After long years of being away from the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m writing about thrillers of all stripes, mysteries, and crime novels for 26 days in April, based on the letters of the alphabet. All posts will be linked here.
Since I’m writing up thriller and crime novel recommendations, I’m also giving away a 50 USD Amazon Gift card, to support reading, and to help my next novel THE BLUE BAR along on its journey.
GET CURATED PUBLISHING RESOURCES ADD ON GOODREADS FOLLOW ON BOOKBUB
After Cut Like Wound by Anita Nair for C, for the letter D, I bring you Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben, one of my writing heroes.
Don’t Let Go: Book Description
Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.
When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.
Don’t Let Go: Excerpt
Daisy wore a clingy black dress with a neckline so deep it could tutor philosophy.
She spotted the mark sitting at the end of the bar, wearing a gray pinstripe suit. Hmm. The guy was old enough to be her dad. That might make it more difficult to make her play, but then again, it might not. You never knew with the old guys. Some of them, especially the recent divorcees, are all too ready to preen and prove they still got it, even if they never had it in the first place.
Especially if they never had it in the first place.
As Daisy sauntered across the room, she could feel the eyes of the male patrons crawling down her bare legs like earthworms. When she reached the end of the bar, she made a mild production of lowering herself onto the stool next to him.
The mark peered into the glass of whiskey in front of him as though he were a gypsy with a crystal ball. She waited for him to turn toward her. He didn’t. Daisy studied his profile for a moment. His beard was heavy and gray. His nose was bulbous and putty-like, almost as though it were a Hollywood silicon special effect. His hair was long, straggly, mop-like.
Second marriage, Daisy figured. Second divorce in all probability.
Dale Miller—that was the mark’s name—picked up his whiskey gently and cradled it in both hands like it was an injured bird.
“Hi,” Daisy said with a much-practiced hair toss.
Miller’s eyes slid toward her. He looked her straight in the eyes. She waited for his gaze to dip down to the neckline—heck, even women did it with this dress—but they stayed on hers.
“Hello,” he replied. Then he turned back to his whiskey.
Daisy usually let the mark hit on her. That was her go-to technique. She said hi like this, she smiled, the guy asked whether he could buy her a drink. You know the deal. But Miller didn’t look in the mood to flirt. He took a deep swallow from his whiskey glass, then another.
That was good. The heavy drinking. That would make this easier.
“Is there something I can do for you?” he asked her.
About the author Harlan Coben
His books have earned the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, and many have been developed into Netflix Original Drama series, including his adaptations of The Stranger, The Innocent, Gone for Good and The Woods. His most recent adaptation for Netflix, Stay Close, premiered on December 31, 2021 and stars Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, and Richard Armitage.
Why pick up Don’t Let Go
Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors, and the reason is firmly rooted in my love for stories where the characters are not mere puppets of the plot.
This is a standalone thriller, and the intriguing premise is wonderfully realized in the past and present narration, the character of Nap, the protagonist–his friendships, his loves, and his ongoing conversations with his dead twin brother.
The twists and turns take the novel into increasingly darker territory, but that is balanced out by Coben’s voice, which remains witty and urbane, providing relief even at the most tense of moments in the novel. I like how the characters are fleshed out without sacrificing pace, and the way the ending of the novel, though surprising, is inevitable.
The novel is based on true events that occurred in Coben’s home town, and this made it all the more compelling for me. If you’ve never read a Coben novel before, I envy you the spread of his offerings. Don’t Let You Go is not a bad place to begin reading this wonderful author’s oeuvre.
Have you read the book, Don’t Let Go? If yes, what did you think? What thrillers have you read lately?
Through the month of April, to celebrate the challenge and get some support for THE BLUE BAR, I’m holding this giveaway:
Enter to WIN a 50 USD Amazon gift card for this
Entries are simple: click the RAFFLECOPTER link above, and follow the instructions. It calls for a Goodreads add, a subscription request, and a follow on Instagram.
If you enjoyed the post, click on any or all of the following to stay updated:
For a while, I had several Coben’s books here. Grabbed them for free from one of my clients who was moving. I ended up donating some to the library book sale. I really need to try one of his books this year. Thanks for sharing.
Yeah he has some really interesting books that you might enjoy. Thank You!
You have a great theme for the challenge! I don’t read a lot of thrillers or mysteries, but I did read (and reviewed on my blog for B) “My Sister’s Child”. That was a bit of a thriller and mystery! Don’t Let Go sounds interesting. I might add it to my to be read list! Have fun with the rest of the challenge!
Thank You for checking this post!
His prose has a touch of Dashiell Hammett.
I see what you mean!
Haven’t read any of this author either. I think I would either love or hate this book with no in between because of the twin angle. Being a twin myself, sometimes the way they are written gives me issues (either too sad or feels wrong or just plain annoying😆), or makes be absolutely love a story.
Hahaha, I see what you mean. If you do get around to reading this one, let me know if you love it or hate it 😀
Love that “characters are not puppets of the plot,” Damyanti. It’s a hole we all fall into now and again, but would prefer to avoid. Try Bala for showcasing Coben’s work – “a neckline so deep it could tutor philosophy.” What a great phrase!
Very True… Thanks Pam!
Another book added to my ever-expanding TBR…
This might be a good addition too!
It’s a while since I read Harlan Coben, but the blurb you’ve quoted gives me serious worries. If Nap broke up with Maura & she disappeared in his high school senior year, then how come he has Maura’s fingerprints on file fifteen years later?
That’s the intrigue, Jemima. How could a dead person’s fingerprints show up so many years later?
I haven’t read Coben in a while, I think because he wasn’t writing any more Myron Bolitar books. I shoukld get back to him…
Maybe you can start with this one 🙂
This is the first that I’ve heard of this author, but I am intrigued. Great review. I’ll have to look for his books in my library system.
Thank You so much 🙂
Thank you, and drat you again. This is an author I have never read – and I see I am going to have to start.
If you do read this book, let me know how you like it.
This sounds like my kind of book. I’ll have to check it out ☺️.
Definitely do! Let me know what you think 🙂
I’ve read quite a few Coben thrillers. He has a way of building suspense like few others. Good choice, Damyanti.
Thanks Jacqui 🙂
For something really dark, you’d need some humor to offset it.
Yes, humor releases tension and then creates the space to build it back up again.