Thursday, March 20, 2008

Review: Now You See Him

Summary: His name was Rob Castor. Quite possibly, you've heard of him. He became a minor cult celebrity in his early twenties for writing a book of darkly pitch-perfect stories set in a stupid upstate New York town. About a dozen years later, he murdered his writer-girlfriend and committed suicide. . . .

The deaths of Rob Castor and his girlfriend begin a wrenching and enthrallingly suspenseful story that mines the explosive terrains of love and paternity, marriage and its delicate intricacies, family secrets and how they fester over time, and ultimately the true nature of loyalty and trust, friendship and envy, deception and manipulation.

As the media takes hold of this sensational crime, a series of unexpected revelations unleashes hidden truths in the lives of those closest to Rob. At the center of this driving narrative is Rob's childhood best friend, Nick Framingham, whose ten-year marriage to his college sweetheart is faltering. Shocked by Rob's death, Nick begins to reevaluate his own life and his past, and as he does so, a fault line opens up beneath him, leading him all the way to the novel's startling conclusion.

In this ambitious and thrilling novel, award-winning author Eli Gottlieb—with extraordinarily luxuriant and evocative prose—takes us deep into the human psyche, where the most profound of secrets are kept. - harper collins

I mentioned last week how excited I was to receive an ARC of NOW YOU SEE HIM by Eli Gottlieb in the mail. The book was released in January 2008, so I'm guessing that Harper Collins had a few leftover ARCs -- not that I'm complaining. This is a book that I had tried to "win" from various book websites for a few months to no avail. I thought the premise of the book looked incredibly interesting. In addition, NOW YOU SEE HIM was the #1 Book Sense Pick for February too.

At the beginning of the ARC Lisa Gallagher, a senior VP and publisher for William Morrow, wrote a letter to the reader admitting that she couldn't put the book down. She also used the phrase "utterly riveted" to describe her reading experience. I pretty much had the same reaction - I read the book in two sittings.

While I didn't love any of the characters, I was fascinated by their lives and their interactions. All of the characters were flawed, in fact some were deeply flawed, but I couldn't stop reading about them. I felt as if I were on a roller coaster ride, and I just knew something major was going to happen before the book was over. There were quite a few twists and turns along the way where the reader makes many startling discoveries. The more I read, the more I had to keep reading because I just had to find out what happened.

Mr. Gottlieb's writing style made this book very, very good -- it's just so well written. I was actually more blown away by how he wrote the story than the actual story. His prose is just beautiful and his descriptions are so vivid. I love how he took the reader on a ride (back to my roller coaster analogy) throughout the course of this novel. If you would like to know more about the author, there is a great interview with him here.

I have a lot of friends that will just love this book, and I can't wait to share it with them. If you are looking for a well-written page-turner, I highly recommend NOW YOU SEE HIM.

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