Friday, March 1, 2013
Author: Harlan Coben
Type: e-book Advanced Reading Copy (ARC)
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Expected Publication Date: March 19, 2013
First Line: Prologue -- "I sat in the back pew and watched the only woman I would ever love marry another man."
Note: My sincere thanks to Dutton Adult and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Book Description: Six years have passed since Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.
But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for . . . but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.
As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart—and who lied to him—soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.
Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.
My Thoughts: Harlan Coben has always been one of my go-to suspense authors. The man knows how to write a book filled with twists and turns, great main characters who have wonderfully witty banter between them and some murder and mayhem thrown in for good measure.
Like some of Coben's other main characters, namely the wonderful Myron Bolitar, Jake has a great sense of humour, is quite likeable and an easy character to root for. In this book, the reader sees everything through Jake's point of view which makes the red herrings and other twists in the book very unexpected.
My only critical thought about this book was the bond between Jake and Natalie. I guess I just didn't 'get it'. To me, after only knowing each other a short time, their relationship (or at least Jake's side of it, because that's all the author shows the reader) felt more like an obsession rather than a 'true love' kind of bond. To go through all this life-threatening craziness for a woman that you knew for a few months (and who then dumped you and married someone else) six years ago seemed just slightly too far fetched for me. Or perhaps it's just that all the romance has died within my soul. Take your pick.
Like his other books, Coben provides his readers with a fast-paced read complete with many twists and turns as well as some really great secondary characters. I adored the banter between Jake and his co-worker, Mrs Dinsmore and I think it is this banter that he injects into his books that truly makes them stand out for me.
Overall, this is a good read. Suspenseful with great characters.
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars