Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Review: "Missing You" by Harlen Coben

I was lucky enough to be asked by his publisher, Dutton/Penguin Group to review Harlan Coben's newest book "Missing You". Mr. Coben is a prolific and extremely talented writer, he has sold fifty million books worldwide. With ten books in the popular "Myron Bolitar" series and over two dozen novels to his name you'd be hard pressed to not find a great read.

The latest book centers around NYPD detective, Kat Donovan. Many years ago Kat lost her father, a decorated police officer, when he was murdered by an unknown assailant. Soon after her father's murder, because of the stress of that situation, she broke off her engagement to the love of her life. The whole incident happened nearly two decades ago but the repercussions of that time reverberate in her life to this day. She still haunts her father's old watering hole, a bar where cops go to unwind. It makes her feel closer to him. Kat really doesn't date much, she has given up hope in ever finding the right guy for her and this is where the story starts. 

Kat's best friend buys her a subscription to a dating site, hoping to cheer her friend up. One evening Kat scrolls past the picture and profile of her long lost love, Jeff. When she drops a "missing you" hello in his inbox Kat hopes all things could be made right, finally. When Jeff's answer to her hello seems to indicate he doesn't remember her, Kat's suspicion is piqued. Kat can't just leave the situation well enough alone. As she investigates further all hell breaks loose and an unimaginably sinister plot is uncovered. 

This is a "holy cow", "totally awesome", "OMG I wish it wouldn't end" book. Does that explain the five stars I'm giving it? Let me elaborate. I'm a mystery junky, from Janet Evanovich to Elizabeth George and everything in-between. Harlan Coben is one of my favorites for his tight, fast paced books with well fleshed out, interesting characters. I find I get to actually know his characters as he speeds us headlong to a flash-bang ending. I love that. Mr. Coben's novels aren't just meaty mysteries, they have characters you can care about and worry for.

In his novel "Missing You" specifically, I found myself unsure what the heck was going on and who done it until nearly the last page! That's unheard of for me, lol. Just ask anyone who watches mysteries on TV with me, I analyze and solve it well before the credits roll. It's my favorite thing to figure out where the writer is going and meet him or her at the end with the answer before they can give it. The thrill with this book is it kept me guessing and trying to solve the Rubik's cube of a mystery until the very end. Ooh, what fun!! You'd be crazy to miss this one if you're either a mystery fan or a fan of Harlan Coben. I will say though, that even if you're neither, it's still a spectacular book so go out and make it your Spring read, you won't regret it, I promise.

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