Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Missing You by Harlen Coben

**SPOILER ALERT!!!** - I am the hugest fan of Harlen Coben. When I was approved for this title through Netgalley, I knew that I was in for a treat. Sure that suggests that I'm biased, but on the contrary. When Coben let's me down I let it be known!!! He can afford one bad review or two. Loyal fans like myself won't be shied away from a 2-star rating. Enough about me and my little disclaimer...

Missing You is the latest thriller by Harlen Coben. He really cranks these things out. I feel as I just read one a year or two ago. Anyway, I'm cool with that. Coben seems to the master at presenting readers with the idea that we never quite know who stole our hearts. Whether it be an old flame, a wife of 20 years, or even a family member, he suggests that someone is always hiding something. This novel is no different. Only this time the connections are more broad and cautionary to all you Match.com people out there.

Kat Donovan, a respected NYPD detective, is encouraged by a friend to seek companionship on an online dating site in an effort to bring some haneky-pankey into her mundane love life by a friend. After a few moments of grappling with her self she decides that maybe she should take a shot at love. She logs on to the dating site "Justmytype.com" and comes across the photo of an ex-boyfriend. The same ex who dumped her 18 years earlier. The same ex who she considers the love of her life.

After reaching out to him in the hopes of him maybe feeling the same for her, she is instantly shot-down she he tells her to keep the past in the past. Feeling dejected and confused, she continues to live her life until a teenage boy asks her to investigate the disappearance of his mother. His mother has used the same dating site and is supposedly on a romantic retreat with the love of her life. Her son isn't convinced after a string of odd texts, withdrawals from her bank, and just plain old skepticism. Kat reluctantly agrees to help him. This investigation leads her on a path that suggests her ex lover is maybe hiding something more sinister. 

I'll end my summary there because it's more fun if the plot is revealed as the pages fly past. What is instantly gripping about Missing You is how gripping it is. The killer approaches his prey in a way that hasn't been done to this extent in any other book. I'm seriously happy I'm not one of those Match.com people cause if this is how it ends please count me out!!!

Coben's characters don't really matter to me because they are just pawns to me who move along one freaky instance to another. I don't read his books looking for the next, most in depth character who compares to Hamlet, or Scrooge, or even Heathcliff... So all you book snobs don't take away his points for that reason. His novels are meant to be fast-paced, engaging, thrilling, and suspenseful. 

I will give him credit where credit is due for providing a huge glaring fact I could not ignore. If Kat's great love (Jeff) was in fact that, there is no reason why she wouldn't have Googled him, Facebook stalked, or searched for a blog featuring his article. FYI, he's supposedly a journalist. Seriously, after 18 years, and feeling like I lost the true love of my life, I'm searching for him. Yes You!!! You know who you are. The kid in the 4th grade who gave me your ring-pop and promised me love forever as well as a free snack swap at least one lunch a week. It is you I'm searching for on Facebook every night.

Besides my small qualms with this novel, I still love Harlen Coben's fiction. He's genuinely my favorite thriller writer because he never takes his foot off the gas once and introduces me to a killer so malicious, it shouldn't be possible that he exists. But he does... maybe. Long story short: Read Missing You or else you'll be missing out!  ****

Copy provided by Penguin Group via Netgalley

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