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Stay With Me: A Brenna Spector Novel of Suspense [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Alison Gaylin

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24. Juni 2014 Brenna Spector Novel (Buch 3)

When the past intersects with the future . . .

Brenna Spector is held prisoner by the past. She has perfect memory, which allows her to recall in vivid and remarkable detail every moment of every day of her adult life. If only she could remember more from her child-hood . . . for she's still trying to unravel the mystery of her sister Clea's disappearance twenty-eight years ago when Clea was seventeen. But now her obsession with finding out what happened to Clea is taking a toll on her own teenage daughter, Maya, who's been very secretive lately. And when Maya goes missing, Brenna fears her worst nightmare has come true.

. . . the outcome can be dangerous

As Brenna relies on her P.I. skills to find her daughter before it's too late, evidence surfaces showing a possible link between Maya's disappearance and Clea's. But could a case from three decades ago really be connected to her daughter? Or is someone hoping that Brenna will play along in a twisted game—one that there's no chance of winning . . . or surviving?


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“This haunting novel will grab on the first page and simply not let go. Lyrically written, rich in detail and filled with compelling psychological insight, Stay With Me features the most complex and appealing protagonist in thriller fiction today, Brenna Spector. Superb!” (Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Kill Room on STAY WITH ME)

“The story thrums with suspense, and rewards the reader with a surprising yet plausible conclusion.” (Huffington Post on STAY WITH ME)

“[The] Brenna Spector series is a series that once you pick up, you want want to put it down.” (The Windy Pages on STAY WITH ME)

“Brenna Spector... is not your usual private investigator.” (Beth Fish Reads on STAY WITH ME)

“Author Alison Gaylin has really stepped up her game with her newest book. Be ready for a serious thrill ride with a huge twist that you will not see coming.” (Geeks Unleashed on STAY WITH ME)

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Alison Gaylin is the author of Into the Dark, the Shamus Award-winning And She Was, the Edgar®-nominated thriller Hide Your Eyes, as well as its sequel, You Kill Me, and two stand-alone novels, Trashed and Heartless. A graduate of Northwestern University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Alison lives with her husband and daughter in upstate New York.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Book That Will Stay With You: The Top Ten Things That are Great About "Stay With Me" 21. September 2014
Von E. Burian-Mohr - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Twenty-seven years ago, Brenna Spector's teenaged sister Clea disappeared; Brenna never heard from her again, and never knew if she was alive or dead. Now, all these years later, Brenna runs a successful detective agency, is raising a lovely teenage daughter (Maya) who is about the same age as Clea when she disappeared, is on good terms with her ex, and is embarking on what could be a successful meaningful relationship. Then Brenna learns that her father's death (which occurred prior to Clea's disappearance) was actually a suicide, which is something her mother neglected to mention. Brenna's obsession with Clea's disappearance and the suicide is becoming an obsession, which is taking its toll on Maya, who is becoming closed off and spending a lot of time in internet chat rooms and trying to win the approval of the "popular" girls at school (AKA bitches-in-training).

To add to the mix, Brenna suffers from hyperthymesia, which is a condition of possessing an extremely detailed autobiographical memory. In plain words, Brenna remembers a LOT of details from the past, complete with date and time of day.

Then Maya goes missing, snatched up one evening as she is trying to return home after a sleepover gone horribly awry.

Brenna, with all her P.I. skills and hyperthymesia skills, kicks into overtime to find her daughter, with the help of the new cop boyfriend, her ex, her "staff," which consists of a young extremely talented hacker, and the local police.

While the hyperthymesia events often come off as a clumsy plot device that injects dull details, the book is fast-paced and intriguing and suspense-filled. This is my first of the three Brenna Spector books, but it works as a standalone, and I will be checking into the prior two books.

All that being said, here are the top ten things that are great about "Stay With Me":

10. For New Yorkers, the city descriptions bring the streets of the Big Apple to life.

9. Character, character, character. Not all the characters are fully developed, but I felt Alison Gaylin did a particularly good job on Brenna's mother (who likes to calculate how many years some of these incidents are taking off her life expectancy), her assistant Trent, who's never met a system he can't hack into, and Maya, whose teenaged angst is entirely justifiable.

8. Mean nasty evil characters. Hoo boy. There are some twisted twisted individuals running through the book, not in the serial killer mode, but in the person-you-meet-on-the-street-who-turns-out-to-be-a-homicidal-wacko kind of way.

