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The Confession (Hard Case Crime #6)

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  289 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
SHE WAS YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL, AND DEAD! Jake Danser has it all: a beautiful wife, a house in the California hills, a high-profile job as a forensic psychologist. But he’s also got a mistress. And when Jake’s mistress is found strangled to death with his necktie, it’s up to him to prove he didn’t do it. But how can he, when all the evidence says he did? Jake races to reveal the ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 218 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Hard Case Crime
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Apr 02, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing
Being a fan of Stansberry's "Last Days of Il Duce," I was really looking forward to his recent effort - "The Confession" -for the Hard Case series. I wasn't disappointed. Besides the title - which is a little lame, but I suppose goes with the Hard Case tenor and (great) cover art, I was treated to a very tightly written effort that will remind readers of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley, and Bloch's (Hitchcocks's) Norman Bates. Oh, Jake Danser is his own psycho killer, no copy cat he; but where the s ...more
Benjamin Thomas
Dec 15, 2015 Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it
I’m a late comer to the Hard Case Crime books but have enjoyed most of what I’ve read so far. I’ve seen other reviews that indicate this isn’t a “typical” novel for the imprint but I don’t see why it shouldn’t be. The book is written by two-time Edgar Award nominee Domenic Stansberry and while I haven’t read any of his other stories, my experience with reading this book prompts me to seek him out in the future.

This is a classic example of “the unreliable narrator”. Jake Danser, the first person
Dan Schwent
Dec 05, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Shelves: hardcase, cool-covers
Jake Danser's a psychiatrist with a rich wife and enviable status. And a mistress. When the mistress turns up dead and all fingers point toward Jake, he struggles to clear his name. But did he do it?

First off, even though this book isn't the typical Hard Case noir thriller, I enjoyed it. It's creepy as hell not knowing who the real killer is and if Jake, the narrator, is telling the truth to the reader. That's about all I can say without giving away plot points. The writing is engaging and the c
Sep 24, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 04, 2008 C rated it it was amazing
The best psychological mystery I read all year in 2007. Will be a classic.
May 01, 2011 Trekscribbler rated it really liked it
Two-Time Edgar Award nominee Domenic Stansberry confesses an awful lot in THE CONFESSION ... or, at least, his first personal narrative surrounding the mystery Jake Danser, psychologist/psychiatrist, finds himself smack dab in the middle of: his mistress is found strangled with his own missing blue necktie, and Jake is in a treacherous race against time to prove that he didn't do it ... or did he?

THE CONFESSION is the kind of book that's extremely difficult to pen a review of, largely, because
Ken Schloman
May 06, 2016 Ken Schloman rated it really liked it
Hard Case Crime #6. Winner of the Edger Award for best original paperback in 2005, a very justified award. The author captures to noir feeling of the great masters of the genre-- Woolrich and Highsmith just to name a few-- with great character development and story line. It really puts the reader in the mind of the protagonist. A great addition to the publisher's portfolio. A must for fans of the noir genre.
Jul 18, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
This book is super creepy, much in the same way that a book like The Killer Inside Me is creepy, but with an added edge of horrific sexual behavior and dementia. I really enjoyed the play that the author does with his audience, making it hard to tell which things the narrator is accurately remembering, which he is lying about, and which things he has constructed as part of his sense of self.
The best character in the novel is the narrator's lawyer, who takes pleasure in freeing people that she se
Mar 03, 2009 Jon rated it did not like it
I got this book for Christmas and felt obligated to read it. The narrator is a forensic psychologist who, you gradually realize, is also a serial killer. He describes for judges, lawyers, and policemen all the characteristics of such sociopaths, apparently not realizing that he's also presenting to the reader the very characteristics he's describing. Eventually the only real suspense is whether he will get away with his murders. I won't spoil that for anyone who might be interested, but for me t ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Gregory rated it liked it
"Psychology of a killer" ought to be the subtitle to this one. The reader is always a little off-guard with just enough info to make you feel like you know what's happening but in the back of your mind there's some doubt to that statement. I give the author credit for his handling of the subject matter as many other authors tread over this territory and leave mutilated bodies and oodles of gore in their wake. I can't say that I loved the book but I appreciate it for what it was and how the autho ...more
Aug 29, 2014 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir
“All of these were things I had once hoped to bury, but now I realized the folly of it. Because there is always one more thing to bury. We are never done…”

I got into Hard Case Crime a couple years ago and every book I have read of the series thus far has been engaging, fun, and worth the lucre. That said, Domenic Stansberry’s The Confession is a stand-out page-turner. Main character Jake Danser is, like most other people I know named “Jake,” a complete dick. He cheats on his wife. He is obsessed
Oct 08, 2013 Isidore rated it really liked it
Although it becomes pretty clear very early on just where this story is going to go, it's still a pleasure to watch Stansberry dance his tricky narrative tightrope with such adroitness. But I think what really makes this novel is the beautiful writing. Rich, oddly cadenced prose, and a sumptuous evocation of place––in this instance, Marin County and environs. A fine job, and I will be looking up Stansberry's other books.
Russell Grant
Jan 28, 2016 Russell Grant rated it really liked it
This one surprised me. You get a sense of what the central conceit will be rather early so you would think you would lose interest. It's a testament to Stansberry's writing that you don't I ended up burning through this sucker quicker than I usually do. A tight procedural more than a mystery, this one follows a criminal psychologist who gets involved with examining a series of murders.

