Megan is a suburban soccer mom who, once upon a time, walked on the wild side. Now she’s got two kids, a perfect husband, a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at the age of 40 he finds himself in a dead-end job posing as a paparazzo, pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Broome is a detective who can’t let go of a cold case—a local husband and father who disappeared 17 years ago—and spends the anniversary every year visiting a house frozen in time, the missing man’s family still waiting, his slippers left by the recliner as if he might show up at any moment to step into them.
Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past never truly fades away. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all. And as each confronts the dark side of the American dream—the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger that can lurk behind even the prettiest façades—they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper-thin as a heartbeat.
Master of domestic suspense Harlan Coben delivers his trademark combination of pause-resistant thrills and unrivaled insight into the dark shadows that creep into even the happiest communities.
©2012 Harlan Coben (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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.
I recently became a Harlan Coben fan, having listened to five or six of his titles over the past year or so. So when Stay Close came up in a sale, I grabbed it and played it without looking at the reviews. Only afterwards did I come to realize that a lot of readers, longtime fans and newbies alike, did not care this book.
I'm here to disagree. Stay Close comes close enough to the mark. It's another Coben car-idler that is hard to turn off. It's another story of ordinary New Jersey folks who harbor long-held secrets that come back to haunt them.
But it's not quite the usual Coben formula, as some critics contend. For one thing, the theme is not about how far one would go to protect family, his usual theme. For another, for the first time in any of his books that I have read, the primary locale is not a safe and benign setting (pretty suburb, tony enclave, summer camp, college campus) with darkness hiding under its shiny surface, but rather a place that is seedy and dark to begin with (Atlantic City) with even nastier things happening beneath its tarnished surface.
But the best thing, to me, that I believe other reviewers have missed, is how great Coben is at characterization. Critics see stock characters -- dogged detective, hooker with a heart of gold, nice guy with a broken heart, clueless husband, corrupt police chief, entitled rich guy, shyster lawyer, etc. Despite these one-dimensional cutouts, Coben makes these characters multi-dimensional through their dialogue. That's good writing.
Coben also has good villains here. The old cliche that a story is only as good as its villains was not one I ever applied to Coben's mysteries, but Stay Close definitely benefits from an interesting pair of extremely evil bad guys lurking beneath an attractive surface. Ultimately, that is what Stay Close is about -- what is hiding under the surface? It's never what it seems.
An ex prostitute has to face her past, come clean with the police, and puts herself in grave danger while trying to hang on to her new life that she has built with a man and children she loves. Cassie loves Dave, Cassie loves Ray, Cassie loves her kids and Cassie just may have some answers to a series of serial killings out there that Det Broom has been trying to solve for 17 years.
This book has characters you can't get enough of, brought to life by Scott Brick, whos narration hits the nail on the head with all their emotions and voices, putting you in the middle of each ones dilemmas. Barbie and Ken have a major part in this book, and watch out for the spine tingles those two provide, not pleasant either.
The novel is nonstop horror, suspense, love, mystery, crime, and misery. Will keep you up late cause you won't want to take the earbuds out and give it a rest.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
There are many conflicting reviews and opinions on this book. In particular, a reviewer whom I follow (and whose opinions I really value) panned this book. Being a fan of both Brick and Coben, I decided to listen to it right away and form my own opinion. I'm quite glad I did.
This book is really a 4.5 -- not a 4 but not a 5 star book. For me, the only thing holding it back from a full 5 stars was a rather so-so ending. This listen was really excellent until the last 30+ mins. At that point it just petered out. Not a bad denouement, just a lack luster one.
All of the primary characters were understandable and interesting in very different ways. Even the bad guys (at least a couple of them) had a sympathetic turn to their stories. The plot tension was well maintained; the twists and turns were entertaining and not predictable; and, each character pretty much got was coming to him/her. Frankly I enjoyed the whole listen.
Yes, and I have indeed recommended it. Mr. Coben has a reputation and he very rarely lets his standards down. I can relate to that. This book did not disappoint. I had it figured out before the end but it was still a worthwhile read. And who doesn't love Scott Brick's narration?
I haven't really thought about any other similar book. Three characters from very different backgrounds with a shared past meet by extenuating circumstances again to solve a mystery that occurred years ago. I'm sure there are other similar stories out there but, for me, it's more about the characters and the way the story is told.
Oh, yes, too many to name here. He did well, as usual. It's really difficult to not know him. I'm reading another book by another author right now who uses a different narrator than ever before and it almost spoiled the book for me. Don't lose Mr. Brick!
No extreme reaction. I did catch myself reminiscing about my own past and what, if anything, I would change if given the opportunity. The characters were kind of a sad lot but were better in the end, for me, so it was a positive ending with lots of opportunities for the characters.
Mr. Coben, keep 'em coming! This is just a good entertaining read, easy reading.
I like that I was way off track with the 'who done it' at the end of the book....
I would recommend this book, the narration was pretty good, you will think the story is a tad predictable, but, you won't see who done it coming.
The story was well told! Thanks for a great listen!
I liked the character development.
yes - I've read others and he develops plots nicely
I always enjoy Scott, and sometimes do my search on what he has narrated. I particularly like his inflections and variety for each character.
I don't like violence in a book - especially personal violence, and would not have bought the book if I knew there would be scenes where people were being tortured.
I can't tell if this was a good story or not. The narration drove me nuts. Scott Brick narrates with a sing song, overly dramatic style as though each sentence in the book is somehow deeply significant. There is no subtly, no shading of weight and meaning; nothing understated. Without these, there can be no building of suspense. It is like every sentence is underlined. Melodrama instead of drama. In my opinion, the great actors and narrators can convey so much more by doing so much less. I have heard one other book narrated by Scott Brick and I felt the same way. I will never buy another.
As an avid thriller listener and reader (I have over 400 titles in my audible library and I would say 65% or so are thrillers), I'm a bit embarrassed that I'm just now listening to Harlan Coben. This was a great listen. Even though I figured it out before the end, there were still twists and turns that kept me interested until the book was finished.
I also love Scott Brick's narration - he's one of my favorites. I never feel like he gets in the way of the story and his emphasis always seems spot on.
I'm off to find another Harlan Coben!
I think it would be the same.
All the blood that Ray kept seeing.
I like the way Scott Brick reads, he makes the book come to life.
I didn't hear any gunshots, or other noises that took away from the story. It was a fast moving book, with a very good ending, that was a great surprise
Is Scott Brick taking drama lessons? Suddenly, even the menus at fast food restaurants are filled with portends of what--food poisoning? A good reader goes rogue and spoils a slowly unfolding horror story where the every dayness and prosaic ordinariness of upper class suburban NJ unfolds to the evils of Atlantic City.Harlan meanwhile is still doing his subtle rift on Philip Roth was action set in the Pine Barrens, where a memorable Roth character once had a shack and his philosophical probing of love, loss, and the darker side of the human mind. Despite an overly long and melodramatic ending, the plot is rich with complicated characters and enough twists to make it compelling listening. Flair the attorney returns in a minor role and the dark side of Wynn is there in two characters, Ken and Barbie.
Great characters made it worthwhile but a few plot teasers like Megan's mother-in-law's supposed stalker and Dave's hidden past are disappointing.
Sounds like he has taken drama lessons and is determined to give everything great importance. It becomes distracting. More than reading, he is declaiming.
not one of Coban's best but a good story that could have been better told by both the author and the narrator
Report Inappropriate Content