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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Passenger

ISBN: 9781451686630

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 3/1/2015

Format: Hardover

My Rating: 3 Stars

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!

In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.

My Review

A special thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From the author of the Spellman Files’ series, Lisa Lutz delivers THE PASSENGER, a crazy wild roller coaster wacky ride, with a complex leading lady, traveling cross country changing her identities, like a rock star. Who is this woman?

Tanya Dubois leaves one man behind (her dead husband), who took a fatal fall down the basement stairs. Afraid everyone will think she pushed him, she decides to get out of dodge. First she toyed with disposing of the body and among others ways to cover up a crime. Then she imagines a trial and decides she will run.

Was he murdered, or did he fall by accident? She does not have time to wait until they come for her. Is she a killer? She says she did not do it, but of course she has no alibi. Frank had his gambling stash in his toolbox so this would be a start.

On the run, and living off the grid, with a new identity she begins her journey from Wisconsin to Wyoming, from New York to Washington State. She changes names, identities, hair color, and whatever she has to do to keep from getting caught.

From Tanya, Amelia, Debra, Emma, Sonia, Page, Jo, and Nora. All she wants is to be free. Along the way she meets plenty of characters, including Blue who is also on the run and others with unsavory pasts. Can she outrun her past? There is also the mysterious Ryan sending emails back and forth, which will keep the readers pushing on to get to the ending.

Tanya is so focused on running and changing identities you really do not know who this person is? Is she a pilot or passenger in her own life? Choices, detours, crossroads. Identity. Even though entertaining in some ways, lacking in a number of ways-- to be labeled as a true psychological thriller. My first book by Lutz, so unable to compare to her previous books.

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About the Author

Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of The Spellman Files, Curse of the Spellmans, Revenge of the Spellmans, The Spellmans Strike Again, Trail of the Spellmans, Spellman Six: The Next Generation(previously published as The Last Word), Heads you Lose (with David Hayward), and the children's book,How to Negotiate Everything (illustrated by Jaime Temairik). Her latest book, How to Start a Fire, was published in May 2015. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel.Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor's degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. Lisa lives in a town you've never heard of in upstate New York. Website






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