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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  11,259 Ratings  ·  1,152 Reviews
New York Times and USA Today bestseller, Good Morning America Top Book Pick, Walmart Bookclub Pick, Harper's Bazaar Hot Book Pick, Target Emerging Author Pick

"This one is a stunner... a read that will stay with you." (New York Journal of Books)

Bestselling author Lisa Unger has "made her mark" (Boston Globe) and delivers another exciting blockbuster that explores one commun
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Crown (first published 2010)
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As I continue to read this author's books I am finding her very inconsistent in quality. Some of her thrillers have thrilled me totally and some have just meandered along. This one meanders.
Basically it is just another small town mystery involving small minded people who all have sad lives and dislike each other. I have never personally lived in a small town and I hate to think that places and people like this actually exist outside novels.
That apart the book is an okay read, a little too long
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Jones Cooper had lived in The Hollows his entire life – his wife Maggie had left when she was younger to head to NYC but returned when her father was dying with cancer. Now Maggie and Jones’ life was in The Hollows along with their son Ricky. Working from her home office as a psychologist, she was mostly happy with her life but feared the constant anger between Ricky and his father would only get worse. Ricky was a typical moody teenager but it often seemed to Maggie that Jones constan ...more
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
Oct 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
"How do you know if you're a good person or a bad person?"

Fragile is a slow, well-developed, character driven tale. It almost felt like a psychological analysis of family relationships and small town dynamics, with a plot thrown in for good measure.

The story was intriguing, but I feel like I've fallen into the trap of wanting twists and turns with my thrillers, and this one is relatively straightforward. Still a very good psychological thriller, I would say it's lacking a bit in the mystery aspe
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 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I’ve really enjoyed the books set in the Hollows, and this is no exception, although this story has shifted from Eloise Montgomery, the clairvoyant, to Jones Cooper, the police officer. It was interesting to come to these characters through a different perspective. Jones featured in the other novels and now he gets his own book and Eloise is in the background.
The Hollows is a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business, where secrets can fester, where future generations can pay the price
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream
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
Dec 01, 2014 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.
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
Larry Bassett
Mar 20, 2012 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
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 ★ s
At first, when I started this book, I felt it was re-visiting very familiar territory - small town USA, smart female protagonist, hard-worker in one of the caring professions, married to dedicated chief of police, high school sport star, etc. Attractive but rebellious high school girl has disappeared without a trace. It's been done a thousand times...

Certainly the book started very slowly, and there was not much happening at all. Many pages were expended on establishing who was who, where
Jessica at Book Sake
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this 1st book in her Hollows series!
Have had this to read for a really long time so when the audio came available, I grabbed it. The audio was pretty easy listening, despite the book itself being somewhat confusing. A small town setting, but again so many characters to keep straight (including a Charlie, a Chuck, and a Charlene... or was it Charlotte?), and a story that jumps between a current missing teen and one that happened 20 or so years before. Even though the author seldom gave a smooth transition between time periods, I so ...more
Nov 12, 2011 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
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thrillers, done well, can thrill. This one not only thrills, but makes you think, makes you feel...and that's a rarity. This genre novel approaches literary fiction as it views crime through different lenses--family, secrets, memory, and loss. Highly recommended.
Amanda McGill
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
The first book that I read by Lisa Unger was In the Blood and I loved it! I've been going back to her earlier books, but I haven't been close to finding that spark that I felt while reading In the Blood. Fragile is the first book that I've read where I can see that In the Blood potential.

The Hollows is a small town, where the town's people rarely leave and they have lots of secrets. The book is about the disappearance of 2 teenage girls, one in present day and the other 20 years ago.

Fragile re
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This is another of those books that you just keep on reading because you can't believe what is happening, and you just have to know how it turns out. I did like it, plot, while a little contrived, is actually believable, characters grab and hold your interest. So, yes, it was a good book. I did get a bit confused, because you changed point of view from one person to another, and it was not always clear right away who was speaking, but I did get used to it, and was able to follow along as more an ...more
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fragile by Lisa Unger is a story about family, secrets, murder, abuse and facing the past. When you begin reading this story you may be slightly overwhelmed by the number of secondary characters ( town residents, Ricky's girlfriend, her family, police) . Quickly Unger builds a multitude of characters and begins showing how they link together with the main characters.
The small town of Hollows is full of secrets and unusual characters. Well written, interesting read.
Cass ☘
One of the things that I love about Unger's writing is that it makes me like I am spending time with a friend as she fills me in on what's going on in her life.
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!
Stacy Green
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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!
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting is almost village like though it is just outside New York City. Everyone knows everyone and everyone's memories last a lifetime and beyond.

Maggie has returned to the Hollows and is a psychologist. She is very anxious about her clever son who seems to have drifted into a life of aimlessness, not even thinking of his future and college. His girlfriend is not someone she would choose for him but she is trying desperately to be fair and not comment, Her disappearance puts the entire fam
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Crime, Mysteries ...: 0513 - Fragile 38 151 Jul 06, 2013 08:15AM  
Slopping writing or editing? 3 47 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 fifteen novels, including the latest psychological thriller THE RED HUNTER.

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, Goodreads,, Independ
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“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.” 24 likes
“Everyone always talks about how well mothers know their children. No one ever seems to notice how well children know their mothers.” 23 likes
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