Reviews for Six Years

Booklist Reviews 2013 March #1
*Starred Review* Coben, the first mystery writer to win all three of the big crime-fiction awards--the Shamus, the Edgar, and the Anthony--is an absolute master of the time element in his thrillers. Usually, he sets a clock running, or a bomb ticking, in the first few pages. The hero works against the clock and against all probability in extricating himself and his loved ones from peril. This latest throws a new wrinkle into the time element: there is no urgency at all. The hero is actually warned by everyone he respects that action can only do harm, and the main action has happened six years before. And yet Coben manages to make this one every bit as suspenseful as his ticktock thrillers. It's a story about lost love. Political-science professor Jake Fisher has endured seeing his love, Natalie, marry another man just weeks after Jake and Natalie's breakup. At the wedding, which Fisher attended in a fit of masochism and disbelief, Natalie warned him never to contact her. Fisher keeps the promise until he sees an obituary for Natalie's husband, an alum of the same New England college where Fisher teaches. What happens after Fisher attends the funeral, finding another widow in place of Natalie, is mind-boggling. Fisher's attempts to find Natalie again and Coben's artful depiction of his protagonist--Is he determined or unhinged?--make for riveting reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Coben has 50 million books in print worldwide, and his last five novels have all debuted at number one on the New York Times best-seller list. Enough said. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #2
Six years after the summer girlfriend he's convinced is the love of his life throws him over to marry someone else, a shocking series of revelations draws a Massachusetts professor back to her. "Promise me you'll leave us alone," Natalie Avery demanded of Jake Fisher after her wedding to surgeon Todd Sanderson. And for six years Jake's done exactly that. But the news of Todd's death rekindles his desire to see Natalie again. What could be the harm, now that she's been widowed by the robbers who shot Todd to death? When he travels to their home in South Carolina, however, he walks into mystery and denial. Todd's widow isn't Natalie, but someone named Delia. Natalie's sister Julie Pottham denies knowing anything about Jake. So do Cookie, the Kraftsboro Bookstore Café owner who served Jake and Natalie all those scones, and Rev. Kelly, who officiated at the wedding. In fact, there's no record that Natalie and Todd were ever married at all. An anonymous email telling Jake, "You made a promise," grieves Jake but doesn't deter him from his search. Neither does a close encounter with a pair of killers who want to know where Natalie is and are certain Jake can tell them. Up till now, Jake's nightmare is as infernally all-absorbing as Dr. David Beck's in Tell No One (2001). But the discovery of a clue that begins to unravel the mystery also sends the tale spiraling past the bounds of plausibility, even for a thriller, until Jake's quest for the truth entangles benevolent conspiracies, hired killers, multiple disappearances, the Mafia and all the people besides Natalie that Jake has held nearest and dearest. Like Jeffery Deaver, veteran Coben (Stay Close, 2012, etc.) is a magician who's a lot more fun to watch when you don't know how he's fooling you. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #2

In the prologue to this Kafkaesque stand-alone from bestseller Coben (Stay Close), Jake Fisher, a political science professor at Lanford College in Massachusetts, promises the love of his life, Natalie Avery, to leave her and the man she's about to wed, Todd Sanderson, alone. For six years Jake keeps his promise, until he sees Todd's obituary, flies to the deceased's Palmetto Bluff, S.C., funeral, and finds that the widow is not Natalie. This is merely the first of many shocks. He later gets the brush-off from Natalie's sister, and when he tries to revisit the retreat in Kraftboro, Vt., that Natalie was attending when they fell in love, he's told there is (and was) no such place. Surprising secrets among Jake's friends and colleagues propel him on a trail of violence and labyrinthine deception. Coben has achieved greater suspense in other thrillers, but this ranks among his strangest and most ingenious plots. 5-city author tour. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (Mar.)

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