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Hold Tight | [Harlan Coben]

Hold Tight

Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they'd become the type of overprotective parents who spy on their kids. But their 16-year-old son, Adam, has been unusually distant lately, and after the suicide of his classmate, Spencer Hill they can't help but worry. They install a sophisticated spy program on Adam's computer, and within days they are jolted by a message from an unknown correspondent addressed to their son: "Just stay quiet and all safe."

Meanwhile, Betsy Hill is struck by a photo that appears to have been taken on the night of her son's death...and he wasn't alone.

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Publisher's Summary

Mike held his son's hand and told him to "hold tight", and he could feel the little hand dig into his. But the crush got bigger, and the little hand slipped from his - and Mike felt that horrible panic, as if a wave hit them at the beach and it was washing his baby out with the tide.

The separation lasted only a few seconds, 10 at the most, but Mike would never forget the spike in his blood and the terror of those brief few moments.

Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they'd become the type of overprotective parents who spy on their kids. But their 16-year-old son, Adam, has been unusually distant lately, and after the suicide of his classmate, Spencer Hill - the latest in a string of issues at school - they can't help but worry. They install a sophisticated spy program on Adam's computer, and within days they are jolted by a message from an unknown correspondent addressed to their son: "Just stay quiet and all safe."

Meanwhile, browsing through an online memorial for Spencer put together by his classmates, Betsy Hill is struck by a photo that appears to have been taken on the night of her son's death...and he wasn't alone. She thinks it is Adam Baye standing just outside the camera's range, but when Adam goes missing, it soon becomes clear that something deep and sinister has infected their community.

For Tia and Mike Baye, the question they must answer is this: When it comes to your kids, is it possible to know too much?

©2008 Harlan Coban; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"Parents will find this compulsive page-turner from Edgar-winner Coben...particularly unnerving." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1998 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.0 (1099 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (1112 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Mary Littleton, CO, USA 08-20-08
    Mary Littleton, CO, USA 08-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't want to stop listening"

    I really liked the way the characters merged, much like "Crash".

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nas 05-11-08
    nas 05-11-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "hold tight"

    loved it! not as sarcastic as with his myron books....but i also needed a break from him. they were starting to be the same. as a parent...i could totally relate to this book. got a bit confusing as to what blame was to be placed on the little sister. kept me going...listening at work whenever i got a break.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 06-06-08
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 06-06-08

    Don't you just love a great story well told?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very elaborate - not an easy listen"

    I was disappointed, so many rave reviews I expected great things - this was not a "fun" thrill, more just a scary dark "thriller". The book is no ringing endorsement of parenthood. It is certainly reflected in the words of many characters. The primary plot point is about spying on children using state of the art software. But it quickly veers off in so much darker areas. In the end it resorts to the old system of primary characters explaining what happened! (Like an Agatha Christie book.) I had to listen to the entire thing twice the plot is so thick, so filled with seemingly unrelated thing,and so many bad things happen nearly pointlessly (of course, only to move the plot) to such good people that one feels a complete lack of fairness by the author for many of his characters. One of my favorites - a teacher's one comment overblown beyond any verisimilitude, or even much common sense on the family's part. This book really stretches even my very wide contrivance limits. I did finally enjoy the last ten minutes or so - small reward for so much time.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jack carlsbad, ca, United States 05-23-15
    jack carlsbad, ca, United States 05-23-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hold tight that's what you Will do while listening"

    This book was a spellbinder from the minute the first musical cord was heard. Twists and turns and the plots You listening Long after you have parked the car. A delicious thriller with many lessons to be learned.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy 01-01-15
    Cindy 01-01-15 Member Since 2014

    alwaysreading1

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good read with some food for thought"

    Hold Tight was a book that made me think about life and the way we live it now. Generally I read or listen to a book, enjoy it at the time, and move on to the next one. I have listened and read several books since but I keep coming back to some of the ideas that were explored in Hold Tight. This book is somewhere between mystery/thriller (my genre) and novel (find those boring) in that it wasn't as action packed with as much criminology as a typical mystery story and did a little exploring of people’s lives as seems to be typical of ‘novels’. But there was enough mystery and action to keep me listening and then thinking about the underlying theme of privacy invasion.

