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Man of Wax (Man of Wax Trilogy #1)

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3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  409 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
Ben Anderson goes to bed Sunday night, lying next to his wife in the comfort and safety of their Pennsylvania family home, to wake up the next day in a rundown motel in California -- alone.

He doesn't know how he got there, he doesn't know where his family is, and written in dried blood on the bathroom door are the words LET THE GAME BEGIN.

Soon Ben is contacted by Simon.
...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published March 31st 2012 by Createspace (first published October 21st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Doreen
Feb 29, 2012 Doreen rated it it was amazing
This one is a nail biter! It will have you hooked from the beginning, and doesn't let up. I could not put it down. I had to seee what would happen next. I can't wait for the second book to come out.
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
LOVED IT!!!!! I can't wait until April of 2012 when the second book in the trilogy comes out! Very suspensful at every turn of the page! It had me on my toes, even when I thought I figured out what was going on, another surprise came into the story! This book was a cross of 2 movies: Saw and Hostel...... I loved the story-line and I liked the characters in it. Swartwood really makes the reader guess what is going to happen at the end and if Ben will ever see his wife and daughter again. I also ...more
Faith Nelson
Apr 14, 2013 Faith Nelson rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book surprised me with its original story line and, I had a hard time putting it down once I started to read it. Upfront I’ll warn you, it’s not a book for everyone but I do believe there are a lot of readers who will enjoy this story.

Here’s the premise: imagine you’re married with a child. One day you wake up but, instead of being in your own bed, you’re in a seedy hotel in another state and you have no idea how you got there. You try to call your spouse but you have no luck connecting. Th
...more
Sabrina
Feb 10, 2013 Sabrina rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings on this book. I did enjoy the story but thought that taking over 60% to get to the real action and story of this book was its overall downfall. It had the potential to be far more gripping than it really was. The plot itself was brilliant but somewhat lacking in areas and the action could have been far more descriptive and graphic which would have possibly made up for all the drivel at the beginning. I'm not sure many readers want to stick out all the driving here there and ...more
Mukta Mohapatra
Feb 26, 2014 Mukta Mohapatra rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. The premise was great. Ben waked up in a strange hotel cross country from his home. His wife and child have been kidnapped and he has to do whatever Simon says in order to get them back.

It was obvious where the cameras were, but it was not obvious who was watching and why. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear and I think that part of the story was written well.

Ben as a character frustrated me. We got a decent amount of character development, but I still c
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Alisa Hedden
Nov 06, 2011 Alisa Hedden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a Reality Show and a Simon Says game from hell. The goal is to survive, but the odds are not in your favor and your loved ones will die, too. Well written, fast paced and unfortunately believable. With this book Robert Swartwood is rapidly becoming one of my “go to” authors for a good read. He also keeps getting me in trouble at work. I will be reading during my lunch or break and he keeps me so enthralled I don’t want to stop. So, you might want to set aside a weekend when you can just ...more
Dana
Dec 13, 2012 Dana rated it it was amazing
This is the beginning of a trilogy. It's going to be a tough review to write because I don't want to spoil it for anybody. Let's just say that it is heartfelt, gut-wrenching, suspenseful, and ultra violent. If you're the slightest bit squeamish, this is not the book for you. Swartwood obviously goes out of his way to make you FEEL...sadness, grief, anger, rage, hope, fear, nausea...ANXIETY. You'll feel it all, and you'll probably buy the follow up (The Inner Circle) before you even finish Man of ...more
Renee Mihld
Aug 04, 2015 Renee Mihld rated it it was amazing
Since I had read Robert Swartwoods books Legion and The Serial Killers Wife, I knew I wouldn’t go wrong trying another.

Man of Wax is truly a thriller that kept me nervous, anxious and reading as fast as I could. Ben Anderson wakes up in a strange bed, in an unfamiliar hotel room and has no clue how he got there. Blood on the back of the bathroom door says, LET THE GAME BEGIN. Well what a sick and twisted game this is. He starts getting phone calls from Simon – yes, “Simon Says,” and Simon gives
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Erin
Nov 05, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
I received this book for free as a Goodreads First Read. And WOW. I had to give myself some time to mull it over, since I finished it in the wee hours of this morning. This is the kind of creepy thriller story that gets under my skin - that one day, for whatever reason (or no reason at all) someone you don't know can just decide that your life doesn't matter. Your decisions, your actions, don't belong to you anymore. There is no supernatural "big bad" that drives this plot, just the seedier side ...more
Andrew Griffin
Jan 26, 2013 Andrew Griffin rated it it was ok
This book starts off great and will hook you, but as you get into the book it just falls off. The writing is... well, not that great. It almost feels like the author wrote parts of it in a random order then stuck them all together. One issue I have, is that first the book is in present tense, and then half way into the book it is like the main character is telling you a story in past tense. WTF? And it does this back and forth thing throughout the book at random times. I didn't really find the ...more
Jerry Grahs
This book is currently selling for 99 cents on Amazon.

