The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon

The Real Michael Swann

Bryan Reardon

Part family drama, part tragic love story, and part disaster narrative, The Real Michael Swann is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart.

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“A twisting, heart-wrenching journey into a marriage, a gripping thriller . . . Reardon grabs his readers on page one, then deftly ratchets up the suspense until the breathless ending.”—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author

Julia Swann, mother of two young boys, is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly cuts out. It isn’t until later in the evening when she discovers that something terrible has happened at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home.  

Julia races to New York City to look for Michael, her panicked searching interwoven with memories of meeting and falling in love with the husband she’s now desperate to find. When someone finds a flyer she’s posted and tells her they may have seen her husband, her prayers seem to be answered. Yet as she tries to find him, her calls go unanswered. Did Michael survive? If so, why hasn’t he contacted her? Was he—or is he still—the man she fell in love with?  

Part family drama, part tragic love story, The Real Michael Swann is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart, challenging us to confront the unthinkable—both in our country and in our own homes.

“Reardon masterfully delivers an intimate, heartbreaking portrayal of a family whose love, trust, and loyalty for each other is put to the ultimate test.”—Rhiannon Navin, author of Only Child

Advance Galley Reviews

Exciting page turner with a plot that is refreshing and different. On the surface it seems that this will be another terrorist attack story as we have all seen it done before, but it was such a nice surprise to find that was not the case. Page turner that reads fast and has a great finish.

This is a fast paced and timely story that I just couldn’t put down! Julia was someone I loved and instantly related to. Some of the scenarios were a little implausible, but honestly, the plot was so exciting, to me that didn’t matter. This is a fantastic thriller that’s a perfect summer read!

This was quite the interesting read. It had me guessing the whole time. I would definitely recommend this one!

This was a very different take on this genre. I would recommend this to anyone whole loves thrillers.

I definitely need to read more thrillers. This one was a well done ride. There was plenty about this that I enjoyed. I would definitely recommend it.

The events of this book take place after a major tragedy where Julia is desperately searching for her husband, Michael. This was a pretty intense book that felt so realistic. Julia, in particular, is a character that I could connect with. The flashbacks to earlier in their marriage really worked to develop the story and although there were parts that didn't surprise me - the ending was pretty surprising. Recommended read.

This book was thrilling! I couldn't put it down until I reached the end, hurtling along with Julia to find her husband. A very realistic psychological page-turner, I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading more by Bryan Reardon. The characters were so true to life, and I felt like this could happen to anyone, even myself, or my next door neighbors.

I love reading thrillers and this was such an enjoyable intense thriller. I just couldn’t put it down it was really good. The author had me hook, he is such a talented writer. Great book!

This was an enjoyable thriller with a terrifyingly realistic premise in today's world. The story started out a little slow for me but once the action picked up I was flying through the pages to find out what happened next. I really liked the characters and found them engaging, especially Julia. And just when I thought I had figured everything out, I definitely did not see that twist at the end coming. This is the first book by Bryan Reardon that I have read and I will definitely look for more of his books.

I would have loved to read this but my download expired. I then emailed asking for a new link, received one but it said another user is using this and wouldn't work. I then emailed 2 more times but received no response.

I agree with what others have said, it was a little slow in the beginning but once the pieces were in place it was completely unputdownable. Great book!

The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon was a great read. It started a little slow for me. It took me a few chapters to get into the flow of what was happening. Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband Michael who is in New York City. The phone suddenly cuts out. Julia later finds out there was a bomb that went off and Michael was there. She is frantic to find him. The book takes off from here, going back and forth in time. All in all, it was a fun, exciting read! Thanks to First To Read for allowing me to read the ARC of this book.

