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.
If I were asked to describe this novel, I would have to say this is about an OCD Poly Sci professor who gives into his whiney nature who also is skilled in fighting because he is an ex-bouncer. Jake has a "thing" for Natalie. Jake's feelings for Natalie are akin to self-flagellation. Jake, looking for her, gets into a pickle. I picture Jake looking into the distance, being confounded at each turn. After seven hours, I give up. I don't want to know the end. I don't like Jake or Natalie. He is a total wuss and the only person I like is Jakes Secretary Mrs whateverhername is.
After listening to the audio version for 3 1/2 hours, I realized I didn't care about these characters and none of it was believable, so I deleted it from my ipod and listened to music instead.
I was trying to decide it it was the author or the narrator that I disliked so much, and I decided it was both........After I had listened to about 25% of the book, I had to abandon it because it sounded like the whining melodramatics of a 17 year old girl trying to write meaningful poetry, which ends up being neither meaningful nor poetic. I chose this title because the author had been recommended to me and the audiobook was on sale, so I thought Bingo! Perfect opportunity! Well, I'm glad I tried this author's book on sale, because, frankly, it's drek. I was intrigued by the concept of the story: Man is dumped and has his heart broken, but nevertheless accepts an invitation to attend the wedding of his now-ex to her old beau; years later he reads about the new hubby's death, but then he discovers the dead man's widow is not his old flame, that the wedding he attended never seems to have existed, and the old flame can't be found and no one knows of her existence. Yeah, sounds intriguing until you get to the execution and discover the writing is ponderous and the narration is somehow both melodramatic and soporific. I'll pass.
I did not like the stalker quality of the main character so I am not sure it had the ability to be a four or five star despite the horrible narrator.
Again---made the main character a little more manly and less needy.
The narrator was really awful. He had a petulant, haughty voice that really messed up the story. I don't hear Harlan Coben's work in the voice that this man used. He put emphasis in the wrong places and did not do women's voices well.
I will avoid anything narrated by Scott Brick ever, ever again.
Who are you and what have you done with Harlan Coben? Yikes! This was a romance masquerading as a mystery. Could have been written by James Patterson - with naked abs on the cover. Mushy goo - and the melodramatic narrator didn't help.
There's a chance this might be a decent story, but we'll never know. The over-the-top dramatic narration reduces the story to barely tolerable. Couldn't wait for it to end. Perhaps the narrator should have read a little Myron Bolitar before he took on the Jack Fisher character. Take a pass on this.
I have no idea.
The plot was so uninspired. The reader tried to add interest with some over the top reading, but it did not work in my opinion. I thought it was Boring! Boring! Boring!
I have no desire to read another book by this author.
Too dramatic, over the top. His read like he was on a roller coster.
All the boring stuff.
About half way through I didn't care about Natalie or if he ever found her.Stupid premise.
Sticking with the plot and weaving in the other stories in a neat package.
No I will continue to read this genre.
Hmmm I agree another narrator but the story line is still bad.
Mother, sister, police officers from all over, professor watching her fiancé's daughter, cookie, best friend, assistant. Way too many characters.
I would rather buy a well written novella than listen to a filler novel.
I hope I can say enough about this horrible book that will keep enthusiastic hopefuls from spending time and money to acquire it. I cannot compare it to anything else by Coban except for "Stay Close," which was marginally readable. But this one, it's so bad, so implausible, so repetitive, so convoluted that it seems to have been written by a first year Composition student. The cliches are rampant. The love story that drives the dumb plot is dumber than that student writer's first draft. This man, this protagonist, Jake Fisher, is such a mope, such a feminized character that his described big, handsome physique seems wrong. His "fight" scenes are successful because of luck and some tricks, not because he is so enraged and impassioned that he is aggressive or cunning. His best friend, (requisite "black guy") Benedict is not as he seems. There is a sweet waitress and a crotchety old secretary. Everyone lies. There are (non-Italian) mobsters and African drug cartels. There are funky FBI agents and fence-riding cops. There is a lot of shooting and running and disguising. There are two references (in case you missed the first one) to a Lesbian couple. So Coban hit all the right notes politically. But none of that can Bandaid a shoddy story and lousy, boring characters who generate no sympathy (from me).
The ending lines actually explain the whole thing, and once you know why Natalie has disappeared, it's pretty flaccid. I still couldn't have cared less. By the time we are told why Natalie disappeared, we have been exhausted by events that do NOTHING to advance the Natalie story.
Many reviewers described this as a wild ride, high-tension, edge-of-the seat thrill. Not even a little bit of this story was so compelling. If I had bought a hard copy, I would have demanded my money back; I couldn't have sat still in one place to complete it.
Narrator: I usually love Scott Brick, but his intonation of Jake was so tired, I wondered if he was told to read it like that by the author. I will always choose Scott Brick if I have an option, but Coban won't be on my favorite authors list.
sadly, Coben is rewriting old ideas for the 3rd or 4th time here. I admire the writer greatly, but it feels to me that he is just mailing this one in.
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