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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Life or Death


Narrator: John Chancer

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Publication Date: 3/10/2015

Format: Audio

My Rating: 5 Stars +

Why would a man who has served a long prison sentence escape the day before he's due to be released?

Audie was sentenced to 10 years for a robbery in which four people died, including two members of his gang. Five million dollars has never been recovered from the robbery, and everybody believes Audie knows where the money is.

For 10 years Audie has been beaten, stabbed, and threatened by inmates and guards, all desperate to know the secret. The day before he is due to be released, Audie suddenly vanishes.

The hunt for Audie, and the money, is on. But Audie's not running to save his own life--instead, he's trying to save someone else. In what promises to be his most popular thriller yet, Robotham has created the ultimate underdog hero, an honorable criminal shrouded in mystery and ready to lead readers on a remarkable chase.

My Review

International best-selling author, Australian Michael Robotham, is at the “top of his game”, crossing many genres and an ocean, for the setting of his latest novel, LIFE OR DEATH. Choosing the American southern state of Texas, delivering one of the most brilliantly written, and powerful thrillers of 2014-2015! Whichever part of the world you may be from, and release you are reading. For sure, I want a front row seat when the film releases, as can only imagine the cast! An engrossing, vivid, and descriptive emotional crime thriller; a conspiracy, a man fights against all odds-he never gives up, to save those he protects and loves; a poignant love story. Where things are not always as they seem. LIFE OR DEATH opens with the escape of Audie Palmer, from prison on the day before he is due to be released. Palmer has served the last 10 years in prison, a third of his life, for the Texas robbery of an armored truck. Four people were killed, two gang members, and the $7 million dollars stolen in the robbery has never been recovered. During his prison term, Audie has been beaten, stabbed, tortured; however, he has not talked, asked for protection, remaining cool and calm. Palmer is smart, and is on the run. There are bad guys, crooked cops, and feds all trying to track him down to lead them to the money, or kill him. However, he is not after any money – he has spent ten years in prison, and now is out to save and protect a life. However, what person can be trusted? Audie wasn't meant to end up in prison. He was the good kid, smart in school and college; however, his one weakness was his love for his no good brother, Carl and he winds up behind bars. Audie touches so many lives and is connected with many characters we meet in, and out of prison. The connection between he and Moss, another inmate is powerful, and the author uses wit and humor combined with deep emotions of the heart and human dynamics, making the novel appeal to a wide variety of readers, outside the typical psychological, crime thriller genre. Robotham keeps you on the edge-of- your seat, with twists, turns, dangers, suspense, and intensity, skillfully integrating flashbacks of Palmer’s life before prison, and the truth about the day of the robbery, all ignite as it nears its gripping and powerful conclusion. LIFE OR DEATH is the best mix of my favorite male authors:Greg Iles, Paul Cleave, John Grisham, Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, and David Baldacci, all rolled into one riveting novel. A suspenseful, fast-paced heart pounding, page-turner, leaving you turning into the wee hours of the morning, and characters which will linger, long after the book ends... I listened to the audiobook, and John Chancer, was outstanding-- with a wide variety of voices, perfectly matched for all the southern characters. Would highly recommend the audiobook as exceptional; however, there were so many beautiful words, you may want to buy the e-book as well. From literary, psychological, crime, mystery, thriller, suspense; conspiracy, drama, murder, racial and social injustices; love and loss—A tour de force of crime writing, far exceeding the hype, well-deserving of 10 stars. Anything less would seem inadequate, when attempting to describe the exceptional writing, the multi-layered plot, and the superbly developed characters; crafted with skillful precision and depth, grabbing you from the first page to the last. Yes, Michael Robotham, you were indeed, destined to write this inspiring book. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it to the world. You are welcome in the US anytime! Possibly Atlanta, next?

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About the Author

Born in Australia in November 1960, Michael Robotham grew up in small country towns that had more dogs than people and more flies than dogs. He escaped in 1979 and became a cadet journalist on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney. For the next fourteen years he wrote for newspapers and magazines in Australia, Britain and America. As a senior feature writer for the UK’s Mail on Sunday he was among the first people to view the letters and diaries of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, unearthed in the Moscow State Archives in 1991. He also gained access to Stalin’s Hitler files, which had been missing for nearly fifty years until a cleaner stumbled upon a cardboard box that had been misplaced and misfiled. In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were bestsellers with combined sales of more than 2 million copies. His first novel, a psychological thriller called THE SUSPECT, was chosen by the world’s largest consortium of book clubs as only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries. Michael’s novels have since been translated into 23 languages. He is a twice winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Australia’s Crime Novel of the Year and has twice been twice shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers Association Steel Dagger and once for the CWA’s acclaimed Gold Dagger award. Michael lives on Sydney's northern beaches, where he recently moved house, swapping his 'pit of despair' (basement office) for a 'cabana of cruelty' - a name bestowed by his three teenage daughters, who happily poke fun at the man who feeds, clothes and caters to their every expensive whim. Where is the justice? Life or Death is Michael's 10th novel. Website @michaelrobotham






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