Saturday, December 08, 2012

REVIEW: Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

Title: Hold Tight
Author: Harlan Coben
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: April, 2008
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Rating: 10/10

Description: Best-selling author Harlan Coben asks that provocative and terrifying question with his fifteenth thriller. How much do parents really want to know about their kids?

Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they'd become the type of overprotective parents who spy on their kids. But their sixteen-year-old son Adam has been unusually distant lately, and after the suicide of his classmate Spencer Hill - the latest in a string of issues at school - they can't help but worry. They install a sophisticated spy program on Adam's computer, and within days they are jolted by a message from an unknown correspondent addressed to their son - 'Just stay quiet and all safe.'

Meanwhile, browsing through an online memorial for Spencer put together by his classmates, Betsy Hill is struck by a photo that appears to have been taken on the night of her son's death and he wasn't alone. She thinks it is Adam Baye standing just outside the camera's range; but when Adam goes missing, it soon becomes clear that something deep and sinister has infected their community. For Tia and Mike Baye, the question they must answer is this; When it comes to your kids, is it possible to know too much?

My Thoughts: Through no fault of his own, Harlan Coben is an author I overlook often. That's really unfortunate and sad because he is a wonderful story-teller. His ability to create characters that a reader can connect to and really care about is exemplary. In addition, placing these unique and interesting characters into stories that weave in and out of the nooks and crannies of his mind to end up in a book that keeps the reader glued to their seat from start to finish takes extraordinary skill. I found myself so intensely focused on this story, anxiety building wondering what would happen next.

The sad fact that I haven't read many of Mr. Coben's books is completely my fault. As I stated above, I overlook this author often. It's likely down to laziness on my part. I don't take the time to take a good look at what is being offered when I am in the mood for a thriller / suspense story. Fortunately, it's never too late to teach a reader new reading habits.

I loved the way this author takes multiple story lines and knits them together into one book and so they are all connected. The best part is how realistic the story is. It's as if the kinds of events described in this book are taken from current day media headlines. Murder, suicide, bullying, parental spying, disobedient children, psychosis and even revenge. Whatever your reading preferences are leaning toward, this book can deliver on many levels.

Don't make the same mistake I did. If you have not considered Harlan Coben when you are looking for something in the thriller / suspense genre, it's not too late to rectify that. You will be glad you did.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)