Read no strings by Mark SaFranko Online

no-strings

Richard Marzten thinks he’s getting away with the perfect affair—his wife will never suspect, and he’ll continue his luxurious lifestyle with the addition of afternoon trysts.But cheaters never prosper, and, in Richard’s case, they may not even live. His lies begin to unravel, and his fling with Gretchen turns from a dream to a nightmare. The man who had it all soon realizRichard Marzten thinks he’s getting away with the perfect affair—his wife will never suspect, and he’ll continue his luxurious lifestyle with the addition of afternoon trysts.But cheaters never prosper, and, in Richard’s case, they may not even live. His lies begin to unravel, and his fling with Gretchen turns from a dream to a nightmare. The man who had it all soon realizes that his foolish foray could cost him everything, and a desperate man is a dangerous man.Lust, murder, panic, anger…Where will it end?Revised edition: This edition of No Strings includes editorial revisions....

Title : no strings
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 23289000
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

no strings Reviews

  • Lee
    2019-03-19 20:33

    I have to say I did not really enjoy this book. I didn't feel there was any depth in either the plot or the characters, a quick read but disappointing.

  • Cyndi Becker
    2019-02-20 19:36

    Richard Marzten...Tops the list of love to hate characters. Going into the story, I knew this would be the case. As to why, well there are a few key ones related to this story:(x) arrogance(x) sense of entitlement(x) deceitful/cheater(x) self-centeredwell, you get the picture...Here's what is great about this read. Told entirely from Richards perspective (why wouldn't it be ?), he doesn't start out as a terrible person. He's not likable really, but you don't start out hating him. At first his cleverness is just well, interesting, how he devises a plan to "get away with his intent to have an affair. His scheme is intricate and well thought out as he devises to put his wife off the trail. The sheer audacity of it all is intriguing, but early on it's more about wanted to see how he pulls it off. Sure he's got some bad habits but the author does a great job initially giving us a man that may have a few flaws, and then he leads the story down a sinister path. When things go sideways for him, they truly go off a cliff.What I loved was being in on Richard's well deserved paranoia. His arrogance gets in him trouble, his entitlement made me think of him simply as a "douche". The fact that he's a cheater and a terrible father made him pathetic, and his self centered attitude (railing on how imperfect everyone else is ?? ), reinforced my dislike. I kinda loved watching his life crash in around him, taking the wind of his self-inflated sails. It almost made me gleeful. The story is well paced and once Richard starting showing his true colors, I got more and more interested in seeing where things were going. There were a few moments where I thought "surely not..."4 stars and recommendation

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2019-03-07 21:42

    This one was a surprisingly interesting read, very easy to get into and an attention holder from the get-go. I didn't know what to expect diving into this book but I was not disappointed with what I got. Something a little different from books I have read lately. Suspenseful, fascinating and at times somewhat shocking. Richard Marzten thinks he’s getting away with the perfect affair—his wife will never suspect, and he’ll continue his luxurious lifestyle with the addition of afternoon trysts.But cheaters never prosper, and, in Richard’s case, they may not even live. His lies begin to unravel, and his fling with Gretchen turns from a dream to a nightmare. The man who had it all soon realizes that his foolish foray could cost him everything, and a desperate man is a dangerous man.Lust, murder, panic, anger…Where will it end?Richard has got himself into deep doggy-do-do, oh yes, he has a lot of regrets about decisions made lately. But now there is no turning back and he's got to dig himself out of a giant hole, a sequence of events from which there is no turning back. It's all gone very pear shaped now. His perfect life has gone.After a naughty affair things go very, very wrong for Richard, what the hell has he got himself into? Sex with no strings attached? Not going to happen apparently. This is the book that should put everyone off ever having and affair ever. It's a fast, easy read, the plot is great, the characters tangible, especially Richard, it's hard to know how you feel about him, it changes throughout the reading process. At times I felt sorry for him, at other times I wanted him to get all that was coming to him. But I was stunned at how crap Richard's life was getting....poor sod. A good read if you like crime with a twist, or like a book that explores the motives and thought processes of another person, if you are a people watcher, this book is for you. Very enjoyable and a nice surprise. 4 stars from me. I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Belinda Frisch
    2019-03-06 14:37

