With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.
Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for.
When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.
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.
Ah yes, the ever faithful Coben novel. The comfort and confidence I feel in his work knows no bounds; whether I am on a string of enjoyable reads or stuck in a month long slump, his books are always devoured and relished. You could say I shove his books into the hands of strangers on a regular basis that I regularly recommend his novels in the most appropriate fashion, and with good reason- they are compulsive thrillers filled with dry humor and wit that anyone can relate to. As one of my top 3 favorite authors of all time, I think it's safe to say my review cannot be wholly unbiased, but if you'll stick with me I'm going to try and give you impartial facts as to why you may love this book too.
1- Coben based this book on true events that happened in his hometown. That's right, this story may be his most believable and realistic to date, if solely for the fact that it was inspired by two things that had taken place where he lives. I'm not going to tell you about it so that you can buy the book and read it for yourself, but it's all explained right in the prologue and naturally sets the tone for the entire read.
2- This book is downright hilarious. Ok, I know that sounds weird for a thriller that involves grisly murders and disturbing content to be funny, but you just have to read it to see what I mean. Anyone who has been a longtime fan of Coben is aware of his sense of dry humor and ability to infuse even the most tense situations with comic relief. This particular standalone was reminiscent of the same air of intelligent banter found in the author's Myron Bolitar series, which is a HUGE plus for me as it's one of my favorite series of all time. <--- Check out other reviews if you don't believe me; they'll agree on the MB reference as well.
3. The story isn't rigid and predictable. You know how sometimes you can read a string of thrillers in a row and wonder where one starts and the next ends because they all appear the same? Not so here; Coben has whipped up heaping piles of intrigue and suspense for sure, but also added in a dash of humor and romance for good measure. I love how I don't feel confined to thinking I'm in a single genre when I read these books; when I dive in it just feels like natural writing and remains uplifting no matter how dark the story turns.
These are just a few reasons why I found Don't Let Go to be such an excellent read; if you have enjoyed the author's previous novels you'll likely find this one just as refreshing and exciting as his past books. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a multitude of gut busters (those are my laughs when I snort at the same time) along with their serious stories. I'm once again in my dry spell of waiting for the next book to be written and published, but in the meantime I'll reminisce over all the feels of DLG. I can't wait to see what the majority thinks of this book!
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.
One of my all-time favorite authors has done it again! An absolutely superb, stand-alone thriller to add to his (and my) collection.
Nap is a police detective who has never fully recovered from the death of his twin brother Leo. Along with his girlfriend Diane, Leo died tragically when the couple were just teenagers.
Unbelievably, that same night, Nap lost his girlfriend Maura…only she went missing, and was never heard from again. 15 years later he is still the walking-wounded. Emotionally devastated and left to ponder “what if?” He also carries on a constant inner-dialogue with his deceased brother. A very unique and clever angle that took me a bit to get used to, but once I warmed up to it I completely enjoyed his inner conversations.
With a knock on the door, news comes that his long lost girlfriend Maura may have resurfaced. Only problem…it’s tied to the death of another childhood friend. Could this be related to why Leo died mysteriously so many years ago? As Nap starts digging into the past, there are others out there determined to keep the secrets of the past buried forever.
Absolutely outstanding! Loved everything about this book from start to finish! As good as his Myron Bolitar series, this one does not disappoint! There is even a cameo appearance! Yeah! Would highly recommend to all Harlan Coben fans!
A fantastic ‘Birthday’ Traveling sister read with Brenda, Norma and Lindsay!
Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group - Dutton and Harlan Coben for an ARC to review.
I have read and enjoyed quite a few of Harlan Coben’s books over the years. After reading the description for “Don’t Let Go” I was really excited to get reading.
New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas has been searching for fifteen years. He’s been searching for his high school love, Maura. He’s also been searching for answers to what happened on the fateful night that his twin brother and girlfriend were found dead on the train tracks.
Now fifteen years later Maura’s fingerprints have been found where a crime has been committed. Will Nap finally find Maura and find out what happened that terrible night all those years before? Could it have something to do with the nearby abandoned military facility?
I really liked the way the book started. I found it was interesting and I was intrigued. However, after a while I found myself drifting. I was having a hard time with all of the characters and was easily distracted by other things going on.
I really liked Nap and enjoyed leaning about what he was like when he was younger. However, I wondered if an eighteen year old would really have the foresight that he did. I guess maybe he would have had the instincts of a cop early on. There were times he seemed very intelligent with great investigative skills. But then there were a few times I felt like he should have been more prepared as a seasoned police officer. I won’t say more as I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone.
