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The Real Michael Swann

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,006 ratings  ·  229 reviews
In a new novel from New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon, a suburban family is rocked in the wake of a terrorist attack on American soil.

On a typical late summer day, Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly goes dead. Then the news rolls in: A bomb has gone off at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home. New
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Dutton
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,006 ratings  ·  229 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Dutton
Shelves: from-publisher
"I move, I thought. Therefore, I must live."

This was one emotionally charged and powerful story, one that is well needed in this age of fear mongering and social media. The heavy handed digital footprint expounded upon in this story was so well done and it's one I'll be thinking about for quite some time. The premise of the novel depends on you, the reader, going in without any prior knowledge of the plot, so I'll just leave it at yes, you should read the book. That epilogue though... Can we dis
Larry H
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
One moment, Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael. He's calling from New York's Penn Station, where he's waiting to catch a train home after a job interview, but the trains are significantly delayed. Without warning, Julia hears a noise in the background and then Michael's call is dropped.

She tries not to worry, but as the hours roll by, she still hasn't heard from Michael, nor can she reach him. That evening she finds out that a major incident occurred at Penn Station which left
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars! I couldn’t put this book down!

Wow! This was a fast-paced, edge of your seat, gripping and suspenseful story. It had me glued to the pages from start to finish. I LOVED how this was narrated – the two perspectives kept the story fresh and interesting. The short chapters made this novel a breeze to fly through.

The storyline is unique and highly intriguing. Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband Michael when the call goes dead. A bomb has gone off at Penn Station in New York City
Norma * Traveling Sister
4.5 Stars!

THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN by BRYAN REARDON was an extremely gripping, intense, and suspenseful story that had me totally engaged and interested right from the very first chapter. I was totally intrigued and emotionally invested in this story and thought the premise was unsettling but also so terrifyingly realistic. The scenes were intense and dramatic that had my heart-pounding and on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what was going to happen next. I was totally entertained and flew
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
One Group / Two Coulees

Norma and I read The Real Michael Swann with six of our traveling sisters and we had some different views on this one. This time in a coulee, I didn’t end up in the same coulee as Norma.

The Real Michael Swann is part family drama with a little love story there between our two main characters Michael Swann and his wife Julia along with an intriguing story of a disaster. We all agreed the plot to this story was interesting, and clever. There is a bit of drama here and some
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
Michael and Julia Swann had gone through some big changes in their lives but were both loving parents that would do anything for their boys. As Julia waits for Michael to come home from the city one evening after a job interview she gets a call from him that the station had been closed and he wasn't sure how or when he'd get home. The next Julia knows she hears that a bomb had exploded in the city just after the call had dropped with her husband.

Julia is frantic with worry after hearing the bre
Diane S ☔
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Although this is a fast moving story, and did a good job describing the terror a wife feels when after a terrorist attack, her husband is missing, this book missed the mark for me . To much running here and there, implausible circumstances and unbelievable scenarios kept me from fully commiting to the story. It does have an interesting twist, but it was one I guessed relatively early.

This was a sisters read, and for this one we fell into three different coulees, with most liking it much more. My
Susanne  Strong
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, buddy-read
3 Stars

Michael Swann is in Penn Station, on the phone with his wife Julia when the unthinkable happens. An explosion. A terrorist attack. Just like that the line goes dead and Michael appears to be missing. Unable to accept the “alternative” - Julia Swann searches for her husband. She is completely desperate and she will stop at nothing until she finds her husband.

What starts out as harrowing, scary and mysterious, becomes strange and implausible all at once. “The Real Michael Swann” has an inte
Holly  B
I'm just going do write a little mini-review of this one.

I thought the premise of a terrorist attack and the mystery of what happened to Julia's husband, Micheal was an interesting one.

She was speaking to him on the phone (he is at Penn Station waiting for his train to get home) and the line goes dead when an explosion is heard. This sets up a terrifying situation and one that seemed realistic. Julia proceeds to search for Micheal and tries to track him down.

The flow didn't work out for
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Well there is a twist! Or is it a decoy???