Michael and Julia Swann are talking on the phone, while he is waiting for a train home from Penn Station, when a bomb explodes. The rest of the book is told in alternating chapters by the injured Michael, who feels the need to run away for reasons he does not understand, and Julia who is desperate to find her husband. There are flashbacks to how the couple originally got together and there is some discussion about white middle class dissatisfaction in the age of Trump but really nothing happens in this book except a lot of driving and text messaging. I guessed the big twist in the book early on and kept reading only to confirm that I was correct. This author needs to learn that making the chapters of his book one page long does not increase the tension or momentum in a book that has none, and it's a tired device. That was the trick the author tried at the end of this book and it did nothing to salvage a story that was flat and repetitive. The epilogue added nothing to the story. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

I had a hard time with this book. It is not my normal genre and I failed with this book. The story line got on my nerves. I found myself time after time wanting to just smack Michael. I have to be able to become part of the book and I didn't. I am sure if this style of book is what you like then you will love it. Me not so much

The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon is a novel that is utterly chilling in its realistic prose. It is not only the unthinkable experience of one family, but a rather bleak reality of our times, that leaves no one unscathed in its wake.Not the community the family lives in, the east coast, the whole of the U.S., and definitely not the reader experiencing this harrowing tale. When a bomb goes off in Penn station the world of Michael Swann, his wife Julia Swann, and their 2 young boys is blown to pieces, never again to be the same. The devastating consequences play out in the narrative through Julia's current circumstances, Michael's new status as a survivor of a major catastrophe, and the couples memories through Julia's interpretation of their past together. The pages fly, as each section is super short, sometimes only a page in length, but always filled with information that pushes you forward through the rubble that is now their lives, and to the mammoth discovery of a tragic truth of epic porportions. Of all the things I thought and wondered, mainly: how are they going to get through this, how are they going to do that, how can this end,.... I never saw what happened coming, not in the least, and when it did I had chills. Overwhelming feelings surged through me throughout the whole novel, and I must admit I was close to crying more than a couple times and actually did once. This novel is different than most, it's not a cheap thrill type of read. It's something that bouroughs deep into the soul, it reaches into our society pulls out the ugly truth and puts it's nasty vileness in your face. It is at once frightening, tragic, haunting, and painful. Deeply mesmerizing and filled to the brim with almost every feeling there is. The Real Michael Swann is filled with hope and devastation, truth and brutality, love and loss, and the closeup of one family's struggle through it all; as well as the world's struggle with fear and hate, and all of the hell encompassed within those two words. Bryan Reardon's created world is a realistic mirror of our own, has a mega twist within its pages that will chill you to the bone, and is ultimately a lesson in which all of us need to be aware of and learn from, and so it should be read by everyone.My advice is do not miss this one! Asap pick up a copy of The Real Michael Swann. I am touched by this amazing novel and feel honored to have had an opportunity to read it through Penguin First to Read.

What would any of us do if a family member was involved in a mass disaster or a victim of mass violence? Do we wait for the inevitable news or do we plunge ourselves into the depths of the chaos? What do we tell the children? What do we tell each other? What will we find in the end? These questions and more are meticulously portrayed by the realistic characters in this timely tale created by Reardon.

This was an interesting novel to read. I definitely enjoyed it and the story is something I have never read before. I found the latter half of the novel to be more suspenseful than the first half. It's a bit predictable, but still a solid novel. It's very emotional when the novel flashes back on Julia and Michael's relationship. It's heartbreaking at times and very engaging. I'm glad I had an opportunity to read this.

A quick read and a story from nightmares. The first half of the book was a bit slow, I wasn't sure if I would be satisfied at the end of the book. However, the end of the story was really well written, to me it was unexpected. I couldn't put the book down till I was done. I would love to read the next books by this author. Thank you for providing us a free copy of the book!

This book was good. It was well written with with great character and plot development. You could feel the anguish of Julia as the story progressed and imagine yourself in her position at each stage. I liked how the book went between the two main characters as well as gave glimpses of the past and how Michael and Julia met and fell in love. But...I felt the story and conclusion was just a bit predictable; while there were twists and turns and it was interesting, the ending did not surprise me. Don't get me wrong, I'm still glad that I read this book and would recommend it. I felt the subplots—the political upheaval, (the fear of) terror attacks, etc.—where pretty spot on for living in the States right now. I very much liked how the book concluded with how we have to stop hating each other.

