Harlan Coben

Orion, £18.99 hbk

Released: 15th April 2010

Reviewer: Michael Jecks


Michael Jecks is the author of the Templar Series of Medieval Murder Mysteries. THE OATH, number 29 in the series, will be published in May 2010.


This is a superb read, and for my money, one of Cobenís very best novels. 

It begins with the entrapment of a man who appears to have groomed a young woman on the internet. Instead of the girl, he finds a TV crew who film his responses to their sting operation, and soon he is in court. But found innocent on a technicality Ė a pretty big technicality, too, but never mind that. 

The reporter, Wendy Tynes is very grumpy that her perfect capture failed to have this paedophile thrown behind bars. There can be little so terribly irritating to a reporter than to find that a perfect open and shut case fails to reach the mark required by the law, and so she is tempted to help when a vigilante decides he wants to remove at least one paedophile from the streets. But sheís about to realise that even paedophiles have some rights.  

This is a book that is enormously difficult to describe without giving away too much. So I wonít bother. Is it a good, fast, thrilling read? Undoubtedly Ė itís the best by far that Iíve read this year so far. But itís much more. This book delves into modern American society and brings a spotlight with it. In turns Coben looks at the banking crisis, the misery of senior professionals thrown onto the garbage heap when they still have a huge amount to offer, the breakdown of family life and the impact on children, and so many other issues itís impossible to do it all justice in a short review. 

Tying all that in with a thriller that works until the very last pages, and you have a magnificent, thrilling and immensely satisfying book.

Go out and buy it!







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