by Harlan Coben
No Second Chance is a "who done it?" with all the elements that make you want to keep turning pages: mystery, intrigue, action, and suspense.
I appreciate Coben's story, pacing and dialog, but the reason I would recommend this book is the author's ability to pull pack the curtain on issues such as:
Grief: "What gets me--what gives me that surprise wham--is the way grief seems to relish in catching you unawares. Grief, when spotted, can be, if not handled, somewhat manipulated, finessed, concealed. But grief likes to hide behind bushes. It enjoys leaping out of nowhere, startling you, mocking you, stripping away your pretense of normalcy. Grief lulls you to sleep, thus making that blindside his all the more jarring."(90)
Bullying "No one remembers being the bully." (126)
Parental fear: "The day you become a parent, fear becomes your constant companion." (149)
Fame "Fame is more addictive than crack." (162)
The slow slide You slip-slide into evil, he thought. You cross the line for just one moment. You cross back. You feel safe. You change things, you believe, for the better. The line is still there. It's still intact. Okay, maybe there's a smudge there now, but you can still see it clearly. And next time you cross, maybe that line smudges a little more. But you have your bearings. No matter what happens to that line, you remember where it is. Don't you? (277)
When Coben writes, "I looked at her, and again something primitive took over." His worldview is showing, or at least that of his character. That said, Harlan Coben reminds me one reason I read novels is because they help me to see myself; another is they allow me to get inside the head of the character in ways movies do not as in this passage:
"I look back. I was so wrapped up in my own world that I never saw . . ." I shook my head. Now was not the time for this. "Monica was desperate," I said. "She couldn't get a gun and maybe, she decided, she didn't have to."
Take a chance on Harlan Coben's No Second Chance. It's good story and insight on life.