Book Review: Caught by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is the Dalai Lama of Suspense. Seriously, every suspense lover should read Caught. It’s a gateway to phenomenal writing and enlightened reading.

He hooked me with his first line, “I knew opening that red door would destroy my life.”

I have to know why and how and everything else that goes along with the destruction of Dan Mercer’s life.

I decided to read the first few chapters and 100 pages flew by. He is a skillful writer who doesn’t let go of his reader for one heart-pounding millisecond.

His descriptions are crisp and fresh like “Small curls of orange shag, like thin cheetos, littered the floor.”

The characters are well crafted, sucking you right into their suburban lives and the underbelly of their existence.

The premise promises a thrilling, suspenseful mystery with hairpin turns and twists that toss the reader off treacherous cliffs.

I had no idea how things would end until I reached the very last sentence of the last page.

Here’s how Mr. Coben’s website describes the book:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense comes a fast-paced, emotion-packed novel about guilt, grief, and our capacity to forgive.

17 year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her. Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before, and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst.

Wendy Tynes is a reporter on a mission, to identify and bring down sexual predators via elaborate—and nationally televised—sting operations. Working with local police on her news program Caught in the Act, Wendy and her team have publicly shamed dozens of men by the time she encounters her latest target. Dan Mercer is a social worker known as a friend to troubled teens, but his story soon becomes more complicated than Wendy could have imagined.

In a novel that challenges as much as it thrills, filled with the astonishing tension and unseen suburban machinations that have become Coben’s trademark, Caught tells the story of a missing girl, the community stunned by her loss, the predator who may have taken her, and the reporter who suddenly realizes she can’t trust her own instincts about this case—or the motives of the people around her.

While I was reading this book, everything became something that had to get done so that I could get back to the book.

After reading this book, I would buy and read any book with Harlan Coben’s name on it. He is one of the top writers of our generation.

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