Growing up with hemophilia meant a lot of down time for me. And by a lot, I mean A LOT! I spent more time in the hospital or confined to home during high school than I actually did in high school! Back then, I would read every chance I got; and more often than not, I’d finish more than 300 books in a year. Man oh man, I about wore out my library card!
But, for the last 5 years, I have really slacked off and I doubt I’ve read more than 10 books. So, as 2018 drew closer, I decided I wasn’t going to claim one of those lame-ass New Year’s Resolutions like, “I’ll quick smoking,” or, “I’m going to lose weight.” No, I decided I was going to read 200 books in 2018.
I’ll admit, it wasn’t easy getting back in the groove. I didn’t even start my first book until January 5. But, start it, I did with Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben.
I’ve been a big fan of Harlan Coben since picking up my first Myron Bolitar book a few years ago – 2001 actually. His writing reminds me a lot of Robert B. Parker and J.A. Jance, easily my two favorite mystery authors ever. He’s got Parker’s gritty Spenser-esc tough-guy cop, but the smooth storytelling of Jance’s J.P. Beaumont.
Don’t Let Go doesn’t stray from that winning formula. New Jersey detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas gets drug into a cop killing of a former high school classmate. This brings back an old flame who’s been missing for 15 years and dredges up memories of his brother’s death, a possible suicide.
Usually I am pretty adept at figuring out the ending to typical mysteries. I’ve read enough of them that it’s hard to stump me. But, Don’t Let Go, an ironic title since I started reading it during my commute to work and by the time I got to work an hour and a half later I wanted to call in sick, kept me guessing until the very last page.
As a side note, one of my favorite things about J.A. Jance as an author is her ability to weave J.P. Beaumont into a Joanna Brady (her other series) story or vice versa without it feeling forced. It just feels right. Coben does the same with Don’t Let Go. Part way through while Nap is working theories and talking to a former classmate, Myron Bolitar has a cameo (it is a cameo in a book, or is that a TV/movie thing only?). And it isn’t a lame cameo; it actually has substance, like it is SUPPOSED to be there. Masterfully done.
I really enjoyed Don’t Let Go and the Nap character. I hope to see him in future books from Coben. I enthusiastically recommend this and Coben’s other books. I leave you with this disclaimer: Don’t start reading it unless you have a full day of no responsibility because you WON’T want to “…Let Go!”