Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Title:  Home
Author:  Harlan Coben
Publication Information:  Dutton. 2016. 400 pages.
ISBN:  0525955100 / 978-0525955108

Book Source:  I received this book through the Penguin First to Read program free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "The boy who has been missing for ten years steps into the light."

Favorite Quote:  "... stumbling around blind was a big part of his so-called investigations. You don't so much painstakingly search for the needle in the haystack as haphazardly leap into various haystacks, barefoot and naked, and then flail wildly and hope that hey, ouch, there's a needle."

Harlan Coben has published about 30 books. Over 70 million copies of his book in over 43 languages are in print around the world. Home is the first one I have ever read. Harlan Coben has been long on my list of authors to read. I just have never read one of his books before. Clearly, I should have, and clearly, I have been missing out!

Home is about the mystery of two young boys who disappear when they were age six. Now, ten years later, one is found. How? Why? What really happened ten years ago? That is the question. The best thing about the answer of this book ... I do not see that ending coming. I have a number of guesses throughout, but not that. Even when I think the story has reached a conclusion, I am surprised that something more remains, and that something leaves a memorable impact.

The book moves quickly and keeps the suspense going until the very last page.  That, in itself, is enough for a great mystery. The added bonus of this book is that it is as much about the characters as the plot, and I love the characters. Myron Bolitar is the ex-basketball player turned sports agent turned detective; he is a perceptive, tough private investigator and a soft-hearted man who is deeply protective of his family and friends. Win Lockwood is his wealthy, somewhat dangerous, enigmatic best friend; he is equally passionate about and protective of those he loves. Surrounding them are a cast of quirky characters  - Myron's family and business partner, for example - who supposedly appear throughout the series. The interchanges between the characters are funny and fun; at the same time, they manage to convey a comfort level and a caring that is inviting.

The secondary cast of characters - the families of the two missing boys - in this book is equally believable.  The anguish of the parents comes through the pages as do questions no parent should have to face. Would you rather know what happened or hold on and hope for the best? How far would you go to protect your child? Is a resolution - even the worst one - better than a lifetime of not knowing? If you are ever faced with such a situation, what you you do? How would you cope? Would you survive it?

Home is actually book number 11 in his Myron Bolitar series. This comes through clearly in the development of the characters and the relationships among the main characters. Yet, the book still feels complete and whole on its own. I know there is more to be known about what has come before, but I don't feel like I miss a part of the story because I have not read the other books. In fact, the characters and relationships are developed just enough to leave me intrigued. I don't need to know more for this story, but I want to know more because I'm interested. More than likely, this will lead me to the other books in the series.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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