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3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,215 Ratings  ·  994 Reviews
New York Times bestseller, Good Morning America Top Book Pick, Walmart Bookclub Pick, and Unger named an "Emerging Author" by Target!

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 one another's kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics
Mass Market Paperback, 496 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 2010)
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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
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.


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.
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
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has Jones, the lead detective on the case, acting strangely and Rick, already a brooding teenager, becomes even more withdrawn.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
Aug 02, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, suspense
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
Mar 04, 2016 Robin rated it it was ok
Psychologist Maggie Cooper and her husband Detective Jones Cooper live a quiet life with their teenage son, Rick, in a small New York town. But things suddenly get crazy when Rick's girlfriend, Charlene, disappears without a trace. Some people think she ran away, but Rick insists she wouldn't do that. Charlene's disappearance reminds the townspeople of a similar case over twenty years ago where another teenage girl disappeared. Her body was found weeks later and her killer put in prison. Will th ...more
Nov 08, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok
I did not like Fragile by Lisa Unger at all found the characters confusing as well as the storyline have loved her other novels but this was a let down
Nov 12, 2011 Katherine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Oct 10, 2010 Kori rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 29, 2014 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 25, 2011 Mathew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2011 Janene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Larry Bassett
Jul 28, 2014 Larry Bassett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Aug 30, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 04, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2014-listened
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!
Jul 24, 2011 Pamela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I was really looking forward to reading Lisa Unger's new novel since I really loved her other ones. Unfortunately, I found it to be a total letdown. Didn't help that I figured out early on what took place years earlier and who was involved.

It took me days to read this because I found it to be slow and boring. The chapters go back and forth from the present to the past which is fine. However, the first few paragraphs in most of the chapters only said "him" or "her" making it ever so confusing as
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
Feb 29, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Je wil blijven doorlezen...
Dec 17, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
I’ve been on a bit of a kick for reading purely for escapism, so you’re getting two mystery/thriller reviews in a row.

Lisa Unger’s Fragile is one I had picked up on the bargain shelves some time ago at Barnes and Noble. And last week, I just wanted some pure fun reading, so I cracked open this one.

From the Amazon Summary:
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 one another’s kids, where people say hell
Stacy Green
May 27, 2014 Stacy Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book. I normally like for the plot to move quickly, but Unger is a master at setup and getting us involved with her characters. Absolutely loved this book and will continue reading her Hollows series!
The way I experienced this read is that this writer has talent enough to craft characters to empathize with. So that aspect surely drew me in. I like flawed characters and enjoy some degree of introspection – and I don’t mind a slow pace either. It’s just when you put them all together like this it turns into a rather gloomy story, to be honest. If the author had added a pinch of humor and normalcy, then it would have been more my taste.
Jones Cooper is a forty-ish detective in a small town in up
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
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
Sep 10, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 13, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jun 29, 2012 Cheryl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 16, 2011 Viccy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I enjoy all of Lisa Unger's books. They are good psychological fiction. In this book, Jones Cooper is the sheriff in The Hollows, a small town located outside New York. He is married to Maggie, the town's best-known psychologist. The Hollows is one of those places you never seem to leave; you always end up coming home, which, as Thomas Wolfe points out, is not always a good thing. When most of the main characters were in high school, a young woman disappeared and her body was found a few days la ...more
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
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Mysteries & Crime...: May Group Read: Fragile 38 145 Jul 06, 2013 08:15AM  
Slopping writing or editing? 3 43 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 the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of fourteen novels, including her latest thriller INK AND BONE.

Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly,, Independent Booksellers, Milwaukee
More about Lisa Unger...

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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.” 21 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.” 20 likes
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