Stay Close

by Harlan Coben (Orion) ISBN: 978 1 4091 12563

 

Harlan Coben, the master of the twist, is back with another hard-paced, unputdownable thriller. 

 

The convoluted plot is not easy to summarise but easy to follow once it pulls the reader in. Detective Broome has to solve a baffling mystery—on Mardi Gras night in Atlantic City each year, some no-good loser guy goes missing, never to be seen again. 

 

After almost twenty years of these suspicious disappearances, he is determined to break the pattern. When Megan, ex-stripper turned suburban soccer mom, comes forward with some vital information, she doesn’t realise she’s put herself—and her ex-lover, a battle-scarred photographer called Ray—in some serious danger.

 

Atlantic City is a great setting, kind of like Vegas without Celine Dion and the big electricity bill, and this added to the great atmospheric noir elements of the story. Coben doesn’t only do the plot twist like a pro—he does the sardonic humour well too. It was especially great to see how he brought in some clever and absorbing observations about human nature through his colourful characters’ voices. The theme of the novel—wanting to go back and change the past—was pretty damn poignant.

 

Stay Close is a great novel, told in a great narrative voice. It’s a really immersive entertainment. Pick it up on a Friday night and when you’ve come up for air, your whole weekend will have disappeared. Trust me.

 

Anthony Ehlers 

4.5/5

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