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Clean Break: A Novel

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  70 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
A riveting tale of psychological suspense about a woman who finds herself in an impossible situation.

Lured by the hope of a better life for herself and her son, Celeste Vanek must deal with the emotional and physical resistance of her compulsive gambler husband when she asks for a divorce. Though she hopes she is on the verge of making a clean break, her husband demands hi
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 236)
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David Klein
Jun 05, 2012 David Klein rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm the author, so it gets FIVE BIG ONES!
Jul 31, 2012 Kurt rated it it was ok
Recommended to Kurt by: Amazon Vine
This book is a perfectly competent novel about the difficulties in achieving clean breaks when it comes to ending relationships. The plot is clear and easy to follow, and not too unbelievable until the last act, and the characters are clearly defined. The depictions of gambling addiction, domestic abuse, and protective orders seem plausible and informative. If you're just looking for a story about a marriage chaotically dissolving, with a couple of romantic subplots and a big shift near the end, ...more
Christine Mann Owens
Jun 03, 2012 Christine Mann Owens rated it really liked it
I received this book in a goodreads giveaway. It only took me four days to read! The story was easy to connect to from the beginning and I had a hard time putting it down. I enjoyed the way the characters ended up intersecting with each other. I'm going to read this author's other book.
Lilac Wolf
Jul 09, 2012 Lilac Wolf rated it it was amazing
From Lilac Wolf and Stuff

I love it when I get a gripping suspense novel, AND it's well written. Granted I wasn't always surprised by the actions of the characters, but I also had plenty of time to be shocked. Ever read a book and get hit so hard you take a sharp intake of breath? Yeah, that happened here a few times.

What really got me was when he told the story from Adam's point of view. See, Adam was the gambling husband who was getting progressively more violent. He was such a sad case. He kne
Romancing the Book
Aug 30, 2012 Romancing the Book rated it really liked it
Clean Break by David Klein is a novel about relationships. That means it’s something like a romance novel, right? Well, maybe and maybe not. There is a budding romance at the center of the story, but there are break ups too. More than one.

When Celeste and Jacob start tentatively ‘almost dating’, they both have enough baggage between them to fill an SUV. She’s just come out of her marriage to Adam, a former college sports star whose addiction to gambling wrecked their marriage, which had been ha
Phoenix Carvelli
Jun 03, 2012 Phoenix Carvelli rated it it was amazing
Book won on on 5-25-12.

The author has done his homework in describing the emotions when there are problems in a marriage, what happens after a separation with children and with mutual friends, how the justice system is not always fair (unless you have the money for a good attorney), and the overall struggle it is when faced with this situation. The author does an outstanding job developing the characters and supporting them throughout the storyline. The interwoven plots are tied up
Jul 20, 2012 Karin rated it it was amazing
Another page-turner by a local author. I like the fact that his protagonists are flawed - good people who make some bad choices. Although it is set in a town in Westchester Co., Delmartians will enjoy the references to several local sites.
Oct 30, 2013 Izzyreads rated it liked it
I loved the way this book made me ask "what would I have done". The characters are very well drawn and they face some interesting choices. This is a very good psychological novel. I read it in a day. Couldn't put it down.
Jun 26, 2012 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-fiction
When Celeste married Adam Vanek she truly felt she had found her soulmate and for a long time her life way playing out perfectly...the birth of a child, the lovely home in the good part of town, close friends, the great American dream. Adam, however, is not so content. What now...he loves their life too...but what's there to look forward to? Hence is born an overwhelming addiction to addiction that's both untreatable and uncontrollable and which has now destroyed his marriage.

Aug 03, 2012 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Review originally posted at: Book Cover Justice

I'm going to jump right into my thoughts on this one because I know that if I say too much about the plot I will give it away. Just about all I can tell you is already said in the synopsis. So I'm just going to go ahead and tell you what I liked or didn't like.

I'll admit that the story started out a little slow for me. I like a lot of dialogue and there was little at the beginning. I wasn't sure how this was to affect me in the long run but it did p
Sep 22, 2012 Clarry rated it it was ok
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway drawing.

This book started out very decently, I had many good things to say about it in the beginning. The writing is fluid and descriptive, the characters well developed and complex. It was near the ending that some of the events that occurred completely lost me. Not in that I didn't understand what was going on or even what the author was trying to convey (I think he did a good job, in fact), just in that I found it unbelievable and away from the feel of
Bonnie Brody
Mar 07, 2013 Bonnie Brody rated it really liked it
Adam Vanek is a gambler with a very bad problem. For those readers unfamiliar with gambling addiction, the suicide rate for gamblers is higher than for any other addiction. The brain's response to gambling, especially the dopamine system, is similar to other addictions. Adam is married to Celeste and, as with other addictions, he tries to hide his problem and gets caught and is chastised over and over again. He is just finishing a three month stint in a rehab program when the book opens. He has ...more
Michelle Lancaster
By David Klein
Broadway Books, 376 pgs
Rating: 3

The only people who stay in character in Clean Break are a gambling addict (Adam) and a 10-year-old child (Spencer). Now I don't know about you but I would tend to believe that the man with no character left, and the young one just developing character, would be the ones most likely to violate. Instead it's the adults, who have up until now been solid, responsible and dependable citizens. Now they are, variously: murderers, adulterer
Sep 13, 2012 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hubs
Clean Break
by David Klein
Genre: suspense

rating 4.5 out of 5

Cast of Characters:
Celeste Vanek - a loving wife and stay at home mom
Adam Vanek - college sports star with failed NBA dreams
Spencer Vanek- their son
Jake Atwood - An innocent by-stander who is drawn into the destruction
Sara Montez- Detective, NYPD

A once happy marriage, battered by a secret gambling addiction, is ultimately destroyed. A good man has been changed beyond recognition. Everything is gone.

