Die for You by Lisa Unger
Shaye Areheart Books, June 2009
hardcover, 353 pages
hardcover, 353 pages
From the Publisher
Isabel Raine thought she had everything–a successful career, a supportive family, and a happy marriage to the man she loved. Then one ordinary morning, her husband, Marcus, picks up his briefcase, kisses her good-bye, and simply vanishes.That day, all her calls to him go straight to voice mail; the messages she leaves at his office go unreturned, too. Panicking after finally receiving a call from his cell phone in which all she can hear is a man’s terrified cry, Isabel calls the police. But they aren’t interested. Men leave, they tell her. They leave all the time. Desperate to find her husband, Isabel races to his office. But instead of finding him, she finds herself in the middle of an FBI raid. Hours later, she awakens in the hospital with a severe concussion and a homicide detective by her bedside waiting to question her about Marcus Raine–the real Marcus Raine.
Now the only thing Isabel knows for sure is that her husband of five years is gone. Where is he and who is he are questions no one seems able to answer. But Isabel will not rest until she discovers the truth about the man she loves, even if it means risking everything–including her own life.Bestselling author Lisa Unger takes us on a nightmarish journey from bustling, glamorous New York City to the murky, twisted streets of Prague, seeking the answer to one bone-chilling question: What if the man you love, the one sleeping beside you, is a stranger?
Unger is one talented writer. I enjoyed Die for You in part because of her writing and how deftly she revealed all the flaws her characters had and the secrets they were all hiding. It nicely supported the exploration of the theme - how well do we really know the people closest to us? She also did a great job in setting the place and atmosphere. The story is told from various character's points of view. I really liked and truly understood the observations Unger had through Izzy (Isabel) in the book about how writers see events differently from other people. (I often told my high school art students that they needed to learn to see because artists see things differently.) I'm now going to be looking for her novel Blackout.
Die for You is highly recommended.
A huge "Thank You" needs to be given to Jen. I won my signed copy of Die for You from her blog giveaway.
A light snow falls, slowly coating the deep-red rooftops of Prague. I look up into a chill gunmetal sky as the gray stones beneath me are already disappearing under a blanket of white. There's a frigid hush over the square. opening
"Why are you doing this?" I ask him.
He comes closer, the muted sound of his footfalls bouncing off the buildings around us.
"Why?" I scream, voice echoing. But his is impervious, his face expressionless, as though I've never meant anything to him. pg. 4
The last time I saw my husband, he had a tiny teardrop of raspberry jam in the blond hairs of his goatee. pg. 7
But then he'd always felt that way, even as a child, even in his native home. Always apart, watching. He accepted this as a natural condition of his life, without a trace of unhappiness about it or any self-pity.Isabel had always understood this about him; as a writer, she was in a similar position. You can't really observe, unless you stand apart. pg. 10
As they pulled into traffic, a line from the The Prophet came back to Marcus: "It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands." Marcus could feel the life he'd been living shifting, fading. With every city block they passed, he left a gauzy sliver of himself behind. The strand that connected him to Isabel, he felt it pull taut and then snap. pg. 15
All the initial panic I'd felt when Marcus didn't come home, the shock and dread that gripped me after the horrifying phone call, had drained. At this point, I was stunned, bleeding out by the side of the road. pg. 23
One of my top ten most dreaded sentences: Your sister is such a treasure, followed by the pregnant silence in which the subtext So, what happened to you? might easily be inferred. pg. 43