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Fragile (Jones Cooper #1)

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  7,633 ratings  ·  873 reviews
Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on each other’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten. As a kid, Maggie found the microscope of small town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she’s happily ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Crown (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dina
I needed to read a book by an author whose name (first or last) starts with the letter "U" in order to finish RRRC's 2010 A-Z Author Challenge, and that's how I "discovered" Lisa Unger. I didn't know anything about her and her books when I started to read Fragile, so I had no expectations. Now I wish I had known what to expect, because I wasn't in the right mood to read a "depressing" book.

This story takes place in a small town called The Hollows, where everyone knows everyone - or so they think
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Lauren Fidler
i know. i promised myself i'd never unger again.

i lied.

let's just face it. an unger novel is perfect for those pre-bedtime creepouts. she weaves convoluted plots that feel simultaneously unbelievable and close-to-home. here, it's the tale of two dead girls, separated by decades, and the question of what would you do to protect the ones you love.

jonesin':

1. for once, unger's multi-perspective drama didn't feel uber-contrived to me. i got into the rhythm of the novel easily and it was addictive.
2.
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Jennifer
From My Blog (4.5 stars)...

Complex, multilayered and suspenseful, Fragile by Lisa Unger tells not only the story of one missing girl, but two separated by decades and the secrets kept by the inhabitants of The Hollows, New York. Charlene leaves home and everyone assumes she is a runaway, yet the adults remember another time, back when they were Charlene's age and Sarah Meyer went missing. Are the cases as similar as they appear and if so, will anyone be willing to bring up the secrets of the pas
...more
Karen
I feel a little uncharitable giving this only two stars, especially since I could be accused of going overboard with the stars on other occasions. Somehow this just didnt come together for me, a shame since it started with such promise. Good points are these: the writing is extremly smooth. Unger is undoubtedly a deft writer. I flew from one page to the next. Missing teenage girls is a premise I keep seeing over and and over again--in fact it's beginning to grow tiresome--but this seemed to offe ...more
Sandra Jones
Maggie and Jones live with their teenage son, Rick, in The Hollows, a small town outside of New York City.
The cozy intimacy of the town is broken when Rick’s girlfriend, Charlene, mysteriously disappears.
The investigation has Jones, the lead detective on the case, acting strangely and Rick, already a brooding teenager, becomes even more withdrawn.
Maggie finds herself drawn in both as a trained psychologist and as a mother, walking a tightrope that threatens the stability of her family. Determ
...more
Larry Bassett
Another new mystery writer for me. NY Times bestselling author – aren’t they all? I am not sure how I ended up going out with Lisa since she seems to mostly be read by women. Fragile doesn't seem to be quite chick-lit but, if it is, I don't hold that against it.

Lisa Unger says on her website:
“My novels center around strong women who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances, and explore themes such as the power of a single choice, the corrosive nature of secrets and lies, dark family lega
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Katherine
This book, along with a copy of The Night Strangers, was sent to me by the marketing manager of Crown Publishing. I had won the Goodreads giveaway for Before Versailles and after almost two months I had not received it. It was a pleasant surprise and a very generous gesture, especially since the original giveaway book arrived shortly thereafter. Theoretically, then, it probably isn't necessary to review the book but feel it is appropriate.

I faithfully read page by page to Ch 19, page 190, almost
...more
Anita
Listening to the audio of this older book from Lisa Unger was pure pleasure. While on the surface there is one young girl missing, the circumstances take many in The Hollows back to a similar case many years ago. Oddly enough many of the same people are a part of both of these cases. Old memories are dredged up, and the feelings of doubt and distrust are rampant now.

