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Tell No One? Tell everyone!
Tell No One - Harlan Coben
Member Name: Wickedinrock
Tell No One - Harlan Coben
Advantages: Great read, gripping, good characters, a great mystery which you won't work out yourself!
Disadvantages: None really.
After hearing excellent things about Harlan Coben's books I decided to buy a second hand copy of Tell No One from Amazon Marketplace. I thought at £1.82 I really couldn't go wrong and even if I hated it, it wouldn't really matter. The book was published in 2001 and was his first stand alone novel since his creation of his popular Myron Bolitar series. It went on to become his bestselling novel and was made into a French film by director, Guillaume Canet.
The story begins with David and Elizabeth Beck, a young married couple, travelling to Lake Charmaine in Pennsylvania, a place they have visited since they knew each other as children. The romantic breaks ends with Elizabeth's kidnapping and murder and David being left for dead in the lake.
Eight years after her body was found, Elizabeth's murderer is in jail on death row but David can't move on and thinks about her every day. When David receives an email from an unknown address on their anniversary, containing information that only he and Elizabeth knew, as well as a link to a video feed that would only be live for a minute at 'kiss time' - again a term that only Elizabeth would know. The video reveals a live image of an older Elizabeth who tells David, simply, "I'm sorry".
Is it a practical joke or is Elizabeth still alive? As David digs deeper into the mystery surrounding the night at the Lake it appears that someone is trying just as hard to keep the past covered up and
David begins to fear for his own life. He ends up on the run, accused of her murder with only the assistance of Elizabeth's father, his sister's lover and a drug-dealer who owes him after he saved his child's life.
The main character is clearly David and I found him a likeable protagonist. The story is told from David's point of view and a reader you find that you start thinking from his perspective although we never know everything about him. He has spent 8 years mourning his dead wife in a state of misery never moving on, however, when questions arise about his wife's murder he proactively looks to solve it once and for all, not caring who he comes up against. He is a doctor who genuinely cares about his patients, especially TJ and his father Tyrese who feature throughout the book. He has good relationships with his sister Linda and her partner Shauna who is one of the only other characters explored in detail throughout the book. She is a high profile model with powerful contacts and one of the people that David feels that he can trust. Hoyt Parker, Elizabeth's father, is a retired Police Officer who has always grieved for his daughter and perhaps blamed David for what happened to her. As the plot develops, it becomes obvious that Hoyt harbours a dark secret and more information than he lets on about the circumstances surrounding his daughter's death.
Elizabeth really only appears in the book at the beginning before her murder. However, her character is explored throughout the book as David tries to uncover what happened to her and why. When some photos appear of Elizabeth covered in bruises from 8 years ago and David starts to look in her diary, it seems that he does not know everything about his wife's life and that she may have been keeping secrets of her own. What is obvious throughout the book, however, is that David and Elizabeth loved each other deeply and that he will do anything to find out what happened.
Was it any good?
The book was every bit as gripping as people say it is and reviews tell me! I stayed up until 2am the first night and spent the whole next day finishing it off so it took less than two days to read and probably about 4 hours into. It really is page turning stuff! The storyline was complex with intertwining storylines but written in a way that was reader-friendly for anyone from teens to an older audience, without being trashy. The author describes the relationships in the book beautifully and pulls you into the story from the very start.
Before I read the book I had heard that it was full of twists and turns which I love in a novel. However, this meant that I was looking out for them the whole way through and wasn't particularly surprised when certain revelations were made. I was actually quite disappointed that I knew what had happened to Elizabeth before the end as I would have preferred the suspense to continue until the final pages, although the final twist did make up for it slightly! It was an exciting ending because although the twist was a small thing in regards to the whole story, everything you thought through the book sort of changes in a second. However, no more secrets and a fairly happy ending - that's all I want in a book!
Price and availability
I bought the book second hand for £1.82 from Amazon Marketplace and it is available for next to nothing on there and Ebay. It is available online but in most cases, it will take 1-2 weeks to be dispatched and in many cases is out of stock and being reprinted.
Amazon £4.60 Out of stock
Play.com £5.00 Shipped within 1-2 weeks
WH Smith £7.02 Shipped within 1-2 weeks
Waterstone's £7.99 Limited availability
I would advise buying from Ebay either new or second hand as availability is better.
Would I recommend?
Yes! I think this is an enjoyable, suspenseful book which would keep the reader entertained and gripped throughout. It's definitely the type of book that you can't put down and would keep you up all night. It would appeal to anyone who enjoys a good mystery as it really has you speculating. Due to the nature of the content, I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone under the age of about 16 but I think it would appeal to any other age group. This is the first Harlan Coben book that I've read and since finishing it I've already ordered three more!
It's one of the best books in its genre that I've read in a long time and I would not hesitate to recommend. However, I would suggest not reading too far into it or many other reviews because this did ruin it for me in a way. A great 4/5!
Tell No One? Doubt it. Tell everyone about this book - I think they would like it!
Summary: Tell No One? Tell everyone!