Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

From the Book Jacket: How well do you really know your child?
Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they’d spy on their kids. But their sixteen-year-old son Adam has been unusually distant lately, and after the suicide of his best friend Spencer Hill, they can’t help but worry. Within days of installing a sophisticated spy program on Adam’s computer they are jolted by a cryptic message from an unknown correspondent that shakes them to their core: “Just stay quiet and all safe.”
As if Mike Baye isn’t dealing with enough, he also learns that Lucas Loriman, the sweet kid who grew up next door, is in urgent need of a kidney transplant. As the boy’s doctor, Mike suddenly finds himself in possession of an explosive secret that threatens to rip the Loriman family apart at the seams.
Nearby, while browsing through an online memorial for Spencer, Betsy Hill discovers a surprising detail about the night of her son’s death. Before she can find out more, Adam disappears, taking the truth with him and sending shockwaves through the neighborhood.
As the lives of these families collide in tragic, unexpected, and violent ways, long-hidden connections in their small suburb begin to work their way to the surface. And when an unidentified Jane Doe is beaten to death not far away, those connections threaten to turn this quiet community upside down—and force these desperate parents to decide whether there is any line they won’t cross to protect those they love most in the world.

Quote from the book: He looked at her. She gave him the crooked smile, the one he’d first seen on a cold autumn day at Dartmouth. That smile had corkscrewed into his heart and stayed there.
“I love you,” she said.
“I love you too.”
And with that they agreed to spy on their oldest child.

My Thoughts: This was a pretty good mystery, but I wouldn't call it a page turner. There were two separate main stories that that only connected in a small way in that a family member was involved in both. He had the making of two novels here but put them both in one book. If he had taken the serial killer line and fleshed it out, it alone would have made a great read. I found that the most of tension came from the choices the characters had to make. The characters face issues parents today face: the question of whether it's appropriate for parents to spy on their children or not. This was discussed thoroughly several times in the book. That made it a little uncomfortable read for me and detracted from the entertainment value of the story as did long, needless descriptions. I did like the book, and will read more by the author. I guess my feelings are mixed on this one.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (March 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 045122650X
ISBN-13: 978-0451226501

mystery, murder, drugs, teenage clubs, serial killer, blackmail

1 comment:

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Seen this and had to comment - I love Harlan Coben and think I have read everything he has written. This is not his best book, but still one I enjoyed. I do like his writing style.