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One False Move

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  2,730 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Melanie Starks and her son, Charlie, have been running petty con jobs for as long as either can remember. Now, just as Melanie is ready to pull out and settle down, Jared Barnett re-enters their lives with a ballsy plan for the ultimate heist. Recently released from a life sentence on a murder charge, Jared is frighteningly high on the feeling of invincibility that comes f ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Mira Books (first published February 1st 2004)
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K.D. Absolutely
Oct 07, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: Nowhere
I had a nice time reading this easy-to-read book. It's good for a weekend light read. I chose to read this book because it had so many copies in the second-hand bookstores and when I checked its average GR rating, it was 3.83 so it must not really be bad.

I thought that Alex Kava was a male and I so I thought that this book belonged to my category of guy literature in the same league as Robert Ludlum, Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, etc. I was surprised to realize that Alex Kava was a she and this
Jul 29, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it
Shelves: us-rural-crime
I enjoyed reading this thriller and rate it 4 out 5 stars. The book starts with Jared Barnett, a truly evil, twisted killer being released from prison. He was convicted of a brutal murder, but his defense attorney has persuaded the only witness to recant his testimony and a judge orders a new trial. The prosecutor declines to prosecute with only circumstantial evidence. Jared then enlists his sister and her son in his new crime spree. There is a bank robbery where 4 people are killed, plus other ...more
Anne Peachey
Aug 21, 2016 Anne Peachey rated it really liked it
Melanie Starks has run scam after scam to survive as a single parent trying to get by with a teenage son.
Her brother is released from Prison after serving only 5 years of a life sentence for Murder. He is set free on a technicality.
Melanie has always done what her brother Jared has asked of her. When he comes up with a fool proof plan to rob a Bank, she agrees and decides this will be her last job.
It all goes terribly wrong.
One false move and it all unravels.
Gunfire, a Police chase and ending up
I read this book in 4 hours!!!
It was terrific, it had everything! Action,suspense, thrilling parts, edge of your seat "what's gonna happen next"??
I orginaly ordered this because I like the author and it was a very good price.. But it was just great. Good story-line, Great characters, A TWIST ENDING I DON'T THINK ANYONE WILL SEE COMING!!!! (After I read it, I had to read that last last page 3xs I just could not BELIVE it!!!! But it was truly a good book. The author Alex Kava is most known for he
Apr 04, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Wow what a thriller! Could not put book down for last 150 pages. Non stop action and suspense throughout. Some really good characters to root for & incredible dialog to go around. Did not really expect the few twists at ending. Which was okay because they added a nice finality to story. Hopefully writer Andrew Kane gets another adventure so he may write more novels. 5 stars out of a possible 5 stars, this one really delivers. I'd highly recommend " One False Move" to anyone who loves a good ...more
Apr 06, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it
Excellent it in one day.

From back cover:

"Melanie Starks and her seventeen-year-old son, Charlie, have been running one con job or another for as long as she can remember. Worried about Charlie, though, Melanie is ready to start over. Then her brother, Jared, reappears in her life.

Released on a technicality, Jared Barnett is just out of prison and feeling more invincible than ever. He has the perfect plan to rob a local Nebraska bank, but he needs Melanie's and Charlie's help. Feelin
Ana T.
Oct 20, 2009 Ana T. rated it really liked it
I had only read Alex Kava's Maggie O'Dell books before I decided to try this one. I found this one to be a very different type of story but also very enjoyable.

The story opens with a convicted criminal, Jared Barnett, being freed from prison on a technicality. The cops, the DA, his lawyer, everyone knows he is guilty but since the case against him is dismissed he walks out. The story follows Jared moves from then on, killing the man, whose testimony had put him behind bars, harassing the DA who
Aug 06, 2016 Monika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Idealna książka na lato. Przeczytałam ją wyjątkowo szybko, ale to akurat dlatego, że wciągnęła mnie fabułą (niezbyt skomplikowaną jednak), wartką akcją i dobrą narracją. Polecam czytać w trakcie urlopu, dla relaksu.
Apr 15, 2016 Kathrin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 21th-century
As much as I like books by Alex Kava this one was an okayish read but didn't really work for me.

