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.
Really good listen.
Jake was my favorite character even though he was a flawed, flawed man. Perhaps it was his flaws that made him likeable. If he were my brother or friend, I'd advise him to see a therapist for his inability to let "sleeping dogs lie." But it is also one of the elements that kept this story moving like a freight train through the night.
Scott did a reasonably good job with this material. I've heard better interpreters, but I've also heard worst. He worked for me.
Victim or villain?
I "read" audio books when I drive, clean house, walk the dogs, or work in the yard. However, I could not turn this one off. I've got the cleanest house in the neighborhood and I have this book to either thank or blame.
For my money, no author has the ability to create vivid characters and palpable relationships the way Coben does. This story was told in the first person and done so effectively. As I was going through it, I felt just as confused as Jake, wondering what was true and what was false. I also felt his love for Natalie and his anguish over losing her, not to mention the roller-coaster-ride of emotions Jake experienced throughout the rest of the story.
The first Harlan Coben book I read was The Innocent, and it’s my favorite, quickly followed by Tell No One. Six Years is one of Coben’s best novels. It grabbed me from the first page and never let go. Filled with compelling characters and mysterious circumstances, this twisting tale of suspense is a must read.
I don't read romance novels because I simply don't enjoy them. So when I get one disguised as a suspense novel, I feel cheated and very annoyed. The lovesick character's illogical actions and the never ending passages professing his undying love had me skipping through the whole book until the last hour when I just couldn't take it any more and deleted the audio off my iphone. I had zero interest in finding out whodunnit and why.
The performer was annoying. His voice inflection was distracting. I did want to finish the story as there was suspense. But in the end, I found it contrived and quite ridiculous. I see from other reviews that I am in the minority.Someone compared it to Tell No One by Coben, which I thought was great. (I read it with my eyes.)
A good editor might have directed Mr. Coben to Guidestar where he could have gotten the Form 990 for "Fresh Start" for free.
Oh the pain
Conversations where secrets are revealed drag on and on, the hero fails to call the police (or run away) when he ought to, and there's a substantial amount of soap-opera level hand-wringing over lost romance. But the reader does an absolutely amazing job given the material. There were a few unpredictable plot twists, and I did listen until the end. A decent piece of escapism, as long as you can make it through the long speeches of love lamentations, delivered with an admirable level of commitment by Scott Brick.
I am the author of "Inner Fears", a thriller by MFKing. I am a social media manager for Jazz Social Media. Audio books are my main entertainment, and I think the best entertainment offered today.
Harlan Coben always spins a good tale, and I want you to know that I recommend this book, it's just that I felt kind of smacked in the head by dear Harlan. This is over the top, and talk about trying to force puzzle pieces in where they don't belong... As I listened I kept saying to myself--here's where the music swells and this happens--and sure enough, it happened. Then I'd say: the only things that could make this more stupid is if this happened--and then sure enough, it would happen. No surprises. Well, it was a surprise that I wasn't surprised. "Tell No One" is not going to happen twice.
I think a super successful writer must get to the point where he knows what ever he writes will be a best seller, and some things are not as important as they used to be. I saw it happen to Dean Koontz in a big way. Writing for friends--using their names and homes so they can say,"Hey, Frank--this is me!" But those aren't the people paying for these books. I'm paying. I want the writer to write for me.
I think he had a wager with fellow writers to make as many ridiculous "smile" metaphors as possible, and to have the most predictable ending ever--what every TV writer and book writer have ever done (except for the big fire to sort things out at the end). He gave away the entire plot with the "the doctor was his MOTHER" re-played joke, and I could see a writing group chewing on that one and laughing--at me. The ending Itself was so sappy it made me almost physically ill.
His research wasn't up to par, either, and there were a few statements made by characters that they wouldn't have known--or maybe he put that in to make me feel smart.
Just a start.
Wish I could get the ending out of my head, but I'm afraid that bell can't be un-barfed.
This book was totally unrealistic and boring...and the narrator talked so slow, I thought I would scream before it ended!
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.
This is the crux of the matter -- what would one like best, what would one like least? Given the decidedly mixed reviews, extreme at both ends, any one person's take will depend on what they like best or least in a book that is part mystery, part double chase, part thriller, part love story. Six Years wins out on mood (dark, brooding, mysterious) and, to a point, suspense. But character and motivation are iffy, depending on how much you buy into what drives the narrator/protagonist, college prof Jake Fisher, all 6'6-230 ex-bouncer pounds of him.
It's the Heisenberg Principle of art -- if your expectations are too high, you're likely to be disappointed, if they're low, you'll probably like it. I saw all the negative reviews about the slow pace and questionable characterization. I came close to choosing not to listen to Six Years. I ended up going for it on the recommendation of a friend (Coben in general, not this particular book). But coming in with low expectations, I found myself pleasantly surprised.
Yes, there were moments when the narrator's thought process was too, uh, thought out -- a paragraph or two when a simple statement would have sufficed. Yes, his obsession is over the top, clearly designed to drive the plot rather his character, or at the very least failing to do the latter. Yes, the whodunit and why they dun it, after taking too long to emerge, isn't exactly the be all and end all that would justify the hours of hand wringing.
So, some flaws, for sure. But overall, I liked it and I couldn't wait to find out the who, what, why. Definitely more so early on while me the reader and Jake the protagonist were trying to figure out what exactly was going on, somewhat less once the reasons emerged. My only explanation for why that may be is that my expectations were exceeded by enough of a margin for me to get sucked into it, and I wasn't too disappointed in the end.
At first, yes. But then I started to wonder if the suspense was being dragged out too deliberately, unfolding too slowly and with not enough of a clue for me to figure it out.
The performance did not make or break the book. Scott Brick is a prolific reader whom I have listed to a number of times is different genres without even realizing it, which is perhaps the best thing you can say -- the book carries the day, for better or worse. Here, he is as deliberate in his pace and as ponderous in his tone as the book wants him to be. If that's a problem, it's in the writing, not the reading.
A movie, sure -- too neatly sewn up at the end to justify a series. I already know that Hugh Jackman has been signed to play Jake Fisher, so it's hard for me to come up with my own suggestions for that role. I don't think there are any supporting roles large enough to warrant speculation, not even Jake's love interest, who is spoken of more than she actually appears.
I bought this book with a buy one get one free sale of and am sorry I picked this one. I have listened to over 30 audible books and this is the first disappointment. The writing is poorly developed and sophomoric. The story is written entirely in the first person with the protagonist uttering every single mundane thought that enters his mind. I thought I was going to pull my hair out if I heard the narrator say "What to do?" one more time or the answer "I don't know" an equal number of times. The narrator made matters worse by beyond tedious with a sing songy tempo punctuated with overtly dramatic exclamations. It was like he was trying to puff up drama or tension through his voice because the writing boring and flat. The grating performance just makes a bad book even worse. I could not finish it.
live and learn . . . on to the next one!
I read a lot of books in this genre. I didn't care for this one. I like stories to give me useful clues as to what in the world is going on. This one didn't. I kept expecting the pieces - and there were lots of them - to fall into place, but that happen didn't until late in the book. There could have been a good story here, but it needed more care in the telling.
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