Third degree

Greg Iles

Book - 2007

A tale spanning a traumatic single day follows Liz Pike, who awakens in her small-town home to discover her husband frantically preparing for what he claims is an IRS audit, but she soon realizes that he has discovered the truth about her affair with another man.

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FICTION/Iles, Greg
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Subjects
Published
New York : Scribner 2007.
Edition
1st Scribner hardcover ed
Language
English
Physical Description
385 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781416524540
0743292502
9780743292504
Main Author
Greg Iles (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Iles has written several very good novels, but this one might be his best. On the surface, it seems like a simple story: a man, suspecting his wife of having an affair, holds her (and, later, their children) hostage in their home until she confesses or he pulls the identity of the other man out of her computer, whichever comes first. But this is actually a deeply complex novel, full of subplots, multifaceted characters, and subtle dramatic shadings (even the title can be interpreted three ways, depending on where you are in the book). Dr. Warren Shields disintegrates right before our eyes as he repeatedly tries and fails to pull the name of his wife's lover out of her, and his wife, Laurel, sinks ever deeper into despair as she tries to talk her way out of a potentially fatal situation, all the while keeping to herself a secret that could save her life. The plot is extremely intricate, growing ever more elaborate as the story progresses, until, in its final scenes, the novel isn't a hostage story anymore, it's a story of love and tragedy and madness. Iles works several interesting plot twists over the course of the story and introduces a few characters who seem to be peripheral until they reveal their real purposes. It's a novel that demands—and rewards—more than one reading. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

It's bad enough that Liz thinks she may be pregnant by the lover she has reluctantly abandoned. Now she realizes that her husband has discovered the affair-and he's holding a gun. With a national tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

While not as twisty as True Evil (2006), bestseller Iles's new thriller injects both depth and novelty into a genre convention—the jealous husband who's tipped off to his wife's infidelity. When Laurel Shields, a 35-year-old mother of two, discovers she's pregnant, she can't be sure her physician husband, Warren, is the father. Meanwhile, Warren is in trouble with the IRS. Laurel believes his obsessive search for a document in their Athens Point, Miss., home is related to a federal Medicaid fraud investigation focusing on his medical partner, Kyle Auster. As the Feds prepare to swoop down on Warren and Kyle's office to collect the evidence of false billings and bribes to patients without any actual illnesses, Warren takes Laurel and their two children hostage. Iles squeezes every drop of suspense out of the prolonged standoff between the doctor and the police. While the ending may be a little too pat to be plausible, Iles avoids turning Warren into a clichd bad guy by making his descent into madness understandable. (Nov.) [Page 41]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A tale spanning a traumatic single day follows the experiences of thirty-five-year-old Liz Pike, who awakens in her idyllic small-town home to discover her husband frantically preparing for what he claims is an IRS audit, but she soon realizes that he has discovered the truth about her affair with another man. Reprint.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A tale spanning a traumatic single day follows Laurel Shields, who awakens in her small-town home to discover her husband frantically preparing for what he claims is an IRS audit, but she soon realizes that he has discovered the truth about her affair with another man.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Sometimes the gravest dangers -- and the darkest souls -- live right beside us.... In the span of twenty-four hours, every-thing Laurel Shields believes about her life and her marriage to a prominent doctor will be shattered -- if she survives a terrifying ordeal. The day begins with the jarring discovery that, soon after ending an affair, Laurel is pregnant. But when she returns home to find her husband ashen, unkempt, and on the brink of violence, a nightmare quickly unfolds. In the heart of an idyllic Mississippi town, behind the walls of her perfect house, Laurel finds herself locked in a volatile standoff with a husband she barely recognizes. Confronted with evidence of her betrayal, she must tread a deadly path between truth and deception while a ring of armed police prepares a dangerous rescue. But Laurel's greatest fear -- and her only hope -- lies with her former lover, a brave man whom fate has granted the power to save both Laurel and her children -- if she can protect his identity long enough....