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review 2018-08-15 02:49
A Woman on the Run from the Law, Her Past and her Present
The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

I tried to look calm and collected as I gathered my things under Ruth's watch, but I could feel this all-over shiver, a constant vibration of nerves that I had a hard time believing no one else could see.

 

"You in some kid of trouble?" Ruth asked.

 

"No trouble, I said. "I just found a place to stay, long-term."

 

"Don't fool yourself," she said. "It's all temporary."


Tanya Dubois' husband died in a stupid household accident. She wasn't heartbroken by this, but she wasn't pleased about it. Especially once she realized that while it was an accident, it was one that would at least get the police to take a good look at her while they were deciding that. So she tried to cover things up, only to realize very quickly that she couldn't, and that be starting to try, she'd made things look less like an accident. So the police would look even harder at her than they would've before. This would be a real problem for her because, technically speaking, Tanya Dubois' doesn't actually exist. So she grabs her dead husband's truck and as much cash as she can get (hitting up a few ATM's while she's at it to get more) and splits.

 

She trades in the truck for something else, trades in her (dyed) blonde hair for something shorter and brown, a wardrobe change and became a new person -- she says "I looked like so many women you've seen before I doubt you could've picked me out of a lineup." Which is a pretty telling way of talking. She's also able to make a phone call and demand a new name, new identification and some cash. By the time she arrives in Austin, she's Amelia Keen.

 

Amelia meets a bartender named Blue, who sees through her right away, but isn't going to try to turn her in or anything. Mostly, she wants to know where she got such a great passport. Not that either woman tells the other what brought them to the name and place they're at, but they know that something similar as brought them to this point. Neither trusts the other, but in one way or another, to one extent or another, they need each other. At least for a little while -- maybe longer.

 

At some point, for reasons you should discover for yourself, she leaves Austin and heads west. Then she has to leave that one behind and head elsewhere -- eventually, she covers a pretty decent amount of ground, and involves herself in some pretty interesting situations -- becoming both a hero and a villain on multiple occasions. All the time proving what Ruth said above, "It's all temporary." Well, except one thing -- the past. That's forever, as Tanya/Amelia/etc. learns.

 

Scattered throughout the book are emails between a Ryan and a Jo -- starting years before the Tanya's husband's tragic fall, but eventually catching up to the present time. These provide us with a good idea of the life that was left behind by the woman who lived as Tanya and Amelia and so many others all without coming out and telling us that led to her leaving.

 

Something about Blue made me think of Alice Morgan from the first series/season of Luther (yes, I know she's in more than that, but keep that vision of her in your mind) -- and that image stuck, I don't care what Lutz said she looked like or sounded like -- I heard and saw an American version of Alice when Blue was around. Not the murder her own parents vibe -- but the charming, dangerous, potentially duplicitous and erratic, while friendly and helpful vibe. (wow. Could I have qualified that comparison more? Probably, but I'll hold back)

 

I never had a good handle on Tanya/Amelia/etc., primarily because I don't think she did either. We (the readers, and I think she herself) got close to something real with Debra Maze -- but she had to abandon that one quickly (too quickly, I liked that existence for her, as doomed as she and the readers knew it was).

 

There are plenty of other great characters, great moments through the book -- some horrifying, some tense, some . . . I don't know what to say. There's a Sheriff from Wyoming -- he's not Walt Longmire, but they'd probably get along just fine -- who is probably my favorite non-Tanya/etc. character in the book. We don't get enough of him, but I'm not sure that more of him wouldn't have hurt the story overall. There's another bartender who is nothing like Blue, and probably one of the better people we meet in The Passenger, some depraved folks as well -- one family that you cannot help but feel horrible for.

 

There's a good number of twists along the way, a reveal or two that are really well executed -- one I didn't see coming (not only didn't see coming, I didn't even consider as an option). In general some pretty good writing and story telling.

