I hope I can say enough about this horrible book that will keep enthusiastic hopefuls from spending time and money to acquire it. I cannot compare it to anything else by Coban except for "Stay Close," which was marginally readable. But this one, it's so bad, so implausible, so repetitive, so convoluted that it seems to have been written by a first year Composition student. The cliches are rampant. The love story that drives the dumb plot is dumber than that student writer's first draft. This man, this protagonist, Jake Fisher, is such a mope, such a feminized character that his described big, handsome physique seems wrong. His "fight" scenes are successful because of luck and some tricks, not because he is so enraged and impassioned that he is aggressive or cunning. His best friend, (requisite "black guy") Benedict is not as he seems. There is a sweet waitress and a crotchety old secretary. Everyone lies. There are (non-Italian) mobsters and African drug cartels. There are funky FBI agents and fence-riding cops. There is a lot of shooting and running and disguising. There are two references (in case you missed the first one) to a Lesbian couple. So Coban hit all the right notes politically. But none of that can Bandaid a shoddy story and lousy, boring characters who generate no sympathy (from me).
The ending lines actually explain the whole thing, and once you know why Natalie has disappeared, it's pretty flaccid. I still couldn't have cared less. By the time we are told why Natalie disappeared, we have been exhausted by events that do NOTHING to advance the Natalie story.
Many reviewers described this as a wild ride, high-tension, edge-of-the seat thrill. Not even a little bit of this story was so compelling. If I had bought a hard copy, I would have demanded my money back; I couldn't have sat still in one place to complete it.
Narrator: I usually love Scott Brick, but his intonation of Jake was so tired, I wondered if he was told to read it like that by the author. I will always choose Scott Brick if I have an option, but Coban won't be on my favorite authors list.
I've read all of Coben's books and while I never expect too much, I hope for an enjoyable, light read dealing with normal people who are suddenly thrust in to intense, often bizarre situations full of twists and turns before culminating in a place unimagined at the beginning of the story...ergo fun to experience. In his previous books, even if I thought the overall story was a bit of a "miss", I always identified with the protagonist(s) and could imagine being there with them. I think only a love sick pre-teen could identify with the ludicrous actions and idiotic love-sick declarations with which the character implied justified as "rational motivators" for his insane, uber-selfish actions throughout the story. It was also odd that Coben foreshadowed...even spotlighted each upcoming "surprise twist" to the extent that the reader knows what is going to happen before it does. Why? Also, in this case, one of my favorite narrators, Scott Brick can't be accused of over-dramatizing his reading of this particular story. Surely, no human alive has ever really held internal dialogue with the silly pathos as this guy does over and over and over again in this story. It is so corny it is almost funny and SNL skit worthy. I'm not saying not to read this if you are a Coben fan. There are enough nuggets evocative to his good work to perhaps make it worth your credit. It's just akin with the adage, with friends like the main character, who needs enemies? He is as awful as the bad guys.
JAKE WAS SO PATHETIC !!!! ARE MEN VERY PATHETIC REALLY ABOUT L O V E ???
I HOPE MEN ARE NOT THIS ANNOYING ABOUT THEIR LOVE
IT IS VERY DISTURBING AND REALLY UNREALISTIC.
I WANT TO PUKE SPECIALLY WHEN JAKE TALK ABOUT HER??????? AND HIS LOVE FOR HER AND TALK TO HER.
ALL OF IT
I WANT TO RETURN THIS BOOK
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
I can see from the reviews that some have taken the narrator, Scott Brick to the woodshed on this one, and I must admit at the beginning of the book some of the drama was really not called for. But all in all, I do love Scott Brick, and as the story progressed, so did the urgency. I really liked the actual story, and so what if it's a love story? It was that, but so much more. And it was anything but predictable. Excellent writing and kept me listening until the wee hours . . .
No. There are other forms of torture that I would find preferable to slogging my way through that drivel.
The characters are unrealistic, the writing is terrible, the story drags on & on. It was like a poorly written and performed Raymond Chandler novel. Old fashioned, one dimensional, trash.
It was overly dramatic, his attempts at reading the female-spoken dialog was hideous. I listened for quite some time, trying to figure out if it was poorly written or poorly read and finally decided it was both.
I kept listening for a while because I wanted to know what happened, so there was a good mystery for the first few chapters. Then I stopped caring and when I found myself yelling at the book I realized there was no point in continuing.
I really hoped they killed both Jake & Natalie. Horribly.
Not by this author. This book was like a bad movie that keeps getting more implausible and melodramatic. I have no desire to listen to another book by Coben.
Something not written by Coben.
The book was my larger issue, but his performance only added to the overly dramatic nature of this book.
Disappointment. The subject of the book was right in my wheelhouse. However, I hated everything about it. I kept listening just to see how much more ridiculous it could possibly get. It didn't disappoint in that regard! Every time I didn't think it could be more dumb, Coben would take the story in an even more implausible direction.
This book is just bad. Download something else. Like anything else.
If I were asked to describe this novel, I would have to say this is about an OCD Poly Sci professor who gives into his whiney nature who also is skilled in fighting because he is an ex-bouncer. Jake has a "thing" for Natalie. Jake's feelings for Natalie are akin to self-flagellation. Jake, looking for her, gets into a pickle. I picture Jake looking into the distance, being confounded at each turn. After seven hours, I give up. I don't want to know the end. I don't like Jake or Natalie. He is a total wuss and the only person I like is Jakes Secretary Mrs whateverhername is.
After listening to the audio version for 3 1/2 hours, I realized I didn't care about these characters and none of it was believable, so I deleted it from my ipod and listened to music instead.
I did not like the stalker quality of the main character so I am not sure it had the ability to be a four or five star despite the horrible narrator.
Again---made the main character a little more manly and less needy.
The narrator was really awful. He had a petulant, haughty voice that really messed up the story. I don't hear Harlan Coben's work in the voice that this man used. He put emphasis in the wrong places and did not do women's voices well.
I will avoid anything narrated by Scott Brick ever, ever again.