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165 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing You by Harlan Coben
Harlan Coben stands atop the heap as one of the best known mystery and suspense writers in the business. His latest book, Missing You, is a gritty cop drama set against the backdrop of current headlines. Online dating has become all the rage, but it is just too easy to take the hopes and dreams of lonely people and turn them into a scam which ends up in murder. This is a...
Published 8 months ago by Deb@Debbie's Book Bag

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101 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "You can't change the past. But see, you can shape it with your memories."
NYPD cop Kat Donovan has a lot going on. And, so does this latest stand alone suspense thriller. Multiple plot lines converge into an interrelated set of mysteries with some very coincidental occurrences that require a large measure of suspension of disbelief.

Single and middle-aged, Kat was once in love with her soul mate Jeff Raynes. They were happily engaged...
Published 8 months ago by Denise Crawford


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165 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing You by Harlan Coben, March 18, 2014
This review is from: Missing You (Hardcover)
Harlan Coben stands atop the heap as one of the best known mystery and suspense writers in the business. His latest book, Missing You, is a gritty cop drama set against the backdrop of current headlines. Online dating has become all the rage, but it is just too easy to take the hopes and dreams of lonely people and turn them into a scam which ends up in murder. This is a hard-nosed, riveting story with so many twists and turns the reader might need a road map. Coben astounds with his parallel story lines and ties everything up in neat package in the end. Mystery and suspense at it's best!

What I liked:

Harlan Coben is a big name in mainstream mystery and thriller writing. His titles have seen a lot of attention and justifiably so. He writes with a kind of inner radar that hones in on the issues that readers already have on their minds. Current headlines and little things that just make you wonder are the themes of his books. His books feel real and they don't sugar coat the facts or the fiction about the subject.

Let's face it, the dating game has changed. Meeting someone online is no longer an unusual thing. It's common. And with it comes a lot of problems that dater's never had to think about before. "Is that picture really what he/she looks like?" "Does this person really have that job and live in that town?" "Is he or she married?" and unfortunately, "Could this guy/gal be after something more sinister than true love?" The online dating theme was spot on in this novel. Coben treats it like what it is... and everyday occurrence that could be fraught with a whole lot of danger. I thought his portrayal of the landscape of online dating was masterful. He pulls the reader into this world of conspiracy and murder and he doesn't let go. Amazing!

Kat Donovan is a woman after my own heart. She's been knocked around a little bit when it comes to love and she isn't sure she wants to get it right. She's tough, a little intimidating and set in her ways. Is is worth it, to lose her independence to some guy? But she still wishes she had someone to come home to. Those are the people that scammers prey on. The ones who have almost lost hope, but that little glimmer they can latch on to exists. I loved the way Coben wrote this no-nonsense character who was tough on the outside, but had a gentle heart within.

The twists and turns in this book were one right after the other. There were several parallel stories running at one time and reader is sifting back and fought between them wondering how they tie in throughout the book. But everything from an 18 year old murder case involving Kat's father, to a wayward ex-fiancee, to a teenagers worry about his mother's activities, ties in, in a big way. Coben has a way with working it all out and letting the puzzle pieces fall into place when the he nears the conclusion. I never feel disappointed and most of the time even if I have figured out what's going on, it's all about the journey. This was a great one, by a real master in the genre.

What I didn't like:

Big conspiracies and murder plots can be so convoluted and drawn out so far that they become impossible scenarios. I think this one may have gotten a little close to the line, but it didn't quite go over. It was plausible, if just so. But that didn't change the fact that it was an exciting and engrossing novel.

Bottom Line:

If you've never read a Harlan Coben I suggest you fix that as soon as possible. If you like the kind of book that makes your heart beat speed up and your palms sweat, this is it. Great ready, because it's a real thrill ride.
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101 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "You can't change the past. But see, you can shape it with your memories.", March 13, 2014
This review is from: Missing You (Kindle Edition)
NYPD cop Kat Donovan has a lot going on. And, so does this latest stand alone suspense thriller. Multiple plot lines converge into an interrelated set of mysteries with some very coincidental occurrences that require a large measure of suspension of disbelief.

Single and middle-aged, Kat was once in love with her soul mate Jeff Raynes. They were happily engaged when he abruptly broke off their relationship and vanished. She hasn't been able to find out a shred of information about him for the last 18 years. Her well-meaning friend Stacy, who owns a private investigation firm (Stacy is gorgeous of course whereas Kat is "cute and perky") sets up a profile for Kat on a dating website where, lo and behold, she finds Jeff! Now, what does she do? Long story.

In another plot thread, Kat is anguishing over the death of her cop father 18 years ago -- the self-confessed murderer is in prison. But Kat is not sure that Monte Leburne actually killed her father. Then, who did? Her dad was investigating a known mobster when he died but was prone to long absences from the family home for reasons he never explained to his wife and children. Kat's mother doesn't want to talk about any of that.

