Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stay Close, by Harlan Coben

Stay Close
Written by Harlan Coben

"Maybe he thought...maybe it was time for all of them to move on."--Broome, Stay Close, by Harlan Coben

The first audio book I ever listened to was during a road trip with my best friend and her mother. There is something utterly delicious about riding along in the car, seeing the road pass you by, when you abruptly find yourself transported to a completely different world.

Suddenly the road ceases to exist as the largest part of your conscious becomes so deeply entrenched in the story you're listening to. To this day, I have to admit that thrillers are my favorite genre to experience in audio format. And the car is my favorite place to listen to them.

Before I go into what I enjoyed about this book, I have to take a moment to rave about the actor/writer whose amazing voice was chosen to tell this story, Scott Brick. He was fantastic. He just has that perfect resonance that was ideal for a thriller. Kudos to Scott Brick, the superb voice who made this audio book by Coben that much more intriguing.

This was also my very first experience with a Harlan Coben novel. I only found out about the book because it showed up on the monthly email I get from that details new releases. I read the little blurb and thought it sounded like it might be a fun read. When I saw my local library had it in audio format, I was sold. I requested the next available copy and anxiously awaited it's arrival.
I was not disappointed. Coben does an awesome job of describing his characters. Combining his descriptions with Brick's voice is an award winning combination. This is something that I always look for in a book, but especially when it's a thriller. It's those small hints of personality, those insights into the character's psyche that make them interesting and foreshadow what is to come. Also, it's what makes them seem real. It allows you to love each character for their own uniqueness, and also to question whether or not they could be responsible for some of the horrible acts you're reading about.
Sometimes I find that suspense writers, in an effort to keep the reader in the dark about who the villain is, will weave a story so complicated that it's hard to follow and no fun to read. I don't want to feel the need to buy the cliff notes just to keep track of all the plot points. I loved that this plot was simple to follow through each of the twists and turns, but still compelling enough to keep me interested. I was impressed with Coben's ability to lead me through the story with enough info to make me think I might have figured it out, but leaving enough to be revealed later to keep me just a little unsure. It wasn't until almost the very end, when a few of the final pieces of evidence came to light, that I realized who, if anyone was truly innocent.

I read some of the other reviews who weren't as impressed with Coben as I was. I saw over and over that his previous books were better. I enjoyed Stay Close, and I think I'll have to check out some of his other books as well now. If they are even better, in the opinion of these more harsh critics, they must be absolutely awe-inspiring.

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