Michael Swann, who is in New York City, is talking to his wife Julia on his cell phone. The phone call goes dead and Julia learns that a bomb has gone off. Julia rushes out to the car and tries desperately to get into the city to find Michael but is stopped by police barricades. She keeps trying to text and call Robert but there’s no response. Then developments are revealed by the news media that prove devastating to Julia. I thought this was a particularly interesting premise. As always, I don’t like to give away too much of the plot and leave it to the author to tell his story so I can’t explain why the premise is an unusual one since the publisher isn’t mentioning it in their blurb about the book. Leave it to say there is more involved than a wife trying to find her husband during a possible terrorist attack. While I did figure out quite early what was happening, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book at all. At the heart of the book is the love story of Michael and Julia. As Julia tries to find Michael or at least get some news about him, she relives their life together. It’s a beautifully and realistically told story. There’s a point more than half way into the book where it becomes very suspenseful. I wouldn’t consider this one a thriller overall but more of a character study. I liked the author’s book, “Finding Jake”, and his newest effort didn’t disappoint. The story pulled me in and I became invested in the characters’ plight. Recommended.

From the very beginning I was sucked into the story. A few times I thought I had figured out what was going to happen but then a new twist was thrown into the mix and I was left wondering what was going to happen. I never saw the ending coming and was floored when it was revealed. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from Bryan Reardon.

What a compelling and engaging book! I am so glad to have had the opportunity from First to Read in exchange for a review. I could not put it down and finished it in one sitting. An emotional roller coaster with an ending I could not guess coming. Typical of our times that public interest is swayed so easily and quick to place the blame without enough evidence. The Epilogue is quite good and something every reader should see. I would recommend this book for book clubs.

I DNF this book due to lack of time. I did enjoy what I was able to read. I was slightly confused as to what was going on and who was who, but it started to clear up as the plot moved along. I would probably pick this book up to finish it in the future.

The Real Michael Swann gives the reader a painful firsthand view of a family devastated by a terrorist attack. Julia and Michael Swann seemed to have the ideal life: lovely family, pretty house in a desirable neighborhood, and a strong marriage. As the pages unfold, though, author Bryan Reardon unveils the truth behind the facade. Ultimately, this story reads like consecutive episodes of 24. I could almost imagine Kiefer Sutherland as Michael Swann. The play-by-play narrative became tedious, but alternating perspectives helped to balance the scale. The reader can't help but put herself in Julia's position. Which friends would stand by me? Who would I call? What would I tell my children? Whose side is the government really on? The story also takes a hard look at the things people say, and how statements can be skewed out of context. Public opinion is so easily swayed, and that idea becomes a strong part of The Real Michael Swann.

When Michael Swann calls his wife from Penn Station to let he know that he will be delayed, their call is cut off when a bomb detonates in the station. Julia is desperate to discover the fate of her husband and frantically heads to New York. Flyers that she posts near the station result in a call claiming that he has been sighted. Bryan Reardon’s emotional story follows a man with a head injury who only knows that his name is Michael Swann from the ID in his briefcase and a call from Julia on his phone. As Julia searches for her husband, Reardon explores their relationship from their first meeting to the present day. Their story is one of love and support, but when Michael is named as a person of interest in the bombing some doubts begin to creep in, making Julia more determined to find her husband before the authorities. This is a story of love, friendship, family dynamics and the effects of tragedy on these relationships. It is an emotional roller coaster that had me anxiously turning the pages to learn the fate of this family and to find out who Michael Swann really is.

Slow-moving for a thriller...

What a thrill! From the first page to the last, I was hooked. Reardon beautifully implants the reader into the middle of an overwhelming tragedy, all the while keeping them guessing until the bitter end. Full of suspense, dread, love and ultimately hope, this book forces the reader to face their fears regarding the ever-present possibility of unthinkable violence, while also reminding us of the good that can be found in the world even while surrounded by tragedy and despair. It's message regarding our responsibility to love and care for one another is one that we all ought to take to heart, and which will hopefully resonate with readers.

