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3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,904 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling thriller about a businessman whose life becomes a nightmare when he gets involved with the wrong woman on a train is now in paperback. Full of twists and surprises.--Newsday.
Paperback, 418 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jess The Bookworm
Aug 28, 2016 Jess The Bookworm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles, a married man with a good job has his life "derailed" when he meets a beautiful woman on the train, and decides to have an affair with her. This affair ends in the most horrible way possible, and his life is turned upside down when he finds himself in a spiral of lies to protect himself and his family.

The only reason that this did not get 5 stars is because I managed to figure out the plot twist very early on, and I am not usually able to do that.

Even though it was somewhat predictable
4.5 stars

I loved this! Just a great thriller. Even though I had already seen the movie this book still kept me in suspense. Definitely skip the movie and read the book instead, it's so much better. I felt all sorts of conflicting emotions for the protagonist, Charles. In the end, despite his many faults, I found myself rooting for him. I won't say more since this is best read unspoiled.
Jan 16, 2015 Rossy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly, I disagree with most readers: I liked the film best. Still, a great thriller!
Robert Beveridge
James Siegel, Derailed (Warner, 2003)

I saw the 2005 film version of Derailed a while back, and was unimpressed, to put it kindly. When a friend of mine lent me this novel a couple of months ago, I didn't put two and two together until reading the jacket copy. Of course, I assumed the book would be better, since they almost always are, and dove in anyway.

Charles Schine is an ad executive whose life is going along swimmingly until one fateful week when everything seems to go wrong. He loses the fi
Jul 16, 2007 fivethousandbooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Some books are so good that you can't put them down. But some books are soooo good that you can't continue reading them because you don't want to know what's going to happen next. This one falls in the second category! Brilliant first novel!
Mar 25, 2008 jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read it before the movie came out. save your time and just read the book. it keeps you hanging..........
Sarah Beth
In essence, Derailed is the story of an affair gone wrong. A rather average husband and father, Charles meets Lucinda on the train and is sucked into a torid affair. Yet when they finally venture to a hotel room, a man follows them, beats Charles up, robs them, and rapes Lucinda. In the aftermath, Charles is blackmailed, a man is killed, and his family is threatened. Yet was Lucinda who she really claimed to be?

If I had to select one word to describe this novel, it would be contrived. Or implaus
David Diamantes
Nov 06, 2011 David Diamantes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Derailed is a classic, cautionary tale with enough suspense and plot twists, to keep a jaded reader like me turning pages. Charled Schine is is an advertising executive with job troubles, a sick daughter and a preoccupied wife, trapped on the commuter treadmill. When he meets a dropdead gorgeous woman on the train from Long Island to NYC, sparks fly. She's just what his bruised ego needs. They meet for dinner, have an affair, and then the blackmail starts. Derailed is a well-crafted novel. Siege ...more
Sam Reaves
Lee Child's blurb for this book says it is "literally impossible to put down"; I did not find this to be the case, having no trouble detaching it from my hand. But I did read it in three or four sittings, which for me is pretty absorbed. It snares you very competently with a tale of a married man, a decent fellow under stress, who in a moment of weakness is drawn into an affair with a beautiful stranger. Bad things ensue and he's off down the slippery slope to mayhem and murder. Very well execut ...more
Dec 29, 2010 PattyMacDotComma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
This is one of those stories where you watch the protaganist dare a bit, then dare some more, then get just a bit too far in to get out, but you sort of hope he will manage. Then he begins to struggle to get on top of things all goes awry. Kept me reading to the end, which is more than some books do these days.

Couple of days after I wrote this, the movie turned up on TV - enjoyed the story again with Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. Gets into the action quicker than the book, but still
Jan 24, 2009 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the book first...took two days. Then I saw the movie...took about two hours. Save yourself two hours and just read the book. The book had so many twists and turns that the movie couldn't and didn't convey. There were a lot of things omitted in the movie and a lot of things totally changed that except for the title and the main characters you wouldn't recognize as the same story. That is why I'm a reader.
Nov 09, 2012 ☆Brittany☆ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, 5-stars
If you're looking for a quick page turner then this is it.

I watched the movie years ago & I remember loving it. I heard from a friend that the book was better so when I finally stumbled upon the book (thanks to because I could NOT find this book in all the libraries I checked) I delved right in & could barely put the book down.

There were a few things I wasn't too crazy over (like insinuating Christians are abortion clinic bombers, but whatever, if that is his opinion o
Sheri Zamot
It was, just as 2 stars indicate, okay.
I found it very shocking in the beginning. Almost to the point of not wanting to continue. And, believe me, i've read some brutal stuff. But this was kinda just sick.
Then comes the mystery/drama/suspense part... which I actually didn't find all that gripping.
There were twists that were good and some that were ridiculous, but overall it kept my attention and I did read about the last 1/3 in 1 sitting.
There's a second book... I won't be reading it most likel
I was curious about the book because I had watched the movie last year. The book, as always, was much better than the movie. I liked the movie just fine, but the book adds so much more. I plan to read more by James Siegel. Good strong characters and a plot that kept me turning the page.
Patrick O'Neil
Aug 01, 2011 Patrick O'Neil rated it did not like it
Excuse me - New York Times bestseller? Now a major motion picture?

