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Six Years

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Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.

But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.

As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found, or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.

351 pages, Hardcover

First published March 19, 2013

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About the author

Harlan Coben

239 books32.7k followers
Harlan Coben is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of the world's leading storytellers. His suspense novels are published in forty-five languages and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries with seventy-five million books in print worldwide.

His books have earned the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, and many have been developed into Netflix Original Drama series, including his adaptations of The Stranger, The Innocent, Gone for Good and The Woods. His most recent adaptation for Netflix, Stay Close, premiered on December 31, 2021 and stars Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, and Richard Armitage.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,711 reviews
Profile Image for Patricia Kurz.
150 reviews8 followers
May 25, 2013
I hope I can say enough about this horrible book that will keep enthusiastic hopefuls from spending time and money to acquire it. I cannot compare it to anything else by Coban except for "Stay Close," which was marginally readable. But this one, it's so bad, so implausible, so repetitive, so convoluted that it seems to have been written by a first year Composition student. The cliches are rampant. The love story that drives the dumb plot is dumber than that student writer's first draft. This man, this protagonist, Jake Fisher, is such a mope, such a feminized character that his described big, handsome physique seems wrong. His "fight" scenes are successful because of luck and some tricks, not because he is so enraged and impassioned that he is aggressive or cunning. His best friend, (requisite "black guy") Benedict is not as he seems. There is a sweet waitress and a crotchety old secretary. Everyone lies. There are (non-Italian) mobsters and African drug cartels. There are funky FBI agents and fence-riding cops. There is a lot of shooting and running and disguising. There are two references (in case you missed the first one) to a Lesbian couple. So Coban hit all the right notes politically. But none of that can Bandaid a shoddy story and lousy, boring characters who generate no sympathy (from me).

The ending lines actually explain the whole thing, and once you know why Natalie has disappeared, it's pretty flaccid. I still couldn't have cared less. By the time we are told why Natalie disappeared, we have been exhausted by events that do NOTHING to advance the Natalie story.

Many reviewers described this as a wild ride, high-tension, edge-of-the seat thrill. Not even a little bit of this story was so compelling.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews32 followers
May 19, 2022
Six Years, Harlan Coben

A lost love... and the secrets and lies at its heart. Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven't come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd's obituary, he can't keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd's wife he's hoping for... but she is not Natalie - and Jake's world is turned completely inside out. As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can't be found or don't remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake's search for the woman who broke his heart - and who lied to him - soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیستم ماه ژوئن سال2014میلادی

عنوان: شش سال؛ نویسنده: هارلن کوبن؛ مترجم: محمد عباس آبادی؛ تهران، کتابسرای تندیس؛ سال1392؛ در400ص؛ شابک9786001821059؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

شش سال، اثر: «هارلن کوبن»، نویسنده ی «ایالات متحده آمریکا» است، که آثارشان هماره مورد پسند ناقدان آثار، و علاقمندان به ژانر: «معمایی ـ جنایی» بوده است، نگارگر در این اثر خود، داستان «جیک فیش» را بازگو می‌کند، که شش سال پس از ازدواج زن مورد پسندش «ناتالی»، با مردی به نام «تاد»، و پذیرش شش سال رنج و عذاب عاطفی، با مشاهده ی آگهی فوت «تاد»، به امید دیداری دوباره با عشق کهن، بر سر مزار شوهر او می‌رود، اما با زنی روبرو می‌شود، که بیست سال از ازدواجش با «تاد» می‌گذرد؛ ...؛ و «ناتالی» نیست

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 18/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 28/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Sue Davis.
1,115 reviews19 followers
December 4, 2013
Very very bad writing. The author neglected to do his research on academic life and Political Science. Locke and Rousseau weren't political scientists, for example. Two professors would most likely have some intellectual interests rather than video games and picking up women. Jake would not have been department chair six years after finishing his dissertation, and "vice" chair is not a powerful position but the job of arranging course schedules if the department secretary doesn't do it. I don't remember Harlan Coben being this bad in the other novels I have read of his. No character development and a contrived sappy plot. Still, it kept me reading.
Profile Image for Mandy.
320 reviews332 followers
February 9, 2016
Talk about a roller coaster of a ride book! This was the first Harlan Coben novel I read and knew from then on I had to read more of his. After this I read The Woods which was just as good. This book captured my attention from the first word and I had a hard time putting it down. Highly recommend!!!
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,970 followers
March 26, 2013
Jake Sanders Fisher thought he’d met the love of his life in Natalie, but she dumped him abruptly to marry her old boyfriend, Todd. At the wedding, Natalie made Jake promise that he’d never try to contact her again. Six years passed as Jake taught political science at a small New England college, but he never got over Natalie. When he comes across Todd’s obituary, Jake thinks that his promise no longer applies so he heads to the funeral to bang the widow pay his respects.