Very fast paced and emotional read! I would definitely recommend. Sadly, the plot is very believable. I definitely felt Julia's pain. While I saw the end coming, it was still heartbreaking. Thanks First to Read for my advance copy!

The premise of this book is terrific: a phone call between spouses is cut off and shortly after, it is apparent that an explosion occurred where the husband was located. Is he alive? Dead? Involved in the bombing? That said, the book itself is quite uneven. It spends too much time in a repetitive story line of Julia trying to find her husband. These scenes could be utilize to build tension, but they ultimately just end up being boring. And some of the chapters are so short that the back and forth narratives become overly choppy. The pace and tension really aren't there until the last 1/3-1/4 of the book. Also, the central "mystery" in the book was fairly obvious to me, leading to no surprises. While it would make a great movie, there just wasn't enough there for a novel.

Finally! A book I couldn’t wait to get back to! At some points in the book you may suspect, but you’ll still wonder how. This book was a refreshing read, but not in the sense that it left you feeling refreshed. It brings to light what we all think and despair of in the time we are living in. I can honestly say, I hope this book is dated and will not be relevant one day. (Sorry, Mr. Reardon.) However, until that day I think this book is a must read. I apologize for the sentences ending in a preposition, but I’m not an author and not being graded, so...

I couldn’t put this one down! It’s a quick read but very engaging. I also never saw the twist at the end coming, so that was nice. Solid writing and a very enjoyable book.

This was a really great book. I loved how it went back and forth in time to Julia and Michael's past and the present. I admired the character development and was really not expecting what happened at the end. I will be looking for more books from this author in the future. I will be recommending this to others. Thanks for the ARC, First to Read!

What a great book! This book starts off very quickly and continues that way to the end! I truly could not put this book down. I found this to be a very well written book with great characters. I look forward to reading works by this author in the future.

4.5 stars. The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon is a tautly plotted, fast-paced and suspenseful novel. Julia Swann is not overly concerned about the fact that her husband Michael’s train from New York’s Penn Station has been delayed. She is, however, mildly worried when their phone call abruptly ends and she cannot get through to him. Panic sets in with the tragic announcement that a bomb has gone off in Penn Station. Unable to wait at home for news about Michael’s fate, Julia sets off in search of her husband. The investigation into the bombing moves at a rapid pace and the stunning announcemnt that Michael is Homeland Security’s chief suspect in the bombing sends shock waves through Julia’s family and their neighbors. Her certainty in his innocence slightly wavers as her recollections of her husband’s behavior throughout their courtship and marriage are tested by recent memories of his drastically altered behavior and opinions. Could Michael’s desperation driven him to such an uncharacteristic act of domestic terrorism? As Julia frantically tries to locate Michael, a survivor of the blast whose memories are lost due to a head wound feels disconnected from the seemingly irrefutable evidence of his identity. Driven by an inexplicable instinct to immediately leave Penn Station, he wanders around the city in a daze. He is desperate to return to the address found on the driver’s license he finds inside his briefcase and he soon sets off on his journey home. Despite his lack of memories, intuition leads him to avoid public scrutiny once he becomes aware Michael Swann is wanted in connection with the bombing. Despite Homeland Security’s best efforts to convince Julia of Michael’s guilt, she remains steadfast in her belief in his innocence. With the help of her mother, Julia anxiously escapes from the agents trying to use her to lure Michael to them. Thanks to the extensive media coverage, she has a general idea of his whereabouts and she recklessly tries to reach him before Homeland Security captures him. Will Julia find Michael before the authorities take him into custody? The Real Michael Swann is an electrifying novel that could easily have been ripped from today’s headlines. Julia is a complex, well-developed lead protagonist whose faith in her husband’s innocence is nearly unshakable. Although savvy readers will most likely have a good idea what awaits Julia as she hurdles toward finding Michael before Homeland Security, Bryan Reardon brings the novel to a pulse-pounding, tension-filled conclusion that is full of clever plot twists.

