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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  241 ratings  ·  47 reviews
A man is left to die in Alaska while on an “adventure vacation” and must somehow survive to get his revenge on those who betrayed him.

Forty and facing a mid-life crisis, Stu Stark has lost his mojo. He simply gave up after being fired from his prestigious job as a prosecuting attorney for losing the biggest case of his career. So when Stu’s best friend gifts him a one-week
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  241 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stuart Stark is a Massachusetts lawyer, who finds that his career has stalled after he is sacked from the DA’s office, after a case which he should have made his reputation. Although he helps convict Raymond Butz for murdering his wife, he is warned against a case where there is no body and, indeed, Butz later walks free from jail – causing the DA embarrassment and costing Stark his job.

Stark finds himself in low-rent premises, in private practice with the gregarious Clayton Buchanan. Clayton a
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press, Thomas Dunne Books, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

IMPASSE, by Royce Scott Buckingham a heart-pounding modern legal thriller of survival – action packed suspense with humor, adventure, betrayal, and delicious sweet revenge.

Stuart Stark became the most famous lawyer in Massachusetts ever to lose a case and his job in the same week. The elected DA of Bristol County Malloy, could not handle being blamed for having a confessed mu
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review
ARC for review.

A nice thriller where Stu, a mild-mannered lawyer is dismissed from his dream job as a prosecuting attorney when case goes horribly wrong. Disheartened and depressed, he partners with Clay, an old acquaintance from law school and they spend several years chugging along, until a big case comes in and the two disagree on how to handle it. Then for Stu's fortieth birthday Clay gives Stu an Alaskan adventure for the two of them to take together....but only one is supposed to return.
Jun 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Masciangelo
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Attention LAWYER friends, HIGHLY recommend reading Impasse. Not only is it a thrilling, suspense mystery, but the legal references and exploration of those topics are spot on and funny at times. Two viewpoints interchange, a husband (left for a dead) and a wife (who's intentions are not clear) build to an ultimate climax, which is worth the wait. I was intrigued from the get go and couldn't book this book down until I found out the conclusion. You will be rooting for this underdog protagonist wh ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!!! Its a very realistic take on Count of Monte Cristo.
You feel all the trials and tribulations of the lead character as he's left to die in the Alaska. His struggles to survive, the feelings of hopelessness,his eventual adaptation and growth and ability to overcome challenges in his path are masterfully portrayed by the author.

The beauty of the Alaskan wilderness and the dangers lurking in them is brought out beautifully by the writing. The way he brings the disparate threads of the p
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, 2015
A fast paced and enjoyable, modern day version of The Count of Monte Cristo. Though it does lack the long range planning that went into Count of Monte Cristo (Impasse took place over the course of six months), it was still an exciting read. It makes me wonder how soft I have become sitting behind a desk all day and wonder what would happen if I was forced to survive in the wilderness with nothing.

The only real negative thing I have to say was how quickly (and neatly) things came together in the
2.5 stars because it kept me turning the pages which is about the most I ask of any novel - and as far revenge tales go, it fulfilled that promise... I guess... however, it also reinforced old gender stereotypes to a ridiculous degree. (e.g., the "pussy" word gets thrown around A LOT and there's some mischaracterizations (and hence, resentment) towards feminists, too.) I lost a lot of respect for ol' Stu (and the author) by the time it was all over. In the end, I wish I had not read this book at ...more
I received this book from in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to, to St. Martin's Press, and to Royce Buckingham.

Stu is a methodical and efficient lawyer who plays by the rules. Unfortunately, he takes on an unwinnable case - a murder without a body - and he loses. He loses not only the case, but his career as well. He starts his own law firm partnering with an acquaintance from law school and plows through life at an honest man's pace. Clay, his partner, is a
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose Impasse on a whim and thought listening to it whilst painting would get me through the tedious task. Boy, did it. Much like The Count of Monte Cristo, but with a modern twist, Impasse is just as gripping but much less lengthy than the classic revenge tale.

Stu is a smart attorney who has always played life safe and by the book. He's in a bit of a slump before a milestone birthday so his friend, and partner at his firm, suggests a getaway wildlife adventure in Alaska. Is Stu up for it? Mo
Kim McGee
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
What do you do when your law partner gives you a great surprise on your fortieth birthday- a solo wilderness trip in Alaska. Mild mannered Stu thinks he is doing ok with his new private law practice he shares with a buddy and beautiful wife who adores him and thinks he looks ok for forty. Suddenly he is dumped in the Alaska wilderness with his brand new gear, no idea where the cabin is and no idea how to survive in the wild. His partner and wife should be grieving but instead have a whole new wa ...more
Ellen Mandly
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 stars - Unbeknownst to me prior to starting this, its set in the New Bedford/Dartmouth area with a few Providence characters tossed in, so it had that going for it! Impasse didn't blaze any new trails in the mystery-thriller category and I pretty much knew where it was going every step of the way, but I still enjoyed it. A quick, easy listen with a good main character to root for and some good supporting characters.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Impasse is an outstanding modern retelling of “The Count of Monte Cristo.” The author very skillfully combines the classic revenge story with action, adventure, (and humor), as we learn what it really means to “man up!”
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.

May 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library, alaska
I'm thinking Count of Monte Cristo meets Hatchet and who wouldn't like that? I for one didn't. The author would have us believe a real man is a killer, a real man doesn't care about others, a real man believes in and reinforces antiquated stereotypes, a real man wants his women disgustingly skeevey... Not this man. Truly awful.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great fun. A wonderful and dramatic reimagine of the Count of Monte Cristo. There may be no new stories but there are certainly new and interesting ways to tell the old ones. This does it in a very entertaining way.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
The premise was great and it started off solidly. But the speed and progression was way off, which made it all seem wildly unrealistic. Quick read.

ETA: the treatment of women in this novel was atrocious and the reinforcement of outdated gender stereotypes was unnecessary.
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable, narration was excellent. Cruised through it in a weekend.
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Could not put this book down. Certainly different from my usual. and a stunner of an ending.
Quite good writing. First time with this author, and I will read more.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. One of the few I'd recommend to my friends.
Michael Steele
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good book but a bit slow. The main character was way to naive. The book is well written an kept my interest all the way through to the end.
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining, definitely a light read that fulfilled my expectations. The characters are likable and easy to remember. There are funny parts, the wrapping up and end are good. I recommend!
Michael Freeman
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A nice, quick lawyer whodunit. It's an easy read without a lot of fluff and, as both a lawyer and a late thirties male, it has a spot on perspective and basis.
Tom Boumil
Just OK

The description of this book compares it to The Count of Monte Cristo. The similarities are limited to someone wronged and gets some amount of revenge, but it's not anywhere near the same class.

Stu was a prosecutor moving up, but a setback made him give up the social climbing, open a private practice with a sleazy-smooth ex-classmate, and become much more cautious. Fast forward a bit and Stu is abandoned to die in Alaska having received an adventure vacation gift from his partner. Stu is
Sheila Mulcahy
Feb 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is so awful I recommend that any reader of decent lit not even bother, this review is simply meant to save you the trouble of opening the cover and reading the jacket. You're welcome.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I found parts of this story incredible. Like how the main character even arrived in his situation. Lots of deplorable characters.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a great read! It actually wasn't contrived or far-fetched in the least and I will definitely be recommending it to friends.
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Advanced reading copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In Royce Scott Buckingham's Impasse, a man is left to die in Alaska while on an "adventure vacation" and must somehow survive to get his revenge on those who betrayed him.

As soon as I read the synopsis of this book, I was instantly intrigued. The storyline had me hooked straightaway, which is perfect for a thriller like this. The story starts out where we get a background of the main character - Stu Stark. He's a lawy
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it
A pretty good mystery thriller in which a good guy gets sandbagged by his ruthless partner. This is a take on "The Count of Monte Cristo," which I'm abashed to say I'm not sure whether I've read. If I had, it was nearly 50 years ago. There is a lot of conventional machismo and sexism in this tale of an earnest, soft and thwarted Massachusetts attorney getting dumped in the Alaskan wilderness so that his partner can bend a lot of ethical rules into pretzels. Six months in the Alaskan way-outback ...more
Joe Orozco
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Legal thrillers usually get an automatic bump in my book. Thank Grisham for that, and this one is generally on par with the kind of attorney tale I enjoy reading.

The author took some freedoms I would have preferred he kept in check.
The sex is unnecessary, does nothing for the story. Actually, the whole subplot there felt forced and awkward. It's the kind of writing you tend to see in college writing workshops. There were so many other ways the story could have been propelled forward without reso
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Royce Buckingham lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife and sons.

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