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
"Parents will find this compulsive page-turner from Edgar-winner Coben...particularly unnerving." (Publishers Weekly)
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.
With 20 minutes left in this listen, I had just about decided to award it five stars. The last 20 minutes brought it down to four. This should not dissuade people from purchasing the book. Coben does his usual excellent job of creating characters that the listener can identify with. He weaves together two separate but related stories that wil have listeners postulating and guessing. At the book's conclusion he inserts a final twist that borders on the preposterous. To say more might give something away. Luckily it doesn't seriously detract from the listening experience. Scott Brick does a fine job with the narration and makes the dialogue and who's speaking pretty easy to follow. Coben came very close to having a great book with many interesting and surprising twists and turns, except for the final one. It is still worth you time, especially if you're a Coben fan.
Don't you just love a great story well told?
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.
I love Harlan Coben's standalone thrillers, such as Tell No One and Gone For Good. Coben knows how to build and keep suspense through the whole book, and Hold Tight is no exception.
It has an interesting premise: parents spying on their kids, and the author made a very interesting story out of that premise, adding some interesting notes on technology.
But the main theme with all his books is nonstop suspense. I love all Coben's standalone thrillers for that reason (I haven't read his Myron Bolitar books yet).
Each time I read a book my this author I'm always disappointed when I get to the end, I always want the story to go on. To me, that is the true test of a good story.
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.
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.
This is the first Harlan Coben book I've read and I can't wait to get to the rest. The premise intrigued me and the book didn't disappoint. I would buy the phone book from Audible if Scott Brick were the narrator. Coben and Brick combined kept me glued to my headphones for two days of "don't you dare interrupt me" looks while listening to this intricately woven tale of seemingly unlinked events that left me in awe of a storyteller who makes his craft look effortless. I never felt manipulated, just extremely amazed at the way this tale unfolded.
This was my first book I have experienced that is written by Coben and I will definitely be listening to others written by him.
The characters really come to life and the experience of listening to this book is as good as (if not better than) a watching a movie!
The story is fresh, suspenseful, interesting, and very realistic.
Scott Brick, as always, does a flawless job narrating!
I am a commuter and listening to audio books keeps the road rage to non exsistent. I must say that this audio book was addictive. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I was actually getting angry, feeling torture and sorrow. Amazing writing. I highly recommend to anyone who loves suspense and mystery.
I say the best because it is the best mystery book I have listened to. Mysteries are not my favorite genre. If they were I may have given this a five. It held my attention throughout the book and had many plot twists and turns. All were neatly tied up at the end though and it was nice to hear it all come together. There is some gore and torture in this book so just be aware that some parts are hard to listen to. Still an enjoyable "read" and worth the download.
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