Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Helpless” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  644 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Palmer, son of bestselling author Michael Palmer, delivers the follow-up to his acclaimed debut "Delirious"--the story of an award-winning coach who's ordered world is suspended by shocking accusations of murder.

A high school soccer coach finds his world upended by shocking accusations and long buried secrets. . .

Nine years after he left Shilo, New Hampshire, former Navy S
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Kensington (first published January 31st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Helpless, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Helpless

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,606)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mary Thomas
Nov 18, 2011 Mary Thomas rated it really liked it
Just finished HELPLESS! I had the pleasure and privilege to read ans advance copy! You WANT this book! Fabulous, I stayed up late every night. Hard to put down, intriguing, lots of technology, real life plausible drama. Not only is this an enjoyable read, but you learn a lot! Thanks again Daniel for a great book, waiting on the next and next and next........
Stephanie Cowart
Mar 08, 2012 Stephanie Cowart rated it it was amazing
I first read a review of this book over at Jenn's Bookshelves and wanted to get it immediately. Thankfully my friend Kelly felt the same way and she let me borrow it.
This reminded me a lot of Harlan Coben books that I have read in the past. Fast-paced, well-written characters and plenty of mystery!
I was immediately drawn to Tom and his plight. It is pretty clear that he is a stand up guy and someone is out to get him. The title is definitely apt as I was so upset with how everything kept happeni
Jan 03, 2012 Dawn rated it really liked it
Action packed book from the moment you start reading! Tom Hawkins a former Navy SEAL has had a quiet life coaching a girl's high school soccer team until his ex wife is murdered. His estranged daughter Jill comes to live with him.The police suspect Tom of murdering his ex wife.That's just the first couple chapters then the book has you on the edge of your seat.Tom is then accused of having underage sex with one of his players on his team who is also his daughters's best friend. FBI agent Rainey ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Kristina rated it really liked it
originally posted:

My Thoughts: I found myself interested in this story right from the start. There is something eerie and compelling about reading a story that can believably take place.
The father/daughter relationship was well done based on a bad divorce with one parent trying to pit child against the other parent. Having Tom struggle to build this relationship of trust with Jill while also trying to prove his innocence really helped this aspect.
The stor
Feb 11, 2012 Nawnee rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Brynn Rotchford
Recommended to Nawnee by: Goodreads
Shelves: freebie-books
I found myself interested in this story right from the start. There is something scary and compelling about reading a story that can believably take place.
The dynamics of the father, daughter relationship was very believable based on a split home where one parent is trying to pit the child against the other parent. Having the main character struggle to build a relationship with his daughter, while also trying to prove his innocence really helped make this story more believable.
The story itself
Nov 07, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it
Tom Hawkins is a former Navy SEAL, is now a high school soccer coach for his daughter’s Jill’s team. Trying to establish a relationship with Jill after his ex-wife is murdered is tough. And life gets tougher when he is excused have having an affair with a student, one of Jill’s friends. Then suggestive photos of female students are emailed to him and found on his computer.

He knows he is innocent and could be the target of a set-up but why? And does his ex-wife’s death have something to do with i
Sherri Vigil
May 08, 2012 Sherri Vigil rated it really liked it

I tried to start and finish this one in a day because it kept me wanting to find out what happened next. My eyes finally gave out very late into the night. What a rollercoaster ride this story was and many sides and issues were involved. I like this type of story and I know I will read more of Daniel Palmer's work.
Jan 03, 2012 Merle rated it it was amazing
It could happen to you....
Judy Collins
No one writes “complex” better than Daniel Palmer, as reiterated in Helpless. A web of deception, revenge, a frame up of sexual crimes, drugs, kidnapping, and a behind the scenes complicated twisted scheme for an intense and gripping suspenseful ride. How far will a parent go to protect their child?

The novel openswith Lindsey Wells, age fifteen, (sexting) a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend, Tanner (for his eyes only, right), as she thinks this is better than sleeping with him, as she has
Lenore Webb
Mar 06, 2012 Lenore Webb rated it it was amazing
I have a few new books there that I have been enjoying. The first is by Daniel Palmer, son of medical thriller author Michael Palmer. Daniel is trying his hand at writing too. And I have to say that "Helpless" has been worth the read. I was first going to scan it to see what it was about. Well the scan lasted for the first four chapters. Yeah, it caught me up real quick. I think that Daniel is not going to have to worry about walking in his father's footsteps. He will be forging his own path.

Jan 31, 2012 Jael rated it liked it
After enjoying Delirious by Daniel Palmer, I'm back for more with the author's latest novel Helpless. Some of the topics (sexting, estranged families coming together) are very timely.

