Saturday, February 22, 2014
Missing You by Harlan Coben
3.0 out of 5 stars - "You can't change the past. But see, you can shape it with your memories."
NYPD cop Kat Donovan has a lot going on. And, so does this latest stand alone suspense thriller. Multiple plot lines converge into an interrelated set of mysteries with some very coincidental occurrences that require a large measure of suspension of disbelief.
Single and middle-aged, Kat was once in love with her soul mate Jeff Raynes. They were happily engaged when he abruptly broke off their relationship and vanished. She hasn't been able to find out a shred of information about him for the last 18 years. Her well-meaning friend Stacy, who owns a private investigation firm (Stacy is gorgeous of course whereas Kat is "cute and perky") sets up a profile for Kat on a dating website where, lo and behold, she finds Jeff! Now, what does she do? Long story.
In another plot thread, Kat is anguishing over the death of her cop father 18 years ago -- the self-confessed murderer is in prison. But Kat is not sure that Monte Leburne actually killed her father. Then, who did? Her dad was investigating a known mobster when he died but was prone to long absences from the family home for reasons he never explained to his wife and children. Kat's mother doesn't want to talk about any of that.
In yet another narrative line, evil Titus is locking men and women in underground boxes on a remote Amish farm in Pennsylvania. What does he want and how did he get them there?
And one more - Brandon Phelps, a teenage boy from a wealthy Connecticut family, asks Kat to investigate what seems to be his mother's suspicious activity as she went off on a tropical vacation to meet a man she met online.
No spoilers here -- but it all sort of comes together in exactly the way a reader will imagine and predict by the time all the players are introduced. There was actually one surprise, but the rest of this story was a cliche for anyone who reads this genre.
Fast-paced and full of the usual completely stereotypical characters, enjoy this for what it is - escapist entertainment.
I've read every Coben book except for those in the Bolitar series. He's hit and miss for me. I was disappointed with this one.
Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton for the e-book ARC to review.