However, Jake gets a big surprise. The widow at the service is not Natalie, and Todd had been married to this woman for years before the wedding that Jake witnessed. Adding to the weirdness, it turns out that Todd was murdered, and it’s as if Natalie never existed. Jake starts digging into the past to find Natalie and uncovers a lot of very dangerous secrets.

Here we’ve got a high concept thriller by a very capable genre writer, and it works well in that context. I particularly enjoyed the early part of the book when a confused Jake can’t even find someone who admits remembering Natalie or confirm a single fact about her. That gave the whole thing a slightly creepy feel.

However, there were a couple of factors that weighed the whole thing down. As a college professor who was a bar bouncer in his youth, Jake makes a pretty good amateur sleuth character in that he’s smart and can hold his own in a fist fight while still seeming over his head. The problem is that the whole plot hinges on this idea that even though Jake has pined for Natalie since he lost her, he was able keep his promise to the point where he never even tried to do a Google search or look her up on Facebook once in six years. Yet when he’s trying to track her down and he gets several valid warnings that he could do her harm by looking, he keeps going. There’s some internal character conflict there that Coben does try to have Jake rationalize, but I never really buy it.

Also, there’s just too much suspension of disbelief required at a couple of points. None of this was enough to make me dislike the book, but it did cut down on my enjoyment of it.

It’s a competent thriller with a nice hook to it, but frankly, I had a good idea of the explanation for what happened to Natalie fairly early in the book. I would have liked a few more surprises along the way and some more consistent behavior from the main character who claims to be doing it all for love.

Also posted at Shelf Inflicted.
Profile Image for Sandra.
681 reviews6 followers
August 1, 2016
Six years ago Jake Fisher was dumped by his love-of-his-life girlfriend Natalie---she sent him a note telling him she was going to marry her old boyfriend Todd. The next day Jake gets an invitation to her wedding. He decides to go, speaks briefly to Natalie at the wedding, and tells her he'll always love her. She tells him to move on, it's over between them, and "promise me to leave us alone".

Six years later...Jake is doing well as a Professor at Lanford College in Vermont, and he has kept his promise to Natalie. One day, while talking to a student at college, he sees an obituary and the photo in the obituary looks like Natalie's husband Todd. He decides to go to Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, near Savannah Georgia, where Todd's funeral is being held. He needs closure on the relationship, to really put this behind him. But when he goes he doesn't see Natalie there. Another woman called Delia is pointed out as Todd's wife. Jake starts to get curious, wonders if he's even at the right funeral. After he gets a flight home this is still bothering him and he begins to ask questions. What happended to Natalie? Why can't he find any recent info on Natalie on the internet? How come the priest Jake talked to at Natalie's wedding doesn't remember him or the wedding? Why is Natalie's sister acting like they never met, etc...

Then Jake receives an email one day that says "You made a promise". Convinced it could be from Natalie he thinks of backing off but he seems to keep getting more and more drawn into this mysterious situation concerning the missing Natalie. At times he thinks he's being followed. He's becoming suspicious of his friends. Who can he trust?

This was a really captivating read. I had a hard time putting the book down, I kept wanting to find out what was going to happen next. It was fast-paced, funny at times, and easy to read. It was also told in the first person POV (point-of-view). I liked the main character Jake. He really did love Natalie and he wanted to keep his promise to her, he did for six years, but he was afraid she may be in danger (if she's still alive). This was my first read by this author and it was really very good with an interesting storyline, evil villains, and lots of suspense!
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,943 followers
October 9, 2016
This is another of Harlan Coben's stand-alones, filled with his patented twists and turns. It opens as a college professor named Jake Fisher watches the love of his life, Natalie, marry another man. Jake and Natalie had met at a retreat in Vermont where he was completing his doctoral dissertation and she was an artist. They had a whirlwind romance and were seemingly made for each other when Natalie suddenly tells Jake that she has decided to marry an old boyfriend named Todd. The wedding is held a week later. Natalie invites Jake to make sure he gets the message, and after the ceremony she begs him to leave them alone and never to contact her again.

