Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just One Look - Harlan Coben

I have to confess I had never really heard of Harlan Coben before A.'s offer to lend me the book. I was a bit curious as I'm always looking for new authors of thrillers and suspense and this weekend I finally picked it up. Well, I was totally glued to the story, I only stopped to eat and sleep...

An ordinary snapshot causes a suburban mother’s world to unravel in an instant. When Grace Lawson picks up a newly developed set of family photographs, there is a picture that doesn’t belong -- a photo from at least twenty years ago. In the photo are five people, four Grace can’t recognize and one that looks strikingly like her husband, Jack.
When Jack sees the photo, he denies he’s the man in it. But later that night, while Grace lies in bed waiting, he drives away in the family's minivan without an explanation, taking the photograph with him.
Not knowing where he went or why he left, Grace struggles alone to shield her children from Jack’s absence in the days that follow. Each passing day brings only doubts about herself and her marriage and yet more unanswered questions about Jack, along with the realization that there are others looking for Jack and the photograph -- including one fierce, silent killer who will not be stopped from finding his quarry, no matter who or what stands in his way.
When the police won’t help her, and neighbours and friends alike seem to have agendas of their own, she must confront the dark corners of her own tragic past to keep her children safe and learn the truth that might bring her husband home.

The reasons why I kept turning the pages so fast were several, I really like mysteries from the past, I like believable and interesting characters like Grace and he has a vertiginous writing style that keeps us going back for more.

As Grace attempts to find more of her husband's life that can explain his disappearance she soon discovers there are few people she can trust. Then suddenly Jack calls and she understands he is in big trouble. And that old photo seems to be the only clue as to what is really happening so Grace starts an investigation to find out who the other people are and what happened to all of them. Coben takes us through some truly unexpected turns before we really find out what's going on. There are several layers to the story as it deals with trust, innocence, and loss and introduces some interesting characters like a mafia boss, a former rock star and a killer among others. In the end I was truly surprised with what's suggested. If every of his books are like this one I'm putting them all on my wish list!

Grade: B+


  1. I'm so glad you liked it! I have a couple more of his books in my TBR, I'll let you know when I read them.

  2. I just got my copy today!:D I'll certainly read it this month, now you made me even more curious.

  3. I "discovered" Coben in 2006 and am hooked since then. Ana O. heard me talk a lot about him :)
    I've now almost all his books and have read maybe 7, and I'm still glued to them! By coincidence, I just finished reading this one and loved it, it's maybe one of the best, and I found it very funny that characters from other books are mentioned, but you have to be paying attention and have read his Myron Bolitar series ;)
    These ones are really good too and have also a very funny tone.

    Harlan Coben rules! :op

  4. Yes I liked it very much and I'm looking forward to read more. Alex I think you'll like it too.

    F. which other titles do you recommend? I saw some at Fnac on my last trip there...

  5. Goodness me, how amazing is this?! My friend brought a book in to my work yesterday and asked would I like to read it before she tried selling it on TradeMe? It was an author I'd never heard of - Harlan Coben, but I figured I'd give it a try. What a surprise to open your page this morning and see your review, I'll now put the book at the top of my TBR! The title is 'Promise Me'.

  6. Well, try the Myron Bolitar series.
    Some of the others... maybe Gone for Good and The Innocent.


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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