This is definitely a fast read. I'm usually able to spot the big twist and this time I didn't, so that was nice. This isn't great literature but it would be a good book to read on vacation.

This does a pretty good job holding back key information for the twist, though of course that makes for a few odd aspects, such as the ability to track a cell phone, or why a brand new housing community had older people selling to leave. Overall, this is very fast-paced, and speaks to the knee-jerk reactions and sensationalism of our political and media environment. It moves along and gives plenty of red herrings and uncertainty to keep things moving.

More of a dramatic domestic mystery than the fast-paced psychological thriller befitting its original description, from the book's awkward pacing to the author's uneven narrative approach, regardless of the genre, I'm afraid that The Real Michael Swann didn't hold my attention for long.

This was my first read by Bryan Reardon, and I enjoyed the book. The story alternates between the perspectives of Julia and Michael Swann, and gives insight into how the story unfolds for them. The plot unfolded nicely, but no real twists and turns, as the ending was very predictable. I would give the book a rating of three out of five....a good read, but it didn’t knock my socks off.

The thrillers I've read recently have left me feeling incredibly underwhelmed. Given the intriguing synopsis of THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN, however, I had high hopes that this would be the game-changer, something that would finally dazzle me. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, as THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN wasn't the book for me. I didn't find it particularly exciting. I was able to see the big twist coming from miles away, and it also didn't help that I couldn't get into the writing style. It was very cut-and-dry, leaving me feel like I barely knew the characters even after over 300 pages. THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN alternates between two perspectives: Julia Swann and a man assumed to be Michael Swann. Neither perspective truly jumped out at me, and I found the mixing of first and third person to be awkward. I didn't find Julia to be all that likable or interesting, and I disliked how she was always leaving her children behind to follow a clue that may or may not pan out. I think Julia was supposed to come off as this strong, brave woman who'd risk everything for the man she loved; however, I never felt that way about her. The bond between her and her husband wasn't very strong, and I couldn't feel the chemistry between them, even with the numerous flashbacks to their monumental as a couple. Honestly, it seemed as if they settled by marrying each other, and what I disliked the most was how Julia put her career goals aside to appease Michael. It just didn't seem like a healthy relationship, and because of that, how could I truly root for Julia to find her husband, to stand behind him even when the press began to attack him? Michael Swann's perspective was also hard to get through. There was little development, and while I knew his perspective was supposed to be mysterious and twisty, I also didn't get that feeling. More times than one I skimmed his parts. THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN primarily focuses on the aftermath of a terrorist attack in NYC as well as what the attack means for the Swann's marriage. I found the opening of this book to be the best part. I liked how "perfect" everything seemed at first, like any other ordinary day. It created a sense of eeriness, one that only increased as a brief chapter was included from the terrorist's perspective. It made me excited to see what would come next. As the book progressed, though, the book became less and less interesting. I didn't find Julia's wild goose chase to be all that exciting, especially when the majority of it involved her just driving back and forth to the tunnels, only to be turned away. There was also an anticlimactic feel to the big hunt that developed near the end. The book felt so stretched out at that point that I just wanted a conclusion already. I will say, however, that I did like the different news commentary included. It was interesting to see Bryan include what the different news outlets were saying about the attacks, as it rung true to what's said in the news everyday. Overall, THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN wasn't my sped for a variety of reasons. I wish I had liked it more. It does contain an intriguing premise, one that I think would make for an interesting movie; however, the characters and the plot execution brought the book down considerably in my opinion.

