Friday, March 29, 2013

Six Years

Six Years
By Harlen Coben
Dutton, 2013.  351 pgs.  Mystery

Jake Fisher meets Natalie when they are both attending artistic/scholarly retreats during a summer in Vermont. They fall madly in love, but at the end of the summer Natalie suddenly dumps Jake and marries another man. Jake is devastated--and confused.  He knows the feelings were reciprocal, but he promises Natalie he will leave the new couple alone. Six years later when he sees and obituary for Natalie's husband he attends the funeral, only to discover that Todd's grieving wife is not Natalie, and that everyone he talks to about her either can't remember her, pretends she doesn't exist, or doesn't have any idea where she might be. Because Jake can't let things alone, he is kidnapped, beaten, shot at, and threatened within an inch of his and Natalie's lives. But he can't leave things lay, so he eventually finds himself cornered by an international secret organization, a local and very frightening version of the mafiosa, and his own lost love.  Six Years is a quick and gripping read, hard to put down before all the puzzle pieces are finally slotted into place.  It is also plagued here and there by inconsistencies and illogical elements.  For instance, if you were going to take a 6'5" man hostage, would you really be able to grab him around the neck and put a gun to his head?  would you have to stand on a picnic table to do it, or jump up and down?  Also, Jake's feelings for his one true love are sometimes extra-mushy in their expression. Still, Six Years is sitting comfortably atop the New York Times bestseller list and it is a ripsnorter if you need a couple of hours away from your real life, for whatever reason.


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