Jake is completely crushed, but honors Natalie's wish. For the next six years, he devotes himself to his job as a professor in a small liberal arts college while continuing to pine away for his lost love. Then one day, almost by accident, Jake notices an obituary for Natalie's husband, Todd. By some miraculous coincidence, it turns out that Todd was a graduate of the college where Jake teaches and the obit is published on the college website.

Now Jake determines to contact Natalie, if only to offer his condolences. He rationalizes this by telling himself that he had promised to leave "them" alone. He has honored his promise for six years, but he figures that they is no "them" anymore and so he's not really breaking his word. Jake flies south to the funeral, only to discover that Todd's widow is someone else entirely. The widow claims that Todd was never married to anyone else, and certainly not to anyone named Natalie.

This is a novel by Harlan Coben and so naturally, things will get increasingly stranger as the story progresses. Jake launches a determined effort to find Natalie, only to discover that powerful forces are arrayed against him and that he and any number of others may be in deadly danger if he persists in his search.

This is an interesting, if not quite believable premise, and Coben jacks up the tension as the story progresses. I enjoyed it up to a point, but as often happens in these novels, Coben threw in so many abrupt twists that the whole edifice of the story simply collapsed, at least for me, and I could no longer continue to suspend disbelief and take the story seriously. I've enjoyed a lot of Coben's books, especially the Myron Bolitar series, and it's hard to argue that a guy who sells a gazillion books every time out of the gate could possibly be doing anything wrong. But I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if the story had been a bit more believable.
Profile Image for Ionia.
1,436 reviews67 followers
January 28, 2013
This is the most suspenseful book I have read in a very long time. Not only can you not figure out what is going to happen at the end, but every single chapter contains new surprises.

When Jake Fisher notices an obituary for the husband of a woman he loved six years in the past, he makes the fateful decision to look for her. This sets events in motion that may forever change his life.

There was not a moment during this book that I thought I had everything all figured out. The pacing was perfect. The pages that were not filled with action were filled with psychological puzzles that about drove me crazy. Just when I thought I had it all put together, something else would change and I would have to start guessing all over again.

Harlan Coben has written a lot of really good books, but this one is my new favorite. He has managed to write a complex, layered story with characters that you want to see succeed on their various missions. There is action, suspense, love, longing, murder and every other component that makes for a thrilling read.

I was surprised by how well the first person POV worked for this book. Where sometimes it can come across as a little one-sided and make the book feel superficial, this time I appreciated it. This POV allowed me to get inside the head of the main character and get to know him, which this made me feel almost like I was thinking through his mind as well and trying to solve the mystery right along with him.

If you are looking for the perfect book to take you away from everything else in your life, this is it. I couldn't focus on anything else while reading "Six Years."

Harlan Coben is clearly at the top of his game!

I reviewed a digital ARC copy of this book. My opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Lila.
845 reviews9 followers
April 24, 2013
2,5 stars for me.

I have a theory. First book you read from Harlan Coben will probably end up being your favorite or one of favorites from him. My first was Tell No One. I remember staying all night reading it. I was one very satisfied reader when I closed my book. Of course I wanted to read everything by him. The trouble is,that first excitement- novelty of his style that grabs your attention with first book- starts to fade with every new book of his that comes into your hands. You can predict what's going to happen. I would go so far to say that hero/heroine (I'll stick to his stand-alone novels) sound so similar you have a felling you know him/her. You've been inside their head already.
So, Six Years is your usual Coben. Jake Fisher is a college professor, who lives very calm and happy life except one little thing: he isn't over his ex girlfriend. Natalie left Jake six years ago to marry another guy and she told him at her wedding never to bother them. Six years later he saw obituary of Natalie's husband and he goes to funeral to...get a glance at love of his life? But the mourning widow isn't Natalie. And that's where mystery part begins and from there we follow Jake as he slowly reveals what's behind Natalie's actions six years ago.
If you read Coben before, you'll find yourself guessing what's next. Even end is predictable and so similar as it was in previous novels.
My point is this: if you never read Coben before, you'll probably enjoy this more than me. If you read his work before, don't expect anything new. I don't know if I would pick it as soon as it came out, if it wasn't a MCT group monthly read.
Profile Image for Julie .
4,078 reviews59k followers
May 28, 2015
Six Years by Harlan Coben is a 2013 Dutton Adult publication.

If you read Harlan Coben at all, then you know pretty much what to expect from his work. Stand alone or series, you can never figure out where you are being led until the very end, the.very.end. This book was no exception. This is quintessential Harlan Coben.

Six years ago, Jake Fisher watched the love of his life, Natalie, married another man. He attended the wedding to see it with his own eyes because he simply can't wrap his head around their sudden break up. He was positive Natalie felt the same way he did, but she goes indeed marry Todd and then extracts a promise from Jake to leave her alone and let her live her life. For six years he keeps his promise, but when he happens upon Todd's obituary, all the old feelings come back to the surface and he decides to attend the funeral, but gets the shock of his life, when the widow is not Natalie. So, where on earth is Natalie? Jake doesn't know, but it's now his quest in life to find her. But, someone doesn't want Jake to succeed...

It's been a really long time since I read Harlan Coben, but he is one of my favorite mystery writers. I liked Jake's character, he was funny, real, and I could literally feel his pain and over losing the love of his life. I liked that he let his feelings for Natalie drive him toward the truth. There are twist galore and a few hairpin turns for kicks and giggles. Sure, sure, there were a few times when the fast pacing nearly jumped the track and a few times the plot verged on the implausible, but I was riveted from start to finish and of course in signature Coben style there is one last surprise at the end to put the cherry on the cake.

It's always an adventure when you dive into Coben's stories and I hope I can squeeze more of his books into my immediate TBR pile, because I really have missed him. 4 stars
Profile Image for Lisa.
782 reviews
September 11, 2015
Wow Harlan Coben never ceases to amaze me his writing is so easy to read & his plots are so consuming he gets you right in Jake Fisher is a professor & loves his students Six years earlier he watched the love of his life Marry another man Todd but he ends up reading his obituary on the internet what follows is a mad race to find out the truth this has lots of twists & turns its one big rollercoaster ride from beginning to end am becoming a big fan of harlan Coben
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,049 followers
November 15, 2019
“I sat in the back pew and watched the only woman I would ever love marry another man.”

That quote above is the opening line of the book. I mean, come on! How could I not keep on reading after that? Mr. Harlan Coben sure does know to put his readers on a spell. This is actually my first read from him and already I’m looking up the rest of his other books so I could add them on my reading list.

I realized I actually missed this-reading a plain ole mystery thriller like I used to in the good old days when the only authors I knew were James Patterson, Dan Brown, John Grisham and David Baldacci. Add in Jude Deveraux and Danielle Steel even though these last two are romance writers. Lol. Mr. Coben’s style though is up-to-date. He has certainly kept up with the times because his narrative is relatable, believable (with the exception of that part where the hero dials certain phone numbers by heart-lol!) and hilarious. Take a peek.

“That’s the problem with falling in love. It makes you start talking like a bad country song.”

“Now my disguise is simpler: I’ve shaved my head. My dome gleams. If I wore a gold earring, you’d mistake me for Mr. Clean.”

Tell me those lines are funny. I find them really funny. The story is told by the main character, Jake Fisher, a professor so his narrative is a blend of smart, informative, instrospective, funny, sarcastic and a little bit (or a lot) cheesy. I don’t mind though because I completely enjoyed it. I was kept thinking hard throughout the plot. It was definitely mysterious-something I wouldn’t have easily predicted.

