by James Siegel

Oh, the heavy price of a dalliance. A single misstep. After
experiencing DERAILED, I'll wager the temptation cannot be nearly
attractive enough to stray from the straight and narrow. For me, it
certainly isn't. The cost is simply too high. If you don't believe
me, read this book.

Charles Schine's life isn't going too well. After 12 years on a
prime advertising account, he's yanked off and given a schlock
assignment, a real slap in the face --- and that's just at work. At
home, he lives with the strain of his daughter's diabetes and
keeping her alive, wondering how many more days she will be with
them. Her illness makes her cranky and irritable, leaving him with
bittersweet memories of his little girl back when she was a normal

To top it off, his wife doesn't turn him on anymore. They go
through the motions of everyday life without a shred of joy. The
outlook seems bleak. So when Charles meets Lucinda --- sexy,
shapely Lucinda with legs up to there --- he dreams of escape into
Lucinda's beautiful arms and not-unsubstantial charms. All of a
sudden, he feels very lucky. It looks like life has seen fit to
give him another turn at happiness.

As you read along, lulled into Charles's sense of blissful
contentment, a nagging doubt grows all the while that it can't
last. Let me tell you now, it doesn't. Things turn ugly --- utterly
and extraordinarily ugly. Close on the heels of the new lovers'
frenzied trysts come scenes so gruesome they slap you back to
reality and beyond --- into the depths of what I imagine as Hell
--- with seemingly no way out. Charles is catapulted from the
height of heady infatuation into a dire situation, then into a
desperate situation, then farther into a totally hopeless

He experiences some small victories and hopeful recoveries, but the
hole he's dug for himself threatens to bury him alive with every
turn of the page. Every scheme he cooks up to free himself just
digs him in deeper. To be fair, Charles is an advertising
executive, not a world-wise street thug. While we may imagine the
streets of New York as tough and dangerous for the unsuspecting, we
probably don't imagine them this dangerous. Faced with an
unthinkable solution, we wonder just how far we would go to save
ourselves. The author presents one man's answer. How can Charles
ever get himself out? Just watch him.

DERAILED is a book that scares, angers, repulses and leaves you
hoping for a happy ending. Don't get me wrong; it's not all
unpleasantness. It's a page-turner if ever there was one. Sometimes
I wanted to leave the room and the book with it, but the mystery
always drew me back. While I can't picture myself falling into such
circumstances, the plot as it unfolds could really happen. It is an
entirely plausible story --- and that's what really frightened

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 21, 2011

by James Siegel

  • Publication Date: November 30, -0001
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 044661372X
  • ISBN-13: 9780446613729