I was constantly confused if this book was supposed to be part of a series. Should I know more about what happened before the actual story? It seemed like an extract of a much bigger story which is why I felt like there were a lot of things missing.

In the end, I've got to say that I didn't connect with the characters and although the story was interesting there wasn't enough suspense for me to keep
May 07, 2014 Betty rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, thriller

Alex Kava

August 2004

Jared Barnett, a convicted rapist and killer, is saved from death row after an eyewitness recants his testimony. After Jared and his sleazy attorney, Max Kramer, spend several days “on tour” of the hard news talk shows, Jared returns to his home town of Omaha, Nebraska, and his family, which consists of an alcoholic, pill-popping mother, a younger sister, Melanie Starks, and her son, seventeen-year-old Charlie, who is immature, but very adept at stealing car
Nicole Sanglay
Jun 24, 2015 Nicole Sanglay rated it liked it
Can't say that it kept me on edge the whole time, but I did enjoy that last page. And I did enjoy the human-ness of our characters here. :)

I loved what Melanie's character stood for in the story: sometimes, we really do have to face difficult dilemmas in our lives. Sometimes, we react by way of denial—we back away and avert our eyes, pretending it's not happening to us. But sometimes, these decisions that we have to make just... drives us over the edge, and it scars us forever.

I loved how the
In the edition I read, the publisher put the Author's Note at the end of the book. Had I read that first, I would have been better prepared for following how the story evolved.

We first meet accused murderer Jared Barnett and defense attorney Max Kramer. Jason is being released from jail because the charges were dropped after the sole eyewitness recanted his testimony. Deputy Prosecutor Grace Wenninghoff and Detective Tommy Pakula know that Jared literally got away with murder when their case wa
Dec 08, 2015 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This was a standalone book from Kava's Maggie O'Dell series, but still includes characters, such as Detective Pakula, from the series. Here, Kava introduces newly freed criminal, Jared, who was in jail for murder but was re-tried and released on a technicality, despite everyone convinced he was guilty, including both the DA and his own lawyer, who only took on the case in hopes of finding fame for being able to convince a jury that Jared is innocent with the evidence stacked against him.
No soone
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Kava takes a break from her successful series featuring FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell with this psychological thriller about the fallout from an abortive bank robbery. The principal players are Jared Barnett, just released by his shady attorney's machinations from a life sentence for murder; his docile sister, Melanie Starks; and her 17-year-old son, Charlie, to whom Jared is a father figure. Just as their lives seem to be approaching normalcy, Jared scopes out a bank heist and bulli
Jul 05, 2014 Silver rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I do not normally read books of this type. Crime/Detective fiction, but I had this one on the shelf for a while, apparently something about it struck my interest at one point, so I figured I might as well read it.

The writing was about what one would expect for such books. It was mediocre. Not the worse thing I had ever read, but nor was it all that impressive. Though there where some things of which I think the author did well with the book. I thought her character development was pretty good. I
Jun 28, 2012 Connie rated it really liked it
ONE FALSE MOVE by Alex Kava is 376 pages in paperback form.

Brief Description:

Melanie Starks and her seventeen-year-old son, Charlie, have been running one con job or another for as long as she can remember. Worried about Charlie, though, Melanie is ready to start over. Then her brother, Jared, reappears in her life.

Released on a technicality, Jared Barnett is just out of prison and feeling more invincible than ever. He has the perfect plan to rob a local Nebraska bank, but he needs Melanie's and
Jan 19, 2014 Diane rated it liked it
Jared Barnett got out of prison because of a coerced technicality. His attorney is a slime bag and into defending death row inmates as well as crack addicts.

Jarett's sister, Melanie and her son, Charlie have done one con after another to survive. Melanie's goal was to do anything it took to give her son a home.