    **I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**FOUR AND A HALF STARS!Richard Marzten is the man who seemingly has it all—at least materially—but he’s grown bored of his high-priced lifestyle and his matronly wife, Monica, who provides him financial freedom and little else. He wants to feel alive, and to that end takes out an advertisement for a mistress “no strings attached.” Scores of women respond via PO box, but it’s Gretchen Trekker who stands out. She’s young, hot, and hotel room ready. A kept woman herself, Gretchen understand Richard’s physical needs, and his desire to keep their indiscretion quiet. She is in the exact same position. Richard has done everything to cover his tracks, but he’s not the only party in the twosome. When a PI comes knocking, Richard will do anything to keep his affair hidden.This is the first book I’ve read of Mark SaFranko’s, but it won’t be my last. Comparisons could be drawn between No Strings and Gone Girl, but the reality of it is, No Strings was in my opinion better. The story moved quickly with such unexpected twists and turns that I read the entire book in two sittings. I normally read a book a month. Two days is unheard of. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Dark, twisted, and almost humorous at times, the book felt like Very Bad Things. Richard Marzten is unapologetically self-centered, short-sighted, and sociopathic, but there’s something about him I couldn’t help liking. The author does a great job of keeping the reader in Richard’s head and endearing him. I believed his strong point of view, wondering as he wondered the whole time if he was really going to get away with “it.” What “it” am I talking about? You’ll have to read to find out. I promise you won’t be sorry.

  • Giedre
    2019-03-19 17:31

    I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! What a quick, entertaining and suspenseful read. I didn't expect much from this book but I am always interested in marriage/infidelity books so I picked this one up. I was pleasantly surprised. The story is about a man who finds his life falling apart after making a total mess out of his marriage because of boredom. Mark SaFranko is truly a gifted writer and he will have you hooked on his book after the first line. Dark, intense, sexy and very entertaining read. Highly recommended. I am off to looking for other books written by Mark SaFranko.

  • Ujjwal Dey
    2019-02-19 17:38

    How many of you really read pulp-fiction? And how many of you bemoan the genre of pulp-fiction. By definition it is allegedly cheap writing on cheap pulp paper. Yet, somehow, genius emerges even in such decrepitness. It is like watching a beautiful lotus bloom at night in the middle of a sewage pond. Is it the night that darkens the mood? Is it the sewage that betrays the night? Is it the lotus which makes us feel comfortable in the dark, stenchful, middle of nowhere?What I am rambling about is the latest work by Mark SaFranko. A writer who just happens to write hardboiled fiction. Startling thrillers. Yet they are not what you see in mainstream bookstores with large cut-out advertisements promoting their run-of-the-mill product as the new New York Times Bestseller. Mark SaFranko is a writer first and a pulp narrator later.He knows his craft. So you don’t get silly slang nor useless poetry. What you get is raw and naked like the woman next door to your motel room or the food rotting in your fridge.Another speciality of Mark SaFranko is relationships. Especially the rough, warm, uneasy and ecstatic relation between a man and a woman. They come in and they go out. They move in and they move out. What remains is the lesson that man (and woman) are bound by human nature, temptation and the errant hand of fate.In “No Strings” we have snoop-jobs, bunch of women, sex, obsession, guilt, blackmail, death, love, disillusionment, crime and punishment. This is a heady mix of fun, sin and literary effort. A combination that Mark has excelled in previously as well – whether it be the dreary “The Favor” or the rabid “Hating Olivia”. Here again, he combines “wit, women and worry” to churn out a thriller and a truly enjoyable pulp fiction. Try one, try the rest. Keep reading fellas.Extract from the novel: “For the first time in a long while I was in the mood to accomplish something. I switched off the TV and pulled out the Oriole epilepsy drug ads and spread them over my desk. Then I picked up my red pen and went to work.”

  • Tyler Chase
    2019-03-07 16:37

    No Strings was one of those books that sort of grabs you from the start, keeps you reading until late in the night, and again as soon as you wake up. I love SaFranko's writing style. It's captivating, hypnotic - a treat that keeps you turning the pages. I say that despite the fact that I wanted to throttle the main character many times. Just when I started to like him, and found myself rooting for him, he'd do or say something utterly reprehensible regarding his wife. Just unforgivable. If it hadn't ended the way it did, I would've been extremely disappointed.SaFranko's books are my new guilty pleasure.

  • Princess Godoy
    2019-03-08 16:52

    (i received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honset review)When I started reading this, I didn't know if this is comedy or what because the plot is so new and interesting . . .This is a book about infedility And the interesting part about this is the narrator of the story is the cheater and he came to persuade how what his doing is right and justifiable. And no matter how many time he came to do the wrong thing you will find yourself rooting for the main character.This book is a one heck of a ride and I'm so glad I read it. it's a fresh story and something new to read.

  • Elisa
    2019-03-16 13:45

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley. Thank you, Amazon Publishing!A quick, suspenseful read. The last time I was rooting so much for such an unlikeable, amoral character, it was Headhunters, by Jo Nesbo. It also reminds me of the classic noir movies that it even brings up, like Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. You feel like a psychopath for wanting the main character get away with it, but you can't help it.

  • Tiffany
    2019-02-24 17:34

    Great twist and turns...did not see some of the plot twist coming.

  • Martin Appleby
    2019-02-28 16:38

    SaFranko's protagonist in No Strings, Richard Marzten, is a man who has it all; coming from humble beginnings in a small mining community in backwater Pennsylvania, he has married into money and finds himself living in the lap of luxury in the affluent New Jersey suburbs. He is living the dream and wants for nothing, or does he? The thing about dreams is that once they come true, oftentimes they don't quite live up to the billing. It is human nature to want more, to get better, to strive for greater things, but that can sometimes land you in the shit, as Mr Marzten quickly discovers... His wife is several years his senior and steadily losing her looks. He is no spring chicken himself but feels that has something to prove to himself and thus decides to have an affair. Wary that his wife will catch on to his extramarital activities before they even get going he hatches an elaborate plan to cover his tracks. Before looking twice at another woman he gives off all the warning signs of an affair - Staying out late with no explanation, taking extra care of himself, washing his own clothes, etc - This sets the alarm bells ringing and his wife hires a private detective to shadow him. Finding nothing untoward going on, her mind is put to rest and the coast is clear for Richard to do as he pleases.Placing an ad in the personals leads him to Gretchen; a young, attractive woman who is also married to money and looking for a discreet, no strings attached affair. Richard can hardly believe his luck and at first everything is perfect. He is having the best sex of his life with a vibrant, young beauty and his wife doesn't have a clue. In the character's own words he is having his cake and eating it. However, good things rarely last forever and Richard soon finds his life spiralling out of control. Betrayal, deceit, blackmail, murder... How far will he go to protect his comfortable, cosy life?!SaFranko's prose is crisp and concise as always, and the novel zips along at a frenetic pace. Marzten's reprehensible actions don't make it easy to root for him, but the first person narrative gives a weight and honesty to the character which makes it difficult not to sympathise with his predicament. He knows he's fucked up, he's knows he an asshole and he knows that he's probably going down, so he may as well go down swinging. This is a fun read that will keep you guessing until the end and is well worth parting with a few of your hard earned. Originally released in 2012 by Black Coffee Press it has recently been giving a shiny new (and deserved) release by Thomas and Mercer.

  • Martin Appleby
    2019-02-26 18:41

    SaFranko's protagonist in No Strings, Richard Marzten, is a man who has it all; coming from humble beginnings in a small mining community in backwater Pennsylvania, he has married into money and finds himself living in the lap of luxury in the affluent New Jersey suburbs. He is living the dream and wants for nothing, or does he? The thing about dreams is that once they come true, oftentimes they don't quite live up to the billing. It is human nature to want more, to get better, to strive for greater things, but that can sometimes land you in the shit, as Mr Marzten quickly discovers... His wife is several years his senior and steadily losing her looks. He is no spring chicken himself but feels that has something to prove to himself and thus decides to have an affair. Wary that his wife will catch on to his extramarital activities before they even get going he hatches an elaborate plan to cover his tracks. Before looking twice at another woman he gives off all the warning signs of an affair - Staying out late with no explanation, taking extra care of himself, washing his own clothes, etc - This sets the alarm bells ringing and his wife hires a private detective to shadow him. Finding nothing untoward going on, her mind is put to rest and the coast is clear for Richard to do as he pleases.Placing an ad in the personals leads him to Gretchen; a young, attractive woman who is also married to money and looking for a discreet, no strings attached affair. Richard can hardly believe his luck and at first everything is perfect. He is having the best sex of his life with a vibrant, young beauty and his wife doesn't have a clue. In the character's own words he is having his cake and eating it. However, good things rarely last forever and Richard soon finds his life spiralling out of control. Betrayal, deceit, blackmail, murder... How far will he go to protect his comfortable, cosy life?!SaFranko's prose is crisp and concise as always, and the novel zips along at a frenetic pace. Marzten's reprehensible actions don't make it easy to root for him, but the first person narrative gives a weight and honesty to the character which makes it difficult not to sympathise with his predicament. He knows he's fucked up, he's knows he an asshole and he knows that he's probably going down, so he may as well go down swinging. This is a fun read that will keep you guessing until the end and is well worth parting with a few of your hard earned. Originally released in 2012 by Black Coffee Press it has recently been giving a shiny new (and deserved) release by Thomas and Mercer.

  • Diamond Drake
    2019-03-08 16:33

    I thoroughly enjoyed No Strings! From the very beginning I was drawn in and I couldn't wait to find out what foolish thing Richard would do next. I couldn't stand him and I spent the majority of the book hoping for his demise! Still, I felt completely involved with nearly everything he did. I was stressed and tense when he made his escape from the hotel as well as when he made his drive across town with George. I became enraged whenever Richard expressed his thoughts about Monica and particularly towards Diane. That only made me hate him more and yet I couldn't wait to continue reading. I'm not the type of reader who feels as though I HAVE to like the main character so the fact that I disliked Richard from the beginning didn't take away from the story at all. In fact, that made it more interesting. No Strings was fast paced and well written and I'm glad I saw the ad for it here on Goodreads, otherwise I may never have heard of Mark SaFranko and missed out on an incredible read. I'm definitely a fan! I knew that when I started taking my laptop with me so I could read whenever I was out. I know that probably doesn't sound like a big deal but I NEVER take my laptop with me so that just shows how much I enjoyed No Strings that I wanted to read it as much as possible.There were a few minor things that stood out to me but one is a personal pet peeve and the other just personal taste. At one point in the book I noticed an increase in words that seemed odd and unnecessary (out of place, if I'm being honest). They read like words pulled out of a thesaurus that didn't fit with the flow of writing, in my opinion. Not a big deal, but noticeable for a brief period. Also, I was a tad disappointed that certain things were brought up but never really used to push the plot forward. For example, I thought the whole point to Vance being mentioned was to poke holes in the lies Richard told. He lied to the detective about not seeing George for weeks and the only character who could disprove that was Vance. So I thought when Monica came outside to find out why the police was in her yard that she was going to casually mention that Vance had seen Richard in George's car or something along those lines. I guess what I'm saying is that I wanted to see Richard twisting in the wind just a little bit more than he did. However, that's just a personal-taste thing that didn't hinder my enjoyment of No Strings at all. I really, really liked it and I look forward to reading more from Mark SaFranko.

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-17 18:39

    Hitchcock meets Elmore Leonard! Well worth reading, and only 250 pages or so. I was a bit hesitant about this book given the premise (married man devises a way to cheat), but I was quickly wrapped up in my dislike for the main character, and then I was wrapped up in what he was getting himself into, and then I was wrapped up in how it all started to fall apart. Suddenly, it was over and I could let out the breath I didn't know I'd been holding.

  • Craig Allen
    2019-03-12 14:33

    This was a nice surprise--I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review. I read this in about six hours and was intrigued by the story of a man who finds his life falling apart after cheating on his rich wife. Everything falls apart for the main character, who is interesting to read about yet hard to root for...yet I sort of found myself rooting for him at points, too. I really enjoyed this and found it very fast paced.

