Black Out
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Black Out

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  3,071 ratings  ·  449 reviews
When my mother named me Ophelia, she thought she was being literary. She didn’t realize she was being tragic.

On the surface, Annie Powers’ life in a wealthy Floridian suburb is happy and idyllic. Her husband, Gray, loves her fiercely; together, they dote on their beautiful young daughter, Victory. But the bubble surrounding Annie is pierced when she senses that the demons...more
Paperback, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 529 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2008)
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BEA 2012
42nd out of 95 books — 34 voters


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Community Reviews

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Kelly
This is the first time I've read anything by Unger, but she has now earned a place on my list of "newly-discovered-and-now-in-complete-awe-of" authors! I can't wait to read all of her other works.

For the past three days, I have been completely immersed in this book, only putting it down when it was necessary to deal with certain real-life issues and get some sleep. It grabbed hold of me and refused to let go until I'd finished the very last page. The main character is Annie, who used to be Ophe...more
Jordan Castillo Price
I think, initially, I wanted to be persnickety about some things like character voice (a trailer trash girl with a GED who uses whom/whomever in speech, for instance -- and how convenient it was they had so much money that they could hire planes, boats, etc.), but then the story sucked me in, and I didn't give a rat's ass if it was written the way I would have, and I gave myself over to the story.

The mystery is like a set of Russian nesting dolls. Every time you think you know what's going on, i...more
hllf
A lot of unfulfilled potential. Not recommended. Below is a breakdown of my rating:

Enjoyability: 3
Re-Readability: 1
Character Development: 2
Complexity: 3.5
Writing Style: 2
Believability: 2
Overall: 2.25

I picked this book up to read over vacation because I liked the description of the plot. The book started out rather slow; a lot of recounting of past events. In fact, after the first two chapters, I started over and re-read them to try to get a better handle of what was occurring when.

Once the novel...more
Kathy
Jul 30, 2008 Kathy added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely NO ONE!!!!
Recommended to Kathy by: I had read other books by this author.
What was real? What was imaginary? I feel like I need to check into a mental hospital after reading this book. Black Out really messes with your mind and not in a good way. It is very doubtful that I will read any other Lisa Unger books. I was left to wonder....what happened?
Christina Leftwich
After sticking this book out through its confusing state, Im feeling let down with the ending. I wonder if the author was just tired of writing it by that time, and the last two chapters could have been left out completely.
Merilee
Great read! I picked the book up for about $8 at my local Wal-Mart; and devoured it in a weekend. It was interesting to read, great character development, good plot line that moved at a great pace.

I loved how the novel would jump between the far past, the near past, and the present... all creating a cohesive story that was intriguing. This writing technique allowed us to relate to the struggles of Annie as she tried to piece together what she had forgotten long ago; it also was an interesting te...more
Melanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gun Bach
An amazing, thrilling, soulsearching book that I couldn't put down. Lisa writes in a profound way, with sentences and choices of words that make me re-read paragraphs without it jarring me one little bit. I cared for the protagonist, the "I" in the story, from the first page, even if I normally shy away from stories written in the first person. This is the only way, IMHO, that Lisa could've written this story, because we needed to be in Annie/Ophelia's head to understand what she was going throu...more
Kristen
In Black Out, Lisa Unger enthralls us with another heart-pounding thriller. In this one, we're introduced to Annie Powers, a wife and mother, who had a secret life. And not everything is what she seems. We discover her turbulent past life in flash backs, when she was known as Ophelia March. Somehow we watch how it trickles back in her past, when she breaks down and cracks at the surface. Terrible headaches, bad memories, flashbacks and nightmares, return. Everything she knew and trusted changes....more
Barb
I can't read Lisa Unger's books fast enough...

Annie Powers is a wealthy homemaker, happily married to Gray and mother to a beautiful four year old daughter, Victory. But all is not what it seems and there are ghosts and demons from her past haunting her apparently perfect and beautiful life.

