A lost love... and the secrets and lies at its heart. The stunning novel from No.1 bestseller Harlan Coben.
Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.
But six years haven't come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd's obituary, he can't keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd's wife he's hoping for... but she is not Natalie - and Jake's world is turned completely inside out.
As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can't be found or don't remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake's search for the woman who broke his heart - and who lied to him - soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.
In the prologue to this Kafkaesque stand-alone from bestseller Coben (Stay Close), Jake Fisher, a political science professor at Lanford College in Massachusetts, promises the love of his life, Natalie Avery, to leave her and the man she's about to wed, Todd Sanderson, alone. For six years Jake keeps his promise, until he sees Todd's obituary, flies to the deceased's Palmetto Bluff, S.C., funeral, and finds that the widow is not Natalie. This is merely the first of many shocks. He later gets the brush-off from Natalie's sister, and when he tries to revisit the retreat in Kraftboro, Vt., that Natalie was attending when they fell in love, he's told there is (and was) no such place. Surprising secrets among Jake's friends and colleagues propel him on a trail of violence and labyrinthine deception. Coben has achieved greater suspense in other thrillers, but this ranks among his strangest and most ingenious plots. 5-city author tour.
I have not read such a terrible book in a long time. The prose was infantile, completely unsophisticated, nothing literary about it. The protagonist (supposed hero) tells the story in first person, but comes across as a dork, who happens to be physically large, and erroneously believes himself to be charming and cool. The pathetic attempts at describing the mood, the emotions, and the thoughts of the character are then completely destroyed by explaining them in 5-year old language. It's insulting to the reader.
I heard a positive review about this book on New Zealand National Radio, described as a "Jack Reacher Lite". That is the ONLY reason I painfully finished it. Never another Harlan Coben book again! Please people, do NOT waste your time.