Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

Megan has everything, a loving husband, two kids and a wonderful house with picket fence and all. But Megan yearns for something she has left behind- the danger, the adventure, and living on the wild. She sometimes wonders what happened to her one time love photographer Ray. To once ambitious aspiring photographer Ray, time has stood still from the night Megan left him. He is no longer the aspiring and ambitious, his life has fallen into a rut and he is working as a fake paparazzi to provide the celebrity experience. What happened the night Megan abandoned her wild life? Ray still lives for Megan. Will he meet Megan? What will happen when he meets her again? With Megan opening the door to the past, what else is she inviting back into her life? Will she able to close the door as she imagines when she wants? Megan has kept her wild life secret from her husband. Will the secret life threaten and destroy her orderly life?

Detective Jack looking into the disappearance of a man for years, finds a pattern in other missing men cases over the years. So what is happening? How come so many men go missing and nobody looks for them? It is interesting that when women and children go missing there is widespread search and media is shouting headlines and men go missing over years and nobody looks for them. And when somebody cares and start looking, what else is he going to find? Where have these men gone? Are they leaving a new life somewhere or something else has happened to them? 

Megan is an interesting character who is unapologetic about her wild past even though she is secretive  about it. I like the way Coben describes why a girl would choose such a life. Who can blame a girl who wants to have fun? What choices do a girl have, either she can be a secretary typing away her life for pittance or party all night and earn some money too! But the wild is not just partying away nights, it is also about violence, abuse and exploitation. Sometimes it is better to run away.

There are those interesting characters, like the psychopathic god-fearing couple who work part-time as assassins, those complicated plot lines, those twists and turns, those surprises that keep coming, the suspense, the feeling of danger, the nostalgic yearning to go back to the best times of one's life (even though in reality it probably wasn't so) and the love story, the ideal vs the real. All that you would expect from a Harlan Coben book! An intriguing page-turner. 

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