Annie's Reviews > Just One Look

Just One Look by Harlan Coben
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Mar 21, 11

bookshelves: thriller-mystery-books
Read in March, 2011, read count: Once

I liked this book by Harlan Cobain because it wasn’t seeped in lurid, gory details with bad language, and the lowest most debasing criminal acts, like some of the mystery books for adults. This novel did have clear, detailed, crisp writing, a twisty plot and hardly any bad language. It didn’t quite live up to the promised thrills and chills; but I liked how the main character was an ordinary person involved in an unordinary event. Grace is an artist, resisting suburban boredom but she loves her two kids and her devoted husband, Jack. One day, she gets her pictures developed at the local photoshop and when she picks the pictures up, there is a strange photograph mixed in with her prints. It shows a group of four people, one who looks like her husband. One of the girls in the photo has her face ex’ed out. Later, Grace shows it to her husband, Jack, and later that night, without a word to Grace, he drives away and disappears. Grace must unravel the mystery of the photograph, while protecting her children from some unsettling characters with shifting alliances which makes Grace question who she can trust. This unfolds against a background of an anniversary of a bigger event in Grace’s past, called “the Boston Massacre.” When Grace was in college, she went to a concert of a popular singer, Jimmy X, who was two hours late appearing onstage. His delay caused the raucous crowd to riot at the sound of gunshots, and Grace was caught in the melee, she was trampled. Eighteen other people died; Grace survived her memory-gap inducing brain trauma and other injuries to escape overseas, where she met Jack. It’s layered, and while slightly character heavy; I liked the overall story and all the questions were answered, even if some the motives weren't totally airtight. I found it entertaining and hard to put down.

Favorite Quote:
Being a mother, Grace thought, was a lot like being an artist-you are always insecure, you always feel like a phony, you know that everyone else is better at it thank you. The mothers who doted obsessively on their offspring, the ones who performed their numbing tasks with that Stepford-ready smile and supernatural patience-you know, those mothers who always; always have the right supplies for the ideal after school craft...Grace suspected that these women were profoundly disturbed.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kim (new)

Kim This was the book you were really enjoying--only 2 stars?


message 2: by Annie (last edited Mar 24, 2011 02:43PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Annie Kim wrote: "This was the book you were really enjoying--only 2 stars?"

I know. I still really liked the story and the way the author wrote but it wasn't amazing in any other way. So yes, only two stars. I wouldn't read it again, but I 'd maybe read some of his others. All these facts conspired to give it two stars.


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