No Second Chance Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of No Second Chance

Dr. Marc Seidman awakens to find himself in the hospital in an ICU. He is hooked up to an IV and his head swathed in bandages. Twelve days before, he'd had an enviable life as a successful surgeon, living in a peaceful suburban neighborhood with his beautiful wife and baby daughter. Now, he lies in the hospital bed, shot by an unseen assailant. His wife has been killed, and his six-month-old daughter is kidnapped. But just when his whole world seems to be shattered, something happens giving Marc new hope: a ransom note.
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This note is chlling, but Marc sees only one thing-he has the chance to save his daughter. He can't talk to the police or FBI. He doesn't know whom he can trust. And the authorities are closing in on a new suspect: Marc himself.
However, as they continue to dig deeper, an unbelievable deception is revealed.
The review of this Book prepared by Boppy

Dutton, May 2003, 24.95, 352 pp.
ISBN 0525947299

Renowned plastic surgeon Marc Seidman wakes up in the intensive care unit after being in a coma for twelve days to learn that his wife was murdered and his six year old daughter Tara is missing. The FBI and the local police are on the case but so far there are no ransom demands. On the day that he is to be released from the hospital, his father-in-law asks Marc to visit him.

His father-in-law gives Marc a ransom note with instructions from the kidnapper that he must follow if he wants to see his daughter again. Marc gives two million-dollars in money supplied by his father-in-law to the kidnappers but they spot the police tail and escape. Eighteen months later, the kidnappers call his father-in-law again to repeat the process. Marc intends to handle the situation by himself, but ex-FBI agent Rachel Mills plans to help the man she loves get back his daughter. The two of them uncover a conspiracy much greater than a missing child scenario.

NO SECOND CHANCE is a fascinating roller-coaster ride of chills, thrills and non-stop action, so much so that readers will want to read the book in one sitting so they can find out just exactly what is going on. Harlan Coben uses the art of misdirection perfectly so that after awhile hope and dread run together leaving the protagonist totally confused about what his next step should be. This superb multi-layered story uses the first person narrative so that readers know just how Marc helpless feels and their hearts go out to him as he faces every parent's worst nightmare.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of No Second Chance

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   escape/rescue from kidnappers Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   breaking up gang

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   wealthy

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Harlan Coben Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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