Publication Date: 2008
Challenges: Clear Off Your Shelves
Source: purchased new
Once again Harlan Coben has delivered a quick reading, fast paced, multiple storyline thriller that made me hate to get to the end of my daily train commutes and lunchtimes.
Mike and Tia Baye are a successful suburban couple with a teenage son and younger daughter. When 16 year old Adam becomes more and more uncommunicative following the suicide of his friend, his parents are understandably concerned. When they decide to install spy software on Adams computer so they can see where he’s spending all his computer time and who he’s talking to in chat rooms and via email, they find far more than they bargained for.
That’s the primary storyline in this one but there are also several others that take most of the book before they all start to spiral together.
This book is a combination of several versions of a parent’s nightmare, murder mystery, crazy serial killer, and suburban family drama turned feud. It’s a whirlwind of jumping between storylines and waiting for them to start linking up. Coben populates it with a huge cast of characters and as usual some of them are from his previous books making minor cameo appearances.
Parts of this are frightening because they are so very plausible. I think that’s one of the reasons I liked it. It was a series of moments characters wish they could have taken back or rewound and not done or said. All of these by the many characters combined built into a spiral that spun out of control.
It’s the kind of fast paces suspense story that I expect from Harlan Coben, who continues to be one of my favorite authors.