Cover Image: The Victim

The Victim

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Member Reviews

A great mystery that kept me interested until the very end. An easy story to follow and greatly developed characters make this a favorite.

Synopsis: When public relations executive Gem Golding becomes the victim of a carjacking at the hands of a dangerous criminal bent on her destruction, she must make a choice: Does she surrender to her attacker, or does she stand her ground and fight for her life? What follows are the two strands Gem’s life can take, and the chain of causes and effects that leads to Gem’s survival...or her eventual demise.
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Cleverly well written thought out plot. It hooks you from the beginning. What would happen if you made a different decision than the current one m, and what are the consequences? Well that’s the journey you’ll be on with this dual plot timeline which I think is fascinating.
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The task of repopulating the senior library has been an exciting and daunting task aS in a boarding school our aim is to encourage all members of the community to read. Because of this, I have been searching down a wide and diverse range of books to read that will entice a wide cross-section of the school to come in, browse and find books that they love. 
Books like this will ensure that the senior students in the school see the library as a diverse, modern and exciting place with books that speak to them and they want to recommend to their friends, classmates, teachers and tutors.
It is an engrossing and exciting read with fully-formed characters and a plot that ensures that it's hard to look away. It is as far from formulaic as it is possible to be and kept me up far too late in order to finish it. I immediately wanted to read all of this writer's other books as I loved their voice and found that it really drew me into the story and made me think about it even when I'd stepped away from this tale. 
This is a thought-provoking read which I'm sure will be a popular and well-read addition to our new library; I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to read it and I know that the students are going to absolutely love it too!
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The premise of this book was so original! This tells the story of Gem, who got carjacked. One part is Fight - where she fights off her attacker. The second part is Surrender - an alternate timeline where she submits to her attacker. It's so interesting to see the two timelines, to see what is fate and what is brought on by her actions. 

The only reason this wasn't a 5 star for me was because at times I got confused about which timeline I was reading - especially if I had to put the book down in the middle of a chapter. However, this was a quick, entertaining read. I would recommend it to all thriller lovers! 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read and review this title. I will review this title at a different date.
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I really liked this psychological thriller I received via Netgalley. The MC was really scary and the victim was a solid person trying to hang in there. Great story telling and excellent thriller.
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The Victim by Max Manning was a very interestingly written book. It is both a strength and a weakness. The way that the book goes back and forth with 2 different decisions causing 2 very different outcomes is an interesting and novel approach but also makes the book somewhat complex and confusing. Adding to that the reactions and point of views of so many people makes it more confusing. Such a small decision can vary what happens for the rest of your life. In practice this can be very true. 
I think that this writer is excellent however perhaps this concept of styling was a little too ambitious for most readers to enjoy. 
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for furnishing an advance copy to me to honestly review.
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This book didn't grab me like I was hoping. I was left feeling a little deflated, almost as if it didn't matter what I had read. feeling a bit sad about it, was really looking forward to this.
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I received an advance digital copy of this book from the author, publisher and Netgalley.com. Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

There are many many books told in a multiple POVs. The concept of alternating between victim and assailant was interesting but poorly written and executed.  Characters felt flat and one dimensional. The book took the suspension of disbelief and threw it out the window. 

1 out of 5 stars. Do not recommend.
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This is a great book. I love they way Max writes and just keeps you so busy, but not so busy that you can’t keep track of the characters. They say to watch out for Karma and there was a few in this book that Karma got her revenge on LOL. Thanks for a great story Max!!
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Fight or Flight?



