Friday, 11 May 2012

Books Read: Harlan Coben - Stay Close

Source - Received from Real Readers to review

Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Now she's got two kids, a perfect husband, a house with a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at age forty he finds himself in a dead- end job posing as a paparazzo pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Broome is a detective who can't let go of a cold case - the disappearance of a local husband and father seventeen years ago.

As the terrible consequences of long-ago events collide in the present, three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will come to realise that the past never truly fades away.    And as each confronts the dark side of the American Dream- the boredom of a nice suburban life, the thrill of temptation, the desperation that can lurk behind even the prettiest facades- they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper-thin as a heartbeat.

This is the second book that I have been sent to review by Real Readers since I set up this blog last year and the first Harlan Coben novel I have read.

When Megan gets a phone call from someone she thought she'd never hear from again, she doesn't realise that the sequence of events that follow could put herself and those closest to her in danger.  She heads back to Atlantic City, somewhere she had escaped from 17 years ago, where her previous life as Cassie who worked in a seedy gentleman's club turning tricks for money couldn't be further from her current life as wife and mother to two kids.

Detective Broome has promised Stuart Greene's wife that he would continue to investigate the disappearance of her husband 17 years ago despite no new leads as to where he, or Cassie who disappeared on the same night, are.  However, when another local man, Carlton Flynn, disappears closer investigation leads to a discovery that Stuart and Carlton might not be the only victims - there could be a serial killer at work.

Meanwhile, Cassie's old boyfriend Ray is now working as a deadbeat paparazzi, a job he hates, with a serious drink problem that causes him to have blackouts.  He's never been able to forget Cassie and has always wondered what happened to her.  So is surprised when he finds out that she has re-appeared after all this time.

Throughout the book I did have two suspects in my head as to who the real killer was and was surprised to find that it was the least likely one of the two so I guess from that point of view he succeeded in the element of suspense.  There are plenty of twist and turns within this book to keep you hooked although there were a couple of characters, Ken and Barbie, that I did think were completely unnecessary to the storyline.   Overall this was an OK read for a dull and dreary day and I will probably read another Harlan Coben novel in the future.

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