Playing Dead Review

Fifteen years ago, Claire O’Brien’s life was turned upside down when she found her mother and her mother’s lover both brutally murdered. Clarie’s father Tom has every reason to be the culprit. After all, he did just catch his wife cheating on him with another man.

All of the evidence pointed to Tom O’Brien’s guilt, all of his appeals were overturned, and the case ended with Tom receiving the death penalty for the two murders. But throughout the years, Claire has wondered what really happened that night. She was only fourteen years old at the time and just assumed her father did it since he was holding the murder weapon and was the only other person in the house.

After an earthquake gave several San Quentin inmates an opportunity to escape, Tom O’Brien fled with everyone else. Tom is a former cop and even helped the police catch the escaped convicts, well everyone but himself. If Tom goes back to jail he will be awaiting his execution in only six short weeks.

Tom’s only hope is a law student named Oliver Maddox who came to visit Tom and told him he believes he is innocent and wants to help him prove it. But Tom has no idea how to find Oliver since he has been out of touch and missing for several months. Does Oliver know who really committed the crimes and if so why doesn’t the police know the truth?

When Tom runs out of options, he decides to contact his daughter Claire, now all grown up, for help. Claire has experience as a private investigator and might be able to find some answers. But Claire is skeptical of Tom and believes he is guilty still. Will Claire swallow her pride and give her father a second chance and perhaps save him from an undeserved execution?

PLAYING DEAD is the third book in the Prison Break Trilogy by romantic suspense author Allison Brennan. The mystery is tightly plotted with the final reveal not happening until the very end of the book. There are several red herrings and possibilities on who the killer could be, but with so many characters it is hard to truly know who the guilty party really is.

The suspense builds up until the exciting conclusion when all questions are answered and justice is served. I am a huge fan of Allison Brennan’s novels and I was immensely satisfied with this latest installment. PLAYING DEAD is an adrenaline rush of thrills and chills that is sure to win Brennan several new readers.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic read Rachael! Great job on the review. :)

  2. Thanks Kimberly. It's a great mystery. She's my absolute favorite thriller writer. :)


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