I’ve been meaning to read Harlan Coben since seeing Guillaume Cadet’s 2006 movie version of Tell No One (Ne Le Dis à Personne), which was as close to a modern updating of Hitchcock as anything in the past two decades. Sarah and I were meeting and I noticed she had Missing You (2014) on a shelf. She kindly lent it to me.
Missing You moves lighting fast because Coben cuts between two plots: NYPD detective Kat Donovan seemingly reconnecting with an old flame on an internet dating site, and a bizarre kidnapping scheme. Although there is a complex series of events that pull both of these stories together, Coben has fashioned the various plot elements with expert precision. The two major female characters compelled my attention and I found myself reading very late to figure out the nefarious scheme that drives the modern variation on damsels (and dudes) in distress/chase section of the plot.
Coben conveys the parochial oppressiveness of a generations-old Catholic neighborhood with telling details, especially the number of children per household and what that might mean. He also ramps up a sense of horror about online dating. It will make most readers think twice about online messaging and safety in meetings.