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The Winner Maker

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  16 reviews
"Thrilling ... an exhilarating and emotionally astute mystery." - Kirkus Reviews

Bob Fiske — the 74-year-old dinosaur who’s taught Honors English and coached varsity football for five decades — is missing.

To his Winners, class favorites Fiske designated over the years for their potential to “Live Big,” it’s heartbreaking. Fiske did more than inspire with soaring oratory; he
Published December 1st 2018
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The Winner Maker is a uniquely blended, cross-genre tale of the good and bad of over-achieving and the price paid to become a “winner.”

The book opens with a very dramatic scene with students gathered around their awe-inspiring honors English teacher atop the Chrysler Building in Chicago. As the high achieving students are preparing for their individual presentation, one student shocks the crowd by dangling below the glass floor by a giant magnet. However, the magnets do not hold and as the stude
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Winner Maker is a debut novel that I picked up on a whim from the Read Now shelf at Net Galley. I liked the sounds of the unique premise and was in the mood for a non police procedural mystery.

The story revolves around a group of young adults and their rather controversial high school mentor. The main characters (Eric, Steph, and Doug) are all Winners, deemed so by said teacher as people who would be highly successful in life. Several Winners are brought together ten years after graduation
Oct 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'm 28% done with The Winner Maker: OK, I just can't do it anymore. I hate to add another DNF to my list, but this one is so bad that I just can't go on. I made it through Chapter 9 and I have no idea what's going to happen, but who cares? It's amateurish, unbelievable, the characters are more like caricatures, and the plot is just silly. I really don't want to not finish a NetGalley book, but I'm done. Hope others like it better than I did.
K.P. Ambroziak
*** I highly recommend this one ***

For anyone who loves a good mystery Jeff Bond’s “The Winner Maker” should hit the top of your list. This well written, fast paced, perfectly plotted little gem is going to keep you enthralled and guessing. And all your theories and predictions of whodunit will fall flat. You won’t see this one coming.

But there’s so much more here: taut dialogue, flawless language, multifaceted characters that actually grow, and a pace that’s both breakneck and halting when deta
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Over five decades, 74 year old teacher, Bob Fiske, has chosen, cultivated, and encouraged exceptional students that he designated "Winners". Bob goes missing and shortly afterwards a 16 year old girl he has been mentoring, goes missing, too. A group of four of his Winners from ten years ago, come together to find Bob and hopefully, to defend his reputation and job, when rumors hint that he may have had an illicit relationship with the girl.

Among these four former Winners, along with the school
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This novel got off to a confusing start for me with a prologue. Around thirty pages in, however, I caught the prologue's connection to the plot and the novel took off. I like the idea of amateur people trying to solve a mystery. I like how the back story was woven into the current mystery as various characters remembered past events. I like how the truth is revealed layer by layer. We readers find out people are not who they appeared to be right along with the characters. And there is plenty of ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Story of a group of overachievers who had been groomed by their high school teacher to become very successful in live. Even after graduation he supports this group in many different ways but not everybody is what they seem to be.
10 years after graduation this group gets back together because their beloved teacher has disappeared and they are ready to move heaven and earth to find him.
This book has a bit of everything. Typical high school atmosphere. Corporate politics. The influence a teach
Ruthie Jones
"Too many loose ends. Discussion over."

The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond will keep you on the edge of your seat, long after you've finished reading. The author expertly builds the tension until you are mired in the mystery of who to trust and the thrill of trying to piece everything together. What really happened 10 years ago at Prom? While most people maintain a tenuous thread to their high school social events, the characters here are chained to that one fateful night. A night that refuses to let
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Now, let me figure this one out: There is suspense and speed, excellent ingredients of a real thriller - without much police involved. The characters are feasible, no clichés, individuals. Alas after the first half of the book, things get complicated. The story twists and turns, and eventually you start asking yourself whether what you read makes sense. It is difficult to give examples without spoiling the novel, thus I will limit myself to stating that I am not really convinced of some of the p ...more
Andrea Dinan
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly Recommend! I love a novels based on a school setting and this book did not disappoint. The Winner Maker is a complex story as well as a mystery filled with great characters and twisty plot lines. At the start of the novel we are introduced to a group of late 20's movers and shakers that are all part of a magical high school clique called "The Winners." The Winners are chosen and coached privately by a now septuagenarian English teacher named Mr Fiske who is famous for doing his own thing ...more
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Compelling thriller, reminiscent of Harlan Coben. A beloved teacher goes missing along with a student. When a band of former students bands together to solve this mystery, all is not as it seems.

Review copy given from NetGalley
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a strange book and one I didn't find easy to finish. I'm not sure if that's down to the very American language and references, or, it's just a difficult book to read. Either way, it's not an easy read; A professor who has a history of identifying favourites called 'Winners' goes missing and then so does a student.
A group of 4 of his previous 'Winners' club together to solve the mystery.

There are some frankly unbelievable situations, but, it does move along nicely and each of the 4 have
Nov 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: half-read
I was reading, for almost a whole month, this book, but in the end I allowed myself to add another Half-read in my list.
I liked the story a lot, a teacher and a student went missing. Mystery. My favorite. But I don't like books with so many characters, and so many useless details. My worst.
The winner maker had a lot of Characters, almost every chapter had a lot of details for each one of them. A good mystery novel should allow the reader to focus in the main story, and just add spicy details.
Sam Ehresman
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this genre of books. I was sucked in by page 10! I look forward to reading the rest of it! I like the authors writing style. This is going to be one of those books I can't put down!
Harriet Smith
rated it liked it
Sep 30, 2018
rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2018
Cathy  Inboden
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was very interesting. It was a hard book to put down. It is worth 5 stars. I hated it ended.
Sherry V Wood
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is not for me. I just couldn't get into the characters or the whole story. I read about a hundred pages thinking it might get better but....just not my thing.
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Jeff Bond is the author of The Winner Maker and the forthcoming Blackquest 40. He lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters—one of whom he shares his Kindle and Goodreads bookshelf with, if you're wondering—and belongs to the International Thriller Writers association.

As a student at Yale, I told friends I wanted to write a novel. I’d grown up racing through all the Clive Cussler and Marg