Friday, September 22, 2017

Early Review of Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben

Title: Don't Let Go
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Hardcover; 368 pages
Publisher: Dutton (September 26, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0525955119
ISBN-13: 978-0525955115
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Fifteen years ago Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas' twin brother Leo and Leo's girlfriend Diana, were tragically killed in a accident on the train tracks in Westbridge. No one knows exactly what happened--if they were in the middle of a game of chicken with the train that went terrible wrong, if they committed suicide, or if they were the victims of some seriously bad luck--all anyone truly knows is that they died way too young. Now, years later, the tragedy is being called into question as one of the couple's former classmate and friend is found murdered and another, who's been missing since shortly after the accident, becomes the prime suspect. As the killings of Leo's and Diana's former classmates/friends start to stack up, a connection between the tragedy and murders seems the most likely scenario leaving Nap to wonder what really happened on the night his life change irrevocably all those many years ago?
Harlan Coben is one of the few authors that can keep me guessing right up until the end as to who dunnit. His books are like a fusion of 3-D jigsaw puzzles with a series of connect the dots. You can't solve the puzzle until you've separated the information into groups, connected all the dots within each grouping, and have stacked all the relevant information in order before piecing together what ultimately happened. He also doesn't disclose one important piece of information until the very end which can ultimately make all the pieces fit together or, if excluded, make all the carefully collected clues and information come tumbling down like a Jenga tower. In a nutshell, his thrillers are nail biters that keep you guessing till the bitter end while throwing you for a last minute loop that leaves you thinking, "Oh, so that's what happened." I personally love that.

Nap is a very likable character whose life changed drastically when his brother died. Letting go of loved ones is never easy, but losing a sibling makes you view your own mortality much more clearly, and reevaluate what is important in your own life. It's part of the reason Nap became a cop. He's a good cop, but he isn't above bending the rules when the rules don't seem to work. This could one day get him into trouble, but he just doesn't see it. As the investigation into Rex Canton's death seems to have more and more links and ties to his brother's death, it's as if an old wound that never truly healed has been reopened. He's still haunted by his brother's death and still talks to him, even though it's five years since his passing, which, I believe, is part of Nap's coping mechanism.

I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It captured and held my attention from the very start. I enjoyed the twists and turns, and the journey that led to the answer of what happened all those years ago. I admit I was totally off and was sad to find out what really happened. I liked how something Nap did years before is what ultimately led to the connection between the murders. I'd like to see more of this character, and find out how everything affected him in the long run. For fans of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series, Myron makes a small appearance in this one, but if you haven't read any of the books in that series, you won't feel lost. I highly recommend this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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