Newest Review: ... no second chance. It sounds like a straightforward kidnapping, especially as his dead wife Monica's father is very rich but as the story u... more
No Second Chance - Coben keeps you gripped right to the end!
No Second Chance - Harlan Coben
Member Name: jeffjen
No Second Chance - Harlan Coben
Advantages: Fast -paced, full of twists to keep you guessing until the end
My favourite author right now is Harlan Coben, and I am working my way through every book he has written at the moment. He knows how to write a fast-paced thriller full of twists and turns that hold you right till the end, and 'No Second Chance' , another of Coben's stand-alone thrillers does exactly that!
The story begins with renowned plastic surgeon Dr Marc Seidman waking up to find himself in the intensive care unit, having been in a coma for over a week. He learns that both he and his wife were shot in their own home by an unseen assailant. Marc was left wounded, his wife murdered, and his baby daughter, Tara, is missing.
The FBI and police are investigating but have come up with nothing, and no ransom note has been delivered. It's not long before Marc realises that he himself could be a suspect!
On the day he leaves the hospital, his affluent father-in-law asks to see him. When Marc arrives, his father-in-law shows him a ransom note which reads -
'We are watching. If you contact the authorities, you will never see your daughter again. There will be no second chance'.
The ransom money is given to Marc by his father-in-law, but Marc is unsuccessful in his efforts to get his daughter back, failing on two occasions.
In time, Marc becomes suspected of engineering the snatch of his daughter and the ransom notes, as a ploy to extract money from his father-in-law, and begins to despair of ever seeing his daughter again.
What follows is a tale with so many twists, turns and revelations that I could not foresee at any point whilst reading the book.
There are some good supporting characters in this book, and Marc receives help from an unlikely source, an amusing and heroic character, ( who could feature in a novel on his own!) Marc's best friend who is also a lawyer, and an old girlfriend, Rachel, who is an ex- FBI agent, and this was the only part of the book where I thought I could see the ending - Marc and Rachel back together, and with baby Tara all living happily ever after! However, I can be wrong sometimes too - even if it did seem obvious!
Detail is also given to the kidnappers, who are quite a psychotic duo ( a former child star and her boyfriend, who seems to know little more than how to crush someone with his bare hands! ) and their relationship, as the book switches between chapters devoted to Marc, which is told in the first person narrative, and then to the kidnappers, as the tension builds and builds. Just as I thought I had a slight notion as to how the novel would end, off it went again to prove me wrong, and I could not put this book down until I reached the end!
I don't want to spoil the story for anyone here , so will just say that together Marc and Rachel eventually uncover a conspiracy greater than they ever could have imagined, as this roller-coaster of a story weaves its intricate plot.
Ive heard Harlan Coben's work described as 'pleasantly painful' to read and that sums up this book exactly, as finding yourself drawn in from the very start,and needing to know how it all ends, will guarantee you will want to read this book in one sitting!
I'm off to read another one now!
Summary: Harlan Coben at his best