Amazing how the driving force to all Jake’s conflicts (involving a sort of secret society, a mafia, the police and the FBI ) is his undying love for his one true love-Natalie. Seems corny but I definitely bought it. I’m excited to see what else the author has to offer in his other books.
Profile Image for Carolyn (on vacation).
2,248 reviews642 followers
September 14, 2016
I haven't read a book by Harlan Coben for quite some time and I'd forgotten how good it is to cosy up with a book of his for a couple of hours. His plots are always well constructed with a puzzling mystery that takes a few twists and turns and keeps you thinking right up to the end. His characters are all interesting and well fleshed out so that you come to care about what happens to them.

This novel was no exception. Jake Fisher, a young handsome college Professor, has never recovered from losing Natalie, the love of his life six years ago when she inexplicably dumped him after a perfect summer romance and promptly married an old flame. Since then he has had a few short term relationships but no one has been able to come close to replacing Natalie. He loves his teaching job at his small East coast college and is popular with the students and has a good drinking buddy amongst the staff. However, one day he sees something that makes him wonder what really happened with Natalie and as he starts to look into past events, gets himself and a lot of other people into a whole world of trouble.

An excellent fast paced and entertaining page turner!

Profile Image for Vicki.
400 reviews29 followers
July 19, 2020
I have to say, this is the very first book by Harlan Coben I have read. What in the heck have I been missing? Wow, this book was literally amazing. I could not put it down.
Jake Fischer and Natalie Avery meet while both on retreats in Vermont. They fall in love. At the end of the summer, Jake receives a wedding invite from Natalie since she is marrying someone else. She makes Jake promise to leave them alone. He does. For Six Years. Then he sees an obit for her husband. Well, he did promise to leave them alone, but there is no more them. He heads down to go to Todd's funeral and this is when everything gets really weird.
Again, I love this book. I love that there is mystery, twists and turns, not everyone is who they say they are, and through it all, Mr. Coben has Jake Sanders having such a facetious attitude. I loved it. I truly can't believe I had never read any of his books before and he will definitely be on my authors I love list now.
Profile Image for Kelly.
1,392 reviews39 followers
July 28, 2013
The style and narrative of this novel reminded very much of Linwood Barclay but without the character depth and development and with a really weak plot.

I will certainly admit that I didn't finish this novel, in fact it felt as though it had taken me Six Years just to read 100 pages. Not only did I find the plot lacking in both detail and context but that the lead character seemed more like a mental stalker than a concerned ex-boyfriend. (Though why he was concerned in the first place is a mystery in itself)

Our narrator then seemed fairly normal at first, he had lost the love of his life and Six Years later was still hung up on her (even though she had sounded like a right bitch in the first chapter) for whatever reason. Then in a completely tenuous and fairly unbelivable conicidence, he discovers that her husband (the man she married instead of our stalker narrator) is now dead. Then without a single real motivation, beyond being entirely emotionally stunted after his dumpage, he goes into a full scale hunt for a woman that not only dumped him and then literally ordered him to stay away, but then didn't speak to him for six years...

The weak reasoning behind his involvement was addressed in the novel by the narrator, who acknowledged that there was no real reason to investigate his old bitch girlfriend and her possibly late husband, but this just made him sound really defensive, as though convincing us he wasn't mental.

All we knew about their relationship was that it had been a fairly short-lived affair in a secluded camp, but that it had still been never-ending love. Until she dumped him and married someone else. Therefore I couldn't really care whether the husband was or wasn't the husband, or whether Natalie was real or fake or whatever. If she had turned out to have been a firebreathing dragon with seventeen heads I probably wouldn't have been interested. Though that may have been more believable that the rest of the plot.

The plot itself, beyond this tenuous reason for investigtion, was really just a drawn out series of events in which our stalker narrator spent heck of a lot of money trapsing around the country interviewing people that should have known Natalie. But didn't. I know, I know. Tense right? No. I loathe the novels where the lead character knows that something has happened and yet nobody believes them... that isn't tension, that is frustration and being frustrated throughout a novel isn't entertaining.

Anyway, enough ranting. I wouldn't recommend.