Great book, and now even more eager to read Lisa's new book publishing in February 2015.
Kori
If this is a "thriller" why was there nothing thrilling about it? The writing was sophomoric, the characters not fully developed and inconsistent, and most of all: unconvincing. The villains are not villainous, and the main protagonist is a "psychologist" who has no clue and no professional boundaries, and is actually just a homemaker without any real character. The rest of the characters are simply stereotypes, with the exception of maybe Jones. Adding some violence, layers of story lines, and ...more
Lisa
Sometimes you open a book and it grabs you right from the very first chapter, and doesn't let go till the very end. Of the hundreds of books I have read, there have been a few like that. Books that even after you close them and put them back on the shelf, stay with you for a very long time. Lisa Unger's Fragile is one such book.
I could say that Fragile is the story of a young girl's disappearance. That it is about small town secrets, or families cracking apart . I could say that because it is al
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Jessica at Book Sake
This story is at first confusing because of the intertwined lives of the people who live in a small town outside of New York City. However the author, Lisa Unger develops an intricate description of each character, covering not only their past secret lives as well as their present lives. It is surprising as to how the past secrets of Jones Cooper, the town detective, have a direct effect on his method of investigation in the recent disappearance of a local girl, Charlene. The fact that Lisa Unge ...more
Nicole Long
What a fabulous new author find! I really enjoyed this book...reminded me a lot of Chevy Stevens' writing. It felt dark and eerie and I struggled with who to trust and believe. I liked that it kept me guessing. I look forward to reading more by this author!
Mathew
The book starts off strong (I picked it up randomly and kept reading because I liked the first few pages) and turns into somewhat of a page turner, but then crimes are committed (one past, one present, a couple of others alluded to) and, like so many similar books, it falls apart. My theory is that so many books fall apart when crimes are committed for a couple of reasons. One: the tree of possible consequences branches wildly at such moments and, Two: authors rarely have first hand experience w ...more
Janene
This book was frustrating.

I didn't like how it flipped from past to present to past to present with no warning whatsoever. I also didn't like that I was always trying to remember who someone was in relation to someone else. I understand that we were suppose to be getting the idea that it was a small town and everyone is connected but it was REALLY confusing. I live in the small town that I was born into and I do know a lot of people who know a lot of the same people I do. It's true that small to
...more
Lora
The book started with promise for me. The first part of the book started with introducing the different characters and a little about their life but somewhere toward the middle of the book it got a little confusing trying to keep them all straight. I also didn't like the way the book vacillated back and forth between past and present with each character, sometimes I was so confused in the start of a chapter that I had to stop and think "where am I at?" If I had sat down and read this book all in ...more
Heather Pearson
Peering in from the outside, life seems idyllic in The Hollows. Psychologist Dr. Maggie Cooper and her husband Police Detective Jones Cooper are awaiting their son Ricky's graduation from high school.

This is all turned on end when Charlene, Ricky's girlfriend disappears. Rumours swirl that she has run away to New York City as she has often threatened to do. A Facebook message that she posts supports that claim; but Ricky feels that it wasn't written by Charlene.

While investigating this case, J
...more
Sian Wadey
It took me ages to find an author beginning with U for my A-Z of authors, but eventually I settled on Lisa Unger, the author of Fragile.
I have found similar themes and characters in a lot of American books, particularly those by Harlan Coben. The main characters are always childhood sweethearts and still know everyone they went to school with, which I find a bit unrealistic. I'm twenty and already I've lost contact with a lot of my school friends.
The story of the missing in both present day and
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Amy
It has been a long time since I have read something so suspenseful that I could not put it down, but Fragile by Lisa Unger is the kind of book that sucks you in and won’t let you go. It is reminiscent of Jodi Picoult’s earlier work with just the right balance of suspense and mystery to keep a reader enchanted until the final page. I must say that I am smitten with Lisa Unger and can’t wait to read some of her older novels now that I have had a taste of her writing style.

In the town of The Hollo
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Matt Schiariti
Fragile isn't the usual Lisa Unger novel. It's more of a small town mystery than it is a thriller filled with betrayal, twists and intrigue, but it's still a very good book.

A girl has gone missing in The Hollows, a small town about a two hour ride away from New York. A town where everybody knows everybody else. A town where most people are born, live and die in. A small town where some secrets never seem to die.

Maggie Cooper is a local psychiatrist in town. Her husband, Jones, ex jock and high s
...more
Michelle
Aug 13, 2010 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy a suspenseful mystery.
The storyline of FRAGILE involves a small town's reaction to the disappearance of a high school girl named Charlene. Much of what we learn is viewed through the lens of the Cooper family (mom Maggie; dad/Police Detective Jones; son Rick). Rick is friends with the missing girl and his dad's broken relationship with him sends suspicions in Rick's direction. We also learn, however, that Jones has some baggage from his own childhood in The Hollows which is informing much of those suspicions. That ba ...more
Cheryl
Maggie can not let go of her son, no matter if he is a grown man. In her eyes, she will always see him as her little boy, Ricky. Ricky goes by Rick and he does not need his mother following him everywhere.

