Book Review: “Missing You” by Harlan Coben

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2014 Penguin Group/ 400 Pages

It is no secret that I love mystery/thriller novels. When it comes to that genre, I think Harlan Coben is the best they come. Until I read one of his earlier books, Play Dead, I had never experienced physical reactions to what I was reading before. As I read that book, my heart palpitations were real and sweating became something I didn’t even know I had the capability of doing (see earlier post “6 Books I Can’t Stop Talking About” of a short review of Play Dead). Coben is a prolific writer, and I am proud to say that I have read every book he has ever published…and I loved them all.  So, when his latest book debuted in the United States just a few days ago, I made sure I purchased a copy immediately.

Boy, am I disappointed with this one!!

All relationships have their seasons of blossom and growth, malaise and dissatisfaction. I believe Coben and I have finally reached a point in our relationship experiencing the latter—well, on my part, at least. My first Coben read was nearly 10 years ago with “Tell No One”, and from there it’s been a love affair; and all the highs and pure bliss that comes with new love. Lustfully, I stalked every book shelf collecting every book he had ever written and devouring them at night like you would a new lover. So, I am sad to say that Missing You fell short of my Coben-esque expectations. I read each word of each page deliberately to make sure I wasn’t going to miss a twist or turn. As the pages of the book started thinning, I held out hope that a jaw-dropping climax was going to happen soon.

It didn’t.

In pure Guada-like fashion, I anticipated a scenario and knew what was going to happen and who had done what before the book ended. I ended up shutting the book closed with a palm slapped to my forehead in disappointment. Did Coben run out of scenarios? Did he recycle stories from his other books and try to create a new one with this? I stayed up all night trying to figure out why. By the next day, I returned the book back to the bookstore. Now, don’t judge me. I’m not the type to buy a dress to wear to a party and return in the next day. I don’t do that with books either. You want proof? Come to my house.

If you’ve never read a Harlan Coben book, you may like this one. Enjoyment with this book comes if you have no expectations whatsoever. But if you really want to know how amazing his writing is, I suggest Play Dead, Tell No One, or even Six Years.

I guess what they say about the “10-Year-Itch” is true…

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