A lifetime and not very long ago Annie was Ophelia March a young girl living a trouble life on the run with a man she thought she loved.

Now the past has intruded on the present and Annie struggles to figur...more
Peter
I wanted to like this, I really did. But I put it down about 150 pages in and just had no desire to pick it up again, even after renewing it at the library. There was so much potential for a good psychological suspense novel, but I never felt much suspense in the chapters that I read, and when I did, it turned out to be a dream or was written off in some other way.

I do admit that the author is a good writer, and there were some well-crafted passages. And as hesitant I was about the choice to use...more
Lauren
Told in alternating chapters of the past and the present, we slowly begin to realize that all is not well with Annie/Ophelia. Given her mental status, the reader begins to wonder how much of what she says is the truth and how much of it is just in her head. The truth is made harder to see given that everyone around her seems to be lying, all for various reasons. Although certain parts of the ending begin to be easily predicted about half-way through, this is an entertaining psychological thrille...more
Lewis Weinstein
This is the ultimate book of unreliable narrators. Whoever says anything is not to be believed. Evidence is not to be believed. The very existence of some of the characters is not to be believed. Yet, instead of spinning out of control, Lisa Unger keeps firm command of a dazzling sequence of twists, surprises, time jumps, and venue changes. We have faith in the author to get us to the end of the journey. No more to be said without revealing something you should experience for yourself.
Michelle
I applaud the writer of this book for a very well-planned out plot and all the thought she must have put into this. It is good as a psychological thriller. For pure entertainment, it is pretty disturbing, and possibly could have stopped with like 5 less plot twists but still a good book.
Mary
After I finished this in one day. I went out and bought 2 more of her books. I would have bought 3 but Borders was out of Sliver of Truth.
I'll get it, though.
Shannon
Unger is a master. I wish I had more time to read everything she's written. She's sort of dark, but can really weave a good one.
Jo Anne B
This book really played with your mind. It was hard to tell what was real, fantasy, or a dream. This was to reflect the turmoil the main character Annie endured as she was trying to live in the present while fighting an unresolved past.
"The truth is that I may never be fully able to discern between the actual events-or people-in my recent life and the dreams created by my psyche to heal itself. Sometimes I'm not so sure it matters."

This book was ok. It had too much mind twisting in it that you...more
Matt Schiariti
I loved Lisa Unger's other three books. I started with Die For You and went back to the beginning, which brings me to Blackout.

At its heart, the story of Blackout is very simple; that of a woman with a terrible past who's trying to live a new life, a better life, but the past comes back to haunt her. Ophelia was a child who had everything working against her. A pseudo alcoholic mother who falls in love with a death row inmate. Why is Frank Geary on death row? He was convicted of abducting, tortu...more
Clay
This book to me was a very intelligent book that showed me how someone can live a horrific life and even if they change there names or even cause a plausible death but don't actually die taking over someone else's identity that is also dead and living on with out the threat of someone you wanted to run from hopefully wont find nor will the government if you don't use WIT SEC which is Special Witness Program ran by the US Marshals to protect people that have witnessed severe crimes and other thin...more
Jeanette
There were some things about this that were hard to follow, especially the way it kept changing verb tense. Overall, though, it was a good psychological thriller. Lisa Unger always tucks some interesting insights into her novels, which are easy to miss but worth watching for.

