BOOK TITLE: Don't Let Go
BOOK AUTHOR: Harlan Coben
PUBLISHER: Dutton Books
September 26th 2017
GENRES: Suspense, Thriller
CHECK IT OUT AT: Goodreads
With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.
Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for.
When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Before I start my review, can I tell you about something kind of amazing?! I’m AHEAD on my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I’m FOUR books ahead. I’m never ahead!
I owe this to audiobooks and revisiting my Stephen King favorites . . . because I couldn’t stop listening, I made it through more books than usual (especially during a time when my TBR pile was taking a hit).
But enough about my reading goals (I’m trying for 115 this year, btw). Let me tell you about Harlan Coben’s newest book, Don’t Let Go.
I was a little worried about halfway through Don’t Let Go. It seemed so fractured so many pieces everywhere – I was really kind of lost and slightly irritated. Like having a conversation with someone who has had too much coffee and needs to figure out God, politics, and aliens all at that moment.
I liked Nap a lot though (he’s a very flawed, very lost man doing his best to stay good), so I stuck with it.
Let’s just say the over-caffeinated feeling was resolved and everything started to come together long before the book was finished, and it was well worth sticking through to the end. I don’t mean the mystery was solved early (that’s a lot of twists) or that the suspense died down — just that the seeming bridges to nowhere started to connect with unseen land.
It all worked beautifully.
I’ve been a big fan of Coben’s for quite awhile. Although New Jersey has never been my home, my husband grew up there, in a town very like the ones in Coben’s books. Quiet, affluent without being ostentatious, a nice place to raise kids. I feel like I know his settings intimately.
Coben does the smart jock all grown up thing well, too. Like Nap Dumas. He’s a good guy, trying to do the right thing (although he’s caught in the past for reasons that have nothing to do with his past athletic victories). He’s a smart cop with good instincts, sometimes doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Quick aside: From my experience, his smart jocks are more common then the dumb jocks of jokes. Most of the best ‘jocks’ are not and never were dumb — they’re are smart, quick thinking, and have good instincts. Most that I know and have known grow up to have good jobs and do well for their communities.
Coben has a bit of a formula (smart jock often in some sort of investigative job, something painful from his past comes back to haunt him, he must confront it to solve the mystery and save those he loves), but he varies it well enough that his books are not formulaic.
I guess you could say Coben’s books are like a roller coaster — you know it’s going to be climbs and falls, maybe a few twists and turns, possibly you’ll roll upside down for a few seconds — but you pretty much know what you’re getting from a roller coaster. This doesn’t mean you don’t take the ride. It’s thrilling and exciting and tons of fun despite the familiarity.
This roller coaster-familiar makes him fun to read. Fast paced and interesting, with questions not easily answered. Don’t Let Go won’t challenge you as a reader, and that’s okay. It will take you on a really great ride.