Murder, Mystery & Mayhem - Book Reviews
Title: Missing You
Author: Harlan Coben
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Verdict: 4.75 out of 5
If you are looking for my letter Z post, it is here.
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.
- 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.
- 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)