Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Harlan Coben's Latest Thriller, 'Six Years,' Makes Time Fly

Book Review

Six Years
by Harlan Coben
now in hardcover
@@@@1/2

Reading--and liking--page-turning thrillers by Harlan Coben is nothing new for me.

Since Tell No One was recommended to me, perhaps 10 years ago or so, I have read 21 of his novels, which is essentially everything he has published except two books aimed at young adults and one early, previously out-of-print work (Miracle Cure).

For those unfamiliar with Coben, his output is split between mysteries featuring the recurring character of Myron Bolitar (and his motley crew of cohorts) and "stand alone" thrillers, such as Tell No One, Gone for Good and the new Six Years.

I am certainly not going to suggest that Coben's books be confused with great literature. While I believe he deserves high praise for writing fictional works that I and millions of others--as they're almost always bestsellers--want to read, and read quickly, what he does is not quite high art.

That said one of the reasons why I like Coben so much--and he stands as my favorite current author--is not just because I find myself turning the pages quickly.

More than others of his ilk--though there are other mystery writers I enjoy; predominantly Lee Child and Linwood Barclay--Coben infuses his thrillers with shrewd wit and insight which add considerably to the pleasure derived from his suspenseful story lines, primarily involving a loved one gone missing and the like.

I've said pretty much all of the above in reviewing two other Coben stand-alone novels on this blog Stay Close and Caught. But I think Six Years is even a bit better, if only measured by my reading time. 

While I have never been a fast reader and trudge through great literature and biographies, I have devoured each of Coben's books in less than a week.

Six Years, which deals with a man who is prompted to rekindles his interest in deducing why his fiancĂ©  chose to marry another man six years prior, took me just two days to read. 

There's no point in me revealing anything more that happens, as all the twists and turns are much of the fun with reading Coben, and Six Years is filled with plenty, several of which I didn't see coming.

As Six Years is just out in hardcover, unless you can get it from your local library--as I did from the Skokie Public Library--there is no reason not to start with another of his thrillers and wait until this one turns up in paperback.

But if, like me, you are a Coben fan who puts each of his latest thrillers on the "Hold List" at your local library, this is one you'll look forward to devouring.

In six days, tops. Maybe even six hours.

1 comment:

khurshauthor said...

Nice review, Seth. I agree, you can count on Coben for an entertaining how-could-this-have-happened story. He is formulaic, but he works it well and clearly doesn't take himself too seriously. Had a little trouble buying why Jake was quite so in love with Natalie--she kind of treated him like dirt--but Six kept me interested to the end. Keep up the good work.