Celeste has given all the second chance
Brent Soderstrum
Jul 08, 2012 Brent Soderstrum rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
I won this book through GoodReads First Read program.

Klien tells a very interesting tale about a marriage falling apart and the baggage that comes with that when children are involved.

Celeste and Adam's marriage is crashing due to Adam's gambling addiction. Adam has lost all their money and he owes even more. Celeste wants to leave him and Adam gets physical. Jake witnesses what happens to Celeste and comes to her rescue. Adam is mad at everyone. His wife, Jake, the bookies, and even his parents
Wendy Hines
Jul 07, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it liked it

Clean Break hooks the reader from page one into the lives of Celeste, Adam, Jake and little Spencer. The bond between them is all different, but yet, there relationships all intersect. From an explosive and volatile relationship to a struggle of trying to find yourself and how to make a clean break, the characters in this story will keep you up late, turning the pages as their story unfolds. Nail-biting suspense, realistic situations set in a modern world, diverse characters, clever dialogue and
Aug 06, 2012 Linda rated it liked it
Recommended to Linda by: Got as advanced reader
A good easy summer read. I was caught up in the tension between the characters from the beginning, sometimes getting mad at them for making the wrong decision. Yet you understand why they made it. Reading the thoughts of the gambling addicted, violent, Alex didn't make me hate him. His desperate state was sad. I figured that significant violence was going to happen, I just couldn't figure out who. Some of the extra characters were not as fleshed out as well as the two main characters, but I stil ...more
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
May 30, 2012 Kristin (Kritters Ramblings) rated it really liked it
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

When pitched this book to read, I was immediately sucked in by the perfect blurp of the book, but I had no idea it would take such a dramatic turn until it was right in front of me. Let's back up first - we start the story with Celeste who is a mom and is moving out of her home while her husband is in rehab. The reader quickly finds out that he is abusive and still fighting some major demons. Then we meet Jake who is the non-committer and is acciden
Creston Mapes
Jun 09, 2014 Creston Mapes rated it really liked it
Quite a good thriller.
Jul 23, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
I recieved this book from the Good Reads First Reads giveaway. I really enjoyed this book, I found the characters to be very interesting. I remember thinking a few times that I was seeing growth in the characters, but then they would slip back into their own ways again. It was a very entertaining book, but I did feel a little dissapointment at the ending, it left me hanging a little too much.
Sep 03, 2014 Lesley rated it it was amazing
Domestic violence, gambling, custody issues, and affairs of the heart are all in this one. Adam is classic case of a bully husband that cant control his anger! The story builds with tension-knowing something will happen but what! A great psychological suspense story! And loved reading about Howe Caverns and Turning Stone Casino! Places familiar to this upstate new yorker!
May 21, 2012 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Liked this book a lot, though the ending for me left something to be desired. I did enjoy the multi-character narration and intersecting plot lines (like a dark and twisted mini-love actually), except for Adam's voice, which I really hated. But I guess that was sort of the point? Either way, solid read.

*I received a copy of the book from Goodreads First Reads*
Jean Brazil
Jul 22, 2012 Jean Brazil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This was one that was reccommended by an internet list on facebook. Interweaving stories of two couples: a young couple troubled by compulsive gambling ends up connecting with a somewhat selfish business man who is having an affair with a police officer. Well written and just enough twists and turns to keep you guessin. I liked this one.
Kelly Gomez
Feb 04, 2013 Kelly Gomez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I opened this book having no expectations. I had no idea what it was about and the cover did not draw me in. I am so grateful I gave it a read. This story was gripping. The main characters struggles pull you in. The family dynamics keep you interested. It was well-written and every chapter fit nicely with the story. Wonderful writing!
Miriam Downey
Aug 28, 2012 Miriam Downey rated it liked it
Clean Break presents an interesting moral dilemma. What would you do to protect yourself and your child. My review is here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...
Lyndsay Leggott
Jun 28, 2012 Lyndsay Leggott rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book.....several unexpected turns made for a very thought-provoking story. I couldn't put it down!
Oct 15, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it
Especially liked the "local" references.
Maria Swanson
Maria Swanson marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Diane marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2016
Leigh Davis
Leigh Davis marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
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I am the author of the novels STASH and CLEAN BREAK, published by Broadway Books.

I like to write, and read, stories about ordinary people who find themselves, often due to their own character flaws, in extraordinary and difficult circumstances that test their moral courage.

Visit my web site:
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