 

I've been trying to get to this for years -- and every time I get close (close = it's one or two down on my list), I have one of those "Squirrel!" moments, and forget all about it. Well, I finally got to it -- and was honestly underwhelmed, maybe it was the mental build-up. It didn't have the Lutz humor, that's for sure -- even How to Start a Fire had some good chuckles. But that's okay, she doesn't have to be funny to be good (see the non-funny moments in How to Start a Fire). I also think Karen E. Olson's Black Hat series handles the woman running from her identity and past better (at least in a way that captures the tension and the fear better). Which is not to say, at all, that this is a bad book -- it's not. It's also not as good as I think Lutz is capable of.

 

Oh, and the story behind Tanya/etc.'s tattoo? I loved it. Should probably give the book another half-star just for it.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/08/14/the-passenger-by-lisa-lutz-a-woman-on-the-run-from-the-law-her-past-and-her-present
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review 2017-11-30 16:50
Review – The Passenger by Lisa Lutz @lisalutz
The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

I read Passenger by Lisa Lutz some time ago and it’s one of those reviews that just got lost in the shuffle. So…let’s get started.

 

The Passenger

 

Goodreads  /  Amazon US  /  Amazon UK Amazon CA

MY REVIEW

 

The mystery has begun and Lisa Lutz kept me guessing until the end.

 

Tanya’s husband falls down the stairs and dies. When she finds him, she runs. Why?

On the run, she hooks up with Blue…WHOA. She is a badass and could definitely teach Tanya some lessons. Wonder what her story is?

 

Trouble comes looking for them and bodies fall.

 

How would you go about creating a new identity….a new life?

 

Their life keeps getting more complicated and I wonder what will become of them. My curiosity and Lisa’s pacing and suspense keep me tearing through the pages, wanting answers, but…

 

Lisa Lutz is not new to me. I have checked her books out from the library and enjoyed them. Passenger is full of a lot of words and some took me on long convoluted paths. Were they there to just lengthen the story or were they essential to the character development and suspense? I don’t expect fiction to be ‘real’ but, to me, a suspense novel like Passenger doesn’t need events just to have them. Know what I mean? It just slows the pacing and lessens the suspense and I like the white knuckled, breath holding, must know what happens next feeling.

 

I don’t quite get what’s going on and don’t find out why she is running until the last 20%. I do love that I didn’t know the story and had to read to the end to find the answers I was seeking.

 

Blue kept popping in and out and I loved it. There are no heroes here. All in all, I enjoyed the story. 

 

I read an ARC, so I hope Lisa trims the fat and makes this the top notch book I feel it can be.

 

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of Passenger by Lisa Lutz.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 3 Stars

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/review-the-passenger-by-lisa-lutz-lisalutz
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review 2017-03-23 02:05
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this book was just okay. I have been a fan of Lisa Lutz for a long time and have a great fondness for her Spellman Files series. I knew going into this book that this was going to be a completely different kind of story and I was really looking forward to seeing what she would do with it. There were things that I did like about this story but other elements were not quite as enjoyable.

The book opens with the death of Tanya's husband. Tanya immediately leaves town and starts working on assuming a new identity. Tanya tells us that she didn't hurt her husband, Frank, but we have no idea why she feels like she needs to leave town. I was really curious about her motivation to run. That wasn't a small decision and she knew exactly what to do so it was very obvious that Tanya had disappeared before. Tanya changes her name several times in the story but for the purpose of the review, I am just going to stick with Tanya.

Tanya meets Blue in a bar when Blue figures out that she isn't exactly who she says she is. They find themselves in a serious situation soon after they meet and they form an interesting friendship. Both Blue and Tanya are on the run and are both hiding who they truly are from the world. Blue's character was one that I didn't quite trust. Blue just seemed to have a more criminal mind than Tanya did.

I did want to keep reading so that I could learn why Tanya felt she had to run in the first place. If she didn't hurt her husband, it didn't make sense unless she had something else from her past. The emails that were sprinkled in the book between chapters quickly hinted that there was something from her past that we hadn't discovered yet. I also really liked the humor that was sprinkled throughout the book. This isn't a funny story but Lisa Lutz's sense of humor is still very evident in the writing.