Page 43 - tosses book across the room.
Mar 23, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the movie and have to say loved the book more, great story with plenty of twists and turns keeping it interesting.
Analicia De Anda
Great, great book, not so great movie, though, as is almost always the case.
A brutal and frightening chiller, with a man who meets a woman on the commuter train, seemingly by accident. Even as he is subjected to vicious attacks, scary blackmail, and the gradual disintegration of his job and his marriage, always in the back of his mind is his young diabetic daughter with failing kidneys. One twist after another brings the story full circle and then veers off in a chilling climax and what seems to be a resolution, but it's not very satisfying.
Rachel Scamardella
I really liked the format of this novel - story inside a story.

The book paced well, and reminded me an awful lot of "A Simple Plan." A good suspense novel, but my one criticism is (view spoiler)
Robin Roberts
Jul 09, 2017 Robin Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
suspenseful, a real page turner
Ro Sands
Jul 09, 2017 Ro Sands rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intense gripping suspense thriller. Kept me interested from start to finish. I loved it. Will definitely be reading more books from James Siegel.
I hate putting down a book forever, just giving up, especially in the middle of a reading challenge. But I almost did. It’s hard not to when the main character of the book is so relentless stupid and selfish downright to the point of being offensive, that you can’t feel any sympathy for him. And all other characters are mere cardboards to be used by the plot – a cardboard caring wife, pretty enough to be an object of affection but one-dimensional and inoffensive, a sick child that is defined by ...more
The title aptly fits the story. Derailed, indeed. As in, what a train wreck of your own doing your life has become.

In Derailed, an English teacher at Attica asks his students to submit anonymous stories. He's drawn to the story of Charles Schine which appears on his desk regularly in chapters. Charles is a businessman in a lackluster marriage who meets a sexy woman on a train and begins a relationship with her. Eventually they end up in a seedy hotel to consummate their affair. After their naugh
Jun 05, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
DERAILED is everything I look for in a thriller. Putting it down was harder than giving my baby up for adoption. (And, no, I don't actually have a baby, so it's possible I don't know what I'm talking about.)
I intentionally avoided the movie version so as to keep myself fresh. Glad I did, too, because there were several things here that threw me for a loop. And I really dig James Siegel's writing--the man knows how to suck you into the story and make you feel like you're part of the action.
I have
Joe White
Jul 23, 2011 Joe White rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, donated
The narrative was told from a historical perspective. It seemed to me to be similar to the reminiscing of someone with a weak personality verging on a disorder problem. The character dialogs weren't really dialogs as they were related from the past tense.
I couldn't identify with the narrator/main character, and at best felt that he was an idiot stumbling into life and reacting in the worst way to situations.
I thought that the bad guys were given too much credit for making exactly the correct mov
Alisha B
Derailed by James Siegel is full of twists and turns and punch-in-the-gut dramatic stops that propel the story forward at a terrifying pace. It’s very easy to have sympathy for Charles, though it was through his own actions that the world is crumbling down around him, and to will him to win out over Vasguez and his accomplices. Derailed illustrates the “line upon line, precept upon precept” and “slippery slope” concepts as Charles crosses farther and farther into moral ambiguity while trying to ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Advertising director Charles Schine is just another New York commuter, regularly catching the 8.43 to work. But the day he misses his train is the day that changes his life. Catching the 9.05 instead, he can't help but be drawn by the sight of the person opposite. Charles has never cheated on his wife in eighteen years of marriage. But then Charles has never met anyone like Lucinda Harris before. Charming, beautiful and a seductively good listener, Charles finds himself instantly attracted. And ...more
Grant Murray
It's hard to rate this book and explain why it didn't a higher rating without spoiling a few key parts. But I'll try.

Perhaps the writer was making a point about coincidences and unexpected events - that life is unexpected, perhaps? - but whatever the point was it must have been way over my head. For one, the key 'meeting' scene at the beginning was so coincidental that the events that follow are hard to believe. And perhaps that's by design, because while the coming twist is easy to predict, as
Nov 09, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I started reading Derailed at my favorite coffee shop, but their copy soon disappeared, so I was forced to switch to the library's audio version. The reader is excellent, but I must give one caution about choosing the audio version: reading about a violent, multi-stage rape is bad enough, but listening to it can be unbearable.

The pacing and plotting of the story were strong: it was appropriately swift and suspenseful and twists (that were only partially predictable) arrived whenever the story l
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