It's good stuff and Stansberry manages to get deep with the psychology without getting bogged down or losing it'
My travels through the Hard Case Crime library continue with book #6, The Confession by Domenic Stansberry. I’ve never heard of the author, but the premise sounded somewhat interesting. Jake Danser is a criminal psychologist who suffers from some weird black out disease. He loses time. He gets set up for a murder and chaos ensues. But maybe he really did commit the murder?

Sounds cool right? Well, it could have been, but it wasn’t. See, the book is told from Jake’s perspective and it’s kind of ha
James  W. Powell
Apr 16, 2014 James W. Powell rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
I enjoyed reading The Confession, which is a solid murder mystery novel. However, Stansberry does such a great job of balancing the mystery of whether or not the narrator is innocent or guilty that, in the end, I don't think I would've been satisfied with either option. At one moment it's obvious he's the killer, and at the next I assume that certain comments are red herrings, meant to distract us from the truth. The ending works on several levels, but unfortunately, I wasn't satisfied.
Brett Wallach
Feb 27, 2016 Brett Wallach rated it it was amazing
I rarely re-read a book, and tend to be a tough critic, but after reading The Confession again, I am utterly convinced that it is one of the greatest mystery novels ever written, classic in every sense of the word. Just amazing!
Jordan McPeek
Oct 30, 2010 Jordan McPeek rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, box-3
I love first person books, fiction or non-fiction. They're usually so engaging, like this one. What I don't usually like is psychological books. More plot, less character, I say. But this one got me past all that. It was fascinating to follow this character into his world, his very subjective world, and see where he goes. Such a strong sense of how he sees things so differently from others in the world around him, as if he's floating through life in a heavily insulated bubble full of mirrors and ...more
Will Ezell
Aug 24, 2014 Will Ezell rated it liked it
Great noir atmosphere - characters. I had to double check the publish date - it felt like I was reading a book published in the 50's. Unfortunately devoid of surprise with a predictable outcome.
Michael Mcqueen
Jul 26, 2013 Michael Mcqueen rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-case-crime
I have read the Hard Case Crime books in order thus far, with this being #6.

This one is much different from the others, mainly because it is much slower paced, and the action is limited. Much deeper on a psychological level than the others, and I suppose that is why I was more disappointed with this one than most of the others.

The novel is fine as far as it goes, but it really doesn't seem to fit in with the "pulp fiction", or crime noir genre.

Not a bad book, but I don't really believe it fits
Dec 26, 2015 Jonathan rated it it was ok
Not as good as it could have been, I didn't get the surprise I wanted to read.
Claudette Gabbs
Nov 27, 2014 Claudette Gabbs rated it really liked it
well...that was unexpected
Nov 06, 2008 Erik rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hard Case crime fans
This is the third book I've read from the Hard Case catalog and while I enjoyed it... I didn't like it nearly as much as the previous two (Colorado Kid and Touch of Death). It was however a great vacation read, so it didn't disappoint. What this story lacked wasn't that it didn't grab my attention or the style was disagreeable, but I really didn't care for the main character. It's a nitpicky and subjective point, but my feeling nevertheless.
Sep 12, 2015 Adam rated it really liked it
This novel was an interesting and quick read. While the premise is easy to figure from the first page the actions and narrative drive just keep you reading from start to finish. This novel had the feel of a modern throwback to a Hitchcock film. Check out the other novels in the Hard Case Crime series. They are worth your time.

If reading isn't fun, then you're not doing it right.
Jack Picone
Feb 13, 2014 Jack Picone rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2013 Kenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
Wow! Top writing on this psychological noir. Tighly focused on a "confession" by a criminal psychologist, 1st peron POV. Not dark in the sense that the setting is in upper-middle class, professional society. Plot develops as the novel moves along, but strong focus on character. A classic, in my view. A must-read.
Apr 18, 2008 Ladiibbug rated it liked it
Hard Case Crime

2004 copyright, vs. the usualy older stories reprinted with a new cover

A new to me author

Successful forensic psychologist in the Bay Area has the tables turned on him when his mistress is found murdered.

A dark but intriguing look at forensic psychology. Good read.

Sep 13, 2011 Manosthehandsoffate rated it liked it
Entertaining read. You pretty much know, or at least strongly suspect, who the killer is in the first few pages. There were a number of opportunities for twists but they never materialized. Maybe the biggest twist for me was that there wasn't one. It made the plot more interesting.
Dec 11, 2011 Dennis rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
This book is part of the Hard Case Crime series, which are old Noir novels from many authors that have been republished or new novels written in the old noir style. They are all fast moving, entertaining reads. Some are better crafted than others and this is one of those.
Jason DeGroot
Creeeepy. I won't say more than that 'cause it'll give the book away, but a super-fast Hard Case read, I started it this morning and finished it tonight. If you're a fan of crime fiction, this one is a clever, original, creepy piece of work.
Mike Bloom
Dec 21, 2013 Mike Bloom rated it liked it
A somewhat pretentious "psychological thriller." Creepy, pulpy, but very entertaining. Generally speaking, this book provides what I am looking for when picking up a Hard Case Crime paperback.
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Domenic Stansberry is an Edgar Award winning novelist known for his dark, innovative crime novels. His most recent novel The Ancient Rain, is set in the aftermath of 9/ll, when a federal investigator re-opens murder charges in a politically charged slaying that occurred some thirty years before. Other books in the same series include The Big Boom and Chasing the Dragon.

An earlier novel, The Confes
More about Domenic Stansberry...

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