Is your husband a homegrown terrorist? Has life in Corporate America become so overwhelming that he has become so revolted with the world and bitter that he can blow up a train station with thousands of commuters traveling through?

This is what Julia has to ask herself!

The question is, who is the real Michael Swann? Is it her husband or is he the innocent victim? Plot twist at the end!!!

But now I am getting way ahead of all of it…If you have read the syno
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a Traveling Sister group read and we were split fairly evenly. Some enjoyed it, but it didn't work for the rest of us. The story had a strong start with an interesting premise, and the author did a good job capturing the initial panic and confusion that would naturally occur after a terrorist attack. There were passages that made me pause, and an excellent point was made about how the media's 24-hour news cycle has changed the way news is reported, with too much opinion, not enough fac ...more
Katie B
Julia Swann is at her suburban Pennsylvania home talking on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the phone goes dead. A bomb goes off at Penn Station where Michael has been waiting to catch a train ride home. Seeing horrific images of the chaos on the news and unable to get a hold of Michael, Julia is desperate to find him. But just when she thinks her prayers are answered and Michael is alive, she starts to question if she really knew her husband at all.

So the story certainly grips you alm
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars!

Thank you to Dutton books for sending me an ARC of this book!

Wow! This was my first book by Bryan Reardon and I'm happy to say I will be a fan for life. This book was really fantastic and touched on a few different topics during it's story.

The book starts out with someone (and we don't know who) in therapy and they are watching a video of themselves in Penn Station. It's a grainy video but all of a sudden it starts to shake and it goes dark. There's been a bomb/terrorist attack in Penn
Erin Clemence
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Provocative, powerful and simply electric, “The Real Michael Swann” captured my attention from the very first page! A five-star read, from author Bryan Reardon.

Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call disconnects. There has been an explosion at Penn Station, where Michael was, and the entire city is in a state of chaos and disarray. Julia is convinced her husband is alive and, determined to find him, she heads out into the city to search for him. Calls to him contin
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I won a copy of this book sometime in late March. Seeing as it never arrived (which for the record I don't think was the publisher's fault, just saying; it was probably the shipping company), I bought my own copy upon its release. I'm glad I did, because The Real Michael Swann is an impressive, complex mystery with a lot of originality making it stand out. Set in the US, the story not only questions the digital age and our desperate reliance on cell phones for all aspects of daily life and commu ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 terror filled stars rounded up
My reviews can be found at: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
An explosion happens in Penn Station and many are killed in what might be considered a terrorist attack. As the police, EMTs, firemen, and others rush to help those who have been injured a frantic wife tries to reach her husband. All cell service has stopped and as the panic of what has occurred comes to all, the wife, Julia, decides to take matters into her own hands and find her husband. She
Stacey Camp
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
**5 Goodreads Stars**

A mysterious man sets a forest aflame next to a railroad, diverting oncoming trains back to a train station. Not much later, a man wanders into the same train station with a briefcase full of explosives. A few minutes later, the train station is blown to pieces, leaving thousands of people dead and injured.

What happened that fateful day? Who is responsible for the killings?

Bryan Reardon's  The Real Michael Swann centers on this mystery, focusing on how it ripples through
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
The premise for this one strikes a cord because it reads like something that could actually happen, similar things have happened, and nothing is more frightening than fiction becoming reality, especially in terms of terrorist attacks. This is part thriller part domestic suspense with moments of poignancy as Julia and Michael’s marriage is examined under a sharp lens and part heart pounding action thriller as the race to find Michael intensifies.