When Jarett gets out of prison he reconnects with Melanie and Charlie then plans a bank job that should be a piece of cake but goes sour fast. I get where Melanie kind of gets pulled into
Oct 25, 2015 ATreads rated it did not like it
I won't deny that it's a page-turner, but that's not enough for me. There are some red herrings that I feel like the author telegraphed, and I feel like the narrative got bogged down with too many viewpoints. It is a quick read, but that doesn't mesh well with the variety of viewpoint characters the author uses.

It pains me to say because, if I rated this solely on plot, it would get 4 or 5 stars, easily. That's how bad I felt the writing was. I'm deducting those stars DESPITE a really cool premi
Aug 16, 2015 Ed rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, action, thriller
Thriller - Multiple murderer Jared Barnett is released from prison after 5 years when a witness falsely recants his testimony. He engages in a deadly bank robbery with his hero worshipping nephew and then flees in a bloody escape run with his nephew, his dominated sister, and a thriller writer they pick up along the way. Coincidences abound.
Reaman Elijah-dale
Jul 23, 2014 Reaman Elijah-dale rated it liked it
Definitely had a similar experience as the majority of the other reviews. Took only a couple of days from start to finish but enjoyed all of it. The author did really well with finishing a chapter that lead to the desire to see what happened in the next. Would recommend Kava to anybody who enjoys this genre
Nov 10, 2015 Jovdb rated it liked it
An exciting and complex novel.

A murderer on death row is released when the sole witness recants his testimony.

The newly freed man then goes on a killing spree and involves his sister and 27 year old nephew.

Twists and surprises keep you reading til the end.
Ja Hawkins
May 22, 2014 Ja Hawkins rated it liked it
Alex Kava is one of my favorite authors. Love all of her work! I started reading her books back in January of 2006. Every book of hers that I've read has kept me wanting more. Though this one is not part of the Maggie Odell series, it was still a great read!
Monica Akinyi Odhiambo
May 29, 2014 Monica Akinyi Odhiambo rated it it was amazing
Good plot, good solid characters, so fast paced, kept thinking how horribly fast things got from bad to worse.And that ending was unexpected.Alex Kava remains a favorite of mine, I will always have time to read her novels.
Dec 30, 2015 Karissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Another great book by Alex Kava. Definitely was not expecting the twist at the end! Love how well she researches her books before writing them! She tells a believable, but at the same time totally unbelievable, story. Hard to believe anyone could do the things written in her books.
Jan 27, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
Again an excellent read from Alex Kava. Not from the Maggie O'Dell series, but it does include a character she has met in her travels, which was a nice touch. Believable characters, great action and never a dull moment.
Donna Martin
Oct 17, 2014 Donna Martin rated it really liked it
Was really enjoying this book. Actually a lot more than I thought I would, then got to the ending. I sat there thinking, "seriously, that is how it ends?" Very disappointing.
Bruce Gleba
Jan 22, 2016 Bruce Gleba rated it really liked it
Shelves: alex-kava
Started off slower but picked up in the second half. Interesting how she wrote some of this from true stories piled together to make a good novel.
May 31, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it
New thread of players. Jared gets out of jail (released on a tecnicalify) and takes his sister and nephew on a spree of killings and robberies
Nancy Moore
Mar 24, 2015 Nancy Moore marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Joy Lawson
Jul 03, 2015 Joy Lawson rated it liked it
It was an average book. Nothing massively happened and it was only going to end one way. I like books that have me thinking about them & the characters during the day whilst doing normal day to day things & this book didn't give me this.
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The Life of a Boo...: One False Move by Alex Kava 1 4 Jul 05, 2014 10:10AM  
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ALEX KAVA IS A NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR of the critically acclaimed Maggie O’Dell series and a new series featuring former Marine, Ryder Creed and his K9 dogs. Her stand-alone novel, One False Move, was the 2006 One Book One Nebraska. Published in over thirty countries, Kava’s novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. Her novel Stranded ...more
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