Harlan Coben has written more than 20 successful novels since he burst upon the literary scene several years ago. His books have consistently been at the top of the best seller lists and Don’t Let Go certainly looks like a continuation of his previous successes.
Napoleon (Nap) Dumas is a detective with a suburban New Jersey Police department and is considered one of the best and brightest by his peers. But he has not been the same since his senior year in high school when his twin brother and his brother’s girlfriend were killed when run over by a train. His love Maura broke up with him at the same time and disappeared from the town he was living in. Nap has been looking for answers about his brother’s death and Maura’s disappearance for the fifteen years since these events occurred.
Suddenly, apparently out of the blue, the investigation of an automobile in which a murder occurred turn up with Maura’s fingerprints in several places. This opens up Nap’s investigation about the horrific events of his high school days: the deaths of his brother and brother’s girlfriend and the unexplained disappearance of Maura.
Coben creates a finely constructed novel involving the situation in which events of the past arise influencing a crisis for people that were involved in the doings of yesteryear. He moves us from the investigation of the murder into a possible US government cover up of CIA activities during and after the time of Nap’s high school days. The thoughts and emotions of several people are described quite well as the story moves forward in answering the questions posed. The solution is not broadcast in the novel and when presented might be considered more than a little pat, but the arrival and the action is certainly good Harlan Coben fare.
If Nap will figure in future novels is certainly within the realm of possibility, but as a stand alone Don’t Let Go is a well done, carefully crafted book and guaranteed to be the cause of the reader’s staying up late to finish it.
9/17 Paul Lane
DON’T LET GO by Harlan Coben. Dutton (September 26, 2017). ISBN 978-0525955115. 368p.