2018: #8 – Stay Close (Harlan Coben)

2018: #8 – Stay Close (Harlan Coben)Stay Close by Harlan Coben
Published by Dutton on February 12, 2013
Genres: suspense thriller
Pages: 446
Also by this author: Play Dead

The past never truly fades away.…
Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but now he finds himself in a dead-end job posing as paparazzo. Broome is a detective who can’t let go of a cold case.
Three people living lives they never wanted are hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect. And as each confronts the dark side of the American dream—the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger 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 was a decent Coben stand-alone, but in my opinion, far from his best. 

Megan is a run-of-the-mill so, ccer mom in suburban New Jersey, except she has a secret. She used to be a stripper, and for years, she’s been on the run from a terrible event in her past. Except history is repeating itself and the urge to return to her past life is getting stronger.

Basically, men who are treating women badly are turning up dead, and the prime suspect is Megan’s ex-boyfriend, a once-successful photographer who has now lowered himself to being hired as fake paparazzi. There are several twists and turns, and while I found the final resolution satisfying, there was something missing in the journey.

I think I just didn’t connect that well to Megan. She claims to love her family (a husband and two children), but you don’t really see it or feel it much. She seems to long for the excitement and lack of stability she used to have as opposed to the secure and fortunate life she currently has, and I couldn’t relate. So if you’ve never read Coben, this probably isn’t the place to start. Pick up Tell No One or The Woods instead.

Other reviews:

  • “Every time I thought I knew exactly where the plot was going and how it would end up, Mr. Coben told me no way and threw in a new plot twist that made perfect sense when he did it.” – My Reading Room
  • “I was intrigued enough to want to reach the conclusion, and was a bit surprised by the twist at the end, but I just didn’t care all that much about what took place, or even the proverbial ‘whodunit.'” – Seth Saith
  • “His conversational tone throughout makes the book feel like light reading, but his hooks, twists and chapter-closing cliff hangers keep you turning the pages.” Crime Fiction Lover

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