Life or Death

Life or Death

Book - 2014
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Why would a man escape from prison the day before he's due to be released? Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of his gang. Seven million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is. For ten years he has been beaten, stabbed, throttled and threatened almost daily by fellow inmates and prison guards, who all want to answer this same question--but suddenly Audie vanishes, the day before he's due to be released. Everybody wants to find Audie, but he's not running. Instead he's trying to save a life... and not just his own.
Publisher: London : Sphere, 2014.
ISBN: 9780751552904
Characteristics: 434 pages ; 24 cm


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Jan 16, 2021

This stand alone novel by Robotham has received numerous awards like the Gold Dagger and Best Crime Novel of the Year. It is almost a David and Goliath type of story with allusions to Bonny and Clyde, but Robotham adds his own twist to this story. The start of the story didn't really appeal to me - the bullying of a young white male prisoner held in a southern US state who is befriended by an older black male prisoner - but was intriguing because of the mystery presented - the young prisoner breaks out of jail 1 day before his release. The middle of the novel is mainly character development of this fella with many details of his life as a young adult which show him in a positive light. After a while, I skipped through these pages. 3/4 the way through the author picks up the main reason for writing the story - the motive for the jail escape - and then the novel becomes a page turner. The narration reminded me of a story that might be told by an old timer while sitting around a campfire telling his listeners about a local hero who overcame all odds while taking down the bad apples in the town's justice and political offices. Perhaps some of the "raw" details in this story appeals more to male readers while the chivalrous events may keep female readers reading. This novel is quite different, especially in tone, from the author's 2 series where a psychologist helps police solve crimes.

Dec 26, 2020

Great story, well developed.

Sep 26, 2020

Audie has spent the last ten years in prison, accused of killing four people and stealing seven million dollars. His sentence would have been longer, but his attorney made a deal while he was in a coma. On the day before he is to be paroled, Audie escapes from prison. Nobody knows why he would do that, but the theory is that he is mentally unbalanced because on the day of the robbery, he was shot in the head and had to be put back together like "a jigsaw puzzle." Once he escapes, Audie doesn't behave as a typical escapee from prison. Instead of running to a faraway country, he stays in town and finds places to sleep where he won't be noticed or caught. He has a plan which includes visiting the home of his arresting officer and talking to his sister. Meanwhile, Moss, who was in the prison cell next to Audie is taken from prison and sent on a mission to find Audie and bring him back. He isn't sure why these unknown men want Audie, but the more time he spends looking for him, the less he wants to bring Audie back to men who will surely kill him.

Life or Death does contain some elements of mystery in the story of Audie, why he was imprisoned, and why he escaped with only one day left on his sentence, but the majority of the book is the story of a tragic life. There are some twists and turns in the story, but they are fairly predictable. Audie spends lots of time in the story contemplating choices he has made in the past and trying to determine if they have made any difference in his life or if his whole life has been based on fate. As a result, there is really only one way this story could have ended, but instead, it takes a safer route that defeats the theme that was presented throughout the rest of the story. A different ending would have made a much greater impact and have been much more logical. Overall, this is a decent book, that starts a little slow and leaves the reader feeling a bit defeated.

Jun 10, 2019

Another great book by this author!

Oct 04, 2018

Robotham just doesn't disappoint.

Mar 28, 2018

An incredibly well-written mystery. The author holds the reason behind Audie's seemingly suicidal behavior hidden for most of the story. Intense, tragic and totally enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys action and a relentless hero.

Mar 24, 2018

A great plot, moves quickly and Audie is one unlikely hero.

Jul 27, 2016

Very good book. Would recommend.

Apr 02, 2016

Really enjoyed this one. Will look for more by this author.

Mar 13, 2016

After spending ten hellish years in a Texas prison for his part in an armed-truck robbery gone wrong, Audie Palmer escapes...the night before he's paroled. No one knows why (or where he's gone), but the local cops, the FBI, and Audie's best friend in prison (he's been offered a deal: find Audie and go free) would all like to find out. While they all believe that Audie must have plans to retrieve the never-recovered seven million dollars, he escaped for entirely different reasons. Peppered with stunning plot twists and peopled with fascinating, unforgettable characters, Life or Death is a complex, suspenseful crime novel that also includes a love story.

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Sep 24, 2020

Great Story, couldn't put the book down, comparable to i would say Coma or some of the old John Grisham Novels. Highly recommended

RDanks Jun 08, 2015

This book was great! It has a lot of twists and a lot of action.

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