The Victim

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

I retesting read, but quite hard to follow. I get that the author was trying to show what happens with making different choices, but maybe not the best way to write this book.
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The Victim by Max Manning was a bit hard to follow for me, but I enjoyed the story either way.  The plot went back and forth between different points of view and kept me wondering up until the very end.
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Title: The Victim

Author: Max Manning

Length: 300 pages

Publisher: Source Books

Genre: Crime Fiction, Thriller

Publishing date: August 6, 2019

My rating: 4/5


The book is about an incident where the protagonist Gem makes a choice and what would have happened had she chosen a different route. The journey of both the choices available to Gem and the of the antagonist Norton.

My Take:

I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this beautiful crime fiction book.

The story starts with a thrilling scene of a Carjacking. It does give you an adrenaline rush while describing the events. One can completely empathise with the character of Gem and would abhor Norton, the antagonist. The characterization is brilliant and the history of every character brings depth in them.

The plot is great. If you’ve read Jeffrey Archer’s Heads you Win, you wouldn’t find this book confusing as just like Archer’s book, this book has two parallel plots based on the choices made by them. While I would say the ending of this book is more precise than Archer’s book.

The thrilling moments are there but I craved for more. I thoroughly enjoyed the narratives from Gem’s and Nortan’s perspectives and got a bit bored when the investigation part was covered, nevertheless it was critical for the story to move ahead.

The cover of the book is also apt for the story. I would not say that the revelation blew my mind as I could predict the same.

A great book for people who love reading crime fictions.
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Thank you netgalley for an ARC of The Victim for my honest review. 
What if you were carjacked.? Would you fight back or submit? These are the questions faced by Gem Golding. She stops at a convenience store late one night. She is confronted by a carjacker and must decide is she will go along with his demands or fight back. This book shows what happens with each of her decisions. 

The alternating chapters involve one storyline  if she submits and surrenders and the other storyline if she is a warrior and fights back. But which is the right choice? We find out there is no easy answer and it’s not always your choice even if you think it is. The decision creates ripples through other lives. 

The concept of this book is really good. There is a lot of action and twists and turns.  However, the story became confusing. It was hard to keep straight the facts of the story for both storylines.
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When faced with the choice between giving in to your fate or fighting back the choice is yours to make. Gem Golding finds herself in this position as she is car jacked and faced with her two options. Playing out how the outcomes of each could pan out she must decide on her own fate. Love the morals that you always have a choice and it really is up to you to make a move and decide your fate.
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Let me say this first that the plot was amazing. The execution, unfortunately, not so.

Gem is attacked while returning from her work one day. The book describes the after effect of the attack. The chapters are divided into two parts, where one is Gem the victim and the other is Gem the warrior. 
The victim is where she doesn’t fight back and then how the people react to her. 
Then the warrior is where she fights back and then how people reacts to her. 
It was an amazing concept. But the constant back and forth between the survivor and victim chapter was very confusing. At first I didn’t even knew that. I’m sure many will find this confusing too. 

So keeping aside the confusing chapters, the book was not bad. There was a decent amount of suspense. Perhaps others will enjoy it a bit more than I did with the style in which it was written.

Thank you for the ARC.
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The Victim is a psychological thriller that follows Gem Golding, an ambitious, young public relations officer who has everything she has ever wanted in life, a successful career, a doting boyfriend. Her life is thrown upside down when she makes an innocent stop one night at a quickie mart to get some painkillers and a carjacker approaches her and tries to take her vehicle. She gets into an altercation with the carjacker and the assault ends with her ending up in the hospital. 

In the wake of her experience, Gem’s stable life starts to fall apart. She develops a paranoia that the attacker is following her, and her boyfriend who had long wanted for her to be a stay at home wife. He seizes on her newfound vulnerability to push his agenda that she needs to get a job that has better hours or better yet, she should just stay home, and take care of the house. Initially, Gem believes that she is just feeling vulnerable and that she just needs to get back in control of her life. It soon becomes apparent; however, that the carjacker has taken a personal obsession to Gem. The cops tasked with apprehending Gem’s carjacker soon realize that this is no ordinary petty criminal, they are dealing with an increasing dangerous psychopath. The body count rises when Gem’s boyfriend is targeted by the carjacker and he is killed. The case takes on fresh urgency as the body count rises and the vicious nature of the suspect becomes more and more apparent. 

The story is fast paced, and told through the eyes of all the parties involved. This allows us as the reader to get an omnipotent perspective. There are a few different angles of storylines that develop, and they involve the same characters, so it did lead me to be slightly confused. Overall, I enjoyed the story. The story has enough surprises to keep me interested. The staging and characters are sufficiently creepy.
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Classic case of flight of fight. When Gem Golding is the victim of a carjacking, this novel tells two different stories - one in which she fights back, and one in which she surrenders. Reading about two different life plans was quite interesting although it became rather hard to keep track of which side I was reading sometimes. Was this the survivor or the victim? They both became too similar at times and just confused me. An okay read though.
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A big part of the book was what if’s. Gem Golding is at a store and carjacked by a psychopath. The novel explored what happened if she gave in to the carjacker and if she fought back- however it was confusing keeping track because the author made the scenarios way too similar. I was lost during so many parts. It was thrilling to read.  Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for a fair review.
3.5 /5 (rounded down because it was so dam confusing)
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Master of the Game. The Mastermind. The victim. The warrior.
It's the fight, flight, or freeze technique that determines whether you live or die.
For this psychopath -Norton- he knows no boundaries and takes plenty of prisoners. His game of choice is to kill or be killed. To watch others wince in pain. To give victims a choice to save themselves or be killed.
His patterns of abuse didn't just happen overnight. In fact as a child he had a young girl go missing. But that was then this is now.
Now he sees and wants Gem Golding. She's outsmarted. Outwitted. Outplayed him. 
He's pissed. Who is she to leave him hanging like this doesn't she know he's in control. He's the manipulator. 
"How can one person cause so much evil?"
That's the ultimate question we must answer as this novel is sure to capture the essence of what's like to be in that fight or flight mode.
As someone whose lived this traumatic life it was captured perfectly.
Thank you to Max, the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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The premise of this book really drew me in. I suppose I was expecting more of a paranormal story. However, this read boggled my mind. I liked the idea of one moment of judgement steering you in a different life path - yet, should that affect all of the other characters in life, as well? I don't think anyone has an explanation for that. The story started off strongly and yes, I had to look back as to whether I was reading about the victim or the warrior. Both of Gem's persona seemed to be doomed, yet in different ways. The police were trying their best to crack open cases and yet they were not given the tools even the Daily News had access to.

