FlipBoard

A to Z Schedule

A to Z 2015

Google+ Followers

Visit

Visit
My New Blog

Repost.Us

About Me

My Photo
I am a lawyer & mother by day & a midnight writer. I just finished my first novel, a legal thriller, JUSTICE FOR SALE. More...

My Crimespace Page


CrimeSpace: A place for readers and writers of crime fiction to schmooze, booze and draw up plans for the heist to end all heists.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Have You Heard

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ninja Novel Conference

the dojo

Ninja Warrior

Get widget

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to Restore Blogger Comments

How to Restore Blogger Comments:


I hope my blog title is a tease? Or worse ... misleading!


I need your help


I am not offering a tutorial on restoring blogger comments.

I'm having a blogger crisis. Many of you may have noticed during the A to Z Blogging Challenge that I use(d) one of the most complained about comment widget. 

Many years ago, long before blogger added threaded comments as an option, I grew tired and irritated with the blogger comment system. I liked the blogs that allowed people to reply to other comments. It felt like more of a discussion. I grew tired of having to reply to all comments at the very end of the comment feed. So, being the impulsive person that I am, I jumped at the chance to add a new ... cool ... better (so I thought) comment feed to my blog. I belly-flopped onto a different platform. I replaced my blogger comments with Disqus. And, like most impulsive people, I immediately regretted my decision.

For years, I considered switching back to blogger, but I could never figure out how to make the change without losing all of my comments and I treasure all of your kind, helpful and motivating words. I continued putting it off, despite the hardship Disqus caused my readers and me.

Disqus requires readers to sign in or join disqus (create an account) before allowing you to comment on a blog. What a hassle. After reading so many complaints in the A to Z Reflection post, I see how burdensome this was to all of you. And all those hoops you jumped through to leave me a comment, didn't help me return the favor. Not at all. If I clicked on your photo, name or link it didn't take me to your blog, profile, website, Twitter page, FB page or anywhere else helpful. The link only directed me to your Disqus page. I had to search for your blog so I could return the favor. It wasn't that difficult. Not during the challenge, anyway, because I could almost always find you in the comment section of another blog.

Still, I didn't take any steps to correct my problem. I didn't know how. I tired, but couldn't figure it out.

Well, it seems good ole Disqus has remedied the situation for me and I am now forced to figure out how to return to the blogger comment platform.

A few days ago, I finally purchased my own domain. I've been meaning to do it for some time, but didn't want to create any additional hurdles during the challenge. My new URL is Melissa Sugar Writes. I tried to wait out the person who own my name dot com, but since there are two lawyers with the exact same name (weird I know), it could be a long wait. Oh they offered it up at some ridiculous price, but I passed. Plus, by adding writes to my URL, people will know that this blog is connected to my writing and not a legal blog.

A day after implementing my new domain, I received some emails from some kind readers informing me that my comment section would not permit them to leave a comment. I checked it out and sure enough ... try dat ... you can't leave comments. I assumed it had something to do with the domain name switch.

That is, until today. I stumbled upon an article that informed me that Disqus no longer works with bloggers. Thanks for the advanced warning, Disqus .... NOT!

While trying to figure out what to do, I read an article in the blogger help forums that stated, Disqus No Longer Syncs Comments with Blogger. This became effective in May of this year.


No Comment!

No Way!


That's the last message I want my blog sending.

Please ... please ... please ... I love your comments! I live for your comments. Okay, that's going overboard just a tad bit. But, can you imagine a blog without comments?


So now I am shit out of luck and desperately need advice from any of you out there who know how I can switch back to the blogger comment forum.

I welcome any advice you have to offer? Any instructions? Any links to help sites? Anything. I need my comment area back up.

