Theirs was a marriage made in tabloid heaven, but no sooner had supermodel Laura Ayars and Celtics star David Baskin said “I do” than tragedy struck. While honeymooning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, David went out for a swim - and never returned.
Now widowed and grieving, Laura has a thousand questions and no answers. Her search for the truth will draw her into a web of lies and deception that stretches back 30 years - while on the court at the Boston Garden, a rookie phenom makes his spectacular debut....
©2010 Harlan Coben (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This premise is so bad, and the writing so high school there should be a warning. Consider this your warning - don't waste a credit. This is a very old book by Coben released merely because they realized people would buy the authors name - they don't disclose the reality that the book was written before Coben learned to plot or write.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
The most important revelation in Play Dead comes in the note the author added 20 years later to its re-release. "If this is the first book of mine you're going to try, stop now. Return it. Grab Another." I offer this as a public service because there is no way to heed this advice without first buying the audiobook (it's not in the audio sample). Coben knows this was a first novel by a young writer, lacking the maturity and focus of his later work. He's right.
If you've never read Coben before, he has a LOT of other worthwhile books to try. This one is for completists only. This one is interesting to someone like me who has read and enjoyed many of his novels, someone happy to see foreshadowing of the writer to come, warts and all. The familiar themes of family dysfunction are here, the page turning, car idling suspense is here, and love him or hate him, the narration of Scott Brick is here (I listened at 1.25x).
The big problem is this: Robert McKee describes credible plot structure is his book Story and (in)famous writing seminars -- people attempt the minimum necessary to solve issues (why do more?). When that doesn't work, they go to the next level. In a well-plotted story, this process ratchets up until the climax. In Play Dead, by contrast, the characters go striaght to the most extreme lengths. Who starts with Plan Z without ever giving Plans A and B a try?
From the start, Coben deliberately telegraphs two big reveals.Which of course signals that they're not the ultimate twists. But he plays along as if they are a big secret. No big deal, since the the characters, lacking the information we receive, do not see it coming. But there are two hours left and two huge twists still to come -- and the biggie is just off the charts preposterous, as well as unnecessary. You'll see what I mean about going straight to Plan Z when you get there (don't want to spoil anything).
Nevertheless, even with the flaws that Coben readily admits in his author's note, this is a good read for those already steeped in the Coben canon who temper their expectations accordingly.
I really liked the twisted ending of this story. I mean I was certain I knew who the killer was but was surprised at the end.
What I didn't like was all the references to how beautiful every one was. I don't think it was necessary. Also I felt like this was more a love story than a murder mystery.
So with that being said I don't think you would be surprised when I say I liked "Hold Tight" much better.
I still would recommend this book to others and I will purchase other works by this writer and narrator.
I've been having this problem with Audio for the past year also I will call them they will fix it and then a go back to cut it off in the middle of the book so that's the part that I do not like- but I do like the person the narrator he was good but the quality of audio was bad
I have been listening to all of Harlen Corben's work. In his preface, he indicates that this is one of his earliest works and that you might want to read something else that he is written. To the contrary, this is one of his best and is quite captivating. It is very hard to put down and much better than his comments would indicate. I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone.
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