Profile Image for ♡ ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ♡.
2,734 reviews449 followers
February 7, 2018
Jake und Natalie sind unsterblich ineinander verliebt. Alles ist perfekt, doch dann heiratet Natalie ganz plötzlich und völlig unerwartet einen anderen Mann: Todd. Jake versteht die Welt nicht mehr. Er muss Natalie versprechen, aus ihrem Leben zu verschwinden. Er darf keinen Kontakt mehr zu ihr aufnehmen. Jake verspricht es schweren Herzens und hält sich sechs Jahre lang an dieses Versprechen. Doch dann liest er eine Todesanzeige - Todd ist gestorben. Nun möchte Jake doch wieder Kontakt zu Natalie aufnehmen und fährt zu Todds Beerdigung. Doch die trauernde Witwe ist eine fremde Frau - nicht Natalie! Natalie scheint spurlos verschwunden - was ist passiert? Jake begibt sich auf die Suche nach der Wahrheit.

Mein Leseeindruck:

Ein sehr spannendes Buch, das mich überraschen konnte, weil ich mit diesem Inhalt nicht gerechnet hatte. Mich konnte die Geschichte sehr fesseln. Ich mag rätselhafte Handlungen und viele Wendungen, so wie es sie in diesem Buch gibt.

Auch der Schreibstil hat mir gut gefallen. Wir lesen die Geschichte aus der Sicht von Jake, so dass wir ihn hautnah bei seiner Suche begleiten und seine Gefühle teilen können.

Ich mochte das Buch und werde sicherlich noch weiterer Bücher von Harlan Coben lesen!
Profile Image for Mary  Carrasco.
62 reviews223 followers
October 31, 2017
I had forgotten how effortless it is to read a Harlan Coben book. This was no exception. I was instantly drawn into the story. I really liked the main character, Jake. He had a great sense of humor even in the middle of some wild predicaments. There was plenty of suspense but that's really par for the course when reading any Coben book.
Profile Image for Didi.
865 reviews287 followers
September 11, 2015
What a great book! It was sharp, suspenseful, funny and had me on my toes the whole time. I was hooked from page 1, and then after that I became so invested in the outcome. I kept thinking, "what the fuck is going on?!" Over and over. And exactly that phrasing mind you, it was that good. And when I say funny I don't mean, comedy, I mean wit, pure and intelligent wit.
There were twists and turns with every chapter, questions that wouldn't go away but would gain momentum. This was incredibly well written and really challenged my sleuthing skills.

I loved the main character, Jacob Fischer. His voice was very fresh, at least for me. He was a smart man that needed answers and wouldn't give up. I found him both charming and stubborn. This was told in 1st person POV, which in this case was perfect. But then again, I love 1st person. It always makes me feel more connected to the character and everything they're experiencing.
Lots of characters in this one, but not in a confusing way. The plot was brilliant in my opinion. It took me out of my romance zone and made me want to stay there. The connections between everything were fabulous, very tight and thorough. I never figured anything out before I was told, either.

Thanks Raquel for rec'ing such a great book! You read my mind with wanting to expand my reading niche. I loved, loved the ending. Sometimes with this type of genre things are explained but left almost needing some sort of closure--or that might be the expectations of a romance lover--. Not here, though. Things were done right. Highly recommended for anyone including those of us that need a good change once in awhile.
Profile Image for Suz.
1,158 reviews604 followers
April 13, 2015
I was very excited to come across this book a couple of days ago, considering I'd just looked into reserving it at my library. AND I'd spied it on my cousins bookshelf while on holidays, tempted to ask if I could take it with me!! I found it at a charity store the next day and the lady serving me asked me if she could read it after me!

This book had everything I want in a thriller. It was easy to read, the protagonist was likeable - down to earth, capable, friendly, affable, clever. The writing made it such that it skipped along and I did not want to put it down. The story was narrated Jake Sanders, he seems to be losing his mind, or others around him just don't know who he is.. A successful college professor who makes the hard decision to forget the love of his life when she decides to marry someone else, an ex. He sticks to his promise to Natalie and does not try to contact her, that is until he sees the obituary of her husband. Why not try to seek her out after this six year period, he has nothing to lose?? From here we follow his story and it was so very easy to read as it was told in a low key conversational tone as we went along on his journey. You felt like you were his buddy along for the ride.

