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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



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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review 2016-06-08 21:41
"The Spellman Files" by Lisa Lutz
The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz

When I started "The Spellman Files", I expected it to be a light-hearted, anarchic, PI story, with attitude. What I got was different and probably better. 


"The Spellman Files" is full of witty lines and comic situations that spin out of control but at heart, it's really quite serious and more than a little sad. The laughter it produces is a defence mechanism for dealing with watching a family,that has no concept of normal, inflict damage on each other without any malice being involved.


The story is told from the point of Elisabeth Spellman, twenty-eight years old, still living at home, still single (possibly because she sees all of her lovers as future ex-boyfriends and refers to them by number  for example ex-boyfriend #3 ) and still working for her parents in the family Private Investigation agency that she's been active in since her childhood.


She is the middle of three children. Her older brother is perfect and has escaped the family business and become a lawyer. Her (fourteen years) younger sister dreams of inheriting the business,  does surveillance as a hobby, wants everyone to be happy and believes everything can be negotiated.


Much of the humour and all of the sadness in this book comes from the fact that the Spellmans' version of normal life is one in which family members spy on each other, engage in high-speed car chases and routinely interrogate, threaten and punish one another. There are no boundaries between work and family life. Privacy is something that you get only by taking active counter-surveillance measures. Trust is non-existant, yet love, quite deeply felt love, is all pervasive.  Iz reminded me of the opening to a Philip Larkin poem: "They fuck you up, your mum and dad"


The story is told in an elaborately non-linear way that means that you discover the Spellman family an anecdote at a time, as you might be visiting them. The anecdotes have the grandiloquent titles that we give to stories that are part of family lore: "The War Of The Shirt" or "Fake Dental Appointment #2" or the one that opens the novel, "Car Chase #3". It takes skill to pull this off and Lisa Lutz does it flawlessly.


Ari Graynor does a wonderful job in narrating all this structured chaos and bringing the characters to life with distinct and easily recognisable voices. I suspect this is a book that is better in the audio version than as text because Ari makes sure no nuances are missed.


Even though I found the book more funny than sad, I couldn't put it down. It was weirdly compelling, perhaps because, beneath all the chaos and the mutual abuse, the Spellmans love each other as much as they are able, so their paranoia is always leavened with affection.


In the interview below, Lisa Lutz talks about "The Spellman Files" and shares some of here own experiences from working for a family PI business.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9R9X8e9gPs&w=560&h=315]


Click on the SoundCloud link below for a sample of Ari Graynor reading "The Spellman Files".


[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/98433737" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]


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