In seeking to extend his formidable range, Coben overreaches: the far-flung complications feel forced and schematic rather...

READ REVIEW

RUN AWAY

A Manhattan money manager who once had it all is threatened with losing most of it in Coben’s latest greased-lightning domestic thriller.

Things haven’t been that great for Simon Greene ever since his daughter, Paige, dropped out of college and disappeared. But his world turns much darker the day that, following a tip, he sees her playing guitar in Central Park and tries to talk to her. Paige, clearly strung out on drugs, takes off, and the closest Simon comes to catching her is punching her companion, junkie Aaron Corval, in the face. His attack, captured on the phone videos of passers-by, goes viral, and he’s rebuked by millions of strangers. Three months later, Bronx Homicide Detective Isaac Fagbenle turns up in Simon’s office asking questions about the murder of Aaron, who vanished instead of sticking around to press charges. Simon and his pediatrician wife, Ingrid, go to visit the crime scene in the hope of picking up Paige’s trail, and moments after one of Aaron’s scuzzball neighbors warns them, “Even if you find her, this story won’t have a happy ending,” bullets fly, sending Ingrid to the hospital in a coma. Meanwhile, Chicago PI Elena Ramirez is hired to find the missing adopted son of wealthy Sebastian Thorpe III, and a mysterious pair named Ash and Dee Dee are executing a laid-off meat packer in Boston and a tattoo artist in suburban New Jersey. Clearly all this mayhem is somehow connected, and readers spoiled by Coben’s long history of triple-barreled thrillers (Don’t Let Go, 2017, etc.) will be turning the pages with bated breath. But the broadly hinted connection, a Maine religious commune to which Dee Dee professes undying loyalty, is more cartoonish than compelling, and the alternating chapters recounting the investigations of Simon and Elena dilute the suspense instead of intensifying it. By the time the double-twist payoff arrives, fans will be torn between dissatisfaction and relief.

In seeking to extend his formidable range, Coben overreaches: the far-flung complications feel forced and schematic rather than nightmarish. Wait till next year.

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4846-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

THEN SHE WAS GONE

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

more