The best who-dunnit I’ve read for quite awhile; this is Harlan Coben at his best. For me, his last series rendition was not up to his usual high standard, but this stand-alone is a killer.
Nap Dumas, a small town cop, is obsessed with two people from his childhood memories. His twin brother, Leo, a nerd and part of a small group who called themselves the Conspiracy Club, and another member, Maura, the girl he was in love with. Fifteen years back, Leo and his girlfriend were found pulped on the railway track outside the town. Nap, in the last year of being part of their lives, was totally involved in his life of sports, and not even aware of the Club. Now, in another state, another member is shot dead, and the fingerprints of a woman at the scene turn out to be those of Maura who had totally disappeared at the same time. Prints that Nap himself had submitted to the data-base when he became a cop, mentored by the Captain whose daughter, Diana, died with Leo on the tracks.
Not for nothing is Coben known for his twists and surprises. The flow is great and the plot of an old cold-war missile site being taken over by the Department of Agriculture totally feasible. It is this site and its Keep-Out signs that intrigue the Conspiracy Club. Nap stubbornly follows the slender clues to lay to rest the death of his twin and the disappearance of Maura, soon realising that the Club and the remaining members are the key. We invest in these main characters and their loyalties and friendships, their follies and obsessions as the screws ever tighten right up to the surprising finale.
This honest review is thanks to Penguin Random House, South Africa for the ARC.
ISBN 978-1-78-089424-9. www.penguin.co.uk