Former Navy Seal Tom Hawkins is thrust into the role of both mom and dad following the suspicious death of his ex-wife Kelly. His teenage daughter Jill has spent most of her life hearing bad things about her father. Kelly did everything in her power to destroy Tom's relationship with Jill. If you've been taught all
Jan 31, 2012 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
Tom Hawkins lives a relatively normal life. Former Navy SEAL and now soccer coach to his daughter's high school team, his only worries have been his tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife, Kelly, and his daughter, Jill. After Kelly is discovered dead, Tom is prime suspect number one. Now Tom's life is heading downhill fast. A mysterious blog post accuses him of sleeping with one of his students and now the FBI is in town and he is a suspect in a child pornography ring. The only hope that Tom h ...more
Kathy Jund
Feb 06, 2012 Kathy Jund rated it really liked it
Tom Hawkins is the hometown hero and soccer coach for the State Champion Shilo High School Wildcats Varsity team. In the ten-year estrangement from his ex-wife Kelly, Tom has had only two purposes in life. To rebuild the relationship he once had with his now teenaged daughter Jill, a hard fought mission in its own right as Kelly is determined to continue her assignment to degrade him at every turn, and coach his teams to victory. His success with the soccer teams is noteworthy, a continuous stre ...more
Jan 31, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I reviewed Daniel Palmer's first book, Delirious, last year and really enjoyed it. (Quick side note.. I just realized both covers have a man under water!) Anyway, I was enthralled by his first book and was excited to pick up the second, Helpless, which is a stand-alone thriller that also incorporates technology into its story.

In Helpless, soccer coach, Tom Hawkins, who is also the father of one of the players, Jill, is accused of having an affair with one of his high school students. Before he c
Mar 05, 2012 Toni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kensington-arcs
What makes a good book for me? I think most of all it is really three things; characters, continuity and plot.

I want likeable characters. I need to be able to connect with them and see them as real people. The book must also have solid continuity. I don’t like to be reading a book and have to stop and think - no wait, they were not there or nope that never happened. Then lastly a great book needs a smooth intriguing plot. No matter how real or farfetched; I need to believe in it, feel it and br
Doug Branscombe
Mar 02, 2012 Doug Branscombe rated it really liked it
An exciting, and at the same time scary fast paced story. What happens when a male high school soccer coach appears to have been framed for not one, but several incidents; murdering his wife, getting involved with one of his soccer players and if that's not bad enough, having child pornography on his computer? As the story develops, we're wondering if maybe he was involved in some or all of these instances, but if he wasn't who would want to pin these things on him and why? A great story that co ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This book was great!! It kept me at the edge of my seat!! Daniel Palmer book touches on a variety of different subjects without getting off topic or side tracked and finds a way to tie everything in together really nicely. This was definetly entertaining and at times very touching ((and cheesy) in a good way!). With all of those odds stacked against Tom I couldn't wait to see how he was going to get himself out of his situation. This is the second book I have read by Daniel Palmer. He is a great ...more
Nancy McFarlane
Jan 18, 2012 Nancy McFarlane rated it really liked it
Daniel Palmer solidifies his place as a thriller writer with his second novel, Helpless. Illegal activities from twenty years earlier, teenage sexting and a high tech scam to ruin reputations via the internet all coincide to make ex Navy seal and single father Tom Hawkins feel totally helpless to protect his teenage daughter and clear his name of serious charges.
May 20, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
"Helpless" is the second book I've read from author Daniel Palmer. Palmer is quickly becoming a must read author as his father Michael was. In "Helpless", protagonist Tom Hawkins is a girls soccer coach who has his life torn up and destroyed by cyber crime he did not commit. Racy photos and even worse texts of young girls start appearing on his computer and then cell phone. Hawkins goes through hell and back to salvage his life back. Being divorced and a father of a 14 year old daughter adds to ...more
Apr 06, 2013 Ruby rated it liked it
I liked this book but hoped to like it more. None of the characters grabbed me and the story dragged a bit. Storyline seemed to jump around too much, and like a good basketball game or chess game, once you got to the end it all happened quickly and was wrapped up in a neat little bow.
Martin Baggs
Sep 21, 2014 Martin Baggs rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this first book by Daniel Palmer. The protagonist, Rom Hawkins, is a normal high school soccer coach. Except he is an ex-Navy Seal with a secret. When he is accused of sleeping with one of his players, his life starts to disintegrate. When he is accused of being a child pornographer, it goes into free-fall.

