On the surface Megan is the typical suburban wife and mother. Living in a beautiful house with her loving husband and two children, her life behind the picket fence appears picture perfect. But Megan has a secret. Seventeen years ago she fled Atlantic City and her old life. A life in which she was called Cassie and worked as a dancer in a seedy place called La Crème. And although she knows she should be grateful that she had a chance to leave her old life behind and start a fresh one, part of her still misses the excitement of the those days.
Ray Levine is a photographer. He used to be very successful in that career but for the past seventeen years he’s been haunted by visions of blood, too much blood, and incapable to keep himself together enough to do more than sleazy and cheap assignments.
Broome is a police detective who has never been able to let go of a seventeen year old, unsolved case. Back than, on the eighteenth of March a man disappeared never to be seen or heard from again. And although the general consensus is that the man had run of with his stripper girlfriend, Broome never was and still isn’t convinced of that.
When, on the eighteenth of March, seventeen years later, another man disappears, Megan, Ray and Broome are all drawn back to the events that altered their lives in such substantial ways.
Three people are given the opportunity to revisit the past and maybe right old wrongs. But they are not the only ones taking an interest in the new disappearance. And those others who are trying to find answers have no scruples or qualms about their methods.
When it appears that this may be more than just a case of two missing men, when the death-toll rises and the solution appears no clearer than it was in the past, lives, sanity and happiness may fall victim to a very clever and manipulative mind.
Harlan Coben has long been one of my favourite authors. I may not have read every single one of his books, but I haven’t missed many of them because he writes damn good thrillers.
Coben has to be one of the masters of this genre. He takes seemingly normal, every day people and puts them in situations out of their control, puts them through their paces and facing near impossible dilemmas. And just when it seems impossible that they might resolve their situation he will throw them a life-line or they will exceed their own and the reader’s expectations and the story continues.
To call this book a page-turner would be an understatement. I dare anyone to start this book and linger on it. These pages are filled with twists and turns, heart-stopping scenes and cliff-hangers. Just when the reader thinks they know where the story is going and pride themselves on having it all figured out, Coben throws them on another loop and nothing is the way it seemed just a few pages before.
These days, I often pride myself on being able to figure out what exactly is going on before the moment in the story when the writer wants me to know the answers. That was not the case in this book. The resolution of this story took me by surprise as much as it did the characters in the book, which for me only added to the reading enjoyment.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good thriller, but I guess those people have probably been reading Coben’s books for years. Therefore, I would also tell people who don’t usually read thrillers but would like to try one, to pick up Stay Close. I would be surprised if they didn’t turn around and stay with the genre. Because this is one terrific read.