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The Wrong Man

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,858 ratings  ·  214 reviews
Scott Freeman is a man of reason-a college professor grounded in the rational and practical. But he becomes uneasy after finding an anonymous love letter hidden in his daughter's room: "No one could ever love you like I do. No one ever will. We will be together forever. One way or another." But the reality of Ashley's plight far exceeds Scott's worst suspicions.
One drink
Hardcover, 461 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Ballantine Books (first published 2006)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,858 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Hook - Happenstance – Hard to believe but I was caught away from my bookshelves and had nothing to read. A visit to the Orlando Friends of the Library Book Store uncovered this thriller by an author I had never read. What started as chance turned out to be the perfect book for my mood.

The Line“Dying” “She said finally”, is such a simple act. But you need to learn that all the moments leading up to it and all the minutes afterwards, are terribly complicated.”

The Sinker”When Scott Freem
Denisa Arsene
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I really enjoyed this thriller. Although I didn't agree with the solution... But the plot, the characters, the story, all of them are good and realistic.
It keeps you prisoner, wondering how things could go out of control in such a manner. How and why people should find answers by themselves, why police can't help.
I liked it so much! A good one!
Nov 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2010
Wow... this book was really one heck of a ride!! Filled with suspense and uncertainty from the first page to the very last, I could barely force myself to put it down along the way. The story centers around a man's relentless stalking of college student Ashley Freeman after they have a drunken one-night-stand. While Ashley considers the whole event a meaningless "mistake", Michael is convinced they are meant to be together forever, no matter what it takes. A typical stalker's obsession develops, ...more
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I didn't know that Wrong Man was written by the same author as The Madman's Tale, I probably wouldn't have guessed it, which isn't optimal since I picked up this book specifically because of how much I enjoyed The Madman's Tale. And so this review is if not biased per se, than certainly subjective as compared to author's other work. Objectively...both books are undeniably psychological thrillers, both are immensely readable, both are long, both have very strong sustained suspense throughout. ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Pg 91:
The passages at the end of each chapter between 2 nameless characters who don't seem to be any of the main characters are kind of annoying. Right now I feel like they aren't adding anything and are just slowing me down.

The book might have been creepier if it had focused more on the family than on the bad guy. It's kind of hard to develop tension or terror when you have to read his every inane thought, even if there's no reason or explanation for them. I would have preferred a mor
Richard White
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
Absolutely gripping in tension. Starts off like a roller coaster as it slowly makes its way to the top then plunges you into unrelenting suspense and angst. Deeply disturbing subject matter but entertaining as hell. Another 5 star for JK as was the Analyst.
Feb 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-thriller

Katzenbach's books have evolved from mysteries/police procedurals to psychological thrillers. Hart's War is probably his best known work which was made into a movie with Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. I have read most of this author's books and have enjoyed them, although with each subsequent book the author has dealt more with the psychological aspect of his characters as opposed to the thriller part. The Wrong Man is all that - and thus is the wrong book.

The story-line in this book tac
Lindsay Miraglia
Sep 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm not even halfway done with this book and already I'm struggling to finish it. The characters do not feel believable at all. I mean, what in the world made the author think anybody WOULD PAY A STALKER TO STOP STALKING? How does that make any sense whatsoever? YOU CAN'T BRIBE A STALKER. And the narrator being a writer researching the story of Ashley and her stalker feels more like someone lecturing on the dangers of stalkers. Which is in no way an appealing way of storytelling.

"When has the au
May 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Let me just start out by saying I hate cruelty to animals in reading books. I absolutely hate it. While this book was definitely suspenseful, the psycho stalker would've been just as psycho if he had not put cats in Ziploc bags and then put them in his freezer. Or killed Nameless. A little disappointing in my opinion.
Koray Geziciler
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
6/5. Yes! Six stars out of damn five.
The characters, the plot and the ending. Everything's checked.

''Hello, Ashley. I've missed you more than you can imagine. But soon we will be together forever, and that will be great.
I love you more today than yesterday. And tomorrow I will love you even more...
Forever yours,

How come such beautiful words could ever give you so much chills... Damn.
If you are interested in reading psychological thrillers, this one is definitely your kind of treat.

As yo
Mar 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
OK..I am officially skittish about writing a review of a book in the thriller genre. It seems that what thrills one may not thrill another and that while sex and violence sells its a turn on for some and less so for others. That said there is some but remarkably little overt sex and violence in this book. This is a book about mind games and what rational people will do in irrational situations. Its about coincidences and what happens when a truly smart but demented character manipulates those ci ...more
Mar 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
THE WRONG MAN (Suspense-New England-Cont) – DNF
Katzenbach, John – Standalone
Ballantine Books, 2006, US Hardcover – ISBN: 0345464834

First Sentence: Would you like to hear a story?

Divorced professor Scott Freeman finds a crumpled note in the back of his college daughter’s dresser drawer that makes him very uncomfortable. Although his daughter, Ashley, has not said anything to him, his ex-wife or her partner, perceives a tone of threat and possession in the note. From that, begins a story of what a
Jun 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book could have been edited by about 100 pages. It just rambled on and on and on. Too long and too much.