An author I'm so excited to come across, I am already on the hunt for more. Highly recommended and easy reading.
Profile Image for Ruth.
73 reviews40 followers
June 15, 2022
Six years ago Jake Fisher watched Natalie the love of his life marry another man. Since then Jake has thrown himself into his career as a college professor. It has also been six years of tortured dreams thinking of Natalie's new life with her new husband Todd even though Jake has kept his promise and has left her alone for the past six years. But Jake hasn't come close to extinguishing his feelings for Natalie and when he runs across an obituary for Todd, Jake can't keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets a glimpse of Todd's wife, but she is not Natalie. Whoever Todd's widow is she's been married to Todd for almost two decades. Suddenly everything Jake thought he knew about the best time in his life, a time in his life he has never gotten over is turned upside down. Can Jake find the truth? Mutual friends of the couple can't be found or don't remember Jake and no one has seen Natalie in years. Jake puts his life at risk to find the woman who lied to him and broke his heart all those years ago until it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction. Harlan Coben is hit or miss with me. And unfortunately this one is a miss. Seems a bit too far fetched for my taste. Three stars.
Profile Image for Mallory.
1,249 reviews125 followers
December 5, 2022
I’ll admit I was hoping for a little more than I got with this one. I’ve read several of this author’s previous books and really enjoyed them. This one was not bad but it wasn’t the level of writing I had gone in expecting. I thought a lot of it was unbelievable (and not just the mystery, but the background stuff seemed a little off too). Jake was dumped by the love of his life 6 years ago and he tortured himself with watching her get married to make sure it was over. After the wedding she asks him to promise to never try to contact her again and to let her go. He does, but when he happens to notice an obituary for her husband he goes to the funeral to make sure she’s s ok and is shocked to find a different woman as the grieving widow.
Profile Image for Jim.
576 reviews88 followers
February 6, 2017
Jake Fisher met Natalie Avery while they were both at a retreat. For Jake it was love at first sight. He thought Natalie felt the same but Jake was rocked when Natalie informs him that she and a former boyfriend have decided to get married. She asks Jake to promise that he will never attempt to contact them. Jake promises and he keeps that promise. For six years. Until he sees an obituary for Todd Sanderson. That was the name of the man Natalie married. He decides to go to the funeral. Just extend his condolences. Surely the promise he made six years ago doesn't apply here.

At the funeral Jake is shocked when the widow is not Natalie. Not only is it not Natalie but the widow had been married to Todd for ten years and they have two children. What happened to Natalie? No one has seen her in six years. He heads back to the retreat where he and Natalie met. No one remembers him or Natalie. Not only that ... there is no sign of the retreat. The more he looks into what happened six years ago and what happened to Natalie the more his life begins to unravel. His career as a professor at his alma mater is in jeopardy, the authorities and the mob are looking for him, his life is danger. For Jake in life there was right and there was wrong. You were on one side of the line or you were on the other. There was no gray area. As he searches for the woman he loves he finds that things are not that simple, that sometimes there is a gray area. Sometimes you have your foot on one side of the line and sometimes your foot may cross that line.

The story was fast paced and a real page turner. I found it hard to put down and couldn't wait to learn what happened to Natalie. Was she alive? Would Jake find her? In all of the Harlan Coben books that I have read there is an event that took place in the past and it's impact is felt in the present day. The author keeps you guessing from the first page until the final page.

Profile Image for Tânia Tanocas.
346 reviews34 followers
June 4, 2020
Mesmo com muitos livros para ler, não tem sido fácil escolher uma leitura que me agarre a 100%, foi quando me lembrei do Harlan, será que iria funcionar?
Funcionou muito bem, já tinha saudades de ficar agarrada num livro ao ponto de querer virar mais uma página mesmo estando cheia de sono...
Até hoje Harlan Coben não me desiludiu e este "seis anos depois" voltou a lembrar-me disso mesmo...
Profile Image for Nitasha.
137 reviews19 followers
March 20, 2013
I haven't read anything else by Harlan Coben, so I can't really say if this is consistent with his other work. I found that although this story is fast paced and an easy read, it's also very compartmentalized. Mystery should surprise you and keep you on your toes, but everything from the generic romantic woes to the ending was very linear and mechanized. I think Harlan Coben's writing seems a little outdated sometimes, and it shows his age (but not necessarily in a flattering way).