7. I love a twisted backstory, and Brenna's family delivers for bonus points. Dad's suicide, Clea's disappearance, and all that follows make for a page-turing tale.

6. Gaylin has a good ear for dialogue. It's natural, it flows, and each character's dialogue is unique to the individual.

5. Description. Not too much, and not too little. Just right.

4. It's nice to finally read a book where, not only does the main character get along with her ex and her ex's wife, but the ex's new wife actually loves Maya. It keeps the mystery and suspense dealing with the parts of the story where the mystery and suspense belong.

3. Hyperthymesia. I'd never heard of it before, and it's likely that it will never come up again, but I always like having another bizarre psychological problem in my vocabulary.

2. Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned. It's true.

1. It moves. The book is fast-paced, suspenseful, full of action, intriguing thoughts, and all the other goodies that make for good mystery/suspense.

I read it deep into the night, and would certainly read Gaylin's next book... and next... and next.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Chock full o' suspense! 27. April 2014
Von J. Muench - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
This is the third in the Brenna Spector series, but you don't need to start at the beginning. It's the first I have read of this author, and I am going to get the first two in the series now. STAY WITH ME is great as a stand-alone read! Spector is a private investigator specializing in missing persons cases; and this current story hits too close to home when her daughter Maya goes missing.

I don't want to spill any beans here--and there are many--so I will discuss in generalities. You can read the description on the main page, but let me tell you, there is so much going on all the time... laundry will not get done, the dishes will pile up, the cat won't get fed... all because you are frantically page-turning to see what happens next! There are Brenna's flashbacks that sometimes fill in a little piece of the puzzle, all the while there is still a giant hole you are waiting for answers to. Characters are believable and interesting, and I enjoyed how each character had the inner monologue going along with the dialog--that was pretty funny at times and a nice relief in the action. The whole story moved along at a quick clip, and yes chores took a backseat to my NEEDING to finish this book!

There were a couple things that I struggled with in this story,:
o I did like Brenna a lot; but there were times where I wanted more of the real her, not a flashback of the exact clothes Jim was wearing in the park when Maya was a baby, for example. And I understand the hyperthymesia is part of who she is, but sometimes it felt like the remembrance was an easier filler than describing a real emotion. Maybe the answer to why a situation is still upsetting to her and why she flashes back instead is in a previous story? I don't know...
o I just didn't get Brenna's mother Evelyn... She was sometimes almost stupid, then conniving, then the lying kept coming into play, then more conniving and lying, then some revelations... I just couldn't figure out what was going on with her character... She was friends with Ruth at the library, then later Brenna recalls their huge falling out... Evelyn was very confusing to me, a distraction to the rest of the story at times.

Overall, I was hooked right off the bat, and will get the first two books in the series too. It's nice jumping in at the end and not feeling left out :)
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Finally, the truth is revealed... 10. Juni 2014
Von feysidhe - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
and what a truth it is! I would really recommend reading the Brenna Spector books in sequence because that will give this one more impact, but you could read this one on its own. In this book, we finally find out what happened to Brenna's sister all those years ago, a question that has haunted Brenna through all the books despite whichever mystery she's involved in solving. Brenna's perfect memory can be a bit hard to follow at times, but I think it's worth the effort. These books are so very different from any other mysteries you'll see.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A solid ending to the Brenna Spector trilogy. 22. Juli 2014
Von booknerdsbraindump - Veröffentlicht auf
If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy, you should probably do so before starting this one.

Previous reviews are here:

Book 1: And She Was

Book 2: Into The Dark

Brenna Spector is once again looking for a missing person in Stay With Me, the final book in the trilogy. This time, instead of hunting for a client’s loved one, she is frantically trying to track down her own missing daughter, Maya. Brenna’s flawless memory (hyperthymestic syndrome) both helps and hinders her, as the past keeps slamming into the present, and Maya’s chances dim with every passing moment.

As Brenna searches for Maya, she also finds answers to the biggest questions in her own life – the truth behind the disappearances of her father and older sister, Clea. Along for the ride are her muscle-head computer-savant assistant, Trent, her ex-husband Jim and his devoted wife Faith, her boyfriend, Detective Nick Marasco, and her mother, Evelyn.

It’s going to be very hard to review this book without giving away any major spoilers, because the revelations are plentiful in this one.

The big final reveal is a little more telegraphed this time, but there are still enough other twists to keep it interesting. We finally learn why Brenna’s father really vanished. And although the clues were there, in both of the previous books, I never put it together. (Side Note: Can I just say how impressed I am with Ms. Gaylin’s continuity? She seems to have known where she was going from the beginning, and so many of the minor details from the earlier books have all come together perfectly. EXTREMELY well done!)

