Stolen Review
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John Bodine and Ruby Dawes’s lives are going great. Business is good, and they’re thinking about starting a family. Then John discovers a cancerous tumor on the bottom of his wife’s foot. Because of a technicality, things go from bad to worse, and their health insurance company refuses to pay for the extremely expensive medicine that Ruby needs to get better.

Desperate to save his wife’s life, John decides to steal an identity, so he can use the insurance to get Ruby what she needs to survive. It works—for a while—until he receives a phone call from the man whose identity he stole.

The man explains that he won’t go to the police and report the fraud if John and Ruby will play his little game. He wants them to become real criminals. If they refuse, involve the authorities, or disappear, then someone close to them will die. With no other choice but to obey, John and Ruby agree to the arrangement. Their lives soon become a nightmare—and they have little to no chance of waking from it.

Author Daniel Palmer takes ordinary people—just like you and me—and throws them into horrific situations that make their lives a living nightmare. In Stolen, the characters bring the nightmarish situation upon themselves, but the punishment far surpasses the crime, leaving you to root for them to get out of the mess they’ve ended up in—hopefully with their lives still intact.

You’ll feel for John and Ruby because they aren’t bad people. John does what he has to do in order to save the woman he loves. It isn’t a smart idea, but you’ll understand why he does what he does, and you won’t be able to fault him for his actions. He does everything he can to shield Ruby from his mistake, which makes him a worthy hero in my book. Meanwhile, in spite of the cancer, Ruby holds up well, making her a strong character in the face of horrific circumstances.

Suspenseful and over-the-edge thrilling, Stolen will leave you breathless, anxious, and clawing at the pages to get at what’s going to happen next. Several suspects pop up along the way, tangling the plot into a perplexing puzzle that you’ll never figure out until near the end. A little bit of dark humor also adds to the suspense, making Stolen one heck of a great thriller by an author whose work I plan on reading again and again.

Be warned, though: you might want to go to bed around six o’clock in the evening and start this one early, or you’ll be up until three a.m. reading, unable to put it down before it’s finished.

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