A pair of present-day murders bring the past alive for a New Jersey cop still mourning the twin brother he buried 15 years ago.
The last few weeks of high school often bring out the graduates’ appetites for unaccustomed risky behavior. But no one in suburban Westbridge has ever been able to explain what Leo Dumas and his girlfriend, cheerleader Diana Styles, were doing on the railroad tracks that made them get hit by a train or why Maura Wells, the girlfriend of Leo’s twin, Napoleon, “Nap,” chose that night to disappear. Now, in one of those sudden lightning flashes only Coben (Home, 2016, etc.) could have thought of, that night comes roaring back with the discovery of Maura’s fingerprints in a car driven by a murdered Pennsylvania cop. Sgt. Rex Canton was shot during what would have been a routine drunk-driving stop if Rex hadn’t been off duty and specifically targeting the man who shot him. Detective Nap Dumas, who still regularly talks to his dead twin, knows he can’t work an out-of-state homicide, even one that links Maura, his vanished girlfriend, once again to Rex, one of his high school classmates. In fact the connection is even deeper, for Leo, Diana, Maura, and Rex were all members of Westbrook High’s Conspiracy Club, a group evidently designed to nurture the naturally anti-establishment paranoia of adolescents through the ages. When one of the club’s two surviving members—Hank Stroud, a math genius who’s been wandering the streets of Westbridge for years—is also murdered, Nap resolves to question the other survivor, Beth Lashley, who’s now married, living in Ann Arbor, and practicing cardiology. He soon finds that Beth’s resolve is equal to his own: she’s separated from her husband, announced a professional sabbatical, and gone AWOL. What secret could the Conspiracy Club have discovered that would remain so dangerous for so long?
Sadly, the answers are neither as interesting nor even as surprising as the setup. This may be the first time most of perennially bestselling Coben’s readers will beat his hard-used hero to the solution.