Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Stay Close” as Want to Read:
Stay Close
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Stay Close

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  32,800 Ratings  ·  2,053 Reviews
Harlan Coben is back with his trademark combination of page-turning thrills and unrivaled insight into the dark shadows that creep into even the happiest communities.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Orion (first published March 20th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Stay Close, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jane Lee My favorite was the first Myron. I knew this guy could write. Although I am a little behind I plan to read everyone. Tell No One blew me away. If you…moreMy favorite was the first Myron. I knew this guy could write. Although I am a little behind I plan to read everyone. Tell No One blew me away. If you have seen the French movie did you spot Harlan?(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mr C at his good, but not best. Still enjoyable though. There were some funny one liners which I did not note down as this was an audio read. This still is not the best format for me, very easily distracted. I found it was not as exciting as many of his others, the ending waned and I was losing interest.

Quite a generic tale of lies, deceit and a missing person or two. Megan has fled from a dangerous scenario and we witness the nearly 20 year finale to the unfolding of the sordid tale.

Loved the
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
“The past is never where you think you left it.”

----Katherine Anne Porter

Harlan Coben, an international bestselling author, has penned a gripping crime thriller, Stay Close that revolves around three characters, one who has hid her past but now it is threatening to wipe out her perfect life, the other laments on his broken heart and the reasons behind it and barely manages to make his ends meet and the last one has become a maniac upon investigating the case of a missing man that happened 17
Nov 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t think that I have read a Harlen Coben before, although I may be wrong, but I am going to make an effort to read more of him, not because I particularly enjoyed this one, I didn’t, but I have a sneaking suspicion this is not him at his best.

The story line itself is not bad at all. Three people all with a hidden past. Megan is the typical suburban mum but used to be a stripper. Ray used to be a respected photographer but is now reduced to posing as a paparazzi for celebrity experience part
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.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Seventeen years ago, in Atlantic City, Stewart Green disappeared, an event which profoundly affected the lives of several people: Green's wife was devastated and the lead cop in the investigation, Detective Broom - who befriended Mrs. Green - is still obsessed with the case; Cassie, an entertainer at a club named La Crème who was involved with Green, gave up her old life, changed her name to Megan, and became a suburban wife and mother; and Ray Levine, Cassie's boyfriend at the time, became an a
Apr 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrew Montooth
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mahoghani 23
17 years ago, Stuart Green disappeared. The one thing detective Broom understands is Stuart visited La Crem, a strip club, on a continual basis. He's had this case since day 1 and will not give up on finding Stuart. Meghan, formerly Cassie's, used to strip iat La Crem and date Stuart. The night Stuart disappeared, Cassie found him in the park, badly beaten and near death. She left the life of a stripper and made a new one where she's married with two kids but missing her old life in comparison t ...more
Amy Lignor
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: criminal-mystery
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
Gill Chedgey
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Joseph Cognard
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second Harlan Coben book I read in a row. Second time I loved the books writing, second time loved the writing styles and the characters, second time that I was not totally happy with the story/ending. First time I felt the story was really misleading, this time it was just that I kind of figured most of it out early and then nothing compelled me to change my mind. The only thing I didn't quite figure out was really poorly explained by the author which annoyed me a little. I read things to figur ...more
Jillian Haas

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
Amanda McGill
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I haven't read many of Harlan Coben's stand alone novels, but it's a bit sad to find that his stand alones aren't nearly as amazing as his Myron Bolitar series. Maybe it's just the novels that I've been reading?

I found that this novel had too many moving parts and characters to watch out for. Megan has run away from her past and so far has succeeded with a loving husband and 2 children. However it looks like the past is coming back to haunt her when a body is discovered that follows the same pat
Terri Lynn
Megan left her wild life as "Cassie" abruptly 17 years ago after finding the abusive married man she danced for at an Atlantic City club La Creme dead out in a remote spot where she was to meet her photojournalist boyfriend Ray and worried either Ray had killed him for abusing her or else she would be arrested for it. Scared straight, she fled, went back to her real name, and got married to a gullible young lawyer. She is now a soccer mom to a preteen son (sweet boy) and a 15-year old bitch bull ...more
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: harlan-coben
Harlan Coben’s stand-alone books often present us with people who are not what they seem. Mostly ordinary people who have a past life, past events that they wish to hide from in their current normal lives.
That certainly goes for Megan Pierce, soccer-Mom, satisfied wife of Dave and mother of Kaylee and Jordan, living the good life in suburban NJ. But 17 years ago, Megan was known as Cassie, a strip-dancer in Atlantic City, where she left abruptly – leaving behind a boyfriend, still reeling from
Frances Plino
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
This was a good serial killer mystery with several different past and current stories coming together. The main investigative detectives were interesting enough, however, the story is based more around the backstories surrounding the suspects. Because of a current missing persons/possible murder and an old missing persons case with a similar MO, a group of old friends, that back in the day ran together in the fast lane of sex and drugs, find themselves drawn into the investigation. The Atlantic ...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
Paul Pessolano
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this author only a couple of years ago and have since enjoyed quite a few of his books.
While this one wasn't my favorite it was an enjoyable read.

This book is about three people with huge secrets that no one knows or would suspect. Megan is a soccer mom with a secret wild past. Ray was once talented documentary photographer, but now poses as a paparazzo. Lastly Detective Broome with an obsession to a cold case.

This book definitely shows that no matter how we try to hide and bury
Evangeline Jennings
Stay Close is the latest of Harlan Coben's standalone thrillers. It thrilled me slightly less than The Little Mermaid ride at Disneyland.

A lot of people get killed. Nobody really cares. Least of all this reader.

The "twist" is obvious. The killer is neither here nor there. And the "freaky" terror couple are as scary as those gay hitmen from that old Bond movie. They remind me of nothing so much as rejects from an old Modesty Blaise novel.

If you told me Harlan Coben dictated Stay Close over the
Love Fool
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Catch Me (Detective D.D. Warren, #6)
  • Experience: A Memoir
  • Capitol Murder (Dana Cutler, #3)
  • Never Tell (Ellie Hatcher, #4)
  • Selected Essays from: How to be Alone
  • Criminal (Will Trent, #6)
  • Force Of Nature (Joe Pickett, #12)
  • Water from the Sun and Discovering Japan
  • Gun Games (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #20)
  • The Accident
  • Taken (Elvis Cole, #15; Joe Pike, #4)
  • Guilty Wives
  • Amanda's Eyes (A.J. Gregson)
  • Twisted Justice
  • Buried Secrets (Nick Heller, #2)
  • The Drop (Harry Bosch, #17; Harry Bosch Universe, #21)
  • The Rule of Nine (Paul Madriani, #11)
  • Metro Star Murders
With over 60 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last seven consecutive novels, MISSING YOU, 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 books are published in 43 languages around the globe.

Coben is the winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first aut
More about Harlan Coben...

Share This Book

“... She looks really happy."
"Everyone looks happy on Facebook."
"I know, right? What's up with that?”
“Hope could be a wonderful thing. But hope could crush you anew every single day. Hope could be the cruelest thing in the world.” 5 likes
More quotes…