The writing itself didn't captivate me, but it did have flow and complimented the types of characters in the book. Jake's character could have been more interesting, but all of his behaviours are expected. He never does anything that you cannot predict. Right at the beginning his character is outlined in this very strict typecast of the righteous man. Even when he steps outside his comfort zone though, no one is surprised. I wish Coben had taken more risks with this book, because the plot itself is so overdone. The best chance he had to win people over was through his characters, but even the characters are shallow and poorly developed.

It wasn't a chore to read this book, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone or purchase an actual copy of it.
Profile Image for Roya.
227 reviews3 followers
May 30, 2013
This book reminded me of a good/bad horror movie with an incredibly stupid protagonist. If this had not been an audio book, I would have put it down due to a lack of patience and because it would have been a waste of my time. But, because I was listening to the audi version, I could multi-task, and the book held my interest enough to make me want to find out exactly what happened to Natalie. I had already guessed more or less what was going on with Natalie before I got too far into the book.

I had to suspend disbelief very, very often. Not only is Jake stupid and putting lives at risk, he is running around with multiple concussions...there are many holes in the plot. I just did not buy it. Why people are comparing this to "Gone Girl" is beyond me. Additionally, the language is incredibly melodramatic and the narrator in the audio version only serves to accentuate that aspect of the novel. Maybe it's me, but I don't know any guys who gush about their feelings in such a corny, melodramatic way. If you ar elooking for a light read, you might enjoy the book, if you can get past the disbelief.
Profile Image for Gary.
2,674 reviews377 followers
July 30, 2015
What a great read, finished it in two sittings. Having recently finished two rather average books it was nice to read this latest novel by Harlan Coben. Admittedly he is one of my favourite writers but this book grips you from the start and keeps you there to the very end. Fast paced, full of action with lots of twists and turns.
Profile Image for Kimberly .
546 reviews67 followers
August 30, 2023
Works for me

Another Harlan Coben story for mebto enjoy. Main character Jake has lost the love of his life and determines to find her. Fast moving and a good story. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Profile Image for Kwoomac.
836 reviews37 followers
June 25, 2013
Wow. Least favorite Harlen Coben ever. Usually I can count on him to throw me into the middle of his story and keep me up late with my adrenaline pumping. Not so here. I guess I never really bought the relationship between Jake, our protagonist, and Natalie, the woman he had a 3 month relationship with 6 years ago.

Jake decides he's got to find Natalie after a 6 year lapse after an obituary on his school website makes him question what really happened 6 years ago when Natalie dumped him. Here we have a political science (I think) professor who suddenly thinks he can take on the mafia, the FBI, and a number of police departments, all the while people are telling him to stay far away or people will get killed. Does he care that he's putting many people's lives at risk? Nope. How does Jake think things are going to turn out? All the signs point to "not well" with a lot of carnage along the way.

I feel like Coben phoned this one in. Very disappointing.
Profile Image for Asha Seth.
Author 1 book317 followers
July 12, 2013
I sat in the back pew and watched the only woman I would ever love marry another man.
and begins the almost heart-breaking tale of Jake Fisher.

Its been Six years since that day in the church when Jake Fisher watches Natalie Avery, his love, marry Todd Sanderson, her ex. Six years since he's been struggling to live life without her, with the torturing thoughts that left him dumbstruck; when on the wedding day Natalie whispered to him - Promise me, Jake. Promise me you’ll leave us alone.”

Six years later. Jake stumbles across an obituary. It is Todd's obituary. Jake cannot suppress the flicker of hope that arises on seeing the obituary. With the hope of seeing her again, he plans to pay his respects to Todd and visits his funeral.

It is only at the funeral, will he know that Todd was never married to Natalie, the widow he finds at the funeral was married to Todd for over a decade. Then where is Natalie? Why did she lie to him? And the wedding? And where was she all these years? Was she alive or dead? And the promise she so forced him to make - Leave us alone, what did it suggest? Was there a deadly secret to all of this?

Jake embarks on a journey where he unearths secrets dark and dangerous that start to make the whole thing sound real creepy. Everyone Jake meets, they not only lie to him but also fail to recognize him. The web of mysteries and the task of finding Natalie Avery is left for Jake alone to figure and solve.

My first book of Mr. Coben. And I so loved it.
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