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Summary and book reviews of Derailed by James Siegel

Derailed

by James Siegel

Derailed
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2003, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2004, 400 pages

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Book Summary

Derailed will leave readers breathless with every twist of its heart-pounding, suspenseful plot. Brace yourself for a roller-coaster thriller more shocking and riveting than anything you've ever read.

Two strangers on a train,
A step taken toward temptation—
And a life terrifyingly thrown off course...

DERAILED

Charles Schine and Lucinda Harris are two successful professionals, two suburbanites married to other people, and two strangers on a train who never should have met. After they exchange pictures of their kids an undeniable attraction ignites—and compels them to arrange a tryst in a seedy Manhattan hotel.

Barely after they walk through the hotel room door, a hidden attacker strikes. In a bout of cool savagery, he beats Charles, violates Lucinda, and robs them both. Yet Charles's ordeal is only beginning. For the assailant, who calls himself Vasquez, tracks Charles down and blackmails him. A long, horrible nightmare of dark conspiracy and insidious psychological warfare will force Charles to risk everything he has—his savings, his lover, his family, his very sense of manhood. Desperate to take back his life, Charles resolves to take Vasquez down. But with every gambit Charles attempts, Vasquez grows only more demanding and more powerful. Even when Charles reinvents himself, Vasquez shadows him like a cold, dark, almost unnatural force. With one last, astonishing revelation in a world that has long ceased being what it seemed, Charles will have his final reckoning—deep inside the forbidding confines of a maximum-security New York State prison.

Portraying an ultimate duel of minds and packing visceral emotion and pure page-turning power, Derailed will leave readers breathless with every twist of its heart-pounding, suspenseful plot. Brace yourself for a roller-coaster thriller more shocking and riveting than anything you've ever read.

Attica

I spend five days a week teaching English at East Bennington High and two nights a week teaching English at Attica State Prison. Which is to say, I spend my time conjugating verbs for delinquents and dangling participles for convicts. One class feeling like they're in prison and the other class actually being in one.

On the Attica evenings, I eat an early dinner with my wife and two children. I kiss my wife and teenage daughter goodbye and give my four-year-old son a piggyback ride to the front door. I gently put him down, kiss his soft brow, and promise to look in on him when I get home.

I enter my eight-year-old Dodge Neon still surrounded in a halo of emotional well-being. By the time I pass through the metal detector at Attica Prison, it's gone.

Maybe it's the brass plaque prominently displayed on the wall of the visitors room. "Dedicated to the Correction Officers who died in the Attica riots," it says. There is no plaque for the prisoners who ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Booklist - Connie Fletcher

Siegel's over-the-top tone and the flatness of his characters detract from the improbable yet intriguing plot.

Kirkus Reviews

Ad exec Siegel (Epitaph, 2001) swings for the fences with this preposterous, compulsively readable story of a casual fling that flings its partners into the lower depths of hell....Irresistible hokum written with an obvious eye on Hollywood, where producers will have to decide whether to make Charles's tribulations believable or hope viewers, like lucky readers, will surrender themselves to its spell.

Publishers Weekly

Starred review. With its clean prose, high-velocity plotting and just the right amount of emotional shading darkening its sharply drawn characters, this novel is the bomb.

Library Journal - Ronnie H Terpening

The immensely satisfying plot is marked by multidimensional characters, a highly original structure, an ever more gripping duel, and authentic details that range from prison life to a diabetic's struggle for survival.

Author Blurb James Patterson
Derailed sure derailed me for a couple of nights. What a neat, twisty, well-written thriller! James Siegel has arrived in high style.

Author Blurb Nelson DeMille
Intense and startling…a top-notch novel of suspense with unexpected twists that are shocking and satisfying…will keep readers hooked to the last page. With complex characters, tight plotting, and powerful writing, Derailed is high-quality entertainment.

Author Blurb Christopher Reich
Siegel is a great new talent, a keen student of the human condition as well as one helluva storyteller.

Author Blurb James W. Hall
It's been years since I read a book as gripping as Derailed. Mesmerizing from the first chapter, the novel is full of whiplash twists, compelling characters and visceral and wrenching dramatic moments. The pace is relentless, the emotions powerfully real. Like only a few of our best thriller writers can do, Seigel left me limp and gasping.

Reader Reviews
Pam

Very exciting book
I was gripped by the plot from the very beginning. It was one of those books that it was difficult to put down.

E

OUTSTANDING BOOK!
I read the entire book in one night...simply an outstanding novel that kept my attention until the last page.

Tawnie

Derailed
I made the mistake of watching the movie before reading the book. THe movie was good (my favorite movie actually) But the book was so much better! I had many sleepless nights just reading this book...I couldnt put it down. I highly recommened this...   Read More

AJ

What I think... (so far)
I am more than half way though the book, and I find it to be pretty intense and entertaining. Although, I do agree that there are many racial slurs in the novel. This can't help but make me wonder if James Seigel is prejudice himself. Honestly, if ...   Read More

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