This is my first book by Bryan Reardon but it certainly won't be my last. I spent most of the day yesterday reading The Real Michael Swann - once I started it, I couldn't put it down. It's a tense drama and a story about love within a family and friends. This is one that you don't want to miss! Julia is on the phone with her husband Michael who wanted to let her know that trains out of Penn Station were being delayed. When the call gets dropped, she is concerned but her panic soon sets in when there is a TV bulletin that a bomb had gone off in Penn Station and many were dead and injured. She leaves her two sons with a friend and tries to drive to NYC to see if she can find her husband only to be turned away because no traffic was being allowed into the city. The entire situation gets even worse and her house is surrounded by the media because her husband is being accused of being the bomber. Interspersed with chapters on Julia's quest to find her husband are flashback chapters to when they met and fell in love. The race for Julia to find her husband and clear his name makes this a real page turner. I loved this book. I thought that Julia was a well written character and her life with her husband and family were very real - flaws and all. The plot of the novel was very believable in today's world and the book was fantastic. Thanks to First to Read for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

The Real Michael Swann was my first read from Bryan Reardon We meet Michael and his wife, Julia, at the moment of a massive bombing at Penn Station. The reader is then taken backward through their relationship via Julia's POV while having interspersed chapters that are happening in the minutes/day post bomb attack. The chapters are short and it's easy to follow which POV from which we are examining the events. Reardon keeps the pace moving quickly; the chapters giving us the relationship/family background don't detract. This book isn't a 'thriller' it's a look at the traumatic effects of massive violence and loss of life from the standpoint of the wife, family and friends that are left wondering what's happened and how to grapple with this new world and ask the questions about how well we know the people in our daily lives. I did see the 'twist' of this book very early on, but it is still very enjoyable to see how all the characters end up.

Julia Swann is at her suburban Pennsylvania home talking on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the phone goes dead. A bomb goes off at Penn Station where Michael has been waiting to catch a train ride home. Seeing horrific images of the chaos on the news and unable to get a hold of Michael, Julia is desperate to find him. But just when she thinks her prayers are answered and Michael is alive, she starts to question if she really knew her husband at all. So the story certainly grips you almost right away and doesn't let go until the end. I liked how the author did the back and forth perspectives of the characters as it made for a more tense, but in a good way, read. I think the book really plays into the whole notion of can you ever truly know someone? While the big climatic scenes were a bit disappointing, I did like how the story was wrapped up in the epilogue. Even though the book has some flaws, it is still a fun ride and I recommend to fans of the suspense genre. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

The Real Michael Swann was an exceptional read! I was captivated from the first page. It was so suspenseful and traumatic. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! So much deceit and drama, you never know who to trust! It was a mind-blowing read that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

This was a fun book to read. It had me on the edge of my seat almost from the first page and was suspenseful and fast paced. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers! Thanks for the opportunity to get this as an advanced copy!

The Real Michael Swann is a study of a married couple separated by a terrorist bombing at Penn Station which leaves Michael wandering around with amnesia and Julia home with the kids desperately trying to figure out what happened to Michael. It is a study of their emotions and their frustration. Don't think of this as a thriller. It isn't. It is rather slow moving and kind of like viewing the world through a fishbowl.

Fast paced read with twists and turns. Julia searches for her husband and answers to questions that arise after the bombing, while protecting their two sons. As the story continues and facts come to light, more troubling questions emerge.

Thanks to firsttoread for a copy to read and review. My first thought is Wow....after finishing this book and blubbering through the last chapter. I wasn't prepared for such an epic read, and I think I'm still reeling from the shock of it. Five stars of entertainment of course and this is not a regular kind of read for me. I may need to buy a copy of this to share with friends it was so good. ******************************************* So this book opens up a lot of ideas to think about. Like what would you do if someone you loved was accused of being a terrorist. How well do you know everyone in your life? How well do you trust them? How far would you go to save them? This book takes a real good look at how defenseless we are against the media and the police. The book looks forward and then backwards to the life of Micheal and Julia Swann. Married, two kids, and suburb living. A brush fire holds all trains at Penn station, and while Micheal is waiting for the train a bomb is detonated. The book goes through what Julia experiences as she tries to get into a locked down city, and how she does what she can to find Micheal Swann. Political opinions are spewed, and the topic of how easily everyone is offended is approached in what I consider a tasteful way. There are pinnacle moments in this book that are both shocking and disturbing. It casts shades of grey on the police force as they look for Micheal Swann. This is a really great story but so close to the truth that I consider it shocking. Where are we without our rights? I blubbered through the ending, I'm not proud when I cry at the end but I do know that this book moved me. I hope to enjoy more books by this author. Thanks for allowing me this to read.