Yes, I was confused, but I did get to the end of this read. The characters were developed well, but they were not "in character" as one would expect them to be. Regardless, I had to read to find out what happened to Norton.

An OK read.

Many Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS - Landmark and Netgalley for an interesting read.
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.

Make the wrong choice, and you won’t live to make another...

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.

Emphasizing the power our choices have to determine who we become, The Victim is an ingenious high-concept psychological thriller following the devastating effects of two characters as they spiral toward their ultimate fates.

The description of the book made me expect the best book ever written...I did enjoy reading it but I kept waiting for the "wowza" to kick in. It wasn't a bad book, just not my favourite to be sure. It just reminded me too much of "Sliding Doors" and other works in that genre. 

Ingenious? Maybe. Good? Yes. Amazing? No.
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An interesting read - giving 2 different possibilities of what could have happened.   Questions that people ask themselves if they were ever in a similiar situation - fight or flight.  Some of the characters not quite as believable, but still an enjoyable read.
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I zoomed through this book in one snowy day. 

Anyone who fondly remembers Sliding Doors, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, will love the premise of this page-turner.  Gem Golding is the victim of a car-jacking; at this point she has to decide, will she fight her assailant or give in.

Decision made, the book splinters into two parallel universes, in alternating chapters. In one story we get to learn what happens to the Gem who fights back and how it affects her going forward and in alternating chapters we follow the Gem who chose not to fight.

I loved what the author did and wasn't confused by it as some report but I recognized the device immediately as the one in the movie I love so much.

This book was unique, interesting and very thought-provoking. I didn't even mind being in snowed in today to read it!

Thank you to Max Manning, SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and Netgalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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When you are ready to tackle a real thriller, give this one a try.  It will confuse you, it will make you question everything you read.  I actually went back several times to the beginning to re-read what I had read several times.  I like a good thriller, but I do not like being confused!  It took awhile for me to realize that there were two different stories going on in this book.  
I have to admit I did not finish it, too exhausting trying to remember which story was being told and that kept me from really loving the book.  The start is wonderful and entertaining, but when the police and journalist get involved I lost interest.
To those of you who can stick it out, good job!
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If I could give The Victim 4.5 stars I would, I wasn't sure about the premise at first, but I wound up loving it. If you've seen the movie Sliding Doors, you will know what I am referring to. The author, Max Manning, gives the character two scenarios in which Gem Golding can react to when she is being attacked in a dark parking lot. Fight back or do as the attacker says? This is an intriguing premise for those of us who have always wondered- what would I do? I was hooked reading to find out what happens next. If you love a good thriller, you will love this book. I am still not 100% sure I figured out all the twists and turns between the two scenarios, but it was still a fun read!
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Manning has done it again! Another superb take on the psychological thriller genre. The formatting of chapters, told from the perspective of the victim, comes together nicely. So who prevails? The weak or the warrior? Or is it always that easy to decide?
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A psychological thriller written in my favorite style - from multiple perspectives. Not only is The Victim written from multiple perspectives, it's written from parallel universes as well. This was a style that had me significantly confused, until it finally clicked about a third of the way into the book (and has to do with the killer's modus operandi).

While the parallel universe angle took me awhile to figure out, I really enjoyed The Victim. It was a little predictable on how the car-jacking came about (thanks to being a huge fan of Criminal Minds and Law and Order, among other crime dramas, haha) but watching as the story unfolded from the various perspectives kept me enthralled from the get go. Watching as all of the story lines were tied up was really interesting, particularly as the book began to come to a close and there were still what I thought were a lot of loose ends. As the police close in the pace of the book picks up as everything comes to a head and the carjacker must finish the game. 

The Victim is full of action from the first page and Manning does an excellent job developing each of his characters - not an easy task when there are as many characters involved as there were in this story, along with the dual universes. Being able to feel the detective's frustration as the attacker always seems to be one step ahead, Gem's terror as she faces down her attacker, and in the next chapter the eerie calm that the perpetrator's perspective was told from was incredible. I would definitely recommend this book to friends (I've already told my mother-in-law to look into it when it comes out!).
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Max Manning is out with The Victim a superb thriller that will keep you reading until the final page
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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an advance read in exchange for this review.

Gem Golding is a victim of a carjacking.  In the moment, she must make a choice.  Does she fight back or does she surrender?  Her choices will impact the rest of her life.

What a cool concept!  The book alternates chapters with what happens in the aftermath had she fought back and had she surrendered.  At some point, I kind of wished that it was just one story because it was a little exhausting to start over with another plot.  It's still an interesting concept, and the writer just about pulls it off.   It does get a little confusing and hard to follow, and I sometimes wished for more character development.  Still, I give Max Manning tons of praise!
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