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Stay Close

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  23,896 ratings  ·  1,598 reviews
Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Now she’s got two kids, a perfect husband, a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at age forty he finds himself in a dead-end job posing as a paparazzo pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Jack is a detective who can’t...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Dutton Adult (first published 2012)
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Community Reviews

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James Thane
I first tumbled to Harlan Coben very early in his career when a friend recommended the first or second book in his Myron Bolitar series. I enjoyed the Bolitar books and found Myron to be an unusual but engaging protagonist who almost always found himself in the midst of an interesting plot.

After writing a number of these books, Coben began writing stand-alone thrillers, and I followed dutifully along. Some of these books I liked a lot; others I thought did not work as well, usually because the...more
I was disappointed in this book when compared to many of his past books, which I have greatly enjoyed. It felt as if the book had been rushed and put together quickly. I did not feel it had the depth and strong plot as I would expect from this author.
The worst crime novel I've read in years, and I've read a great many.

First off, the writing is so incredibly cornball that I had a minor following on twitter just tweeting the worst examples of it and making fun of them.*

Secondly, If you think you know who did it like 1/4 of the way in, you're right but the author adds an extra cup of cheesy pathos to the motive that undermines the only thing that was even mildly interesting about the killer.

Thirdly, the characters are flat and somewhat silly...more
Bill Garrison
Has Coben Formula Gone Stale? I think it has. This book is still enjoyable, but all too familiar.

I fell in love with Harlan Coben after reading NO SECOND CHANCE, GONE FOR GOOD, and THE INNOCENT in the span of a couple of weeks. I loved his characters, his originality, his plot twists, his humor, his villains. Basically, I couldn't get enough of Coben. I still enjoy his novels, still make them a priority, but his latest, STAY CLOSE, seems a little stale. He's gone to the well once too often. The...more
Andrew Montooth
According to his website, Harlan Coben has 50 million books in print worldwide, making him the most underappreciated author of our time. If readers truly appreciated the man, he’d have four or five times that many books in print. Until now I was one of those who did not appreciate him. My wife recommended his books to me several times over the years. So did a friend of mine. For one reason or another, I never read one until just now. I’m a convert. I get why he does so well despite having half o...more
Amy Lignor
Not a surprise to lead off a review by saying this author has done it once again. A truly fascinating tale of suspense that delves into the lives of three people who thought they knew what they wanted. Alas, they just can’t quite seem to find a way to forget the incredibly dark past they’ve left behind.

Ray Levine was once a talented documentary photographer, but upon reaching middle-age he finds himself at a job posing as a paparazzo, chasing celebrity parents and kids around, taking pictures fo...more
Gill Chedgey
Stay Close

As a keen reader of crime and thriller fiction you’d think a new Harlan Coben, and a hardback at that, to read and review would make me think it was my birthday, wouldn’t you? Tell the truth I was indifferent! I’ve only read one of his books previously and I found the twists and turns of the plot very clever but too complicated to make it a satisfying read. It didn’t resonate with me at all.
I’m delighted to say that I simply couldn’t put this book down. I loved it.
I never see the poin...more
Chance Maree

Not having read many crime novels, I cannot comment on Stay Close in relation to Coben's other works, or to other novels in the genre. What I noticed was a well executed start, intriguing plot, and enough tension to keep me up at night reading "one more chapter" well past a reasonable midnight hour.

Call me dense, but I did not guess the doer of this whodunit. The plot twist was fun. Didn't like Ken and Barbie characters (yes, that was their nicknames), but who would? I enjoyed the introspection...more
I like Harlan Coben's novels, having read nearly all of them. But Stay Close was one of the worst of his books, along the same line as those two earlier novels that he reissued after making it big. I even turned back to the first few pages to see if it was an earlier effort of his, but no, I am sorry to say, he wrote this book after all those other wonderful novels he is known for. Could have fooled me.

Stay Close is about three people who are haunted by the past, both desiring and fearing elemen...more
Frances Plino
Harlan Coben is one of my all time favourite authors and I wasn’t disappointed by Stay Close.