I've been told that you can still leave comments on my stand alone pages, like my Book Reviews Page

You can also leave comments on these pages:
Writers Links - which you might enjoy visiting as I have listed a host of resourceful links for writers
Legal Fiction
Greatest Hits - which is sort of (temporarily) under construction

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Kind Worth Killing -- Review - With Spoiler

Murder Mystery & Mayhem:

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson



Title: The Kind Worth Killing
Author: Peter Swanson
Publisher:  William Morrow/Harper Collins
Publication Date: February 2015
Hardcover Pages: 320 (Book Length actually 308 Pages)
ISBN -13: 978-0062267528
ISBN -10: 0062267523
Source: Purchased
Verdict: 5 out of 5
Purchase: Amazon



If you have not read this book, I suggest you read my non spoiler review of The Kind Worth Killing




I fell in love with this book and even found myself rooting for the sociopathic killer to get away with her crimes. Call me demented, I don’t know. 

Remember Patricia Highsmith’s novel, Strangers on a Train & Hitchcock’s film adaptation of the book?

The Kind Worth Killing — Strangers on a Plane

Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing, is a dark psychological thriller that many readers have compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  Hmm … another train reference. If you are a fan of either of the two aforementioned novels, this one will seduce you from page one and take you on a thrilling, suspenseful, mysterious, dark ride.


Lily Kitner and Ted Severson meet in a London Airport bar and then share several more drinks on an overnight flight to Boston. Cocktails lead to the truth game. Airplane fun. You tell strangers personal details you wouldn’t even share with your shrink. Ted is a wealthy, successful businessman; Lily, a gorgeous college archivist. The more they drink the more they reveal. Ted confides that his wife, Miranda is having an affair with the contractor working on their mega mansion. The man is taking his money and fucking his wife. When Lily asks Ted what he’s gonna to do about his wife’s infidelity, Ted, replies, with a grin, that what he really wants to do is kill her. 

Lily isn’t shocked or put off. In fact, she says, “I think you should.”

I’m hooked … reel me in.

A week later they meet and Ted is surprised by Lily’s casual demeanor when they again discuss murder. But, they form a plan. A plan to kill both Miranda and her boyfriend, the handsomely rugged, contractor, Brad. But … we all know that even the best made plans never come off without a hitch.


Please do not continue if you haven’t read the book, and believe me, you want to read this book. Don’t continue if you have not read the book and you do not want it spoiled.
                             Spoiler Alert

The Kind Worth Killing is divided into three parts. 

Part one: The Rules of Airport Bars

Part one is told in first person POV, alternating chapters between Ted and Lily. From Ted’s POV we learn about his life with Miranda and how he discovered her affair with the contractor. Lily, who is obviously more skilled in the art of murder gives Brad a blueprint to follow, so to speak. His assignment is to gather information, learn the comings and goings of both Brad and Miranda.

Lily’s chapters jump back and forth from the present to her past. We learn what motivates her to kill. We learn about her college boyfriend, his former girlfriend and her discovery of the two of them cheating on her.  She promptly fixes that problem by killing the boyfriend, but doesn’t decide to seek her revenge on the girl, Faith until later. You see, Lily may be a killer, but this killer had a code of ethics. If Chet was two timing both women then Faith is as innocent as Lily, but … beware, Faith, if you were in on the scheme and knowingly deceived Lily — she will exact her revenge. 

So all the while Lily and Ted are planning Miranda and Brad’s murder … they aren’t the only characters plotting a murder. Part one ends with a twist that blew me away … I never saw it coming. Not in a million years. You see, I considered Ted & Lily both protagonists of the book or the main characters. Part one ends with (remember I warned you of spoilers), Brad kills Ted. I read the final line and screamed what the fuck is going on here. He can’t be dead. But dead he was. This ain’t no vampire book. Dead is dead. I had really been looking forward to the developing romance between Ted and Lily, but scratch that because Ted is dead. And Brad isn’t remotely bright enough to have planned this on his own. He kills Ted, while Miranda is conveniently away for a week long trip to Florida. She’s alibi tight!

Part 2:  The Half -  Finished House

More twists & turns than spinning on the Tilt -A-Whirl as a tornado rips through the park and hoist the ride into the air. I’m not going to delve into each murder, twist and revelation. Part two alternates chapters told from Miranda’s POV and Lily’s POV. Of course, one of the big reveals is that Miranda used to go by a different name and is the girl Lily’s boyfriend cheated with. 