Thank you Max Manning the publisher and NetGalley for my digital arc of The Victim. While I believe the author took artistic risks in the way he structured this book I had like many other readers a hard time following certain aspects. It made for an interesting read and added to the psychological factor of the story. Whether you think it works is a complete personal matter and honestly this might be the first arc that I have been given that I wish I had the actual book to better be able to go back and forth from chapter to chapter.  I will say I loved the concept of Fight or Surrender it has a way of pulling you in what makes it more challenging is that there are far too many chapters and far too many points of views to keep straight and my fear with that for other readers is that most read for enjoyment and not to feel that reading is a task. I will however say that if you give this a chance you will find that Manning takes the time to be insightful as he explores all aspects of the characters personalities. Take Gem for example she feels others judge her based on her actions during the carjacking. And guess what? She’s right. One of the positive aspects of the multiple viewpoints is that we see how various people interpret her actions. The police try not to judge yet you get the impression they do anyway. The reporter is only interested when she is the strong warrior setting an example for others. The attacker in his delusional state of being takes her fear and makes it something horrid. All I kept thinking while reading this book  is that quote by Robert Frost “Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
In this case would it make a difference thought? 
My highlights of this book are the insights into the psychology of the attack and response While the plot is suspenseful, I think it would be an error of judgement to try to read The Victim as a straight-forward suspense novel. While it is beautifully packaged that way this one takes time an energy to get straight in your head. I know that many people will say that this is not worth the time. Even though I am a little late to the party with my review I will happily disagree and pick up another Max Manning book in the future.
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An attack turned carjacking leaves Gem fearful. As the police investigation reveals more than she suspected, Gem become determined to not live the life of a victim. I received an ARC, so I expect that the chapters being out of sync were resolved in the final copy. This made the story hard to follow, with dead characters alive in alternate chapters. With this resolved, this is a fun to read thriller. Thank you to the publisher Sourcebooks Landmark for offering this story through NetGalley.
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I quite enjoyed the concept of a mystery book having alternating chapters about what a victim could have done when they find themselves in a dangerous situation. Unfortunately the execution of this style wasnt the greatest I've ever read. With the added multiple perspectives it made it too confusing and hard to follow when it could have kept the suspense and it could have been a book which kept me hooked rather than making me want put it down every time a new perspective was introduced unnecessarily.
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This has a very interesting plot.  Seeing how just one change can vastly change the situation and how the characters react.  But also at the same time how some things are inevitable.  I really liked how to talked about how people react differently to traumatic situations and that we should not judge that.
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I love a mystery thriller and it's probably my favorite genre to read.   Max Manning certainly put a different spin on this thriller.   This story is told in 2 parallel stories both with the same characters, world, and situation; however, with different "what if" scenarios.    Gem is walking to her car when she is attacked.   The 2 different stories are her either becoming the victim or the media hero.  I really enjoyed reading this parallel story and the fact that Max Manning did not try to persuade you one way or the other.  It did take me a few chapters to catch onto to this reading style.  Usually in a parallel story it is 2 different characters and perspectives.   Each chapter alternates in telling the story and it reads pretty fast because the chapters are short.   There are so many surprises along the way that totally throw off your thinking and the outcome that you want.   You meet various other characters from Gem's husband, Drew, the detective and the villain.   It was a fun way to read a story and a fun way to look at 2 different endings.  Do they come together at the end?  Do they intertwine?   You will have to read it to find out!   I would really rate this book at 3 1/2 to almost 4 stars!

I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
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I am still not sure what to believe did her boyfriend really set her up?  I feel like Norton tries to be Joe from the book "You" but terribly fails because he isn't as wonderfully written as Joe. I loved the detectives on this Case and just love British crime novels in general so 3 stars just for that fact.  Gem is a great character and loved her determination not to be controlled in her life and still fighting to have the job she loves. I think the reason I did not like the book was the formatting of the chapters if done differently I would have loved it more.
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The Victim by Max Manning was intriguing and uniquely different. It was written using two different strands of the same story. This book explores the 'what if's' - what if I had done something else, or how would following an alternative course of action have made my life any different if I had made another choice?  Very cleverly thought-out and well written, this was a fantastic read, if a little confusing at times. Max Manning created a wonderful character base though some were more endearing than others. Short chapters helped to move the story along at a good pace until the conclusion when the author delivered some major surprises, which enhanced my enjoyment of The Victim.

 I’ll definitely try some more of Max Manning's work in the future.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Sourcebooks Landmark via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Interesting parallels with this novel. Back and forth between Gem the Warrior / the Victim. I have never read a book like this. Very unique.
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One carjacking, two possible scenarios - Fight or flight. That's where the story splits off into two different directions, one with Gem the warrior and one with Gem the victim. It's an interesting concept, and it did make for an intriguing storyline. That said, some things worked and some, well, not so much. The contrast between the two Gem's worked, but did get somewhat confusing as the story progressed, so I was flipping back and forth to keep track which Gem said or did what thing. I think part of that was due to a handful of other characters thrown in and of course, there actions and conversations were also different, depending on which timeline they were in. The chapters are labeled with the appropriate Surrender/Fight reality, but it's still a lot to keep up with. In the end, The Victim is an interesting story, a strange one at times, but interesting nonetheless. So, for me, it comes out somewhere in the middle. Parts were terrific, but others fell a little flat.
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Ay yi yi 

The premise of The Victim is good...the alternate scenarios of a carjacking victim--fighting the aggressor leads down one road, surrender leads down another. Unfortunately, the application was shaky at best. 

The reader is basically getting two stories for the price of one...what happens in Gem's life after she fights off her carjacker and escapes, and what happens in her life when she gives in and becomes a victim. The two stories run parallel, with odd chapters covering the fight timeline, and even chapters covering the surrender.

Still with me so far? 

Unfortunately, the author, Max Manning, muddied the waters by covering multiple perspectives in each chapter--those of Gem, the detective, the carjacker, and Gem's boyfriend. Trying to keep each of those story lines straight, for both sliding timelines, was nearly impossible to do. I had to keep going back and double checking the text to make sure I had it right. 
If a reader is forced to keep going back in the book for double checking purposes, the writing is not strong. End of story. 

For me, it was tedious and not remotely interesting. Worse, I figured out the twists very early on.

This is a hard pass for me. 1.5 stars rounded up for ingenuity.

**Many thanks to the publisher for providing a free copy of the story, in exchange for my review.
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