Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Review: Stay Close by Harlan Coben

Stay CloseStay Close by Harlan Coben
read from May 10-12, 2012

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My Review:

I became a Harlan Coben fan several years ago when I picked up Just One Look at a yard sale and the proceeded to read it in one evening while my husband was gone and my parents had my at that time only child for the night. I was hooked and since then I have made it a point to read his non-series books each year and I have started reading the Myron Bolitar series as well this year. I love Harlan Coben's suspense mixed with everyday life, he just seems to suck me right into the lives of the main characters and not let me go until I am on the last page and I know how things turn out.

Stay Close lived up to my expectations for a Harlan Coben novel. It involves Megan a soccer mom who once had another life as a stripper, a life that she would like to keep secret, but that life seems to be calling to her and calling to her at an inopportune time as a man as murdered in a fashion to a murder that happened close to her seventeen years ago. Again here Mr. Coben takes an ordinary life, a mom, someone I can relate to except for the ex-stripper part, but how many of us are just a few inches away from that life. The interesting part, Megan/Cassie enjoyed that life but one day stepped out of it due to the murder of a man she was involved in. That's where the suspense comes in. Add in an ex-love from seventeen years ago, a cop that is still on the case and a bartender/strip-club staple that you can't help but love and you round out the great characters in the book. Then throw in some really bad guys, like Barbie and Ken. Wow, where did he come up with these two, they are twisted, you will just have to read it. And others.

Of course plot twists abound. Every time I thought I knew exactly where the plot was going and how it would end up, Mr. Coben told me no way and threw in a new plot twist that made perfect sense when he did it. Nothing from out in left field here that made you scratch your head. Everything is well-crafted and fits together very well. And in the end you just go, "Wow." That's all I could do.

Mr.Coben managed to take me on another wild ride and now I am anxious for next years book. Thankfully I still have some of his back list to get through as well as a host of other authors to read, but Harlan Coben is still one on my major must-read authors from year-to-year. Stay Close had it all for me. Interesting characters, breakneck plot with great twists and an ending that was just amazing to me. I should have seen it coming but I didn't. Excellent book, that's all I can say.

About the Book:

Harlan Coben follows four consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers with a stand-alone thriller in the vein of his beloved breakout novels Caught and Hold Tight

Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Now she's got two kids, a perfect husband, a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at age forty he finds himself in a dead- end job posing as a paparazzo pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Jack is a detective who can't let go of a cold case-a local husband and father disappeared seventeen years ago, and Jack spends the anniversary every year visiting a house frozen in time, the missing man's family still waiting, his slippers left by the recliner as if he might show up any moment to step into them.

Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past doesn't recede. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all. And as each confronts the dark side of the American Dream- the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger that can lurk behind even the prettiest facades- they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper-thin as a heartbeat.
With his trademark combination of page-turning thrills and unrivaled insight into the dark shadows that creep into even the happiest communities, Harlan Coben delivers a thriller that cements his status as the master of domestic suspense.

***I received this book from my wonderful local library.  ***