I’ve read a number of Coban’s books (8 I think) and the ones narrated by Scott Brick are almost over-the-top with suspense what with Coban’s storytelling talents and Brick’s ability to make any string of words sound suspenseful, but they’re usually fun.
In this one from 2008 (which makes it a bit dated in terms of the technology involved) the interwoven threads revolve around children and families and what parents will almost always do to protect them. The story opens with the vicious murder of a woman whose body is then left in the back alley of a red-light district – she’s dressed the part of a hooker. The cops won’t suspect who she really is.
by Harlan Coben
2008 / 444 pages
read by Scott Brick 12h 3m
rating: A / crime-suspense
Next we get a scene switch to the comfortable home of Dr Mike Baye, his wife Tia (an attorney), and their children Adam and Jill, ages 16 and 10 respectively. Adam’s friend Spenser has recently committed suicide so Mike and Tia are worried about Adam. They put a tracker on his computer.
Then there are the parents of the boy who died. His parents are filled with incredible grief – Betsy Hill can’t/won’t get over it. Other scenarios include a girl and her single father – the girl has been dissed by a teacher at school; the teacher’s wife and family; a very ill young boy whose parents are seeking an organ donor for him; another dead woman and her family; the murderers and their problems; the cops who are looking for the murderers; a teen-age hang-out and its proprietors.
For a crime writer who uses quite a lot of violence, Coben creates some really good characters, but there are so many of them they’re hard to keep straight. On the other hand, by the time I did get them straight, I I didn’t want the story to end. Also he takes on some themes in his writing – the interwoven threads are connected by children and their parents who desire to protect them.
And with all the intertwined plot threads the tension stays way up and there are some real corkscrew twists all the way to the end.
I guess it may not be his best novel but it’s a goodie.