    This is not about ‘big brother’ type spying but people investigating and spying on the lives of their friends and family. As we know, sometimes in trying to prevent something we take actions or behave in ways that we wouldn't have otherwise, and then by our own behavior we bring about that which we are trying to avoid.

    As mentioned in the publisher review this basically starts with a couple asking themselves if they will do more or harm or more good by spying on their child. This theme comes up again and again, in several different guises, and with varying results. It really makes you think and wonder if we don’t already have way too much access to the private thoughts of our loved ones.

    I don’t know if it was the author’s intent to explore this concept so deeply. I got the feeling that it could have been something on his mind at the time he was writing the book and it kept creeping in. It does not hit you over the head but over the course of book it really makes you think.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 07-28-12
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 07-28-12 Member Since 2009

    The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Top Writer ~ Ace Narrator ~ Good Story"

    Harlan Coben is a fine writer with an impressive range ~ from Hold Tight's dark mystery to his lighter Myron Bolitar fare. His audios are always worth a listen.

    Scott Brick is the finest narrator working today and, it turns out, the most prolific. He handles this audiobook, with its impressive cast of characters, with skill. If you haven't heard his work before, you will be impressed.

    The story here is solid (4 1/2 stars from a 5 star writer). It's probably not Coben's best, but his second-best still tops the vast majority of mystery writers working today. Having written that, let's quickly add that the story is more than sufficiently engaging to hold your interest right to the end, particularly if you are a parent of teens or 'tweens. Parent or no, you will find yourself shivering and nodding in turn as you follow ~ audibly ~ the various ways the concept of "family" can play itself out.

    Family is the touchstone here, but not in the platitudinous way the notion is so often treated by the politically or socially correct. Here we see the consequences of family touched by madness, by tragedy, by infidelity, by horror, by violence, by corruption and, finally, by love. All these manifestations interact ~ sometimes with predictable consequences, sometimes not. The good do not always win, although, as is often the case in Coben's novels and in life itself, the good and the evil both suffer mightily before any resolution is granted. And rest assured, Coben's deft hand ties all the familial threads together before the final credits play.

    A credit-worthy listen, with something to think about when its over.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracie carpinteria, CA, USA 05-31-08
    Tracie carpinteria, CA, USA 05-31-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mrs. M Bolitar"

    Another perfect book by one of my all-time favorite authors, Harlan Coben. I was sad Coben's latest book did not include my fictional dream man, Myron Bolitar, however, this unsettling story made up for it, hitting very close to home. As the young mom of a teenage daughter, I was profoundly disturbed by the hauntingly realistic themes. 'Would you want your parents to know all that about you?'" Technology and our children can be dangerous and scary. I highly recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Indianapolis, IN, USA 05-28-08
    Stephen Indianapolis, IN, USA 05-28-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"

    This was the first Harlen Coben book I've tried, and I found it exciting and intricately plotted. You're never quite sure what path he'd going to lead you down next! The characters all come across as real people, complete with foibles and inconsistancies. Highly recommended!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA 05-27-08
    Kimberly Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA 05-27-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great as usual"

    I have listened to every one of Mr. Cobens books and I thought this one was wonderful as usual. He keeps you going until the end and then there is always a twist that you would have never thought. That's what keeps me waiting for the next one. So, please don't make us wait too long. Thanks so much for keeping your fans entertained. This one is well worth the read and wait. I also hope there will be more Myron Bolitar.............

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Tingey 11-20-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "Narrator ruined it"

    I love Harlan Coben books. There isn't a book he's written that I don't adore. This is the first one I tried in audio book format. I could not get through it. The narrator managed to make every character loathsome and pathetic by fading out the ends of sentences, or intoning them with an upward inflection. I finally gave up, deleted the files, and decided to wait for the paperback, lest this book be ruined for me altogether.

    16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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