I was really disappointed by the ending of this book. Seriously disappointed. I read all of those pages eagerly awaiting a big reveal that caused Tanya to be on the run and it just didn't do a lot for me. The big twist that was supposed to shock me at the end just added another layer of disappointment.

I am not really sure that I would recommend this book. I do think that a lot of readers will really enjoy this book a lot more than I did. I did like the book and I do consider 3 stars to be a good rating. It just wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. I do plan to continue reading Lisa Lutz's work in the future and commend her for writing a different kind of story.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley and Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
Way late on reviewing this one. I must say that I am really disappointed by how this one ended. I would say that this book was okay overall but I feel let down now that I finished.

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review 2016-10-24 13:03
The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

Tanya had tried to resuscitate her husband Frank. They hadn’t been close in years. Tanya had been taking a shower when Frank died but she knew that wouldn’t be considered an alibi. If Tanya could go back in time she would have never have married Frank but she didn’t kill him. Tanya was having an affair with her chiropractor - Dr. Mike  She went to Dr. Mike when she wanted to forget. Her back had never been right since the accident and Dr. Mike toke over when Dr. Bill retired. Tanya had met Frank when she had been in town and stopped at Frank’s bar - Debois for a drink. Tanya also needed work and frank gave her a job. Tanya called Roland Oliver to get money and a new identification. She was to become Amelia Keen. Amanda meets Blue who is a bartender and willing to help Tanya as she has the same look in her eye as Tanya did. Then Tanya/ Amelia is on the go again as she had reorganized herself before.

I didn’t really enjoy this story. You had action but no real background to Tanya and it just seemed like she would eventually confuse her information and where she was suppose to be at a specific time. I didn’t like the cheating get a divorce than do what you want. There was just to much not said in this story with all it’s twists and turns.

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review 2016-08-07 16:59
The Passenger - Lisa Lutz
The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

This is one of those books which I am at a loss with. I was not sure for quite a while what this story is about. A young woman, let’s call her Tanya because she has a lot of names during the story, finds her husband’s body. He fell down the stairs and died. She has nothing to do with his dead though she really doesn’t care about his death. There is something in her past she is running from. So she leaves her husband lying dead instead of calling the police. She is afraid that they will find out something about her past when they look into the accident. She starts looking for a new identity. First she calls a mysterious man from her past. He provides her with money and a new name. Then she meets Blue, a young woman working in a bar. They become friends but it turns out that Blue is on the run as well. And she is capable of a lot of things.

 

The story is told from Tanya’s point of view. We are very close to her and her thoughts. At first I had a different impression of her character. I thought she was more dangerous and more unreliable. With the story going on her character was becoming a disappointment to me. I liked Blue more. She was far more interesting than Tanya. After they met things get more complicated. Tanya has to face the fact that somehow she became the woman everybody thought she was all along. That was a quite interesting thing and I liked that. I thought about that even when I was not reading and I also crept into my dreams. But I did not change the fact that I found Tanya a very flat character. We don’t learn much about the 10 years she was on the run so we don’t know much about what happened to her. She is an unusual character, I give her that. I could feel her loss and her pain that she had to leave everything behind. She leads a life she don’t want and trusts nobody. She has to do things she never thought she was capable of. She is incomprehensible, a mystery. But not in a positive way, it is more that this covers the flatness of her character. Blue was the more interesting character.

 

I liked reading this book most of the time. The pace is slow, it is not really a thriller. I was not very satisfied with the ending. To me this whole thing why she has to run away 10 years ago felt quite unrealistic. The way to revealing the secret was a bit exhausting. There was a lot of driving around in the cold (can somebody please explain to me why runaways in books always run to cold places? Why does never ever anybody runs to Florida?), a lot of hair dying and looking for houses to stay. But somehow it was entertaining and so a make it a 4 Star.

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