Fool Me Once – Harlan Coben

Maya Stern used to be a helicopter pilot, until she was involved in a search and rescue mission that ended up with innocent civilians dying. She is probably suffering from PTSD, her sister was killed a little while back, and now her husband has just been murdered. She has, to put it mildly, some problems on her plate.

From the opening scene of her husband’s funeral, this roller coaster novel drags the reader along in Coben’s well practiced, well plotted, and carefully constructed style; one that demands you keep turning the pages to get to the finale. ┬áThe reader follows Maya’s journey as she tries to get to the bottom of things.

The focus of the writing is on keeping the tension high, and progressing the plot, so there are no long descriptive passages showing off the writer’s vocabulary, or arty imagination. But there is some sharp humor, the occasional well observed insight, and nothing that jars as being unnecessary or out of place. The characters are not so well rounded, though you do get enough of them to follow the rationale for their actions.

If you do read it, the test may come at the end. Will your suspension of disbelief remain? I won’t give away any spoilers, but in any case it is very much an individual, subjective assessment. This book passed my usual acid test with ease: when I got to the last word on the last page of the last chapter, was I let down by reaching the end, and seeing there was no more? You bet I was.

I found it a good read, and was well blindsided by the final twist in the tale. So, I definitely got my money’s worth, enjoyed it immensely, and would recommend it for anyone looking for a fast, easy, and entertaining read.

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