This is a short book that has a lot of pages. I think that sense of “short book” is due to the many flashbacks – a small amount of forward momentum plot-wise is expanded to show what happened when Brenna saw/heard something similar on (random date) when (some other person) was wearing (items of clothing) and so on. The ending felt entirely too rushed. There was so much build-up, and then it all ended in just a few pages, and in a way that didn’t completely hang together for me. The kidnapper suddenly does a complete one-eighty, with very little explanation, and then everything is just over.

Other than the strange, abrupt ending, there was a lot to like in Stay With Me. I mentioned before the continuity that seems damn near flawless. I don’t think authors get enough credit for pulling off a trick like that, as we tend to only notice the times that the details don’t match up.

There are some fascinating themes in this book. One of the biggest is, “you can’t change who you are.” That’s a line that’s repeated over and over, throughout all three of the Brenna Spector novels. Eventually, no matter how much you want to keep a secret hidden, it will come out. Our own words and habits always reveal us.

Also, perfect memory doesn’t equal perfect vision. Brenna may be able to recall exactly everything that everyone has ever said to her, but at the same time, she doesn’t see the people themselves clearly. Instead, she tries to change the outward characteristics of the people around her, while ignoring their reality. She complains about way Maya texts, but has no idea that Maya has a completely secret, destructive, other life. Brenna can’t stand Trent’s habit of creating goofy nicknames for her, but she doesn’t see that he’s really putting away childish things when it matters. She wants her mother to be someone else entirely, not realizing that Evelyn has carefully chosen the life she has, and for very good reasons. Finally, she needs Jim to stay forever preserved in a little box in her memory, no longer a real person at all, despite how badly Maya needs her parents to be able to work together.

It’s an interesting idea – that even the most perfectly-recalled image of a person can have nothing to do with the actual person. Is it better to live with incomplete and untrue memories that are happy, or to find the truth that may be quite a bit uglier? Are we sometimes better off letting people go, even if we don’t want to, or hanging on to someone even when it’s hard?

In her need to avoid the discomfort that seeing her ex Jim brings, Brenna also throws away all the good things about him, and in her single-minded search for Clea, she has never faced the idea that the sister she remembers might not be anything like the person Clea really was.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable ending to the Brenna Spector trilogy. There’s lots of food for thought, and some excellent literary tricks. I just wish the ending had been as fleshed-out as the flashbacks.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen A satisfying end to long asked questions! 26. Juni 2014
Von Kimberly C - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Brenna Spector series is a series that once you pick up, you won’t want to put it down.

I was lucky enough to start the series with the first book And She Was which was a fast page turner and engaging. The sequel Into The Dark had lots of twists and turns, and kept me absorbed! So I had pretty high expectations about Stay With Me the third and final book in the series. And wow, it did not disappoint.

Brenna suffers from a condition brought on by her sister’s disappearance. She can remember any day in time vividly, the sights, smells, noises. Everything. Like she is reliving the day again and again. This makes her a superb private investigator, but it also drives a wedge between her and her daughter Maya. Maya, who always feels like her mom’s living somewhere in the past. Maya, who thinks she plays second fiddle to her mom’s missing sister Clea, who disappeared all those years ago. Maya, who is suddenly missing in book three.

I don’t want to give a lot away but I recommend you start with book one. By the time book three rolls around, all of these little pieces that have been building up finally come together in one massive confrontation and it’s a very satisfying payoff. You can read each book individually, and trust me you would still enjoy each of them! But I think to achieve the greatest enjoyment of the series, read from the beginning.

That said, I think Stay With Me is the strongest book in the trilogy, balancing emotional and psychological thrills with physical danger, high stakes and action. It’s easy to root for Brenna, who has had it hard since the day her sister died. Who can’t even be in the same room as her ex-husband because it brings back good memories of when they were happy. Who really does care about his new wife, Faith. Faith loves Maya just as much as Brenna. The family dynamics, carefully laid out tensions since book one, comes to a head in book three. While this is interesting, I’m interested in Nick and Brenna as well. He’s not really front and center as he was in previous books, but this one focuses more on the core family so I understand.

Overall, Stay With Me is a solid knock out in the series. I think a lot of fans of thrillers and mystery will eat up Brenna Spector’s cases and unique circumstances. What are you waiting for? Grab a copy now!

Find more reviews from me at The Windy Pages dot com
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