Ben Anderson wakes up in a motel room 3000 miles from home. He has been abducted, separated from his wife and daughter to become part of a 'reality' game. His director is, Simon, who sets him up with cash, a car and cell phone. Simon calls Ben to constantly tell him where to drive to and what to do once he is there. To get Ben to cooperate Simon threatens the lives of his family and to prove that he has his family close by sends an item to Be
...more
Diane
Mar 04, 2012 Diane rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers and/or mysteries
Huh. Not sure what to make of this book; it's not the sort of book I usually read, falling pretty squarely in the "thriller" category, with a touch of "mystery" thrown in, I guess. I did enjoy it, because the premise was good and the writing wasn't bad, but it was predictable at times and at other times, too far-fetched for me to really get behind it 100%. And that might just be because I'm out of touch with the feel of thrillers and so had a hard time suspending disbelief. Based on my own ...more
Tamer Emam
Dec 12, 2015 Tamer Emam rated it it was amazing
At last somebody's talking about the evil-side escalation of the human soul. It's something our prophet have said thousands of years ago: when you do something evil, part of your heart goes black, and with another evil, another part darkens and so on.

Robert has described how desire take control of human soul and never lets go. The human soul gets bored easily, and so necessitates new action, new thrill, and that's how things work. The pornography example was magnificent, where he described the e
...more
Eddie
Sep 02, 2015 Eddie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judi
Aug 14, 2016 Judi rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read. It was a fast moving book full of action. Ben Anderson wakes up but not in his house. He doesn't know where his wife or child are. All he knows is that when he goes into the bathroom, written on the wall is " Let the games begin"

Ben is in California and has no idea how he got here. Then a phone rings and it is Simon, we all remember the game, Simon says? Thus begins the mystery. He is told he must do everything he is told or his wife and child will be killed. Ben is forced
...more
Kelly
Mar 03, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
Man of Wax was a solid and engaging thriller despite a few minor drawbacks. The writing was a bit uneven at times and there were some plot holes but nothing to take away too much from the overall story. The plot revolves around Ben Anderson, a normal guy who wakes up one morning to find his wife and daughter are missing. Soon thereafter he is contacted by Simon, who introduces Ben to the rules of the sadistic "game" he must play in order to see his loved ones again. Along the way Ben must make ...more
Starla B
Jan 23, 2012 Starla B rated it really liked it
I actually liked this book. It felt like a cross between Stephen King's Running Man and a film Michael Douglas was in called The Game. It was disturbing, but not as bad as some horror fiction I've read, or the non-fiction I've been reading about WWII. I thought it was interesting, and it says a lot about popular culture regarding reality TV. How far are the writers/producers/"stars" willing to go? How much are we, the audience, willing to watch? I don't feel that this is any more disturbing than ...more
Leslie Fuller
Aug 23, 2016 Leslie Fuller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and scary plot. It seems there is a hidden but powerful group who pay big money to watch innocent people put into situations where if they don't "play the game", their equally innocent family members pay the ultimate price.

Ben wakes up alone to this living nightmare in a seedy motel in California when he'd gone to bed in his house with his family in Pennsylvania. Why is he there? Where is his wife and child? What's going on? His game begins and we become entangled up along with him.
...more
Karen
Aug 03, 2015 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
This book was a fun read. I agree with the reviews stating that it's fast-paced. It sort of reminded me of the movie "Saw" in that the tasks Simon asked of the players would be something that would go against their morals, conscience, ethics, etc. trying to see how far he could get these people to go in order to get to their families. I don't know if there was supposed to be a challenge in figuring out where the main camera was or in Ben's case, who was behind him being chosen. There were a few ...more
Beth
I can't even remember why I downloaded this to my Kindle, but it's been on there a while. I decided to read it yesterday, and read it straight through in a 36 hour period. It's fast paced (I love short chapters!), has good action, interesting characters, and a compelling plot. It's definitely a thrill-ride, but you will likely be cringing most of the time at the atrocious events and devious people in the story. Fair warning; this book has foul language and disturbing acts -- so if you're ...more
April
Mar 07, 2012 April rated it really liked it
This is a very fast-paced book with some hardcore violence and strong language (those with a weak stomach or who offend easily, beware).