"Most of us don't live in the present tense. We dwell in a mental place where our regrets and grudges from our past compete with our fears about the future. Sometimes we barely notice what's going on around us, we're so bus...more
Sharon
Twisty and intriguing. Much of the first part of the book consists of fragments and threads of two and sometimes three periods in the main characters life. I really enjoyed keeping up with all the curveballs Unger threw, as well as trying to piece together the clues and noting the parallels between the various relationships I read about and the actions the main character did and did not take. Clever and highly readable.
Dorothy Caimano
Complicated, engaging, intriguing. The main character has breaks with reality so the reader isn't always sure what is present/past, real/imaginary. Comes together nicely in the end with enough loose ends to be consistent with the established psychological state.
Tracy
I thought it was so/so. Sometimes a convoluted plot is a good thing with a thriller, but here - not so much. Plot twists were predictable, and overall I found it underwhelming.
Stacy
Annie Powers is crazy. I don’t think I’m spoiling too much by telling you that since the title of the book comes from her spells of losing her memory. Annie also used to be Ophelia March, daughter of one present parent, her mother who is in love with a death row convict. When the convict is released and he and his son are living with Ophelia her once crappy life takes a turn for the worse. She becomes involved with her new stepbrother, Marlo. But currently, Annie is a rich wife and mother who ha...more
Janette
This isn't my usual type of book. It was in a stack of books my mom gave me and I figured I would read a few pages--just long enough so that I could tell for certain that it wasn't a book I wanted to read and discard it. Well, let's just say that I not only finished the book, I read it while I was supposed to be working and sleeping. Kudos to Lisa Unger. It takes a talented writer to get me to read a book with such dark themes and troubled characters.

The writing was good, the action kept coming,...more
Jeffrey
Aug 09, 2008 Jeffrey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Suspense fans of psychologic thrillers.
A long time ago I read early Mary Higgens Clark novels in which a woman has to fight off an attacker. Black Out is very reminiscent of those books but its also extemely convoluted. The action takes place both in the past and the present as the author Unger presents both parts of her main character's life. When Ophelia was a teenager, her mother married a convict who was in prison for murder and rape. At the same time, the convict's son -- Marlowe Geary comes to live with Ophelia and her mother....more
Laren
Our protagonist was born Ophelia March. But some tragedy struck, and as a mental defense, she no longer remembers exactly what happened. She starts a new life with a new name and the help of a man who later becomes her husband. Unfortunately, she sees a dark figure on the beach and this triggers many confusing memories and the disturbing feeling that someone is after her, or worse, her daughter, and wants to kill them.

This is one of those psychological thrillers that is interesting to read becau...more
Ricardo Mendes
Nem sei muito bem como descrever este livro. Lisa Unger oferece-nos um thriller psicológico tremendamente bem construído onde acompanhamos a vida de Annie Power em três fases distintas da sua vida. E penso que é aqui que está o segredo deste livro. O crescente suspense é fundamentado por estas três narrações em diferentes tempos.

Mais um aspecto que é importante a salientar é a rápida captação do interesse do leitor. Não temos de ler até metade para encontramos a primeira reviravolta. Desde o iní...more
Andrea
I really wanted to love this book. The beginning kind of grabbed my attention, and had me interested. It was clear that this was going to be a suspense-filled, and enthralling book.

However, it just never got there for me. A lot of the book was spent on the past, and it gave a lot of background information. Also, the author kept flipping back and forth from what I assumed as the present, to the scene on the boat. I really thought that, once we got to the actual boat scene, something exciting woul...more
Jennifer
I got hooked on this author after reading her two previous books. I love her writing style. The suspense was so intense it had me looking over my shoulder when I went outside. I love twists in a story, and this one has plenty. At times, however, it was a little too complex. I had to stop and really think many times to try to figure out what just happened. There are so many loose ends, though, that I feel like there might be a sequel coming. Her first book, "Beautiful Lies" ended that way, and wa...more
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Lisa Unger is an award-winning New York Times and internationally bestselling author. Her novels have sold more than 1.7 million copies and have been translated into twenty-six different languages.

Her writing is hailed as "stellar” (USA Today), “arresting and meaningful” (Washington Post) with “gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose” (Associated Press).

Sign up for Lisa's Newsletter for...more
More about Lisa Unger...
Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones #1) Fragile (The Hollows, #1) Sliver of Truth (Ridley Jones #2) Die for You In the Blood

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