The international number-one best-selling author of Tell No One and Six Years is back with a thriller that grips and twists and turns - and, just when you're not expecting it, twists once again.
©2016 Harlan Coben (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
The story line is quite good but unfortunately the author has done what seems like every other author of late has done - gone for a story that has the main character as a super woman. The flood of books with female characters that are penned as invincible heroes while still exhibiting the purest of female qualities is just plain tedious and starting to become rather predictable if not intellectually painful. Bottom line - the main (unbelievable) character got in the way of what could have been a decent original plot.
"Unraveling instead of reveling"
The first female main character in a Harlan Coben is a bit of a cheat, apart from being described as female all else in her life is basically a male action hero prototype, military helicopter pilot, ptsd, gun fanatic, ace shooter and a loner that asks for no help and explains very little.
She is frequently complimented on her beauty but she shows no interest in any of the male characters except for a very brief description of how she met her husband.
Do not expect to discover, or figure out the secret because you do not have all the cards Mr Coben is holding the entire deck. The other thing this is not even remotely is a procedural, it has the most ridiculous lineup of suspects in a precinct I have ever experienced in writing or movie, very much unacceptable at his level of writing or writer.
If you read it fast and ask no questions or think for too long you may get some enjoyment out of this story otherwise not good enough.
"Not Quite the Real Deal"
Although I haven't read many of Coben’s previous books I was interested to see what he would make of this one with a female lead. In truth the book kept me entertained throughout and it had many of the touches I’d liked from my previous experiences of the author. The twisting plot relying mainly on the tension of possible violence rather than the graphic description of it and the paranoia of not knowing who to trust were fairly well done.
The main problem I had was the lead character, Maya. First let me say I have absolutely no issue with casting a female lead as a helicopter gunship pilot! When you look at inspirational real-life figures such as Vernice Armour it’s obvious that this is a character type that’s real, contemporary and so very well worth exploring. All that should have made Maya a genuinely stand out lead for the story. So maybe I was expecting too much but Maya didn’t quite add up to me. It felt as if Coben had created this female lead character but didn’t want to go so far out of his comfort zone that she had to act much differently to many of his male leads.
When you see and listen to people like Vernice Armour it’s clear she is first and foremost a woman. Yes, she’s an incredible human being of immense character and as a woman she has succeeded in not one but two male-dominated worlds. The thing is she didn’t do it by becoming just like a man. This is a hard distinction to make but it’s the best I can do to describe it. Maya just didn’t resonate with me.
That aside, the book did keep me entertained well enough. After all there are enough male characters out there that I happily follow for whom you do have to give a little shall we say in order to believe them!
My enjoyment was in no small part due to the high quality narration by January LaVoy. I used to prefer my thrillers narrated by men, I liked my tough guys to sound suitably “crunchy” but narrators like LaVoy and the likes of Lucy Price-Lewis and Lisa Coleman carry a story supremely well with a deft subtlety that I have genuinely come to enjoy.
So, an eye-opening book and one I enjoyed reading but my struggles to “get” the lead character took some of the enjoyment away and have left me unable to give this one a genuinely ringing endorsement.
"A wonderful twisting plot"
Maya enters your world and you follow her as she investigates the death of her husband and sister with a conclusion I genuinely didn't see coming.
"Good Book - Annoying Performance"
The narration was slightly annoying and at first very off putting. Everything droned on and seemed over-acted. I love Harlan Coben Books but was ready to ditch this audio version. I eventually got used to it and found that listening to this at 1.25x speed helped
Not the best of Haralan Coben books but still great. if this is your first title by this author i would maybe consider picking another of his books otherwise - you probbaly already know youre going to like it
great story with lots of twists and turns leaving the listener hanging at the end
God, I love this author. He can twist you around like no other. And the reader is exquisite. I am going to look at other books she read for audible. She is worth sticking with
"brilliant story great narration"
loved it, great twists, reader used very good voices harlens best yet. brilliant book. thoroughly recommend
I have read many of this author's books and have generally found them decent whodunnits, good for some escapism. This book, however, is shockingly bad. Poor characterisation, laughably unrealistic twists, and a weak "good versus evil" plot. Don't waste your time on this one.
Great story, great character portrail by the narrator, one of Harlan's best books. I can see why Julia Roberts has snapped up the film rights. I have listened to this several times now and thoroughly enjoyed it.
"slow to get going, didn't like the narrator "
i found this book hard to get into until at least half way through. the narrator was ok but i found she struggled with the male roles and a female narrator just wasn't what i was used to.
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