This reminded me of Harlan Coban’s book “Caught”. They both have similar themes of on-line reputation management or destruction. Both have a protagonist who comes under fire. T
Sep 03, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
This is very frightening and I recommend everyone to read it... from the teens to the adults!
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
My finger hovered over the keyboard, 3 or 4 stars? Going with 3.5 though to be fair I only have one real complaint about this book. I got weary of being reminded repeatedly about Tom being a Navy SEAL and all his Navy SEAL training. Navy SEALS are awesome, no mistake and it's a big part of his character but I could do without quite so many reminders.

Otherwise, scary horrible plot premise revolving around sexting, online porn and drugs. Despite having no illusions that we really have privacy onl
Laura Salas
Oct 02, 2011 Laura Salas rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacquelynn Fritz
May 24, 2012 Jacquelynn Fritz rated it really liked it
Tom Hawkins, ex-Navy seal, father of Jill retuns to his hometown of Shilo, New Hampshire after his ex-wife is murdered. He's trying to build a relationship with his daughter that was sabaotged by the lies of his ex-wife. He is the girls' soccar coach at his Jill's school with a winning record.
Now, Tom has been falsely accused of having child pornography and the murder of his wife. The police officer heading the case doesn't like Tom, but the FBI agent on the case struggles with Tom's denial an
Bill Garrison
Mar 27, 2012 Bill Garrison rated it really liked it
Tom Hawkins is coaching the high school girls soccer team when a police officer comes to tell him his ex-wife is dead. Tom's first thought goes to his daughter Jill, who is on the soccer team and running around the field. Although he and his ex, didn't get along, he feels bad for his daughter who has just lost her mother. But then all heck breaks lose in Daniel Palmer's HELPLESS.

The cops begin to focus on Tom as the suspect in the murder of his ex. Then accusations start flying against Tom for
Aug 29, 2012 Lizzie rated it really liked it
This is what I love about thrillers: They place you in a world that you often wonder about, but would never want to be in. Horrifying marriages. War zones. Infected corn fields. You think: How can people make it through such circumstances? Good thriller novels have characters that can make it. Not because of a super-human ability, but because of a strength that comes when you love someone enough to do anything in your power to protect them.

Enter Tom Hawkins, the main man in Daniel Palmer's secon
Mar 25, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
Recommended to Sara by: Yahoo
Shelves: thriller, 2012
Tom Hawkins has a terrible relationship with his ex-wife and a strained one with his teenage daughter, who he tries to stay close to by coaching her high school soccer team. When his ex-wife is murdered, the police consider Tom their prime suspect. Tom believes that people from his past are returning because of secrets he's tried to keep hidden, and then things get even worse when he's accused of having an affair with a female student and incriminating photos are found on his work computer. Tom ...more
Mar 24, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*goodreads first reads giveaway*

Helpless is a well written thriller. I was a bit uncertain at the beginning whether I would like it or not; Just reading about teenagers sexting made me a little uncomfortable. I worried the whole story would deal with that. The story picked up from there though, dealing more with a father who will do anything to protect his daughter, even while it seems that someone is doing their best to frame him for heinous crimes (pedophilia and distributing child pornography
Melanie Adkins
Apr 26, 2012 Melanie Adkins rated it it was amazing
Life in the small town of Shilo was pretty typical until that day. Kelly Hawkins was murdered not far from her home. The suspect? Her estranged ex husband. Their relationship was volatile and had been for some time. Tom Hawkins, coach, guidance counselor and estranged father was shocked when he was told he was the prime suspect. Things just get stranger from there. Someone is intent on destroying Tom's life and he's not even sure why. Just when he thinks things might be settling down, a new wav ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 53 54 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Shadow on the Wall (The SandStorm Chronicles, #1)
  • World Without End
  • Twined
  • Political Suicide (Dr. Lou Welcome, #2)
  • Salsa Invertebraxa
  • Darker Than Night (Frank Quinn, #1)
  • Ice Fire: A Thriller (Jock Boucher #1)
  • A Deceit to Die For
  • Slipstream (A Crisis of Two Worlds, #1)
  • The Eyes of a Stranger (Nan's Heritage #4)
  • The Dark House
  • The Fire of the Word: Meeting God on Holy Ground
  • Fifteen Digits
  • Otma 82-The First Day: Trial and Resurrection
  • Goliath
  • Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee, Journalism's Legendary Editor
  • Butterfly Potion
  • On Message (Jillian Hillcrest, #1)
DANIEL PALMER is the author of four critically-acclaimed suspense novels. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer. A recording artist, accomplished blues harmonica player, and lifelong Red Sox fan, Daniel lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two children where he is currently at work on his next novel.
More about Daniel Palmer...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »