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Good People

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  896 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
The spectacular Dutton debut of a thriller writer whose ecstatically acclaimed work draws comparisons to luminaries such as Elmore Leonard, George Pelecanos, and Dennis Lehane

A family, and the security to enjoy it: that’s all Tom and Anna Reed ever wanted. But years of infertility treatments, including four failed attempts at in-vitro fertilization, have left them with ne
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published August 14th 2008 by Dutton Adult (first published August 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,711)
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Aug 04, 2009 Bridget rated it it was amazing
The Reeds are up to their ears in debt. When they're at the pit of despair, not sure how in the world they can turn their life around, they find a boat load of money. The money is calling their name. In their current situation of complete desperation, they make the only decision that seems logical, they take the money. There is no way they could have foreseen how this one decision would change their lives forever. Will they make it out alive?

I was completely drawn into this book before I even fi
Nov 30, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I had to quit reading this book halfway through, which is too bad because Sakey is a great writer and there's lots of suspense in this story. But the premise of the book is infuriating. Nice couple finds $370k, uses money to help them get pregnant, and bad guys come calling. I just keep yelling at the book, "Call the cops and give them the money!" I can't get over my frustration with the basic plot to enjoy reading this book.
Jul 28, 2013 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How far would you go to make all your dreams come true? If someone blindly handed you the opportunity to walk away with close on $400,000 in untraceable cash would you take it even though you knew the money wasn’t yours? No one would find out – or would they?

Could you keep the secret? Could you avoid temptation and not spend the money on clothes and luxury items? Would you pay off your debts and start anew? This is the dilemma married couple Tom and Anna Reed are faced with.

As with No Turning Ba
Nov 19, 2010 Savvy rated it really liked it

I'm not usually a big fan of crime novels; preferring historical fiction, classical literature, and an occasional non-fiction.
I came to GOOD PEOPLE with no expectations, other than a quick skim of the reviews and some personal interaction with the author... So, I really wanted to read one of his novels!

Preferences for genres aside, I'm always intrigued by an author who can spin out an intelligently wrought captivating story!
The artfully talented storyteller is the apex of humankind...the one we
Christine Zibas
Feb 07, 2016 Christine Zibas rated it really liked it
Marcus Sakey's third book, Good People comes at the perfect time on the American landscape. With so many people facing economic challenges, it's easy for readers to put themselves in the shoes of Chicago yuppies Tom and Anna Reed.

The Reeds work good jobs, own a two-family home, live in a good neighborhood, and are trying to have a baby. And yet, their pressing financial challenges (including expensive fertility treatments that haven't yet worked) create a situation for them that's far from perfe
Roger Scherping
Nov 29, 2015 Roger Scherping rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot. The way the characters got into trouble was so believable. Their decision to take the money seemed well thought out, logical, and like something that almost anyone would do, but they simply couldn't anticipate the problems they were bringing on themselves. It is a very believable and imaginative premise.

The story was extremely complex and flowed smoothly as the characters made one mistake after another, continuously compounding their troubles. Even their decision to come
Jul 29, 2015 Lori rated it it was amazing
This is a story of an ordinary couple who are putting their entire lives on the line, going into debt, straining their marriage--in order to try to have a baby. Such an understandable brand of crazy. But they are the good people. It's also the story of bad people - a thief who leads his younger brother into a robbery that goes haywire and results in the younger brother's death, and a double-cross. Throw in a completely unsympathetic celebrity crime victim who's trying to buy recreational drugs a ...more
Ed Armstrong
Dec 26, 2009 Ed Armstrong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a good thriller
Recommended to Ed by: Just pulled it out of the public library
Shelves: thriller
A debt-ridden couple discover a smoldering fire in the other half of a two-flat they own. While dousing the fire and cleaning up the mess created by their efforts they discover a ton of money that's been hidden in sacks of sugar and flour. They talk themselves into believing their money problems are over and the story details their dream-gone-wrong. A thriller that will hold you in suspense until the very last page.
May 17, 2015 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This was a fast paced adventure read. At the end of the day it comes down to pretty clear ethical questions and exploring rationalizing "grey" areas. The story was well told from start to finish, my only real complaint is that in the end Tom and Anna pretty much get what they really want. It tries to be a lesson in morals, but because of the end falls a little short.
Nov 23, 2015 Jacob rated it really liked it
Good tight action with a strong finish. About two thirds of the way through it you picture how it will end and think you've figured the writer's plot out only to find he really was one step ahead of you.
Jan 30, 2014 Cam rated it liked it
Fast-paced thriller about a dink/yuppie Chicago couple who stumble upon $400,000 and think it'll answer all their problems (and they have a few.) What they don't know is how vengeful the criminals are who want the money back, nor how ambition rears it's ugly head in the police force. It's a pretty good read, but a little facile or slick. I can't think about how much the author enjoys having his books optioned as movies and can almost see this as any recent Ben Affleck movie or as an episode on L ...more
Paul Pessolano
Feb 06, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
Test yourself. If you were renting to a completely unknown person and he died, and you found $400,000 hidden in his room - what would you do?????

Could you resist the temptation of keeping the money? Keep in mind nobody knows who this person is, he has no known relaltives, and no one knows about the $400,000.

Tom and Anna Reed are faced with this decision. They are in need of money and it would certainly make life more enjoyable for them. However, unknown to them, the money and a suitcase of drugs
Mindi Rosser
Aug 23, 2011 Mindi Rosser rated it really liked it
Shelves: 50-fiction-reads
Since Marcus Sakey is a local thriller author (Chicago, IL), I decided to read Good People. Available at my public library, I was excited to listen to the audio version of this fast-paced thriller. Though my iPod mixed up some of the tracks in this book, I listened to the majority of the story in chronological order.

The premise of the book is interesting: What happens to everyday Good People when they fall into sticky situations?

Intriguing question, right? What would I do if I found $400,000 in
Jan 27, 2010 Jim rated it it was amazing
Sakey is at his best when he writes about average people who stumble into the nether world inhabited by criminals and sometimes crooked cops, often through their own bad behavior. The lengths his protagonists go to extricate themselves, all the while out of their depth, drives Sakeys crime thrillers.

Tom and Anna Reed are a nice couple. They own a two-flat on Chicago's Northside; they live in one flat and rent out the other. When their tenant dies, they find a lot of money hidden in his apartmen
May 29, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
PROTAGONIST: Tom and Anna Reed
SETTING: Chicago
RATING: 4.25

We all know good people like Tom and Anna Reed—a nice couple who work hard and love their friends and families. What isn't obvious is that they are struggling financially after having embarked on a series of failed infertility treatments. They own a 2-story home and rent the lower level to a man who keeps to himself; his rent is what keeps a roof over their head.

Then one day, the Reeds smell smoke coming from the downstairs apartment. The
Kathleen Hagen
Good People, by Marcus Sakey, B, Narrated by Dan John Miller, and Joyce Bean, produced by Brilliance Audio, downloaded from

Tom and Anna Reed liv in Chicago on the north side. They both have good jobs that pay well. However, they have spent thousands of dollars on fertility methods trying to get pregnant. In doing this, they have fallen behind on their mortgage and have credit card bills exceeding $15,000. They have rented out the bottom floor of their duplex to a man who pays his re
May 25, 2009 Christine rated it really liked it
Marcus Sakey’s third book, “Good People” comes at the perfect time on the American landscape. With so many people facing economic challenges, it’s easy for readers to put themselves in the shoes of Chicago yuppies Tom and Anna Reed. They work good jobs, own a two family home, live in a good neighborhood, and are trying to have a baby. And yet, their pressing financial challenges (including expensive fertility treatments that haven’t yet worked) make their lives far from perfect, putting a strain ...more
Sep 16, 2013 ReadandRated rated it really liked it
Funny old book this one, I bought it on a whim as I was stuck without a book (and panicking accordingly) so I literally grabbed a few random ones in the hope that one or two might be good.

In this book we meet a fairly typical couple who have the misfortune of struggling to conceive. They've blown a lot of money on IVF and are faced with the difficult decision of having to accept that they can't afford another round of fertility treatment.

Then, in a random twist of fate, an opportunity presents i
Jun 07, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
What would you do if you found $400,000?

For Tom and Anna Reed, this isn't merely a thought exercise, but an actual decision they have to make. The Reeds are your average American couple - mid-30's, trying to have a child, and in debt up to their eyeballs. To help pay the mortgage on their Chicago home, they rent a basement apartment to a man they barely know. One night, they respond to a fire alarm downstairs and find their tenant dead. In the process of putting out the fire, they stumble upon a
Rob Smith
Jun 16, 2013 Rob Smith rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
I hate it when I know the ending early in a book. It happened again. Why couldn't the author had peopled the book with more people and elements to make it, at least, a bit difficult to know where the book was going??? There were complications that were nice surprises, but still mostly fillers to get to the conclusion. Which leads to....

The other complaint I have, almost consistently with recent authors - Too much excess needlessness. I get working out character motivation. But the emotional pabl
Grady Richardson
Aug 16, 2013 Grady Richardson rated it really liked it
I had a difficult time finishing this novel; I put it down for a few days twice. Not because of the quality of the writing or plotting - on the contrary, it's a well written book that will keep your interest all the way through. Rather, the problem I had is that I liked and identified with the main characters and at several points it was very clear that bad things were going to happen to them.

The title of the book is "Good People" and it could be subtitled "Making Bad Decisions". But, unlike a l
Margaret Mechinus
Sep 11, 2014 Margaret Mechinus rated it liked it
I listened to this audio book before I knew it had been made into a movie. I wish I had known and could have imagined James Franco as Tom Wright, I would have enjoyed it more. I didn't really like or identify with the "good people" in the book, and I didn't think the bad people in the book were bad enough to be believable. I'm not quite at the end of the book yet, but I can tell where it is going. If the ending actually surprises me, I'll come back and give it another star.
Greg F.
Nov 10, 2014 Greg F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just saw the film version and felt compelled to defend the book for anyone who has only seen the film. The book is so much better! The movie does not do it justice. I read the book years ago and in anticipation of the film I re-read it. It's smartly crafted suspenseful novel with lots of layers to watch unravel. It's very pulp noir with lots of action and makes for a fairly quick read. I highly recommend it! It's much darker and a lot less silly than the movie adaptation.
Apr 21, 2014 Tessa rated it it was amazing
Terrific! This story was so realistic, the kind of thriller you can imagine happening right next door - which makes it all the more unnerving. If you know Chicago you'll appreciate the references to specific neighborhoods, beaches, street corners, etc.; Sakey really captures the city's electric atmosphere. The pacing was perfection but so too is Sakey's style. This is the second of his books I've read (the first was BRILLIANCE), and I'll be picking up all the rest.
Mar 29, 2015 Sharon rated it it was ok
Shelves: midwest
Chicago yuppies Todd and Anna, deeply indebt due to fertility treatments, find almost $400,000 in their tenant’s apartment. The tenant had just died. They decide to keep the money and pay off their bills and invest in their future. Duh, unethical and stupid. The tenant turned out to be a career criminal who was involved in a huge robbery, and the police, the tenants partner’s in crime, and the drug dealer all get involved with Todd, Anna, and the money. The book went quickly, and was an OK read, ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Jake rated it it was ok
If there's a more run-of-the-mill crime novel out there, I'll be shocked. There is literally nothing positive or negative to say about this book. Hell, I wish Sakey wasn't such a competent writer, because it would have been much more fun of Good People was straight-up garbagio. Sakey's been great before, but this is a total mail-in job. I give it two mehs and a dismissive wank motion.

On a related note, just once can we have 'innocent' characters find some illicit cash and NOT be stupid with it?
Daron W Krueger
Nov 27, 2013 Daron W Krueger rated it it was amazing
Captivating read. I love how Sakey adds the element of real people to the story. This isn't just a typical crime novel with powerful, well funded bad guys and an almost super human hero--it is more a study of human nature. The story follows ordinary "good people" who stumble upon a way out of their financial troubles. They are introduced in a way that allow us to feel for them and their issues, and thus connect with the story on a more personal level--and presents a situation that very well coul ...more
Aug 26, 2013 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite of Sakey's books, a bit predictable. The female character in this book (to be played by Kate Hudson in the upcoming movie) is overly annoying and makes some incredibly stupid and predictable moves (Cameron Diaz would have been a more appropriate choice of actress considering the level of annoyance and stupidity on the female characters part). Other than that there are a few twists and turns I didn't see coming and it kept me entertained. Sakey is still a great writer and I will c ...more
Beverly  Campbell
Mar 04, 2014 Beverly Campbell rated it it was amazing
Loved it! It was not at all what I expected. Very unique and interesting set up. What would you do if four hundred thou suddenly fell into your lap? Things might not turn out as expected, and that's exactly what happens with this fun read. This is my second Marcus Sakey book. I plan to read them all.
Chip Midnight
Jan 03, 2015 Chip Midnight rated it really liked it
Pretty good thriller. Couple finds money, but it comes with a price. Bonus points for Kevin Tihista reference! Currently watching the movie starring James Franco and Kate Hudson. Hadn't heard anything about it, wondering why location was changed to England?
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I was born in Flint, Michigan. Loving parents still together, forty-plus and counting. My brother Matt is a respected video game columnist and owner of the website Tap Repeatedly. He is also awesome.

I attended the University of Michigan, two majors, both promptly ignored. Collected single terms at grad schools in several states. Ten years in advertising and marketing gave me the perfect experienc
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