Part 3: Hide The Bodies Well (well has a double meaning)

Enter Detective Kimball. Part three alternates between chapters told from Kimball and Lily’s first person POV. Kimball becomes quite obsessed with Lily’s beauty and takes to following her on his own time. Lily likes the detective, but she can’t leave any loose ends, so in her twisted mind, he has to die. But … wait for it … another plot twist. She is caught in the act and he doesn’t die

What I loved & Didn’t Love — Notice I didn’t Say Like or Dislike:




I didn’t like the ending and that means I was rooting for a killer to get away with murder, so that makes me what … a serial killer groupie? Not even close. This was tough for me because despite her murdering tendencies, I actually liked Lily. Up until she attempted to kill Detective Kimball, Lily felt justified in each of her killings. Each victim wronged her — hurt her — deceived her. The author is such a brilliant and talented writer that he managed to create a character who kills people, but he developed the character in such a way that while readers may not have excused her killing, we certainly could understand her motivation.

It’s not that I approve of murderers going free. Quite the opposite. As a career prosecutor, murder goes against everything I stand for, every moral bone in my body.

Another reason I rooted for Lily to win in the end is because the book is full of so many bad guys — really bad people who lack decency and any sort of moral compass. But, Lily was the only bad person who killed for a good reason, even if you and I know that there is never a good enough reason to kill. Lily views murder as ridding the world of other bad dudes. Ending the lives of people who will continue to prey upon and harm others.

Until … she attempted to take Detective Kimball’s life

But deep down, Lily has redeeming qualities. She genuinely loves and cares for her parents. She feeds stray cats. Okay, well she did kill a cat when she was a kid, but in her defense that cat was going to kill her pet cat. She truly developed feelings for Ted. In Lily’s mind, she had to avenge his death. We just aren’t aware at the time that she is killing two birds with one stone, pun intended

Compare Lily to Miranda — both killers, but polar opposites. Miranda is a gold digging, hustler who kills for financial gain when a divorce would have netted her half of her husbands multi-million dollar assets. She conned the contractor, Brad into committing the murder, all the while knowing she would leave him holding the bag. Brad would either go down alone for Ted’s murder or Miranda would have to kill him. She could care less about his children. Miranda lies, cheats and intentionally hurts people.

Another reason I think I didn’t care for the ending is that after reading Gone Girl and the litany of dark, disturbing psychological thrillers that followed, many of us have come to expect the bad guy to get away. Even before Gone Girl … how many of you rooted for Tom Ripley? Or Dexter? It’s not like in your typical who dun it or legal thriller, where we insist the bad guy get his comeuppance.

I’m in the minority on this, but I liked the ending of Gone Girl. I see no other plausible way that story could have ended.


In a Nutshell:



I loved this book. I mean, I devoured it. Unlike some of my other recent (and not too recent) favorites, such as The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, The Kind Worth Killing seized my attention from the get go and didn’t let up. This book hijacked my full attention for two days. 

However, I didn’t particularly like the ending.


Too many things were out of character for the brilliant & conniving woman who’d been plotting, killing, and getting away with murder since she was a child. Lily, never would have attempted to kill a cop, out in the open.  She could have stayed one step ahead of the detective. He didn’t have any evidence on her.  She could have used his obsession with her to her advantage. It seemed like the author needed a way to wrap up the book and I didn’t buy it.

And her biggest mistake of all … why bury Brad’s body in the well on the property adjoining her family home? Lily was too smart to have linked herself to Brad.

Okay. I didn’t like the ending, yet I’m still praising this book as possibly the best book I’ve read in years. Why? Because the author is that good. He is a master storyteller, his writing flows, and he is the Don Czar of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. 

With only two pages left, the author gives us the final twist. In a letter to Lily from her dad, we learn that the property where the bodies are buried has been sold and the bulldozing is in full swing. We are left with the vision of the police digging up bodies from Lily's personal burial site and her stint in a psychiatric facility quickly morphing into a long prison sentence.

