story about death which is a strange way to put it but it’s true.

Please put this on your “to be read” list. You WILL NOT be disappointed.

Five stars *****

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