Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Six Years by Harlan Coben

Six Years.  Harlan Coben. Dutton Adult. March 2013. 368 pp. hbk. ISBN #: 9780525953485.

Jake Fisher is watching the love of his life, Natalie, marry another man, Todd. Jake’s heart is broken but he had to see this wedding take place.  Before the bride and groom leave for their happy life together, Natalie makes Jake promise she will leave them alone and never try to see or speak to them again.  He agrees. Six years later he sees an obituary for Todd who has left behind a wife and two children. Jake believes the promise is now null and void with the death and decides to attend the funeral.  The terror begins with this journey.

How shocking to find that Todd’s wife at the funeral isn’t Natalie. The nightmare continues as Jake decides to track her down.  Everywhere he goes, including their old hunting grounds in Vermont, all he hears is denial.  No there wasn’t an art retreat center, no the place where he ate the scones Natalie loved doesn’t remember him or her; the people he remembers don’t remember him; the police try to scare him away from the area; and on and on it goes. Denial and threats galore!

Then Jake decides to track through the college records where he teaches and was once a student.  Little by little a web of connected teachers, students, family members, horrific crimes, deaths, and more intensify the plot which leads to a criminal web and a “Fresh Start” relocation program.  Only the last item is one in which no one knows where those with new lives have disappeared to.  But they aren’t all gone and the violence begins and continues over and over until a final culminating scene where the story is finally pieced together. In the end, disappearance, death and living are key elements for the safety and security that holds no guarantees.

Harlan Coben holds the reader in a non-stop, perilous journey through mystery with a constantly haunting quality that never lets up!  Six Years is superb crime fiction sure to satisfy fans both old and new – a bestseller for sure!

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