Friday, 15 January 2016

Missing You by Harlan Coben

**International Bestseller**
Publication date: 12 February 2015 (First Edition 1st Jan 2014)
Published by: Orion
Genre: Crime/Mystery

Publisher's synopsis
From SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Harlan Coben, a heart-pounding thriller about the ties we have to our past ... and the lies that bind us together.

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-fiance Jeff, the man who shattered her heart 18 years ago.

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 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 fiance, 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.

My Review 

I would describe Missing You as a light and easy read.  I am not sure if it is for die-hard crime fiction fans as the plot is rather weak and there is a strong romantic plot woven into it. Kat is working on 2 cases but I am not sure she should be working on either of them - as one is closed and the other is out of her jurisdiction. She has a personal interest in one and seems unable to disentangle herself from the other.  I found myself wondering who is working on the cases she should be working on.  (It's not her partner, since he spends his time helping her with said cases.)  

Although not the main protagonist, the real heroine of this novel was Dana.  She came across as brave and smart, so the story was most intriguing when it focused on her.  In this sense she over-shadowed Kat, who came across rather weak in comparison.  I couldn't help but think that, had the roles been reversed, both cases would have been solved a lot quicker.  Dana has true potential as a crime fighter, while Kat's competence was at times questionable.

The novel explores contemporary issues and I liked the premise.  I can see where the inspiration comes from.  Without giving too much away, it focuses on the internet and the darker side of it's use. I also liked how it explored people's attitudes to those with unconventional lifestyles.

I think Harlan Coben writes crime fiction aimed at readers who enjoy romantic novels, since romance tends to be at the core of his (or her) books - at least the ones I have read.  I also noticed similarities in the way the plot unfolds for both Six Years and Missing You (like he is telling the same story but in a different way).  Out of the two, I preferred this one.

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