In yet another narrative line, evil Titus is locking men and women in underground boxes on a remote Amish farm in Pennsylvania. What does he want and how did he get them there?

And one more - Brandon Phelps, a teenage boy from a wealthy Connecticut family, asks Kat to investigate what seems to be his mother's suspicious activity as she went off on a tropical vacation to meet a man she met online.

No spoilers here -- but it all sort of comes together in exactly the way a reader will imagine and predict by the time all the players are introduced. There was actually one surprise, but the rest of this story was a cliche for anyone who reads this genre.

Fast-paced and full of the usual completely stereotypical characters, enjoy this for what it is - escapist entertainment.

I've read every Coben book except for those in the Bolitar series. He's hit and miss for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton for the e-book ARC to review.
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67 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gone but not forgotten, March 13, 2014
By 
Suncoast "Suncoast" (Sunshine Coast, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Missing You (Kindle Edition)
In "Missing You" Harlan Coben returns to a similar theme to his ultra successful "Six Years" - enduring love despite being jilted. This time it is 18 years since NYPD Detective Kat Donavan was left inexplicably by her fiancé Jeff who she thought would be her soul-mate for life. Jeff also disappeared completey out of her life and she doesn't know where he is. This happened about the same time as her beloved father, also an NYPD cop, was murdered in the line of duty.

Kat has not got over either event and has never married. One day her best friend, Stacey, gives her a most unusual present - a subscription to an on-line dating service with the message "You need someone. You want someone". With some hesitation Kat decides to have a quick browse through the site for potential dates and her world explodes when she sees a picture of Jeff staring back at her. His bio says that he is widowed with a daughter. Kat plucks up courage to send him an anonymous message that he will understand - a link to a video of their favourite song. She finds it disturbing and weird that Jeff doesn't recognise the song.

At around the same time Kat has a final near deathbed interview with her father's convicted killer, now dying of cancer while still on death row, and believes his confession that while he is guilty of other murders he was set up to take the rap for her father's murder.

Coben then takes us on a switchback of ups and downs and twists and turns as Kat follows up her father's murder, and tries to track down Jeff. She is also dragged into a case of multiple disappearances of people associated with on-line dating.. She becomes enveloped by a huge dark and dangerous envelope as she chases down these disappearances and tries to find the truth about what happened to the two big loves of her life who are "gone but not forgotten".

As usual Coben continues to display his skills at unfolding several apparently unconnected mysteries without providing all the clues until near the very end. This time Coben has used his author's licence to create some pretty unbelievable conspiracies and introduces some dangerous and violent sociopaths who prey on and torture lonely wealthy people. He ties these plots together with a couple of shattering climaxes.

IMHO "Missing You" is not as good as "Six Years" mainly because it may have crossed my line in the sand for for implausibility for these kind of suspense thrillers. Nevertheless it is a page-turning top class thriller that will undoubtedly be devoured and enjoyed by most of Coben's many fans. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars because I know that many fans don't have as firm a line in the sand as I do.

My thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for an honest review.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Made me long for the days of Bolitar and Wyn, April 8, 2014
By 
N. David Blocher (Chicago, Illinois) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Missing You (Hardcover)
This book actually has a decent plot and does step up in the second half but overall, especially with Six Years and now with this one, Coben needs to decide if he really wants to write Harlequin romances and if so, stop just dabbling in it. The emotional content is way too high and ending twist is at least one too many. My suspension of belief was breached irreparably.
Coben has written some very fine stand-alones albeit the audio book version of one of them was ruined because he narrated it himself but given the really fine work he is capable of, these last two have been a disappointment.
Maybe it is a disease --- Baldacci went all Sylvia Brown in the Lighthouse one. A good editor should have given him the word --- too kitschy, too touchy-feely. Way too many over the emotional top metaphors.
One of Newt Gingrich's old confidants said Newt was absolutely brilliant but that he ran off the rails because he got rid of the one guy on his staff who had the hutzpah to tell him when he was full of it. Coben needs a new editor to tell him when he runs off the rails.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best...., March 27, 2014
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This review is from: Missing You (Kindle Edition)
I really love all of Harlan Coben's books - but not this one. I could not get engaged with the story. Too slow of a start.
It was tried and true type of a plot - been there done that. Disappointed with this one....but I will still keep reading his books.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Missing you" - Not so much, March 21, 2014
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This review is from: Missing You (Kindle Edition)
I have been reading HC since his first & would wait, with anticipation, for the next release, & the next, & the next, etc. Really enjoy Myron & friends, although this book now has me wondering what's doing with Win - is this a teaser?

