book cover of Second Chance

Second Chance

(1991)
(The ninth book in the Harry Stoner series)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Shamus Awards Best Novel (nominee)
Publisher's Weekly
In this flimsy tale a Cincinnati PI Harry Stoner seems a shadow puppet of the once provocative and introspective detective seen in such earlier series installments as Extenuating Circumstances . Stoner is hired by psychiatrist Phil Pearson and second wife Louise to locate Phil's daughter Kirsty, a University of Chicago student. At the school, Stoner learns that Kirsty's brother Ethan solicited her help in confronting the ex-convict who, he believes, killed their mother. As Stoner unearths the records to check whether Estelle Pearson committed suicide, as the police ruled, or was murdered by psychopath Herbert Talmadge, as Ethan suspects, police find Ethan's Volare on the bank of the Miami River (near the site where his mother's body was found), empty except for blood-stained lingerie. Fearing that Kirsty and Ethan have been murdered, Stoner steps up his search through a maze of cold trails and long-forgotten sins. It's bad enough to offer an implausible plot, beginning with the Pearsons' unlikely hiring of a private investigator, and a predictable villain, but reducing Stoner to a formula gumshoe devoid of insight will be a heartbreaker for his fans. Mysterious Book Club selection.

Library Journal
Series detective Harry Stoner ( Extenuat ing Circumstances , Delacorte, 1989) tackles an apparently easy missing persons case when he journeys from Cincinnati to Chicago in search of Dr. Pearson's college-age daughter. Although forewarned of the girl's fragile mental condition, Stoner still encounters more than he bargained for, including her vengeful brother, a paroled rapist/murderer, several deceptive blond nurses, multiple family secrets, and a grim succession of bodies. This efficient narrative with a hard-boiled edge has a sometimes predictable but always interesting and increasingly baroque plot. A likely choice for most collections.

Genre: Mystery

Used availability for Jonathan Valin's Second Chance

Hardback Editions

April 1991 : USA Hardback
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Title: Second Chance
Author(s): Jonathan Valin
ISBN: 0-385-29912-5 / 978-0-385-29912-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 1992 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: Second Chance
Author(s): Jonathan Valin
ISBN: 0-440-21222-7 / 978-0-440-21222-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Dell
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

August 2018 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: Second Chance (The Harry Stoner Series)
Author(s): Jonathan Valin
ISBN: 1-72132-523-9 / 978-1-72132-523-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone on Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


June 2013 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Second Chance: A Harry Stoner Mystery, Book 9
Author(s): Jonathan Valin
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   


June 2013 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Second Chance: A Harry Stoner Mystery, Book 9
Author(s): Jonathan Valin
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon UK   


May 2013 : USA Audio CD

Title: Second Chance (Harry Stoner)
Author(s): Jonathan Valin
ISBN: 0-7927-9358-7 / 978-0-7927-9358-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

February 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Second Chance (Harry Stoner Mystery Book 9)
Author(s): Jonathan Valin
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA