“I tried this because it was on the Ultimate Reading List for Suspense, and that's the only reason I gave it over fifty pages, because the writing here, oh, it is painful in a way that I can't believe this is just a weak book for this author, but the work of a hack. No sappy cliche is left unwritten. There are popular thriller writers who can boast strong prose--Dean Koontz and Dennis Lehane spring to mind. Coben is evidently not one of them. The way he bounces between first and third person and his pedestrian prose reminded me of James Patterson.
I can live with pedestrian prose if the characters are vivid creations or the plot really clever. However... The hero? A pediatrician, David Beck, who works in the inner city who says he tries not to play "Benevolent White Man" (I kid you not, the character uses that phrase to describe himself.) He has a lesbian sister who has a son she conceived through artificial insemination she's raising together with her partner, a plus-size model. All police officers in the book are pot-bellied, big nosed thuggish fascistic morons (but the neighborhood drug dealer has a heart of gold). The villain? An Eeeeevil billionaire. What else? If you're liberal, you may very well find the socio-political sensibility condescending, and if conservative, unbearably PC. I managed to find it both.
I'll say this for the novel. If I read past page 50 because of the recommendation, I kept reading because Coben does a good storytelling striptease. Thus the (generous) one and a half stars. I once read that the key to any novel is control of information, and I think that's never truer than with a suspense or mystery novel. This one does have an intriguing premise. Eight years ago Beck's wife and sweetheart from childhood, Elizabeth, was seemingly killed by a serial killer. Except on the anniversary of her disappearance Beck is sent an email with a link to a live webcam on a busy city street. And when he clicks there on the screen is his wife looking back at him. Coben throws us just enough intriguing tidbits every once in a while that I kept reading to find out what was at the bottom of the mystery.
So, last straw? That the ending to me was such a cheat I wanted to throw the book against the wall. The worse kind of trashy book is the kind to make me read for hundreds of pages and then makes me soooo sorry for every hour of my life I'm not getting back.”
“Good mystery, enjoyable and kept me guessing”aripley77 wrote this review Tuesday, July 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good mystery from beginning to end.”Linda Smith wrote this review Thursday, June 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wanted a good mystery with an in-depth investigation. I got that. Unfortunately, it was very confusing. Many events led up to the climax in the book which truly doesn't take place until the last 20 pages. Many different characters and plot lines. Was okay, not great.”Jake Samson wrote this review Saturday, June 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Couldn't put this down! ”Becky Gibson wrote this review Friday, June 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Eight years ago, David and Elizabeth Beck traveled to their old stomping grounds to celebrate an anniversary. But things go terribly wrong when David is attacked and Elizabeth is abducted, her body found days later in a ditch. Trying to put the past behind him, David is shocked when he receives an anonymous email with a message that only he and his wife would understand. Is she somehow alive? Is someone playing a trick on him? David starts taking a look at the events of eight years ago and sees things may not be what they seemed.
This is a fast paced suspense thriller that I could not put down. Who has to eat or sleep when you have a book that hooks you from the first page? There were so many twists and turns in the story, I never knew what would happen next. And I certainly didn't expect the twist at the end of the story. I highly recommend this book. My rating: 5 Stars.”
“I’m a fan of Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series and decided that I’d start this book without reading the synopsis. It was selected as the book for group discussion in one of my groups and was highly touted. The book was that much more exciting because I didn’t know what it was about and read the prologue with no clue as to where it was going. Here’s what I’ll say about it so you can have a similar experience if you choose.
I had a really tough time putting this book down for interruptions (sleep, errands, meals, etc.) because it was pretty unpredictable, a staple of Coben’s stories. You think you know who the good guys are, only to be disappointed at a later juncture. Even the good guys are presented with moral dilemmas where they make dicey choices and you question your own self as to whether you would have done things differently. Here you have a man who's done nothing but the right things expected of him and in the space of 24 hours is consorting with people and doing things he would never have considered as an option the day before.
The story kept me off balance the entire time and the twist at the end really caught me off guard, just when I believed I had everything sorted out. If you like tension, action, mystery and strange suspense and a little bit of romance, you’ll like this book. I certainly did.
“Excellent.”Carol245 wrote this review Monday, May 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Entertaining book and a page turner as usual from Harlan Coben. As with most of his books, this one is a quick read.”Kevin Roones wrote this review Saturday, March 16, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No