This did take me a little while to get into it’s no
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
Michael and Julia Swann are talking on the phone, while he is waiting for a train home from Penn Station, when a bomb explodes. The rest of the book is told in alternating chapters by the injured Michael, who feels the need to run away for reasons he does not understand, and Julia who is desperate to find her husband. There are flashbacks to how the couple originally got together and there is some discussion about white middle class dissatisfaction in the age of Trump but really nothing happens ...more
Cindy Burnett
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am starting this review the same way that I did The Boy at the Door – I realize not every book is for every person. I found The Real Michael Swann to be overly predictable and from the almost the beginning I was able to figure out what the “surprise ending” was. The characters, especially Julia Swann, were all over the place; one minute seemingly hating her husband and their life, the next the complete opposite. I kept getting whiplash. I would have preferred a more subtle approach (and a new ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Michael Swann, who is in New York City, is talking to his wife Julia on his cell phone. The phone call goes dead and Julia learns that a bomb has gone off. Julia rushes out to the car and tries desperately to get into the city to find Michael but is stopped by police barricades. She keeps trying to text and call Robert but there’s no response. Then developments are revealed by the news media that prove devastating to Julia.

I thought this was a particularly interesting premise. As always, I don’t
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
The Real Michael Swann is a plot driven book that is part love story and part thriller with some politics thrown in. I like a plot driven book with a twist and his book had that. At times the plot was captivating, yet at other times it was the opposite. The author did write realistic and well thought out characters. It's scary considering this could be a true story.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I first had the opportunity to read this book, I hesitated.

I had already read two books where the characters feigned death from a tragedy to escape a life they felt trapped by, and no longer wanted to be living. I was afraid that this might be the third.

It wasn’t.

Julia and Michael are on the phone with each other when the call goes dead.

A bomb has just been detonated at Penn Station where Micheal was waiting for his train home.

Julia has no idea if Micheal has survived.

This FAST paced n
When a terrorist strikes a NYC subway, a terrifying string of events occur to the Swann family. I really loved this novel and would give it 4.5 stars. I highly recommend the reading of THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN to all!
Janelle • She Reads with Cats
Thank you so much to Dutton Books for my free copy of THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN by Bryan Reardon - all opinions are my own.

While waiting for train, Michael Swann is talking to his wife Julia on the phone at Penn Station, when a massive explosion goes off and severs the call. Julia, in a state of panic, jumps in her car to drive from their home in Pennsylvania to New York. But there is traffic and mayhem from the explosion, she can’t find her husband, and then she hears the news...Um, let’s just say
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
WOW! This story has a very strong narrative drive, with a fluid writing style, and a few unexpected twists.  The book is cleverly plotted, thoughtful and unsettling...and that, my fellow readers, is a very good thing. I loved it!
Laura Rash
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Talk about a fast paced book! I read this in a matter of hours bc I literally couldn’t put it down! I was really impressed with BR writing in Finding Jake & this one was just as phenomenal!
The Real Michael Swann is a study of a married couple separated by a terrorist bombing at Penn Station which leaves Michael wandering around with amnesia and Julia home with the kids desperately trying to figure out what happened to Michael. It is a study of their emotions and their frustration. Don't think of this as a thriller. It isn't. It is rather slow moving and kind of like viewing the world through a fishbowl.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-release
The Real Michael Swann pulls you right in from the beginning! Michael Swann is just a regular guy trying to return home from a job interview when his whole world literally comes crashing down. This is a story of a family ripped apart by horrific violence and a wife trying to seek the truth. The author, Bryan Reardon, takes you on an emotional, suspenseful ride till the very last page. The Real Michael Swann is a compelling and chilling read! I definitely recommend!
**4-riveting stars** ⭐⭐⭐⭐
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, first-to-read
The thrillers I've read recently have left me feeling incredibly underwhelmed. Given the intriguing synopsis of THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN, however, I had high hopes that this would be the game-changer, something that would finally dazzle me.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, as THE REAL MICHAEL SWANN wasn't the book for me. I didn't find it particularly exciting. I was able to see the big twist coming from miles away, and it also didn't help that I couldn't get into the writing style. It was ver
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I write psychological thrillers. The stories tend to surprise me. Taking a left when I signaled a right. Life when I felt death nearby. The characters are not alive. They do not exist. Yet I try to slip into their skins as I write. Mining for the emotions that flood during times of stress and tragedy and adventure. When the journey ends, a hole opens. A sense of deep mourning. And from those ashes ...more