I have not been spoiled by reading any of Harlan Coben’s previous novels, so this tale of ruthless investigation and revenge at great sacrifice had me riveted. An excellent who-dunnit with a twist that was blind-siding.
Ex-Army helicopter pilot, Captain Maya Stern, is still suffering from PTSD from a warzone incident where civilians were killed. Four weeks after her sister Claire is murdered, Stern’s husband, Joe, dies in her arms from two gunshots in Central Park, New York. Two men are arrested for the slaying and the case is closed.
But not for Maya when the impossible happens. Caught on camera, two weeks after the funeral, is Joe, giving their two year old daughter a cuddle.
With a plot like that, don’t bother to turn out the light. The pace is swift and the trail is littered with a mix of clues and red herrings, indistinguishable from one another until the shocking finale.
The dialogue and interpersonal reaction is a large part of the showing with little need for telling. The characters are just deep enough without over embellishment, and despite what some might say about Maya’s lack of mothering finesse, there are a lot in life that are worse without the excuse of battle scars.
Maybe the best thing about this tale, for me, is the knowledge that there are another twenty five plus Coben stories out there awaiting!
Peter J. Earle of Book Postmortem investigated this Crime Scene, and has written this honest review requested by Penguin Random House, South Africa.