  • Kristen Jett
    2019-03-04 16:42

    NO STRINGS is a fast, enjoyable read. Richard Marzten thinks he has it all figured out. He stays with his wife (and her cosy money), and he has a well planned affair. No feelings. No strings. No way of getting caught. When things start to unravel, how far will he go to protect himself? To hide his affair? This is a dark read - with many twists, causing you to wonder what a person does when pressed. Not much can be said without giving the plot away, but this book is well worth the read.

  • Tom Simon
    2019-02-18 20:27

    Perfect PulpThis was a fantastic novel about a bored husband who finds himself spiraling from an erotic encounter into a hellhole of crime, intrigue, and cover-ups. A short, easy read that made me want to delve deeper into this author's back catalog.

  • Phil
    2019-02-17 15:56

    'No Strings' is the first of Safranko's psychological thrillers I've read, and I suppose I was expecting something of the thick, claustrophobic nightmare of a Simenon (a hero of Safranko's). I'm not sure I got what I was expecting, but I do know I enjoyed the read all the same.Our narrator is one Richard Marzten, a man "tired of endlessly fantasizing and not doing anything about it." He has dreamed up a way to commit the perfect extramarital affair. He will arouse his older wife Monica's suspicions, tempt her to investigate his odd behaviour, and then go out and have an affair after Monica has already been convinced of his innocence.When he puts the plan into action, everything seems to be going just as he'd thought. He meets the stunning "Gretchen" and falls into bed with her on their first encounter. He has the best sex of his life and is not encumbered by any of the usual difficulties that such entaglements often bring. Their relationship is strictly on a "no strings" basis.Until one day she jokes that they would both be better off if their respective spouses were no longer breathing; and then on another day admits that she has started to miss him when they're not together.As Marzten says, "Whoa. What the hell was this shit?"But if from this partial synopsis you think you know where the rest of 'No Strings' is headed, then think again, as Safranko has some neat tricks up his sleeve. Because, y'see, he too is a fan of the genre. He has Marzten himself say it: "Visions of cheap, pulpy murder plots, stuff like what happened in The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, raced like a comet through my brain."He's fan enough -- and smart enough -- to create something of his own that nevertheless remains true to the type of book he obviously loves. So while you can sit back and enjoy the fast-paced, tightly-plotted thrill ride of the plot mechanics, what you also get is a nuanced portrait of an emasculated coward.What he creates in Marzten is a confused and less-than-sympathetic character -- one who's every bit as fucked up as the kind of anti-hero that populates the best of Jim Thompson's sick, sick world.He vacillates between thinking, "I was in the jam I was in because of women. Two women. Both had ensnared me," to admitting, "I was the most pitiful and ridiculous fool, trapped and destroyed by my desires."Marzten married into untold riches as a young man, and he only works now, in middle age, out of a kind of male pride. When the idea of having an affair creeps into his mind, he is self-conscious enough to understand that it is because, "[f]or a while I needed to not be an impotent suburban papa who was under his wealthy wife's thumb."His thoughts of other women are of the fleshy, puerile fantasies that all men, if they're honest, carry around in their heads all day long. His wife's sagging, pale flesh disgusts him; he wants smooth, tanned, youthful perfection. He wants to prove to himself that such a body is still (literally) within his reach.But at the same time -- "The last thing I wanted was a high-maintenance model on my hands full-time."In a way, it is this confusion between being the all-conquering lothario and, in reality, a pathetic, desperate middle-aged man wanting to eat his cake and have it, too, that triggers the intricate twists and turns of the story's (melo)drama. In a moment of honesty with himself, Marzten can admit, "What snakes we humans are."What the pulp plot dynamics also afford Safranko is the opportunity to push Marzten's character development into hyperdrive. As proceedings spiral out of Marzten's control, his behaviour becomes ever more desperate and reckless.The book covers similar themes and follows a similar trajectory to Safranko's own Lounge Lizard, in which the central character, Max Zajack, goes from being a down and out loser who hasn't been laid in years, to a bed-hopping sex junkie who ends the novel crouched on a fire escape, frothing at the mouth and howling at the moon like a lust-crazed wolf. And while 'No Strings' can't quite top that incredibly memorable parting image, it does at least end neatly and satisfactorily.I said at the beginning that it wasn't as dark as I had expected it to be, but really, that's unfair of me to say that it didn't match the expectations that I brought to it. It isn't so much a chilling character study as a blackly-comic sex-and-murder farce. I can imagine an increasingly-manic Nic Cage in the Marzten role, if filmed.What you get with 'No Strings' is a memorable narrator, a strong cast of supporting characters, and a wild, out-of-control pulp plot that will please every fan of lust 'n' violence madness.And, Jesus wept, who ever asked for more than that?