As some have said, the plot may be a little far-fetched, but with so much action coming at me, I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about it. It's fiction, I don't expect every plot element to fit in with my version of reality. Besides, I like writers with a bit of imagination.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and can't wait for the second book to come out so I can
...more
Dominique Damasco
Jul 16, 2012 Dominique Damasco rated it liked it
If you enjoy reading thriller's about crazy people who enjoy watching others kill, steal, and other gory stuff, then this book is for you. It was difficult for me to continue to read this book after the first few chapters because it just dragged on about how the main character, Ben Anderson, was confused about what was happening to him. But I forced myself to keep reading on and then it started to get more interesting towards the middle. This was an okay book but I think it could have been ...more
Barbara
Jan 24, 2015 Barbara rated it really liked it
Well, I wondered if Mr. Swartwood could maintain, till the end, the urgency and suspense with which his novel began....and, he did, for the most part. It was an interesting read to the end...disintegrating a bit about three quarters of the way through. I think the mild disappointment I feel, is with the characters themselves. They never come completely alive. I don't particularly like them, I don't particularly care. As this is a trilogy, aren't they all?, I will at some point pick up the next ...more
Jason
Mar 07, 2012 Jason rated it it was amazing
Excellent read!! Some places were "predictable", I agree. But, predictable is relative. The parts that were predictable to me may not be predictable to you. And, vice versa. Even still, being able to "predict" the outcome of any one event didn't diminish the enjoyment I garnered from the story itself or the scene in question. I think this was a great piece of storytelling and I can't wait for the sequel!
Kathie
Mar 16, 2012 Kathie rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was AMAZING! I have gotten into a habit of finding an author and then reading everything they've written. Because of that I find myself limiting myself to a handful of authors and becoming 'snobby' and shunning others. I found this book (for free) on my new kindle and decided to give it a shot. I am SO glad I did! Man of Wax was exciting, scary, gripping, and entertaining. I would recommend this to everyone who enjoys the murder/mystery/thriller stories.
James Hatz
Sep 29, 2015 James Hatz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man of Wax grabbed me from the opening page and I literally could not put it down - finishing it in three sittings. I can't wait to get caught up on some other books I've already purchased so I can treat myself to book two of this trilogy.
If you like adventure/thriller type with good conspiracies thrown in -this book has that all - in spades. Again - looking forward to reading more from Mr.Swartwood soon.
Jenn
Oct 20, 2013 Jenn rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Gym Reading. This was one of my better acquisitions when it comes to the uber cheap/free Kindle books I pick up. It hooks you right in at the beginning and doesn't stop. I'm always reading something on the Kindle at the gym, but I'm also reading something else in regular dead tree edition. I found myself wanting to read this one outside the gym. Still, I don't really find myself wanting to read more. This isn't my usual type of book, but I did still enjoy it.
Sue  Turner
Feb 03, 2012 Sue Turner rated it really liked it
Novel du noir. Subjects I'd rather not think about posed in the style I most like to read. I have no idea how a mind lets all this fall onto paper and then strings it into a realistic read that makes me keep shaking my head in 'shades of 1984' wonder. I'll read more of this author's works...just because.
Rory Stanbridge
Dec 02, 2014 Rory Stanbridge rated it really liked it
Just finished this book and downloaded the second part of the trilogy. I was not quite sure what to make of it at first but the more I got into it the more difficult I found it to put down. I could almost never forecast what was going to happen next and only once did I guess correct. A genuine page turner. I just hope that the second part is half as good as this one.
Annie Bailey
Sep 23, 2012 Annie Bailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a fantastic read! A great storyline with fantastic characters, on the edge of your seat suspense and a mind blowing cliffhanger. Robert Swartwood knows how to grab your attention right at the beginning and hold it until the very last page. He also makes you think: Just how far would you go and to what cost to save the ones you love?
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USA TODAY bestselling author of The Serial Killer's Wife, The Calling, Man of Wax, and several other novels. He created the term "hint fiction" and edited Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer.
More about Robert Swartwood...

Other Books in the Series

Man of Wax Trilogy (2 books)
  • The Inner Circle (Man of Wax Trilogy, #2)

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