Given a year membership to a popular singles dating site, New York detective Kat Donovan reluctantly logs-on, hoping to give her love life a jump start. What she finds instead is a profile from the man who broke off their engagement eighteen years before and has mysteriously disappeared (she’s drunk Googled him a couple of times and comes up short).
Kat reaches out to him, using the lyrics of one of their favorite songs to catch his attention. But when he abruptly shuts down their communication and warns her not to contact him or seek him out again, Kat’s suspicions are raised. Could the disappearance of this guy be somehow linked to the death of her father all those years ago and the man who is about to die in prison for confessing to her father’s murder (as well as several others)?
And is her former fiancee connected to a string of rich widows who are disappearing under mysterious circumstances?
Harlan Coben weaves these threads together in Missing You, a story this one part mystery and one part suspense-thriller. The novel is bit more engaging than the last Coben I read, but it still feels like it overstays its welcome by about a hundred pages. Once the groundwork is put in place, it feels like the middle third of the novel treads a lot of water with Kat going in circles and following various paths toward the inevitable truth. The final third of the novel works well enough in the popcorn thriller mode of if you don’t sit back and think too much, you’ll probably enjoy what’s happening and the twists and turns of the final pages.
Six years ago, Jake Fisher watched the love of his life walk out of his life and marry another man. And while he’s had a romantic entanglement or two, Jake can’t quite get the memory of Natalie out of his mind or heart.
Then Jake sees an obituary for Natalie’s husband and he sets about reconnecting with his old flame — despite a warning that he must never seek her out again.
And so begins Harlan Coben’s Six Weeks, a novel I wanted to find more satisfying than I did. Part of my frustration stems from Jake himself and his obsessive quest to find and reconnect with Natalie. Apparently being warned to stay away and having his career and life threatened on multiple occasions isn’t quite enough. Coben also requires a bit too large a suspension of disbelief on the part of this reader when we come to the reasons that Natalie had to go underground and leave Jake behind.
It all adds up to a frustrating reading experience and one that had me questioning if I’d read any more of Coben’s writings.