Derailed by James Siegel

derailedTitle:  Derailed

Author:  James Siegel

Hardback:  339 pages

Publisher:  Warner Books, Inc.

Publish Date:  February 2003

ISBN:  0446531588

Every day Charles Schine rides the 8:43 to do the job he has done for over a decade in a New York advertising agency.  With a wife and an ill child who depend on him, Charles is not a man who likes changes or takes risks… until he is late for his regular train – and sits down across from the woman of his dreams.

Her name is Lucinda.  Like Charles, she is married.  Like Charles, she takes the train every day to work in New York City.  Her train is the 9:05, and tomorrow she will be on it again – and so will Charles.  For there is something about Lucinda, the flash of thigh beneath her short skirt, the way every man on the train is eyeing her, something about this time of the morning that will make Charles take a chance he shouldn’t take, break a vow he shouldn’t break, and enter a room he should never enter…

In a matter of days, a flirtation turns to a passion, and Charles and Lucinda are drawn into the dark side of the American Dream.  In a matter of weeks, Charles’s life is in shambles.  A man is dead.  A small fortune is stolen.  Charles’s home is violated and everything violently spirals out of control.

But Charles is about to discover that once you leave the straight and narrow, getting back on track is the most perilous journey of all.  And for Charles, that journey – of lies, terror, and deception – has just begun…

An extraordinary work of Hitchcockian psychological twists and high-voltage intensity, this novel brilliantly weaves together a man’s past and present into a story of menace – and hurtles us toward an astounding, surprising ending.  Brace yourself for a roller-coaster ride through the frightening darkness that lies waiting around us – and within us – once our lives become DERAILED …

Derailedby James Siegel,  dust cover blurb

Derailedby James Siegel  is full of twists and turns and punch-in-the-gut dramatic stops that propel the story forward at a terrifying pace.  It’s very easy to have sympathy for Charles, though it was through his own actions that the world is crumbling down around him, and to will him to win out over Vasguez and his accomplices.  Derailed illustrates the “line upon line, precept upon precept” and “slippery slope” concepts as Charles crosses farther and farther into moral ambiguity while trying to hide his adulterous indiscretion, a secret any reader with a brain KNOWS will eventually come out.

All in all, the book is a good book in that it entertains and thrills the reader.  It does experience some slow spots, but those are more for the purpose of lulling the reader in order to amplify the coming shock.  And for the most part, the story is believable and possible, enough is established before the bomb that saves Charles goes off to prevent it from feeling like a deus ex machina.  However, beyond the initial horror of the rape scene and terror of being stalked, the book isn’t memorable.

Derailedby James Siegel is intense, has a lot of violence, language and sex, and not for sensitive readers or anyone under 18.  I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

I have a feeling Derailed is a better movie than book. Here’s the movie’s trailer:

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How Evil Are You?


You Are 70% Evil


You are very evil. And you’re too evil to care.

Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.

Okay, some of the questions I may have clicked and not been the truth, but some of them I didn’t click that I should have.  SO I guess it all evens out,  My score on the virginity test would back this result up, too.

Booking Through Thursday -Doomsday

Booking Through Thursday

What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?

Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an Internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buyingfrom some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

Let’s see… my favorite place to go for books is the Internet.  Requesting ARCs and reviewer copies from the Publishers and authors and accepting them from the same, as well.  When it comes to the idea of the  Internet suddenly going out of business, I think I’m safe.   Barring the EMP that results from nuclear war, I don’t think I have to worry about the ‘net going away without warning.

HOWEVER, if I don’t pay my bill, I could lose my access at home.  Mild withdraw might ensue (probably wouldensue), but there is still the library’s computer farm.  One hour a day, surrounded by pimply-faced, obnoxiously loud teenagers whose favorite phrases are, “dude! that’s so gay,” and “you’re an F-ing A-hole (without the hyphens.. you know what I mean)”, and whose favorite site is YouTube.  These little “patrons” are why our local library had to hire an off-duty police officer to patrol the library, but that is a rant for another day.

Back to the question at hand… in the interest of full participation, I’m going to use a more likely scenario.  What if Borders suddenly, and without warning, shut down my Waldenbooks?  That would seriously suck.  I would be forced to troll the Wal-mart book rack for the new releases (have you seen their “selection”?), or pay full sticker at the grocery store… YIKES!  I ain’t paid $30 for a new book since college!  I get pissy about it if I have to pay $15 (like Kafka on the Shore, which I still have not read, and I think I had a coupon for THAT, too.   I would be forced to waiting and hoping for it to pop up on BookMooch or PBS, and now with the new reserve system on BM I might never see one.

Thanks for this question…. now I’ll have nightmares for a week.  My one consolation is that Mt. TBR would keep me in the read for a year or so, long enough for a Books-a-million to move to town (not likely, since there’s a store 30 minutes away, and people in my town will drive there).

Don’t forget to sign up to win a $20 Borders gift card!