Monday, October 19, 2015

Harlan Coben: MISSING YOU

    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.

Harlan Coben

     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.

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