Or … my wish … the author left the ending open ended and is planning a sequel which will be 300 + pages of Lily’s murder trial(s), where we’ll be treated to Lily using her charisma and devious plotting to charm the jury into an acquittal. Or for those of you who would rather her face the music, she might be convicted, but I know the author would have us on the edge of our seats waiting for the verdict.

What did you think of The Kind Worth Killing? You shouldn't be reading this spoiler if you haven't read it? I'm most curious to know how readers compare this book to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train? Which did you like best? Are you as into unreliable narrators right now as I am. It must be extremely difficult for a writer to do, if done correctly. This one was written perfectly.












The Kind Worth Killing - Non Spoiler Review

Murder Mystery & Mayhem:

The Kind Worth Killing by: Peter Swanson

If you have read this book, jump over to my review/analysis of The Kind Worth Killing, which includes spoilers



Title: The Kind Worth Killing
Author: Peter Swanson
Publisher:  William Morrow/Harper Collins
Publication Date: February 2015
Hardcover Pages: 320 (Book Length actually 308 Pages)
ISBN -13: 978-0062267528
ISBN -10: 0062267523
Source: Purchased
Verdict: 5 out of 5
Purchase: Amazon


Remember Patricia Highsmith's novel, Strangers on a Train, and Hitchcock's film 
adaptation?

The Kind Worth Killing: Strangers on a Plane


Lily and Ted meet in an airport bar and share a few martinis. They end up on the same overnight flight from  London to Boston, sitting together and knocking back more drinks. Cocktails lead to a game called the truth game and the strangers share information most of us wouldn't tell our shrink. But, you know what airplane flights are like? We can be ourselves, share intimate details because we're never going to see our companion again. 

Ted confides in Lily. He tells her of his wife Miranda's infidelity. They are building a multi - million dollar home near Boston. He will do anything for Miranda. Anything, that is ... until he discovers she is having an affair with Brad, the ruggedly handsome contractor. Ain't that a kick in the face. The man is taking his money and banging his wife.

Lily asks Ted what he intends to do about it and he playfully says, he'd like to kill her. Expecting shock from Lily, he doesn't get it. Instead she replies, "I think you should." A plot is hatched to kill Miranda. As we all know, nothing planned ever comes off without a hitch.

It is far too difficult to truly review this book without giving anything away and if you have not read it, you should read it and you need to read it without any spoilers. You won't be able to experience the depth of the cat and mouse chase, the chess game like story of murder, double crossings, and neurotic roller coaster dips and turns. 

If you've read the book, you can read my thorough review, including spoilers, here

The plot of this dark, suspenseful, psychological thriller is being compared to Strangers on A train.

Many people are comparing this novel to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. All three novels are narrated by more than one unreliable narrator. I loved Gone Girl and the Girl on the Train, but I have to admit starting both novels and putting them down before the end of the second chapter. Not so with The Kind Worth Killing. I finally forged ahead in the other two novels after repeated and insistent requests from writers and readers I admire. I'm glad I did because both Gone Girl and the Girl on the Train, finally picked up the pace and mesmerized me.

I didn't have that problem with The Kind Worth Killing. It grabbed me on page one and never let up. There are more unexpected plot twists than you can imagine. each plot twist manages to out do the other, with the exception of the mid point plot twist, which I never saw coming. It knocked me over the head and on my ass.

The Kind Worth Killing in told in 3 Parts. The first Part, The Rules of Airport Bars, switches back and forth between first person POV chapters narrated by Ted and Lily. The Second Part, adds a third narrator, Ted's Wife Miranda and the third and final part introduces a fourth narrator, Detective Kimball. Sadly, I cannot even go into the characterization of any of the characters because even that would give away too much of this expertly plotted novel.