We have the usual mix of damaged characters, who are never quite what they seem, and an ending that I simply didn’t see coming at all.

One of the damaged is Megan, seemingly happily married with a loving husband and family. But seventeen years ago Megan used to live on the wild side and is now finding her longed for domesticity stifling. Taking a trip into her past connects her with a series of unsolved...more
Love Fool
This book had me guessing till the end and I still didn't figure it out till I had to read it on the pages. I stayed up and cuddled in bed with my dogs, reading this like I was studying for my finals in college. I'm not going to write the summary of the book because I'm an idiot and will give something away but I will say just read it. And, you're welcome.
Carol Anne
This is my first Harlan Coben book, and I wonder if it wasn't the right place to start. I enjoyed the book and thought it well paced with a reasonably satisfactory conclusion, though with fewer clues to follow than I might have liked. However, I was never really drawn right in to the story, even when the pace picked up towards the conclusion. The narrative style is very self-aware and self-reflective, which in moderation I enjoy but I found a little over-played in this instance. It is very much...more
You can't go home again. Megan Pierce is starting to realise that cliches stick around because they are based on truth. Seventeen years ago she was living as Cassie, making a living as an exotic dancer and dating dangerous men. When one of those men got increasingly violent and started hurting her, she decided she might need to make a new life. Then came the night when Cassie found his blood-soaked body in the woods and decided that the police would decide she was the killer. That's the night sh...more
On the surface Megan is the typical suburban wife and mother. Living in a beautiful house with her loving husband and two children, her life behind the picket fence appears picture perfect. But Megan has a secret. Seventeen years ago she fled Atlantic City and her old life. A life in which she was called Cassie and worked as a dancer in a seedy place called La Crème. And although she knows she should be grateful that she had a chance to leave her old life behind and start a fresh one, part of he...more
Coben always delivers on the mystery and suspense and STAY CLOSE is no exception. Multi-layered suspense that keeps you guessing until the very end, when the truth makes perfectly plausible sense. This book, though, stood apart because of its depth of feeling for human relationship and quiet commentary on life and why we stay together.
Paul Pessolano
“Stay Close” by Harlan Coben, published by Dutton.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

Ken and Barbie are not who you think they are.

Ray Levine is in a dead end job even though he is a highly skilled photojournalist. He is haunted by Cassie, who he fell in love with and lost. He is also haunted by a murder.

Ken and Barbie are dangerous.

Cassie, Now Megan, has left behind her life as a stripper, and has entered the world of the upper middle class. She has a loving husband, two young children, and a wonderful...more
Kelly Hager
This is one of those books that's hard to describe without spoiling things, but I will do my best. Ray used to be a photographer (and a really good one) but now he's working as a fake-paparazzo for events (bar mitzvahs, etc.). Sounds pathetic, right? It is. He knows it. Megan is a suburban mom with a secret. Jack is a detective who is obsessed with a cold case---a married father of two disappeared and has never been seen again. So what's the connection?

Harlan Coben is one of my must-read author...more
This is only the second of Harlan Coben's work I have read.Aficionado I am not. But I know what I like and I like Harlan Coben. He has a way of stringing together a plot that is seems to be a twisted ball of Christmas lights. But patience is rewarded and it all comes together. But not first without driving you crazy with the plot twists, seemingly unrelated and unnecessary characters and events.
And Stay Close is no exception. There are a bevy of characters with disparate pasts and presents. A...more
This book kept me interested enough to want to read more but I found I was able to put the book down fairly easily. It didn’t really grab me immediately and throughout. It didn’t suck me into reading another chapter to find out what would happen next like the other 2 books of his that I have read and rated 5 stars did. (Hold Tight and Tell No One)

Like his other books however, Coben does raise some interesting questions to ponder and made me think and reflect. What do people want out of life? Wha...more
I’ve read several Harlan Coben thrillers and enjoyed them from page one. I got caught up in the story because there was a tension, a feeling of imminent doom right from the beginning. I didn’t get that here. As a result, I didn’t feel the craving to turn the page, to find out what happens next. I could lay this book down in the middle of a scene without a qualm.

