In one hand small-time crook Stokes holds a backpack stuffed with someone else's money--$350,000 of it.
In the other hand, Stokes has a cell phone, which he found with the money. On the line a little girl he doesn't know asks, "Daddy? Are you coming to get me? They say if you give them the money, they'll let you take me home."
From best-selling author James Hankins comes a wrenching story of an unscrupulous man torn between his survival instincts and the plight of a true innocent. Faced with the choice, Stokes discovers his conscience might not be as corroded as he thought.
©2015 James Hankins (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved
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"Fast paced, very entertaining"
This is a good fast paced book. Nonstop bad luck the whole way through.
Yes it certainly did! This book moves right along starting from probably the first 10 minutes or so and doesn't stop the whole way through.
Surprisingly I did! For most of the story I did not, I found some of it to be a little far fetched. How much and how many things can happen to one man in a day? This guy just went from one situation to another. Like I said, it was entertaining. Anyway back to the question. The final scene did give me such a melancholy feeling, I was so surprised! I love when a book has a great ending...
If you're on the fence- get the book. It is a little different then the typical rainy day nothing to read, short on attention span book in that our hero isn't such a hero but a rather shady character himself and at times not too likable. He is shockingly redeemable giving it this memorable ending.
"A story that doesn't try harder than it needs to."
Good in the sense that you really feel you're getting the story from Stokes' point of view. From word choice to his actions you see it from his eyes. and in that, the choices he makes, make sense to you. I enjoyed it.
"loved it so much I woke my husband!"
buckle up and prepare to be hooked, you won't want to turn this one off!
the ending killed me it was great but i had to listen twice just to make sure!
his voice was perfect for the stokes character I really saw it all in my mind because of him!
yessss ! The ending what are you kidding me ??? I know it was a great ending but still floored me!!!!
I got hooked on this by the 3rd sentence. I stayed up till 3am to finish it then had to tell my husband all about it I hope they make a movie out of this one please make a movie! I see mark wahlberg as the lead!
"A bunch of disgusting characters. Ugly book."
I have tried to read two of this author's books, and I haven't been able to finish either one of them. Stokes, the main guy, is a petty crook who robs people, breaks into houses, and so forth. Almost every character in the book is a disgusting person. Many of them have done time (not all people in jail are worthless, in fact). Although there is some occasional humor, the plot is also disgusting (the kidnap of a six-year-old girl, ransom demands; at one point the thugs cut off a joint of one of the little girl's fingers. Had enough yet? Here's a little more. The guy goes, at 1 AM, to the mansion of a gangster who he knows hates him. He wants a loan of $103,000. He has zero collateral. He is a moron. Would any real person do something so profoundly stupid?
It would take a lot of work. Mr. Hankins' talent is miniscule compared to the great authors who write in this genre. Many of you may already know some of my favorites, so I won't mention them again. If he had it in him, this guy could have increased the humor, or he could have given Stokes some decent aspects, so that he might be a person to enjoy. As it is, the only readers who can identify with or relate to him are in jail or in prison. Not a great target audience. Many of them have probably stolen the book, anyway.
The narrator was quite decent (I gave him 3 stars). The material is so rotten that he couldn't have done anything more with it. I would like to hear him read another book, but not another product of this, uh...writer of very limited talent. Someone once asked Truman Capote about the skills of a fellow author. In his usual sniff, he held his nose and said, "That isn't writing. It's typing."
As I said, it has a little humor, and a potentially good narrator. Occasionally the author turns a decent phrase, although if he is reading, I don't want that to go to his head. The scene with the two gay guys who own an antiques building, and who pack loaded weapons, and actually shoot at and wing Stokes: this is part of a decent scene. The way that Stokes breaks into their house, by rigging false alarms three times, so that the guys turn the alarm system off: this is halfway clever. Otherwise, Mr. Hankins is a half wit. I'm sorry: that was ad hominem, and below the belt. I sincerely apologize. (Yeah, right.)
Don't waste your money.
"The end made it worth it"
Not especially, I was interested in the story, but there weren't a lot of surprises or twists and turns as we went. I think there was a good amount of building tension as we got to the end of the story.
The end. I can't say why, but the end is what made me like this book more than I would have expected.
I did breeze through this book pretty quickly, even though there were some graphic parts that made me cringe.
"I Listened In Basically One Sitting!"
I have already recommended this book to friends. I, also, suggested that they listen via Audible and read it physically at the same time. No, I do not work for Audible.
I have no comparison for this book due to it's story-telling structure, if you will.One might be tempted into a bad habit of calling the plot points in this book "plot twists". I shall try to describe what I mean without giving away any spoilers:There are multiple and fantastic plot points in this story. There are numerous situations that require the protagonist to re-think his strategies, feelings, motivations and actions. The craziest of them might not be feasible but they sure keep you 'on the edge of your seat'. The plot is full of numerous 'enjoyable to read/listen to moments and situations'.Now, with that said, some of these moments indeed provide plot twists. Heck, in another person's mind, maybe they are all plot twists.
OK, don't read this review anymore ... just go get the book.
I may or may not have listened to this narrator. Bon Shaw freakishly sounds like R C Bray, of "The Martian" fame. Either the same person under different names or brothers. The Protagonist was smart-mouthed and sarcastic and Bon Shaw has the perfect voice for portraying such a man.
With the exception of spending 15 minutes with my doctor, I listened to the book from beginning to end in one setting. I bit my nails a bit today before I realized it. The action is non-stop in this thriller.
It might a bit passé to say that I rooted for the Protagonist but I did, not for things to turn out well for him, but that he find sure success. You also know that he should pay for all the illegal things he did along the journey. You truly want this criminal to change his wicked ways. Listen to the book and see if he does.
"Near constant sunspense; great entertainment!"
James Hankins does not write great literature, but he does write very entertaining novels. Anyone who loves fiction has learned to suspend disbelief in order to get very involved because most fiction involves the unlikely.
Stokes, the protagonist in Shady Cross, is a minor league criminal who repeatedly risks life and limb to try to save a kidnapped 5 year old girl he has never met. He has a teenage daughter himself. He feels very guilty about not seeing her since she was two years old and thoughts of her drive him.
The list of unlikely circumstances that occur in this novel are is staggering in number and irony. They include the kidnapped girls father being killed in an accident delivering the money to kidnappers, the girl's stepmother setting up the kidnapping, a small time criminal finding the $350,000 and cell phone used to communicate with the kidnappers, the protagonist having worked with the kidnappers on criminal activity in the past, etc, etc. But I have already said that lovers of fiction already know how to suspend disbelief in order to be entertained.
Shady Cross is an immensely entertaining page turner that I listened to well after I should have been asleep in order to finish it. I could not put it down. The finish was worth the wait. Entertainment and constant suspense make this a 5 star book. Shady Cross is NOT great literature, but it is an entertaining novel well told. I love this book!
Pretty good listen. Great narrator. I will definitely buy his next book. kept my attention.
"A Really Good Book!"
Hankins is a great author who knows how to tell a story! This story isn't flawless but it kept my attention the entire time. This is exactly the type of book I love to listen to while I'm working. Not too complicated and yet still interesting.
Excellent narration! Spot on for the characters and extremely easy to listen to.
Great book well worth a credit!
I really enjoyed this one. I was rooting for the anti-hero until the end. Definitely worth the listen.
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