Peter Swanson is a master of plot twists and surprise endings. Even those who are avid crime fiction readers will be surprised and shocked by many of the plot twists and reveals. I wish I could go into more, but doing so would deprive you of the thrilling ride this novel will take you on. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries, novels of suspense, thrillers or any crime fiction. If you like trying to figure out who the villain is ... this is your kind of book. If you like it even more when you guess wrong and the author continues shaking things up until the very last page, you will absolutely love this book. If you enjoy playing chess or solving impossible puzzles and mysteries, you must read this book.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge Reflection Post

A to Z Reflection Post:



Best Challenge So Far:




My theme this year was crime fiction and I hosted a mini contest on my blog, a Crime Fiction Murder Mystery:

My murder mystery took place in New Orleans, Louisiana and a woman, named Martha Clinton was murdered. I realize now that some of my post were rather lengthy and I want to thank everyone who took the time to read them. Unless I missing something, and I have searched back through the comments and emails, I don't believe anyone has solved the crime. I do hope that those of you who participated will at least take a stab at solving it, because the grand prize is a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

Shell Flower at Tangent Shell, made a good guess, and I hope she will try again. That goes for all of you who read the mystery. I especially enjoyed getting to know some of you who took the time follow my Detective Coker series. Hilary Melton-Butcher at Positive Letters & Inspirational Stories paid very close attention and I hope she will attempt to unravel the unusual DNA twist and solve the murder. Chrys Fey is another blogger I met through the challenge, who should try and solve the crime. I hope we stay in touch and if you didn't visit her blog, I recommend you do.

Nick Wilford had a unique theme that I loved. He chose a random word from the dictionary that corresponded with the applicable letter of the alphabet, oh and it had to be a word he was not familiar with and he wrote a 100 word piece of flash fiction. They were fun to read and each one ended with a twist.

I loved the setting as a character theme offered by J. Lenni Dorner & will post a review on her terrific book of the same topic, next week.

I've read some enlightening reflection post this year which is in tune with the overall make up of the bloggers who participated this year. This is my 4th year participating, but I did not participate last year.  The list of blogs participating in the 2015 A to Z Challenge, by far surpassed the quality of blog post I've read in the past. It seemed like every link I clicked on invited me on either an amazing adventure to far away lands or offered incredibly useful writing and/or social media advice.

I want to start out by once again thanking Arlee Byrd, for inventing this creative and rewarding challenge. I would be here all day if I went though the list of all the co-host, but I do want to let them all know how grateful we all are. I am sure I don't have a clue how much time and effort goes into co-hosting an event of this magnitude, but I can tell from many of the reflection post that the co-host had a full plate and devoted countless hours. Thank you for your selfless service.

If you want to read a very through reflective post, I highly recommend reading a post written by one of the helpers, Barbara, at Life and Faith in Caneyhead. Her theme was musical memories. I read quite a few nostalgic musical memory post and I always looked forward to my trip down memory lane.

Stephanie Faris blogged about all things 80's and that was my generation, so I loved her posts. I felt like I was back in high school and college with all the musical, magazine and movie flashbacks. Her reflection post also introduced me to the Paper Li Newspaper/Magazine. I had no idea that the challenge had a digital newspaper or whatever you call it, but if you were also in the dark about it, you will definitely want to check it out. It is the A to Z Challenge Daily.

I realize that I have not thanked or mentioned many of the bloggers I routinely follow and that is certainly not a poor reflection on their blogs. I am just trying to get my reflection post published by the end of the day, as today is the last day and I wanted to focus on some of the newer blogs I encountered. I made a new a new friend, Christina, over at The Capillary,  and her blog was original inspired by the Day Zero Project. She wrote some interesting post and I hope that some of you will pay her a visit.

 I remember a time when the legendary Alex Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish over at The QQQE hosted a blogfest when I first started blogging. I can't remember the name of if, but the goal was to spotlight bloggers still flying under the radar, specifically those with around 100 or fewer followers. Thanks to both of them my following jumped from like 2 - 150 in one month. Why am I bringing this up? Because Christina has around 120 followers, and I hope that those of you who didn't get a chance to visit her during the challenge will do so this month.

That brings me to my next topic of interest. My biggest regret was not visiting nearly as many bloggers as I would have liked. I am 100% at fault. Which introduces my next topic ... mistake ... regret. This was the first year that I did not prepare all of my post in advance. Big ... huge ... gigantic mistake and one I won't repeat. I also must learn how to pre-schedule the publication of my post.

