Newest Review: ... lure and trap sexual predators in TV sting ops, seems to have caught Mercer red handed. As the plot unravels, it seems that evidence ag... more
Caught - and got a little bit stuck.
Caught - Harlan Coben
Member Name: nickwock
Caught - Harlan Coben
Advantages: Nice plot twists, good characters
Disadvantages: Not as good as Cobens previous books
Dan Mercer is a good guy. Giving his time to coaching basketball to kids who otherwise wouldn't have a chance at the game, working with impressionable, troubled youngsters, he's even on great terms with his ex wife and her new husband, sounds too good to be true? Well, maybe....
Haley McWaid is seventeen, bright, happy, intelligent, sports mad, popular, trustworthy and mature. So why has she suddenly disappeard without a trace and turned her much loved families world upside down?
For Wendy Tynes, mother, widow, T. V. Reporter, the world is black and white. When she receives an email from a troubled youngster with details of her abuser, Wendy does what she always has, follows it up and uses it for her show, after all the community deserves to know the identity of a paedophile in their midst.
Wendy isn't one to give up easily, even when the case she revealed is thrown out of court and she finds herself involved in a horrific crime. She soon starts to question her own judgement. Should she trust her instincts or the evidence?
That's all I'm going to give away!
If you are already aware of Cobens work, you will read this book expecting twists and turns in the plot and a fast paced read. While this book does have a few of those lovely little twists, there definitely was no where near as much action, or 'on the edge of my seat' racing moments as I've come to expect from his books.
On reflection, there are quite a few characters, who were all described well, some of which giving us a comedy aspect which is another of Cobens trademarks - look out for Ten-A-Fly! I always warm to Cobens main character, this book is no exception, Wendy is a very strong willed, confident woman, with a witty, if somewhat slightly sarcastic, sense of humour. I always expect reality to be stretched a little in these kind of stories, but Wendy certainly seemed to find it extremely easy to pick up information that no-one else (not even the police) had noticed and she also made amazingly helpful and knowledgable aquaintances very easily. Too easy, especially as she seemed to also need a lot of help from her seventeen year old son with using something as simple as Facebook. She also seemed to have rubbed people up the wrong way in her quest for a good news story and yet they all readily gave up important information to her. I don't expect storylines such as this to be 100% believable, but sometimes this was stretched a bit too far for my liking. Another thing that bothered me was that we were given too much of Wendys thoughts and feelings. Ok, she's had it hard, losing her husband to a drunk driver and bringing her son up alone. Many of these meanderings were about how much she loved her son so considering the story deals with Haleys disapearance there is some relevance, but after a while it just felt a little bit like he was just padding the book out.
We were introduced to Haleys family and given a good insight into the pain and anguish they were going through, especially from her mothers viewpoint. She seemed like another very strong woman and I expected her character to be included more, but after about halfway through the book, we didn't really hear much more from her viewpoint which I found disappointing.
I did like the inclusion of a couple of familiar characters from Cobens Myron Bolitar series of books, Hester Criemstein and the enigmatic Win. Neither had a very big part, just enough in my opinion to explain why their skills were necessary, but not enough to detract from the fact that this is a stand alone novel.
Reading this back, I sound really negative. This may not be the best Harlan Coben book I've ever read, but it's still a good book and well worth a read. I read it in a day and a half as I couldn't put it down, which must say something. Overall it's an intriguing story, the plot twists were good, two of which I didn't see coming, one I did! I liked the opening paragraphs too, which were a little unexpected and quickly hooked me in. I also like how Coben isn't too soft with his characters and isn't afraid to shock us, without being overly graphic. This is definitely worth a read, it's just that his other books are better.
My copy is printed by Orion books. There are 380 pages with a nine page preview of 'Live Wire' the next Myron Bolitar book which is due for release May 10th (I can't wait!)
Summary: Not one of Cobens best