The fast pace of this book made it difficult to put down. I was hooked from the beginning. The events and feelings discussed are very current. I liked the plot told from two different voices, Julia's and Michael's. Really did not see the end coming. Would definitely recommend!

I really liked this most of this book, but I felt cheated by the ending. To me it was just too implausible. It was a compelling read for the most part. The plot was very interesting, although the author spent too much time preaching about the current divisive state of our political consciousness. That part didn't feel organic. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Thanks to First to Read- Penguin Books USA for the free copy of this book. Fast paced thriller. Story was well crafted and well written. The author touched on real and possible events and how humans react to them. Julia the main character was well done.The supporting characters, maybe not so much, but the reactions they had to Julia's situation was so typical and so human. Julia's need to protect her children was touching, and very maternal. Did not see the twist in the story at all, and the ending added just a bit more mystery to the story. Enjoyed the book.

Thank you for the opportunity to read the Real Michael Swann. I could not put this book down. What a ride. We live in a world where terroist attacks, shootings, and bombings happen more than ever - but we are still removed from them to some degree. Michael and Julia Swann live a good life - they have a great family, good job, lovely home, friends and neighbors they like, and they are comfortable. But they have made sacrifices to get where they are and one of them is that Michael must travel to New York every day. Long hours and a long commute, but they make it work. Until one day... Penn Station is blown up and Julia is speaking to Michael on his cell as it happens. Slowly her world collapses and Julia is frantic because Michael was in Penn Station when the bomb went off. Julia desperately makes a move to go to New York to find her husband - strangely the police help her - more than she ever expected. Then suddenly, the newspapers state that Michael Swann is the main suspect in the bombing and Julia's world explodes again. I really liked this novel - written well and sometimes heartbreakingly real. Defintely one of the best books in 2018 - RECOMMEND!!!

This was a very fast paced thriller that sucks you in right from the start. It is told from alternating narratives of Julia and Michael, who the former was in the terrorisr blast amd lost his memory. Julia believes he is alive and is searching for him while rhe police believe he had something to do with the blast and they are searching for him too. You race through the story and what an ending! If you are a fan of Michel Connelly, like i am, you will enjoy this book

A well crafted relationship thriller set on the Eastern Seaboard in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on Penn Station in New York. The Swanns are an average suburban family, with two sons, living in Pennsylvania. Micheal is in NYC for a job interview, and communicating with his wife when his Amtrak train home is delayed by a brush fire. One of the phone calls is interrupted mid-sentence, and eventually it becomes clear to Julia that something is very wrong. What follows are alternating narratives of Julia and Micheal (who awakes after the blast confused and injured, unsure of who he is). It becomes a chase story of sorts, as Julia tries to locate MIcheal, with and without the help of authorities. The one 'bone' I would pick would be some of the side characters were not as well developed as the mains, especially as the novel wound up. We received Julia's thoughts on some people, but they were a bit to sparse as to the motivations and personalities of those she dealt with. Still, a very entertaining read. Would recommend for fans of Baldacci, Connelly, and similar high stakes, chase-like thrillers.

WOW - I could not put this book down. What an engrossing story from start to finish. Julia Swann is talking to her husband when the phone goes dead. Then she sees there has been an explosion where here husband was. The story then takes you on the ride of whether her husband is dead or still alive but missing. You get good back story which shows you how much they love each other. Many twists and turns keep you in suspense until the ending, and, about that ending. What a surprise. Highly recommend this book.

This story draws you into a suspenseful thriller with high emotional swings. Julia Swann fears her husband is missing or dead during an attack on Penn Station. From the beginning the point of view switches between Julia's and Michael's as we are taken through the lengths she will go to get to him when it's revealed he's been seen alive and worse he's considered a suspect. She phones him desperately and connects once but there is no sound. Some of the action is over the top and there is a lot of relevant discussion of the hate and intolerance currently pervading our society. The beginning sets up the twist at the end. Recommend.


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