I think it might be easier if I just break it down into what worked best for me and what didn't. I didn't experience anything negative during the challenge. I was disappointed to find that some of the blogs I looked forward to reading, dropped out - mid challenge, but I understand that things happen in our lives that are beyond our control.

Like many of the other reflection posts have already mentioned, I noticed that the participants at the tail end of the list didn't seem to get a lot of comments on their blog post. I found this disturbing because I worried that many of the last minute entries might be first timers to the challenge and I hated for them to feel left out. I hope that it doesn't keep anyone from entering next year. Like I said earlier, I didn't get to visit enough blogs and when it became clear I would never make it all the way through the entire list, I varied my approach. Rather than starting at the beginning or with the names immediately below my own, some days I began at the top, some days the middle, other days the bottom and still other days I randomly selected a number like 901 and worked from there. I will continue working through the list for the rest of May and June or until I have visited every blog at least once.

That was another personal issue I faced. With my time extremely limited I often had to choose between working my way through the list or making repeat visit to blogs I had already visited, but wanted to continue reading.  I varied that decision as well.

Prior to this years challenge, I had been on an extended blogging hiatus. When I stopped blogging, I fully anticipated returning at some point, but as the weeks grew into months, I now believe that I might have quit all together. I am so glad I decided to participate this year. It reacquainted me with bloggers and friends and provided fresh, new motivation for blogging. I immediately realized how much I missed blogging and I know now that I am ready to commit to a steady blogging schedule.

Okay this is getting too long and is so unorganized. but I am desperately trying to get it up before the deadline and I have so many bloggers I want to thank and recognize, but I just can't mention everyone   or this will be another 2000 words.

LIKES:

Most bloggers had a theme. I noticed more themes this year than ever and I really liked it. It was nice knowing what the blog posts would be about. I also learned ,many new things, gained much needed writing advice and traveled all over the world with the various themes.


The quality of blog content was amazing


DISLIKES:

It is still hard for me to comment on some of the blogging platforms. For WordPress I was automatically logged in under some crazy name I must have created years ago for the purpose of commenting. I've also heard that many WordPress bloggers skip over blogspot bloggers because it is too difficult for them to leave a comment. Diqus is the absolute worst and oh what irony that it ... I use Disqus. I wish I had never switched over, but I don't know how to switch back without losing all my comments.

Thank you to everyone! If you want to take a stab at solving my crime fiction murder mystery click on the Legal Fiction page of my blog for a recap and on the Idea Bank for a witness list and a list of each daily clue

If you haven't already ordered your A to Z Survivor T-Shirt, do so now.

Be forewarned, ladies, if you order the ladies cut, it runs small. Or I am just too top heavy. But, I love my shirt and I've already worn it twice.

A great big thanks to Jeremy Hawkins for designing the survivor shirt.

OMG - here comes my post, excuse all typos, please. I had a blast!


Friday, May 1, 2015

Have you Heard? Really Cool T-Shirts for A to Z Participants

T-shirts: A Tangible, Symbolic Gift to Yourself for Completing the 2015 A to Z Challenge.


I read about this shirt last night on a few blogs, but when I saw it again today, I had to share.

It's a marketing experiment for the 2015 A to Z Challenge Survivors, and I, for one, can't wait to wear mine. A piece of clothing earned and I do mean earned. For all of you who have completed this amazing challenge you know the blood, sweat, tears, time and enjoyment that goes into finishing up and writing that last letter Z post.

Congratulations to all the survivors.

The cool shirt was designed by Jeremy Hawkins and here is where you place your order. The cost, a mere $20 bucks.

A great big thanks to Jeremy Hawkins, better known as Hollywood Nuts, being retro. Way to go Jeremy. You've made crossing the finish line all the more satisfying.

Congratulations to all of the A to Z Blogging Challenge Survivors this year.

Missing You by Harlan Coben

Murder, Mystery & Mayhem - Book Reviews

Title: Missing You
Author: Harlan Coben
ISBN: 9780525953494
Pages: 400
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Thriller

Verdict: 4.75 out of 5

If you are looking for my letter Z post, it is here.

Missing You:

NYPD Detective Kat Donovan reluctantly signs into an online dating service, a birthday gift from her beautiful and charismatic best friend. It’s the last thing Kat needs in her life, but maybe her friend is right. It is time to stop obsessing over her father’s murder. Online she reconnects with her former boyfriend, but he is abrupt and pushes her away. Then she is contacted by a teen, who is worried about his wealthy mom. He believes his mom disappeared so he hacked her online dating account. It seems his mom left town with Kat’s former boyfriend. None of this adds up for Kat, but in the end these plot lines will connect and they will also intersect with Kat’s father’s murder.


Parallel story lines that crime fiction author Coben weaves together throughout the book and ties up with a kick ass punch at the end.

 I’ve read most, if not all of Harlan Coben’s novels and without going back and deconstructing them all, I believe Missing You, is Coben’s first novel written in third person POV.

Likes:

  • Parallel story lines

  • Coben’s ability to hide clues in plain sight. His use of misdirection and sleight of hand

  • Third person POV

  • Alternating POV’s

  • Coben’s never miss — final twist that is revealed in the very last pages of the novel

  • Readers may have seen it coming, may have guessed the twist/reveal, but only an astute reader paying immensely close attention to detail will guess the “why,” that motivates the surprise “who.”

  • Coben writes about current events and current controversial issues, e.g. Internet dating and how easily the wicked prey on the weak. He writes about the dangers of social media & brings the very real terror of those dangers to the page and forces us to reconsider and reevaluate many of our own choices and decisions.

  • Coben is a master at placing ordinary people, doing ordinary things, just going about their lives, placing them in jeopardy and it makes us connect and resonate with his characters.

  • The protagonist is a regular person just like the rest of us.  I like that his protagonists are realistic enough to believe in and heroic enough to root for. What I really like about Harlan Coben's protagonist in Missing You, and his other novels is that they are flawed. Flawed like you. Flawed like me. They are flawed enough to be believable, but never too flawed or unredeemable. We empathize and resonate with his protagonists. They are never over the top super heroes with amazing superpowers … they can’t leap tall buildings. They can't stop a bullet with their bare hands. And they never develop an unrealistic superpower just in the nick of time to save the day. If they save the day with a power or skill, you can bet your ass we learned about that skill in the first act. Coben is just such a great author, that we may have forgotten about a certain skill, but when we look back over the book, it will be there

  • But … save the day, they do … indeed. The MC uses her skills and appropriate, believable resources and knowledge to solve the crime and bring down the villain

  • His villains on the other hand are bad ass. They always appear to be one step ahead of the MC, they are never cardboard caricature villains with handlebar mustaches and green skin.

  • Titus, in this novel speaks with a compassion laced voice that sends chills up the base of my neck. Far more frightening than the bad guy who only screams and twirls his mustache.

  • What I like most, the dialogue. It's so realistic and believable. I love the way Coben allows characters to answer a question with another question, or by avoiding the issue all together, or by changing the subject. All things that we do in real life when we don't want to be confronted about a topic. He is a master of this, as well. He writes the best, most entertaining, believable dialogue that moves the story forward. He does this better than any other author that I am aware of.

  • I love the use of his new word -- ass waffle. I'm calling this his new word, because I have now read, his latest release, The Stranger, where he uses the word again. 

  • ASS WAFFLE - is Harlan Coben's word for Ass Wipe or Jack Off. Doesn't it just sound better. A fresh word for an all too common situation. We run into these people all the time ... in bars, restaurants, in class, school, work, grocery store. They are Jack asses or better put, ass waffles. I laugh each time I hear it or say it.


Dislikes:

  • Unlike Coben’s other books which always grab me with the first line and never let up. The first chapter dragged.

  • I wasn’t carried away with the gorgeous friend. Stacey (did I mention that she is always referred to as the gorgeous, beautiful, sexy friend)

In a nutshell, I couldn’t put Missing You, down. It’s a fast paced thriller that will capture your attention and keep you guessing. This is my favorite stand alone novel of Coben’s since, Tell No One.