In the middle of the night, Maggie hears loud knocking on her door. It is Rick's girlfriend's mother. She states that Charlene and her had a fight and Charlene did not return home. Soon it becomes apparent that something terrible has happened to Charlene. This causes a huge rift between Maggie
...more
MaryPat
I thought I was going to like this a lot more. I should probably only give it 2 stars but it was a quick read so I guess that counts for something. There are a lot of characters and the story lines (past and present) seem to mirror each other too much. I just found the whole thing too unbelievable. I'm not sure why Charlie and Wanda were even characters in the story. Besides Charlie seeing the girl get into the car, he really doesn't add much to the story. I suppose you could ask yourself, "how ...more
Jo
Psychological thriller that you will not want to put down. Lots of weaving of lives makes a reader want to read just one more page, one more chapter. I finally had to put it down at midnight last night and then could hardly wait to get home from work to finish it up.

I can usually figure out how it all ties together and who really "done" it... but this one had a surprise waiting at the end. Nice touch with a psychic. If you read this, pay attention to the letter of the killer's name.

It looks li
...more
Linda Shrum
A ride through the lives of tormented souls. The lessons about all the "what ifs", fully answered.
Joc
This book started out slow and ended slow. In the beginning, we are introduced to the characters of the book. There are really 3 mysteries in this story so there are quite a few. I didn't particularly like any one of them and perhaps that is part of the problem. Too many watered down voices and none of them seem to be quite right.

She talks about life in a small town and the positives and negatives of living there. How they never get past the roles played in high school because everyone grew up
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Lisa
I took a break from reading romances to read some traditional fiction and was very pleased by this book, "Fragile" by Lisa Unger. It isn't quite a mystery as you know a lot of the key facts pretty early on but there is some twists in the plot development that I didn't predict.

It is a story of small town life and the intersection of people's lives in that microcosm, and through time. It was a great representation of relationships, between husband and wife, teen love, friendships and parent/child
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Denise Gianelli
Fragile by Lisa Unger is a story about family, secrets, murder, abuse and facing the past. When you begin reading this story you may be slightly overwhelmed by the number of secondary characters ( town residents, Ricky's girlfriend, her family, police) . Quickly Unger builds a multitude of characters and begins showing how they link together with the main characters.
The small town of Hollows is full of secrets and unusual characters. Well written, interesting read.
Amanda Carpenter
I liked this book and recently discovered Lisa Unger. Something about this fell flat for me though. I was really drawn in for the first 60-80%. Then I got busy for a few days, but instead of dying to finish it... I just felt kind of dull about it. It's probably just me. I'm used to reading paranormal fiction.

It was a really great book and I'm about to start the next one 'Darkness, My Old Friend'. I really like the characters and feel like I know them. I like the way Unger reveals little pieces
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Johanna
Her writing reminds me of Jodi picoult. Pretty basic prose but decent plotting. A look at personal relationships although, oddly, I didn't care very much about what happened to the characters. I enjoyed the interactions and wanted to find out the mystery but wasn't invested in any of the characters.
NayNay
Fragile, what an amazing story! The characters seemed real and the story flowed perfectly and I was never ever bored. As far as the plot went, it was good, alot of twist and turns and it was all tied up nicely at the end. To all you mystery lovers, this should immediately go onto your "to-read" list.
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Mysteries & C...: May Group Read: Fragile 38 142 Jul 06, 2013 08:15AM  
Slopping writing or editing? 3 42 Sep 28, 2011 02:48PM  
Slopping writing or editing? 1 12 Sep 27, 2011 08:12PM  
Slopping writing or editing? 1 9 Sep 27, 2011 08:11PM  
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Lisa Unger is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. Her psychological thriller IN THE BLOOD is a Goodreads Choice Awards (2014) Nominee for Best Book, Amazon Best Book of the Month, Suspense Magazine Best Books of 2014, Sun Sentinel Best Mystery Novels of 2014 and Indie Next Pick!

CRAZY LOVE YOU releases Feb. 10, 2015.

Her novels have been named top picks by the Today show, Good M
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More about Lisa Unger...

Other Books in the Series

Jones Cooper (2 books)
  • Darkness, My Old Friend (Jones Cooper, #2)
Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones #1) In the Blood Black Out Sliver of Truth (Ridley Jones, #2) Die for You

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“Everyone always talks about how well mothers know their children. No one ever seems to notice how well children know their mothers.” 19 likes
“People who stay in the same town with the same friends for their entire lives never get a chance to find out who they can really be, because they will always be considered as who they were.” 18 likes
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