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STAY CLOSE by Harlan Coben

STAY CLOSE

By Harlan Coben

Pub Date: March 20th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-525-95227-5
Publisher: Dutton

The past comes knocking for a former stripper who thought she’d said goodbye to all that in an altogether less-successful distaff reworking of The Innocent (2005).

In some ways, the life Megan Pierce left behind when she stopped giving lap dances and calling herself Cassie was perfect: exciting, glamorous and anything but routine. If only her abusive client Stewart Green hadn’t vanished under circumstances that strongly suggested a violent end, Megan would never have taken a powder, ultimately trading Atlantic City’s La Crème nightclub for the American dream with a lawyer husband, two perfect children and every appliance of the upscale suburban lifestyle. One day, however, Megan—motivated solely, it seems, by the need to kick-start the plot—decides to drop in at La Crème. Her sudden reappearance, together with her old colleague Lorraine Griggs’ sighting of somebody who looks a lot like Stewart and the remarkably similar disappearance exactly 17 years later of construction heir Carlton Flynn, sets in motion a new chain of violence and threatens to reveal all of Megan’s carefully hidden secrets. Eventually she reconnects with her old flame Ray Levine, a photographer who has hit the skids big time, and tells what she knows to Det. Broome of Atlantic City Homicide. But both men’s most protective instincts are challenged by a pair of wholesome killers calling themselves Barbie and Ken—and by the fact that Broome’s own boss is working against him.

A proficient but routine thriller in which you can tell for miles in advance who’s disposable and who’s slated for survival, marked by the virtual absence of the baroque plot twists fans of Coben (Live Wire, 2011, etc.) expect as their due.