Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Can't keep it to myself: Six Years, by Harlan Coben

Periodically, I revisit authors I haven't read in awhile, just to re-test the waters.  Sometimes I stopped reading because they started a new series that I wasn't very interested in, sometimes it was because their style changed, or in other cases, because their style hadn't changed and I had gotten bored.  In Harlan Coben's case, I just wasn't a fan of his Micky Bolitar novels, so I was giving him a miss for the last few years.  When I read the reviews for his new novel (a non-Bolitar novel, by the way), Six Years, I was intrigued and placed a hold.

I am extremely glad I did.

Jake Fisher fell in love one summer.  He was finishing his doctoral thesis at a writers' retreat.  She, Natalie Avery, was an artist at a neighboring retreat.  The summer was magic, and Jake intended to spend the rest of his life with Natalie.  Until she broke it off and invited Jake to her wedding...to another man.  Jake attended the wedding, heartbroken, and made Natalie a promise that he would leave the newlyweds alone.

In the ensuing six years, Jake throws himself into his work as a political science professor.  Until he runs across an obituary and recognizes the man in the photo as Todd, Natalie's husband.  On an impulse, Jake travels to attend the funeral, only to see that Todd's surviving family does not include Natalie.  Confused and increasingly frustrated (and more than a little scared), Jake backtracks and tries all avenues to find Natalie, only to be stonewalled--former friends claim not to know what he's talking about, authorities say that even the retreats never existed.  Who was Natalie?  Did she even exist?  Have the last six years of Jake's life all been built on a lie?  And why are people trying at all costs to intercept his efforts?

Coben really outdoes himself with the rapidly escalating suspense in this one--it is compulsively readable.  Very tense, very well plotted--I loved every second.

I'll be back on Thursday with a wrap-up of what else I've been reading this month.  Happy Reading!

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