I used to make most of my reading choices by simply browsing the shelves at the library. Online book sites, web-based library catalogs, review blogs, and social media have changed all that. For this blog, I often review books that I have received as prepublication copies. The other titles I read are usually ones I've heard some "buzz" about which I then try to find at the library or through interlibrary loan. That's how I got a copy of Six Years by Harlan Coben. Funny thing is, I don't remember where I read a review of this book or when I actually requested it. It was a total surprise when it showed up at the library last week. But once I sat down and read the first pages, none of that mattered. This contemporary thriller pulled me in right away and kept me guessing right until the last page -- literally.
Six years prior to the start of the book, Jake Fisher watched the woman he felt he would love forever marry another man. Despite his broken heart, Jake consents to Natalie's demand that he never bother her or her new husband Todd. In the six year interim, Jake has settled into life as a professor at his alma mater, but has never gotten over Natalie. When Jake sees a small obituary notice on the campus website, he recognizes the photo as Todd's. For some reason, Jake had never remembered Todd's name, but he finds himself sure that this Todd Johnson is the man Natalie surprisingly decided to marry that August six years ago. Feeling Jake has been given a second chance to connect with Natalie, or at least a chance to say that he is truly sorry for her loss, Jake flies to the funeral. When he finds that widow is NOT Natalie, but that the deceased IS the man he saw marry Natalie, Jake is plunged into a quest for truth that will cost him his job, friends, and possibly even his life. Despite being 350 pages, this was a book that demanded I read it in just two days. Chores and such would have to wait!
Many main stream thrill/mystery authors have gotten so dark and bloody that I feel ill at ease reading them. I didn't feel that way with Six Years. I don't know if I've read any other Harlan Coben books -- don't recognize any titles, but I know I will try some of them. I sure do wish I could remember how I found out about this book!