Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.
But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact, everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life - a time he has never gotten over - is turned completely inside out.
As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.
Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking novel that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.
©2013 Harlan Coben (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I no longer live in Worcester. I now live in Brooklyn, NY.
Once you start this one, do not plan to take a break for about 10 hours!
The love sick protagonist, who has not kept up with his old girlfriend (even remotely) for six years, all of a sudden sees the obituary of a man he THINKS is her husband (he never learned the guy's last name) and off he goes...Flying to the funeral and then following all kinds of random clues to try to locate the love of his life. He is a college professor, but acts more like a teenager. And he's not alone. Coincidentally, his best friend (another college professor who tends to act like a teenager) is also in love with a woman he cannot have. And that's just the beginning of many, many coincidences in the story.
The novel is disappointing for many reasons. The main one, for me, is that our "hero" is off chasing clues but gaining very little enlightenment for most of the novel. Like him, you remain lost in the woods after he meets with witnesses or visits old settings. I prefer when the mystery is revealed little by little and you can follow along. Here, there is nothing, nothing, nothing -- and then you figure it out all at once (way before the hero does). The resolution is also disappointing in ways I cannot reveal without spoilers.
The writing is a tad lazy, with the author actually using the same phrases in several places. ("Is this the part where I say 'you should have seen the other guy'?")
The narration is very Scott Brick...but I think the author actually wrote-in the overly dramatic tone. Not even Bellarini could have avoided making this first person narrator sound over-the-top.
That said, it is mildly entertaining. If you usually like Brilliance Audio novels, you might like this one. Personally, I will skip Coben in the future unless there is nothing else to download that day.
First of all...this is not as much a mystery as a lovesick story of a man. So...if you are looking for something with meat and a true mystery or suspense - look elsewhere. I have read other Harlan Coben and overall he is a good writer. But he goes off track or mushy sometimes...this is one of them.
Lots of twists
Gone girl, because the girls were gone :)
It is illegal to drive and read.
Disappointed by the drivel, the product placement and the "to be continued" conclusion. Also disappointed that my audible bookstore hypes writers' annuity fiction. Get some well told mystery fiction even if it comes from, say, Canada (Farrow aka Ferguson) or Scandinavia (Nesbo).
My heartbeat while reading for myself
Performance was fine but given the material perhaps a mime next ?
For escapist literature - no
This book is (I hope) the last of a number of mysteries I downloaded which disappointed. Why can't you explore the excellent genre novels of authors who are not mass marketed? Find some good books and get staff to read them to me if profit is the only goal here
70 year old grandmother of 2 teenagers. Still working in real estate appraisal field, live in OH and SC - spend time listening & traveling.
Probably not. I don't usually re-listen to books. Once I get the plot, understand the characters and finish it, it stays in my mind.
Most of Coben's books are similar - at least the ones I have liked. There is usually a boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy and girl meet later in life and have to fight some one or some thing that is preventing them from being together. Most of the time, the struggle is really rough and you can see why he or she sincerely believes they are protecting the other from a terrible fate. Luckily, in the end, Coben usually gets them together in the epilogue.
He's my favorite!!! I look for books performed by Scott Brick. That's how I pick alot of them. And, it's how I've discovered some good authors - just because they chose Scott Brick to narrate them.
I don't laugh or cry - but I do get chills and gasp occasionally!!
This one is pretty good but I had a difficult time understanding why the girl left and stayed away so long. The whole plot about her parents, Dad's "disappearance", sister, etc. was a little confusing.
Nothing could have saved this book. The plot was unconvincing, the writing poor and the characters unpleasant to spend time with.
No, but Scott Brick's performance was fine. It was the material he was working with that was the problem.
Well, Jake Fisher is the story. He's a bore but if you cut him there's no book.
This book was generally well reviewed, and Harlan Coben is quite a successful, award-winning author, so I kept plodding ahead expecting this book to take off at some point. It never did.
The key issue with this book is that the protagonist, Jake Fisher, is a bore. It’s his voice that fills 95 percent of the book and I never cared about him and even grew to dislike him. He spends most of the book mooning over a girl who dumped him six years ago but we never really meet the girl so we never can believe that she is so amazingly wonderful. He’s also a dope who can’t catch onto the “mystery” until long after the reader has. And the writing? My goodness, it manages to be cliché-ridden, maudlin, and lurid all at once.
Maybe his other stuff is better. I would definitely skip this one.
Just too much wrong with it to realistically say it could be anything above three. The narration was silly and irritating. The story had more gaps than a bad college football defense. FYI: Why did the bad guys not go after the sister or mother??? Why did not Jake simply explain how the trouble developed rather than all the dramatic nonsense? The central issue of the story was predictable. I found nothing particularly interesting about the characters. There are a couple of nice, interesting twists at the end. One might suspect the author first wrote the twists and them tried to fined a story that led to them.
The latest Reacher novel by Lee Child.
I did like the way it wrapped up in the end.
I like Harlan Coben's books. I suggest you pick up almost anyone but this one.
What a great story and great listen! This book had me guessing all the way to the end. Really a great suspense mystery.
Unexpected, exciting, and enjoyable
This was my first Harlan Coben book, but it wont be my last!
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