TELL NO ONE, Harlan Coben
I wanted a fast-paced suspense novel for a recent trip and had never read one by Harlan Coben. I consulted lists and this one was near the top of every one. So despite having seen a French film version of TELL NO ONE, I picked it up. It did not disappoint except in several curious and informative ways. The book was written in 2001 and it leaned heavily on the ways computers were used and worked in that era. Because most of this is dated now, it took me out of the story several times. I am not sure if there is an equivalent technology that seemed so dated a few years later. In other words, if people talked about listening to the radio in a book written in 1930, it would not occupy so much space and it would not bring the story to a halt if read today.
So a good lesson here: do not base your story too much on current technology. Putting this aside, this was a pretty good thriller although there was no real attempt to have any character development or attention to setting. It was plot, plot, plot.
Beck, a pediatrician, and his wife, Elizabeth, have been together since childhood and have developed many rituals to celebrate aspects of that love. On one such celebration, the wife disappears. A serial killer is tried and convicted and eight years pass.
Suddenly, Beck receives a message that seems to be from his wife that says, "TELL NO ONE" at the end. Various forces come into play: cops, villains, the wife's family, Beck's family as this is all sorted out.
Clearly Coben has a gift for keeping the reader engaged. He knows how to twist the plot. His characters are likable, violence is mostly offstage. He is able to juggle a lot of plot strains pretty efficiently. A good summer read but not a book that will send me back to the shelves.
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