I’ve always liked thrillers and Harlan Coben is one of the best suspense writers around. His books are always a go to when a patron comes to the desk asking for a recommendation of a good, fast- paced read. Coben’s latest book is great example of taking the thriller genre and adding emotional depth and dark humour to create a memorable read.
New Jersey Detective Nap Dumas was fundamentally changed as a person, when in the senior year of high school, his brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend were found murdered. Then just as he needed her most his girlfriend Maura broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. The disappearance and the murders have weighed on Nap for fifteen years when suddenly one day, Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the car of a suspected murderer. The discovery starts Dumas on a quest to find answers about the long ago killings and Maura’s role in what happened. The answers are dangerous and frightening than he ever could have imagined.
The hero of this story Nap (short for Napoleon ) Dumas feels like a real person, he’s unconventional and funny even in the darkest of circumstances. As a policeman, he breaks the rules but is always loyal, and believes in doing what is just and fair not simply expedient. It’s his nature that makes him the perfect foil for a cold case conspiracy, especially one as twisted and complicated as this. I was surprised to find out that the basics of the plot were actually based on a true story.
If you are new to thrillers this book is great place to start. Many of Coben’s books are part of the Myron Bolitar series about a sport agent who becomes an accidental detective, but it’s in his standalone novels that Coben’s best work comes through.