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Caught Hardcover – March 23, 2010
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I don't want to tell you too much because I don't want to spoil any of the suspense the builds throughout this book but here are the basics:
This is the story of high school senior, Haley McWaid, the pride of her family, good grades, never gets in trouble, a little obsessive compulsive who doesn't come home one night and goes missing.
It is also the story of Dan Mercer, a social worker, who works with troubled teens, who may be a sexual predator, as he is "CAUGHT" by a television show, hosted by Wendy Tynes who is on a mission to expose internet predators. It also delves into the lives of Dan's old college roommates and how they may have complicated Dan's life. The whole thing leaves Wendy worrying about who she can trust.
This story takes more twists and turns than an old country road and you better be belted in. It is a story filled with tension, stress, pressure, that challenges the reader. It is a thrilling, gripping, spine tingling novel that deals with things that could only be seen on television setting up shop in this community.
Harlan Coben takes all these plots and ties them together in what I believe will be the best book I read this year.
You will be "CAUGHT" from the first page and you will not be RELEASED even after the last word.
This is definitely not a book to me missed.
"Caught" is a definitely a return to form for this astonishing thriller writer. The twists are back, the characterizations are as well-drawn as in previous works, and Coben's trademark suburbanite slice-of-life ruminations are as poignant and spot-on as ever.
The plot is one of those "ripped from the headlines" type. TV news show sets up pedophile for on camera arrest after doing the online meet thing. Really good premise and, initially, it takes some very interesting twists. It is the twists that does this book in. There is only so much "but wait, there's something else" that I can take even in mysteries/thrillers. And this book goes way past that limit. By the time you get to the end (and, frankly, I had to force myself to finish--something I would never have believed of a Harlan Coben book), the plot is so convoluted that it is hard to keep the players straight and then, finally, you just don't care.
In Coben's defense, he does a great job of making Wendy (the reporter and star of this book) a real person and, as I am a huge Myron Bolitar series fan, it was great to see Win worked into the plot as a minor character.
But, in the end, all the great characterizations does not save an overworked plot that wears thin long before the pages end.
I'm sorry to say this but skip "Caught" and catch one of Coben's older books for a good read.
The premise that this novel is created upon revolves around a missing high-school girl, a pedophile, and a reporter who outed the pedophile. Coben is good at creating a Hitchcock everyman character. A character like Cary Grant in North by Northwest or Jimmy Stewart in The Man Who Knew Too Much. And were introduced to his typical everyman hero in the guise of Dan Mercer. Dan takes care of kids as a social worker and in the opening chapters he either was or was not set up as a pedophile caught by a news reporting team led by Wendy Tynes.
So my main beef with Caught is this. He gives us a character to root for with Dan Mercer. He gives us a character to despise with Wendy Tynes. But then Coben changes focus and concentrates on Tynes as the protagonist and Mercer is out of the picture. It took me a couple hundred pages to warm up to Tynes because of how Coben tore her apart right at the beginning. I dont think that as an author, Coben should have torn apart his protagonist like that. Readers, especially genre readers are drawn to likeable hero's. Wendy was NOT likeable to start with at least. And thus the story was at times difficult to slog through.
So, since I am not giving away the plot here, let me just finish by saying, this is a superior Coben effort (still waiting for the masterpiece). Its fun, its suspenseful, its a pretty damn interesting, and you'll be on the edge of your seat in anticipation of finding out what the heck is going on.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have never been disappointed when I've read went to Harlan Coben's books, and this book is no exception. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Victoria
My favorite Mr. COven book so far the ending was icing on the cakePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
I love Harlan Coben's writing style. This book was interesting and fast paced. I liked the characters and plot. This is a definite must read for Coben fans.Published 14 days ago by jentacat
Can't answer as I have not yet this book, but I bought it because I have read several of Harlen Coban's books and am sure will enjoy this when I have time to read it.Published 16 days ago by Sylvia Cotton
Harlen Coben never disappoints. This lived up to its category of mystery and suspense. Keeps you guessing right until the end.Published 29 days ago by JJ's wife
There are so many storylines and plot twists you can't tell where it's all going until the very end. Good read!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A great read from the first page... Until the he end.
A real page-turner. A definite must read.
Coben has done it again!