Okay, so let's assume that the stalking laws do not work and what these characters tried to put into motion was the only way to deal with O'Connell. What a bunch of bumblers. No one checked the gun to see if it was ready to fire. No one thought of the fact that perhaps after they framed O'Connell he might get off on an insanity plea. Oy vey. And there were a LOT of inconsistencies in this
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, suspense
This was an AWESOME suspense book, and sure to turn anybody off of a one night stand. A college girl has too many drinks and sleeps with the wrong guy. When he starts stalking her, he makes life difficult for anybody who tries to protect her. This book kept me blue from holding my breath from beginning to end.
May 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
the book started out real good, very intense and attention grabbing.. then it kept dragging on.. and on and on. after a while, i got kinda bored with it and when i finally did make it to the ending it was rather disappointing. i wont be in any rush to read another book from this author.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

As I was reading this book, it started to become more and more familiar to me, then I realized that I had read it before...don't remember when and I couldn't remember the ending, so I finished it. Towards the end, though, I was getting bored and wanted to finish it so I could start a new book. To me, not a believable conclusion.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book! Very suspenseful- hard to put the book down.
Arnita Beinaroviča
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Creepy. That`s it. ...more
Arina Duggins
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not a bad one, I really want to see a movie made out of it.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
another good book.. really makes you think
Todd Schafer
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Of course, this psychotic killer gets off on killing cats. I mean that was a little cliche. Some would say it was an unnecessary plot addition, but I thought the fact that the victim's mother now had a gay lover, and it was the three of them (including the dad) that got involved....well, that just made the story more interesting
Marilyn F
I actually stopped reading this about a third of the way in ... the writing is good and there is some intrigue in a couple of the 'voices', who exactly are they and what is their relation to the events and people that are unfolding - but I just found I wasn't in the mood to read about the specifics of how a young woman gets stalked and presumably killed (focus on her and her family rather than say the investigator etc, I guess right at the moment when I read about crime I want it at least that f ...more
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was the second book I've read by this author, and I am again impressed with the quality of his writing. This was a tale about obsessive love, parental love, spousal love, and the absence of love. The creepiness of the stalker and his ability to infiltrate everyone's lives really made me uneasy and fearful for my own daughter, and although this is an exceedingly long book, I was compelled to finish it in record time to see if the relentless, remorseless stalker receives his just desserts. My ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
I read an old glowing review of this book in a newspaper and I am impatiently waiting for Carolyn Kepnes' new book, so I thought I'd give this a try. This was just....awful. So little character development for the people who mattered, pages and pages of horrifically boring inner dialogue of characters that you are given no reason to care about. The relationship between the stalker and the victim was virtually nonexistent- making the "suspense" evaporate very quickly. The bad guy was apparently a ...more
Stephen Terrell
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book is a formula book. I found both the plot and the characters to be contrived. It is like the author sat with a formula for a thriller, and pecked out this novel. It seems to lack any real passion in the writing or creativeness in the plot or the characters.

The bad guy is too smart, always able to do things to these bright people without them knowing how to counter it. The good guys are too whiney and helpless. The law is too inept. Even the spunky old grandma (call Central Casting, ple
Feb 15, 2008 marked it as to-read
Scott Freeman a college professor grounded in the rational and practical, he becomes uneasy after finding an anonymous love letter hidden in his daughter's room. But the reality of Ashley's plight far exceeds Scott's worst suspicions. One drink too many had led Ashley, a beautiful, bright art student, into what she thought was just a fling with a blue-collar bad boy. But now, no amount of pleading or reasoning can discourage his phone calls, ardent e-mails, and constant, watchful gaze. The harde ...more
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
17% into this book:
* At the end of each chapter is a perspective change to an investigating author researching the case. Right now I can't see the value add to the story.
* The victim acts like the actors in that insurance commercial "let's hide behind the wall of chain saws"... it's very irritating.

35% into the book:
* it's frustrating that the main characters don't communicate
* thinking about giving up on this book

66% into the book
* I no longer think about giving up, but still not excited
* for
Addison Public Library

The Wrong Man features a particularly nasty villain named Michael O'Connell. After having a one-night stand with lovely art student Ashley Freeman, O'Connell begins to stalk her relentlessly. When she tries to reason with him, he merely smirks and tells her that eventually she will understand that they are destined to be together. Ashley would prefer not to involve her family in her problems, but eventually her father Scott, a college history professor, and her mother, Sally, a lawyer, find out
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
John Katzenbach is the master of the psychological thriller. He keeps you on the edge of your seat at the same time that he fully fleshes out three dimensional characters that are believable I enjoy reading all of his books and this one did not disappoint.

The plot is engrossing and horrifyingly real, considering anyone can become a victim of romantic obsession and unfortunately, people like Michael O'Connell (obsessive stalker with more than above average computer hacking skills) really do exist
Jun 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Ah! What a book. An excellent idea. It definitely shows us what people are willing to do in extreme situations. In the beginning, I wasn't sure I'd like it to much. It was too long, and so detailed that it felt more like a story than a thriller. Still, The writing was great, and it kept me entertained until the end where I realized that a story is exactly what it was meant to be.
I am sad though. Did he have to kill off my favorite character? Geeze!
Ah well. I will defenitly read this author's o
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John Katzenbach is a U.S. author of popular fiction. Son of Nicholas Katzenbach, former United States Attorney General, John worked as a criminal court reporter for the Miami Herald and Miami News, and a featured writer for the Herald’s Tropic magazine. He is married to Madeleine Blais and they live in western Massachusetts.

He left the newspaper grind to write books, racking up 12 novels so far, p
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“-A veces lo que mas me asusta no es lo desconocido, sino lo previsible y comprensible.” 12 likes
“¿Por qué resulta tan difícil comprender lo poderosa que es la capacidad de negación que tenemos todos? ¡Nunca queremos creer lo peor!” 8 likes
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