Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Missing You

Summary: It's a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart—and who she hasn’t seen in 18 years.

Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her. But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.

As the body count mounts and Kat's hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved—her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there. -- Dutton

I was a little late to the game, but in the past few years, I've started reading novels by Harlan Coben. I now know what all of the fuss was about. He's just a fantastic suspense writer and really knows how to write a page-turner. His latest novel, which is received some terrific reviews including a starred one from Publishers Weekly is titled MISSING YOU; and I couldn't put down this book!

MISSING YOU tells the story of NYPD detective Kat Donovan, a woman who has never fully recovered from the murder of her father and then the subsequent loss of her fiancé. It's been 18 years and Kat has never been able to manage a serious relationship with another man.

Thinking she needs some help, Kat's best friend decides to sign her up for an on-line dating site. One evening, as Kat is scrolling through hundreds of profiles, her ex-fiance's picture pops up on the screen; and Kat decides to reach out to him. His response is disappointing to say the least!

Meanwhile, a young man comes to Kat and asks for her help in finding his "missing" mother. Kat decides to help him, even though the case technically doesn't fall in under her jurisdiction, and soon discovers a complex and very scary conspiracy that seems to point back to the very same dating site that she has recently joined.

Quite honestly, I don't feel as if my description of MISSING YOU is very good. I hit the highlights; however, this story is much more complicated and involved that I conveyed in jut a few sentences. It is full of plot twists, as Kat tries to solve a current case as well as the mystery surrounding her father; however, it also has well developed characters and action-packed scenes that will keep you on the edge-of-your seat.

I recently heard Mr. Coben interviewed on a morning talk show and he stated that he likes to write books that people can't put down. I'm paraphrasing here, but he said something like he wants his readers to plan on reading 10 or 15 minutes before bed and find themselves still turning pages at 4:00 in the morning. Well Mr. Coben... you certainly succeeded with this reader!

I absolutely devoured MISSING YOU and it really encompassed everything I love about thrillers. It had a suspenseful story along with some very intriguing mysteries, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! However, I also loved Kat's complex character. She certainly faced some pretty major tragedies in her past, and I enjoyed seeing the fallout almost 18 years later. In addition, I loved how she trusted her instinct even when all of the signs were telling her to give up and quit.

There were quite a few things about MISSING YOU that really brought it to the next level for me. First of all, I enjoyed that one of the plot lines centered around an on-line dating site. I have known people that have had a lot of luck (and even found happiness) using these sites, but I admit I'm a little leery of them. I loved that this book played on my fears, and it seemed like such a relevant issue for a thriller.

I also really liked how this novel played with my mind. I admit I was partial to Kat and, as a result, I tended to believe her instincts and want her to be right... all of the time. However, I loved that this story was so much more complex than that! I was fooled along with Kat and when the truth was eventually revealed, I admit that I was pretty surprised. Not entirely shocked, mind you, because I did have some suspicions of my own, but still satisfied nonetheless.

Overall, MISSING YOU is a great thriller. Highly recommended!!!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

I know you've been in a little reading slump so seeing you couldn't put this book down says a lot to me. I need to read it soon!

Beth Hoffman said...

Only recently did I pick up one of Coben's books (Six Years) and I liked it a lot. This one is already on my list and I'm glad to know you enjoyed it so much.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I also heard that he writes his books longhand. Which is, like, wow. I used to be a big fan of him. He has written some pretty taut, complex mysteries but I felt like lately he was losing his mojo - just cranking them out too fast or something. It is good to know that maybe he is back on track.

Beth F said...

I too have gotten on the bandwagon late. I haven't read this one yet, but I'll make sure I do.