  • A Reader's Heaven
    2019-03-10 17:35

    (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)Richard Marzten thinks he’s getting away with the perfect affair—his wife will never suspect, and he’ll continue his luxurious lifestyle with the addition of afternoon trysts.But cheaters never prosper, and, in Richard’s case, they may not even live. His lies begin to unravel, and his fling with Gretchen turns from a dream to a nightmare. The man who had it all soon realizes that his foolish foray could cost him everything, and a desperate man is a dangerous man.Lust, murder, panic, anger…Where will it end?It is obvious that the author is a fan of the thriller genre, especially those books from days gone by - Raymond Chandler comes to mind - as he has a good understand of pacing and plotting. There were so many hidden twists and turns that, as far as the actual story went, this was a classy read.It only got 3 stars from me as I just really struggled with the other thing that was a big part of the older mystery novels - characters. Richard was an unlikable character and one that I just never connected with. I don't think it was because of his behaviour through the novel - more that he just didn't seem to have the depth to make him a stand-out in the story. Which is a shame, cos this book would have scored at least 4 stars if he had been a better character.I think this book will still appeal to fans of mysteries/thrillers as it keeps you turning the pages, desperate to find out Richard's fate...PaulARH

  • Lisa
    2019-02-21 17:34

    You can find more reviews Mademoisellesnow BlogWhen I first began reading this book I was pretty excited with the idea of this suspenseful story. But when I did start reading I absolutely hated the main character! He was just so full of himself and just all round awful! The beginning of the story really reminded me of Gone Girl but the similarities ended there. The rest of the story was just average, but at one point I found that I was so annoyed at the main character Richard that I really didn’t care what happened to him. I just kept reading cause I wanted to know what the resolution was and how he ended up as.

  • Sianna
    2019-03-05 15:45

    **3.5 Stars**When I first started reading the book, I was really excited because it reminded me of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. However, the likeness was short lived. It was intriguing enough for me to keep reading but…the main character was so unlikeable & annoying. Eventually, I didn’t really care what happened to him. I just wanted to know the resolution. I did like the little twist at the end, if you can call it that. It was alluded to throughout the book. By the end of the book, I wondered what was the point of it all.

  • Shawna
    2019-03-10 21:55

    ARC provided by NetGalley:This book was a decent enough story, suspenseful enough to keep me reading. My problem was with the main character, Richard. He was just so unlikeable to me that I couldn't get past that annoyance enough to enjoy the story. Yes, that's the point as he was a cheater. But there's a fine line between being a cad and being so distasteful that it turns a reader off. The latter was the case for me.

  • Julie
    2019-02-27 13:54

    I received this novel from NetGalley.This novel is far from what I would normally read, however, it drew me in from the first page.It does get a little out of hand, quite quickly and speeds through to the highly predictable conclusion.That being said, it is well written, fast-paced and a fun little novel.

  • Stathis
    2019-03-08 16:46

    ...and so it starts...another bored life leading to a safe affair... But as always, trying to hide leads to a mess and this mess is huge. Mark Safranko has the gift of the normal gab ... And he hooks u after the third word because somehow his hero reminds you of yourself ... And that my dear readers is Art at its best ...

  • Shaileen
    2019-03-01 19:39

    It was dullThe whole story was morbid and it just kept losing me. MAybe it's just Ms but it was a waste of time.

  • Booklover
    2019-02-22 14:50

    A chilling read! Definitely a page turner.

  • Carrie
    2019-03-16 20:57

    At first, I thought this was going to be a pretty cliche book, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story and ending.

  • Mary Gunderson
    2019-03-15 16:36

    Yuck. Whiny, self-indulgent young women.