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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.


  • 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)

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.


Melissa Sugar said...

Well done! Have you read Death in a Red Canvas Chair by N A Granger? You might like it!

Melissa Sugar said...

Hi Melissa - I guess I have to re-read this and pay attention as I may garner some ideas as to your A-Z mystery ... interesting story ... and I'm not sure I've come across him ... but I don't read novels ... that might change - cheers Hilary

Melissa Sugar said...

This is a really good
and honest review, thanks for highlighting this book, Melissa. I'll put it on
my to read list. And I like the term 'ass waffle' too, lol!

Melissa Sugar said...

The Chimera angle would be a neat twist.

Melissa Sugar said...

I bet you know the answer, Hilary. You've really paid close attention. Just think back, it will come to you.

Melissa Sugar said...

No, I haven't read it. I've never even heard of it, but I am ready to begin a new novel and I value word of mouth recommendations more than anything, so I am headed to Amazon to buy it now

Melissa Sugar said...

Congrats on concluding the A-Z challenge. I will have to go back from the beginning and reread a few as I came in this half way through. If I can even attempt at solving it.

Melissa Sugar said...

Hmmm. Going back through clues and getting some interesting ideas...

Melissa Sugar said...

So, are we just supposed to guess in the comments? I'm not 100% sure, but I have an idea or two.

Melissa Sugar said...

Quite a detailed review. I'll have to add it to my to-be -ead list.

Melissa Sugar said...

Congratulations on reaching "Z". You really had a lot of info packed into your challenge posts. Well done.

Arlee Bird

A to Z Challenge Co-host

Join us on May 4 with your post of Reflections about this year's A to Z.

Tossing It Out

Melissa Sugar said...

I would have to go back and read them all - just arrived - sounds fun - shan't come back until I have a stab at guessing - so I don't come in on a spoiler:)I am pretty rubbish at guessing tho so maybe I'll give myself a deadline and come back on the 4th on reflection day.

Melissa Sugar said...

Hi Melissa .. Saul Watson must have something to do with it - perhaps his blood group is the same as Sepuvaldo's ... Then there's Michael Prejean and his Xerox copy of the diary page ... what does that refer to ... can that show up through the diary pages that are left - imprinted in somehow ..

Still not a clue ... and you've mentioned Yoke - conscription of two ... that doesn't obviously lead me anywhere ...

Shell flower is being with it about this .. cheers to her and you - Hilary

Melissa Sugar said...

Hi Melissa ... Chimera - so it has to do with one of the Watsons .. I think I'm probably wrong here .. but without spending time, which sadly I don't have, I'll have to wait for the big reveal - still it's been fun ..

Congratulations on putting all the clues and posts together for us ... it's been great to follow along .... cheers Hilary

Melissa Sugar said...

Congrats on reaching the A to Z finishing line, Melissa!
I've been wondering about the origin/meaning of the word Chimeras...

Your theme was really interesting. :)

A pity my time was so tight. This was my 5th challenge, but this time round I didn’t get to visit as many blogs as I’d have liked to…

See you next year for another month of “alphabet madness”!

Melissa Sugar said...

I'm just going to go for it an guess Saul Watson. I think he did it misguidedly thinking he would be helping his twin.

Melissa Sugar said...

It's my favorite book by him

Melissa Sugar said...

I know. But, I have to stop saying it so much. I've become attached to the word.

Melissa Sugar said...

I hope you do. Thanks for visiting

Melissa Sugar said...

Well now that the challenge is over, its fine to guess in the comments. Originally I wanted people to guess in an email so it wouldn't impact other people's guesses

Melissa Sugar said...

Thank you and I will

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