Monday, December 29, 2008

"Tell No One" by Harlan Coban (audio)



Last week, in a moment of panic when I ran out of audio books on my iPod, I did an emergency run to the local library to find something entertaining. Now, this method of book selection is usually haphazard at best, but these were desperate times. I found "Pride and Prejudice" (an exciting morsel) and this book, Tell No One. I'm not sure I've read Harlan Coban before, but the title tickled a memory. TBR list? No, I later discovered that the movie came out recently and was very well reviewed...it is on my Netflix Q. The movie was actually directed by a French fellow, Guillaume Cadet, and takes place in France, but otherwise seems to have retained the general storyline. I remembered that several studios started bidding on the rights to the book before it was even finished, so I was extremely encouraged to read the book.



The premise may sound slightly familiar to you. A doctor's wife mysteriously disappears and is found several days later, murdered and branded, an M.O. connected with a serial killer. Eight years later, two bodies are found that seem to be related with this murder. The case is reopened and new evidence points to the doctor (Alex Beck) as the murderer of his wife. At the same time, the doctor receives haunting e-mails with hidden messages that only his wife would know about, with a plea to "tell no one". Is she alive, or is it a set up? Is he grasping at the few threads of hope still alive in his heart? Authorities launch a city-wide manhunt of Beck, and Beck attempts to chase down evidence to prove his innocence using any means possible. The deceptions and betrayals run up and down the ladder, and chasing the twists and turns leave you breathless and guessing right up to the very end.


So is it me, or does this have strains of The Fugitive in it? That's OK, though. I loved the Fugitive, and this story very quickly distinguishes itself from other familiar plotlines. It is INSANELY fast-paced with unpredictable twists - you won't be able to put this book down so don't start it before you go to bed. At the same time, however, it is a gentle, bittersweet story of a man losing his soul mate, and not getting over it. Even the subplots are satisfying with great character development and easy, flowing prose. I detected not an ounce of anything corny or cliche. And it posed to me some questions to ponder. How far would you go to save the ones you love? If you saw the line between good and evil, would you recognize it? Would you cross that line for the greater good?

6 comments:

Book Fiend said...

I've heard people rave about Coben before... I might have to pick him up next time I need a fast-pased, un-put-downable mystery!

Kathie Smith said...

I'll be interested to hear what you think of the movie when you get a chance to see it. I really enjoyed the movie and found it pretty powerful despite its contrivances, but I wonder if it pales next to the book (as usual.)

Sandy Nawrot said...

Book Fiend - yes, this would be one of those books you want to have on your nightstand for "emergencies". He seems like an interesting guy also...the last disc on the audio book was an interview with him. He is a father of four (under the age of 7) and writes most of his books at Starbucks!

Kath - usually, I am disappointed in the movie if I have read the books first, but we will see. The reviews on the movie were extraordinary. It might actually help me, since twisty turny movies usually leave me confused. At least I will know generally what is going on!

Literary Feline said...

I loved the one Harlan Coben book I read. I've been meaning to read more by him. I've met him a couple of times at the spring book festival in L.A. He's such a friendly and funny man. Thanks for the great review!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Yes, he did seem to have a great sense of humor (even though there isn't much humor in the book I read...it was all pretty serious!), and what struck me was he was so modest. Seemed like someone you'd want to have a conversation with over dinner.

Elder Farmer said...

I love the book Tell No One and have recommended to everyone. I was disappointed in the movie because it seems like a low budget film and it's all in French. There are subtitles but it seems like you miss out on a lot.