Earlier Coben novels I’ve read, if I remember correctly, start with a clock ticking down on the characters’ personal Armageddon. Here, C...more
Three people. A second chance to put things right.

Stay Close marks the welcome and much anticipated return of Harlan Coben to the psychological thriller.

Stay Close unravels itself around three characters. Megan, a suburban soccer mum, Ray, a talented, yet wasted photographer and Broome, a detective who is obsessed with a cold case. A case that revolved around a husband and father, missing for seventeen years.

A slightly predictable story line trails, three characters intertwined in an emerging se...more
This is a stand alone novel by the writer Harlan Coben. I have heard wonderful things about Mr. Coben for years and decided this newly released stand alone would be a good time to find out if the all the praise was well deserved. Stay Close is a well written novel that really makes you think about what people want from life and the choices they make. And do we really know people...or do we just know the person they want us to know...

Something terrible happened seventeen years ago that is going t...more
It's a safe 3.5 stars read, I read the entire book in one go, without any break, the mystery part of the novel is descent and we get to know different characters' backstory and secrets without those backstories being overdone. It's my first novel by Harlan Coben and I enjoy it well enough, but do not love it.
Another outstanding standalone book by author Coben's

I really enjoy author Coben's standalone novels. I have read most of them. I have not read his Myron Bolitar series. I prefer standalone novels just because I tend to forget what is happening in a series book between books - nothing against the author, just a weakening memory.

To me, STAY CLOSE was one of Coben's more enjoyable offerings. I liked his characters, who have faults and actually seem like people I could get to know. The plotline is...more
I loved this book! It kept me on the edge right up until the end. My favorite thing about Harlan Coben's books are that you never see the endings coming, there are always twist & turns & this one was no different!

Amy L review

Not a surprise to lead off a review by saying this author has done it once again. A truly fascinating tale of suspense that delves into the lives of three people who thought they knew what they wanted. Alas, they just can’t quite seem to find a way to forget the incredibly dark past they’ve left behind...more
Stay Close is about Megan, who appears to be an ordinary all-American housewife, with two kids and a good husband; but Megan has a past, there are people who will remember her as Cassie - a good-time girl who worked the sleazy bars and lived life on the edge. When Megan revisits her past, her new life begins to unravel. Ray is a wreck, an ex-boyfriend of Cassie, his life has been one big mess for the past seventeen years, ever since Stewart Green disappeared - Ray can't forget the blood.
Ron Arden
Harlan Coben has produced another great page turner that brings together three people who had relationships 17 years ago in Atlantic City, NJ. Ray Levine was an award winning photojournalist and has fallen about as low as a human can get. Detective Broome of the Atlantic City PD is still trying to solve a missing person's case from 17 years ago. Cassie (or Megan as she is now known) is a suburban housewife with a wonderful family, but she still has an itch for her past in the clubs of Atlantic C...more
Picked up from the library 13.4.12

Seventeen years ago, Cassie was a pole dancer in a not so upmarket club. She loved the freedom, the dancing, the fun, meeting new people, but then things went wrong...Now, all these years later, she’s Megan, with a wonderful husband, two gorgeous kids, everything to be happy and content with...but she’s not!

Ray was a very talented documentary photographer, travelling all over, the world at his feet. Then Cassie disappeared, and his life came crashing down around...more
This is an exciting whodunnit by a master of the genre. Harlan Coben has over twenty mysteries to his credit and the last four or five made it to the top of the NY TIMES best-seller list. Our detective Broome is on a case that dates back seventeen years. Each year a man disappears; nobody hears from him again and no bodies are found. As Broome works through the evidence, he begins to suspect the same person has something to do with all the disappearances. His partner is also his ex-wife for whom...more
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With over 50 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last six consecutive novels, SIX YEARS, STAY CLOSE, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT, LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His first Young Adult novel SHELTER was just released in paperback, and the second in the Mickey Bolitar series, SECONDS AWAY, was released on September 18th....more
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“Hope could be a wonderful thing. But hope could crush you anew every single day. Hope could be the cruelest thing in the world.” 4 likes
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