Suspending reality is something I usually reserve for TV & movies; with books, I like to be able to appreciate the possibilities as the story unfolds, however, this story didn't so much unfold, it just dropped many coincidences, at the end - one after another. The storyline regarding Internet dating is somewhat believable especially since hearing so much about catfishing. Originally, I would say impossible as I didn't think people could be so stupid but I have revised my thinking, as I do believe people are often desperate to believe in & find true love or a soulmate.
"Six Years" pushed my believability limit with someone going 6 years after falling truly in love & then being pushed aside before finding the love that was lost & in "Missing You" same love story but with 18 years?

Sorry, but this fell flat with me & tying all loose ends up with a big ribbon at the end didn't feel satisfactory.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A person needs answers. A person needs it to make some kind of sense.", March 22, 2014
This review is from: Missing You (Hardcover)
Harlan Coben has written a complex and multi-faceted mystery that had me hooked very early on. There are several threads to the story and each one is interesting.

Kat Donovan is a police officer whose father was killed in the line of duty several years ago. His supposed killer is one Monte Leburne who is serving a life sentence. Just recently, he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and Kat goes to talk to him about her father's murder. He denies killing him. Kat believes him and is not convinced that he is her father's murderer.

Kat had been engaged to a man named Jeff Raynes who broke off their engagement eighteen years ago and disappeared. Kat is still in love with him. Since then, she has not been in any serious relationship. Her best friend, Stacy, signs Kat up for an online dating service. Almost immediately, she sees Jeff on the site. He lists himself as a widower with one child. Kat writes to him but Jeff acts like he doesn't even know her. Is this really Jeff or is it someone posing as him? Kat googles him but there is no record of him anywhere.

While Kat is on duty, a teenager named Brandon Phelps comes to her desk to report that his mother is missing. Kat wonders why Brandon has chosen her. It appears that his mother was using the same online dating service as Kat and is supposedly dating Jeff. They went away for a romantic fling and she has not returned. Brandon is a computer whiz and he hacked into the dating site and came up with Kat's identity, now wanting her to help him find his mother.

Meanwhile, there is a predator loose. He has a history of kidnapping adolescent girls fresh to New York City and setting them up in sex trafficking schemes. His plans have increased now to kidnapping adults and stealing their money, then killing them.

How are all these things connected? Or are they? Coben does an excellent job of weaving all these stories together to make a coherent whole. There are lots of surprises, beaucoup action, and a hell of a story.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, April 27, 2014
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This review is from: Missing You (Kindle Edition)
I am ordinarily a huge Harlan Coben fan. I've read just about every book he's written, and I have to say, this one falls last on the list in terms of quality. The characters were badly developed (and bizarre) and their relationships contrived and disjointed. The only one I truly liked was the dog. There were too many things that seemed dropped in for effect rather than to move the plot along. Aqua's mental illness? The father's ultimate secret? Jeff/Ron's daughter? The descriptive sections at times seemed to be there just to prove to readers that Cobin had done some research on the topic. I read the whole book, but ended up racing through whole pages so I could get to somewhere the plot was moving along. This was a hugely disappointing book in comparison to his previous works. I hope he takes more care with his next effort, because if Missing You starts a trend, Coben has lost a fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible book - please do not read this, April 9, 2014
By 
JV (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Missing You (Kindle Edition)
This is my first one star review ever on Amazon. Apparently Harlan has 330 good friends that stand behind him enough to give him a 5 star even though it is totally overrated. One of the most unbelievable of all of Coben's book with poor character development. He actually tries to be politically correct in handling homosexual/transgender themes but does it in such a trite way it backfires on him. Good novels can instill solid truths and philosophy to make you think thought some big issues. This book seems to be going out of its way to convince you that people with firm beliefs and convictions are old fashioned and judgmental. Missing You should be retitled, Missing Realty - Harlan, please learn your lesson and bring back Myron and Win.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing You is Missing Common Sense, April 25, 2014
This review is from: Missing You (Kindle Edition)
I’ve enjoyed a number of Harlan Coben’s novels, but this one is a total failure.

I almost didn’t get past the gag-worthy opening scene in which the main character sits in a bar “on her father’s old stool,” wanting “to feel her father’s presence,” even as her efforts are interrupted by a cartoon lecher wielding the cheesiest pickup lines imaginable.

And the book didn’t improve much from there. The characters are cardboard, their actions and reactions implausible, and their dialogue just plain awful. The writing is often painfully bad, as witness a reference to “getting a woman in the sackola.” (Does anyone EVER actually talk like that?!) In several places, common words were misspelled because Coben apparently used a phrase without understanding its meaning. (For example: referring to an ordeal as being “put through the ringer,” to anticipation as “waiting with baited breath,” and to a potential purchaser as a “perspective buyer.”)

The worst part of the book, however, is the plot, which centers around the pitfalls of online dating. I don’t want to include a spoiler, so I will just say that readers are expected to believe that numerous intelligent adults place themselves in serious danger by their own incomprehensibly boneheaded actions. It’s hard to care what happens to people that dumb.
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Missing You
Missing You by Harlan Coben (Hardcover - March 18, 2014)
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