Just One Look
An ordinary snapshot causes a mother’s world to unravel in this shocking thriller from the bestselling author and creator of the hit Netflix drama The Stranger.
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 with a man in it who looks strikingly like her husband, Jack. And though Jack denies it's him, he disappears that night, taking the photo with him. Now, to save her family from a fierce, silent killer who will stop at nothing to get the photo, Grace must confront the dark corners of her own tragic past....
Just one look at Coben's latest stand-alone thriller (after No Second Chance) highlights the author's customary strengths (swift pacing, strong lead characters) but also his weaknesses, including limited originality and, in this case, a plot so complicated that many final pages are devoted to sorting it out. The premise is simple enough: suburban housewife Grace Lawson collects some pictures at the local Photomat; inexplicably, one is an old print depicting her husband, Jack, with other college students; when Grace shows the photo to Jack, he drives away and disappears. Grace's hunt for her missing husband, whom we learn has been kidnapped (but why? and Coben fans will note that the author's last novel also hinged on a kidnapped family member), sweeps her back into a nightmare she thought she'd escaped: the evening years ago when she survived a rock concert rampage, occasioned by a shooting that left many dead. Meanwhile, Eric Wu, a dare we say? inscrutable martial-arts killer who has snatched Jack for reasons unknown, menaces assorted folk. Eventually Grace, aided by a Gotti-like mobster whose child was killed in the rampage, gloms on to Wu, as well as on to Jack's sister, a high-powered attorney who, it turns out, is representing the guy who started the rampage by firing his gun. Only he didn't start the rampage after all, and then there's the rock star who vanished after the shooting and resultant mayhem what's he now doing on Grace's doorstep? This is all as complicated as a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle and about as hard to figure out, although in the midst of the murk there are some wonderful character touches. Coben can write thrillers that lift readers off their seats; this one, alas, will have them slumping.
Just One Look
Great work of literature and keeps you on your toes!
Didn’t see that coming
Just One Loom
Another masterpiece by Coben. Another of his books I couldn’t put down at night. A lot of twists and turns an never really knowing who is innocent and who guilty up until the end. As always, it all comes together in the end. There are a fair number of characters to follow, but Coben does just enough recapping not to be repetitive, yet providing gentle reminders of who is who. Great book!