There was a lot that I liked about this novel but unfortunately there were things that lessened my enjoyment of it. The story-line was interesting but there were many things that I found far-fetched. I often tell myself that it is normal when I’m reading fiction to have to suspend disbelief. Maybe I’m just being too fussy, but I found myself having to do it quite a bit while reading this novel. The book brought up a lot of important thought-provoking issues, but I just had a hard time staying connected to the story.
I’ve seen a lot of great reviews from readers that have really enjoyed this novel. It could very well be a case of “it’s not you it’s me”. I’ve enjoyed quite a few of the author’s other books. The Stranger, Hold Tight, and Stay Close are among my favorites. So although this wasn't my favorite, I do look forward to seeing what Mr. Coben writes in the future.
Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
"Don't Let Go" is the Best Standalone Harlan Coben has EVER written. Hands Down.
Detective Napoleon Dumas, known as “Nap” lives and works in a small New Jersey town. He has been searching for answers his whole life. Or at least for the last fifteen years -since his senior year of high school to be exact. That is when Nap lost his twin brother Leo. When Leo and his girlfriend Diana were found dead – on the railroad tracks in their hometown. No one ever determined the exact cause of death. At that exact same time, Nap’s high school girlfriend Maura disappeared. Vanished, almost into thin air as if she never existed. It tore him apart, losing all three of them at once. He has never been the same.
Now, fifteen years later, Nap is informed that Maura’s finger prints are found at the scene of a crime in a neighboring town (involving someone else from their high school). Nap is astounded and he feel that this incident has to be linked to what happened to his brother.
In order to uncover the truth, Nap enlists help from his mentor Augie and his best friend Ellie, both of whom have been with him from the get go. The ride it takes them all on is dangerous, twisted and full of surprises.
“Don’t Let Go” is one of the best books Harlan Coben has ever written. It contains interesting, intriguing characters who you can't help but care about deeply, its brilliantly written and has an extremely well-developed plot. The mystery is complex, compelling and completely exhilarating. While I guessed the ending fairly early on, it did not spoil the book for me in any way whatever.
For those of you who have read Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series, this book reminded me a lot of those. Best friends Nap and Ellie’s friendship reminded me of Myron and Esperanza's (especially the in the earlier sports agent books). I immediately loved Nap and Ellie's characters and this story - in fact, I adored it. Nap’s past, his search for answers, the crime he decides to solve on his own – it all creates an incredible story – one that sucks you in and that won’t let go until you turn the final page. Though I admit that the Myron Bolitar series is my favorite of Harlan Coben’s works, I would love to see more of Nap in the future.
A huge thank you to Edelweiss, Leila Siddiqui, Penquin Publishing Group and Harlan Coben for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review
Harlan Coben has achieved another mic drop with his latest book, Don't Let Go.
Don't you hate it when "real life" gets in the way of your reading? If work hadn't gotten in the way, and we hadn't been without power due to a storm for more than 24 hours, I would have devoured this book in one sitting. But even spread out over a few days, this book knocked me out, and once again reminded me (after the fantastic Home last year—see my original review) what a fantastic writer Coben is.
Napoleon "Nap" Dumas is a police detective in his suburban New Jersey hometown. Now in his mid-30s, living in his childhood home, he's never quite gotten over the death of his twin brother Leo during their senior year in high school. Leo and his girlfriend Diana were found dead on the local railroad tracks, believed to be either poor judgment due to drugs and alcohol, or some kind of double suicide. Nap never could understand how Leo could either make such a colossal mistake or how he could be so desperate, and this lack of closure has haunted him for years.
And if the shock of Leo and Diana's death wasn't enough for Nap to handle, his girlfriend Maura, also a friend of Leo and Diana's, disappeared that night. No matter how hard Nap tried to find her, he never could, and never understood why she left. Fifteen years later, Nap gets an alert that Maura's fingerprints have turned up in a rental car involved in the murder of a policeman, who, it turned out, was in the same high school class as Nap, Leo, and Maura. Suddenly Nap may be able to find answers to the two questions that have plagued him for years, and he is determined to do everything he can to uncover the truth, no matter how many people warn him simply to let it go.
But instead of finding answers, Nap keeps finding more questions, questions he might not want to know the answer to, questions which involve Leo and Maura and Diana and other high school classmates. And for some reason, right in the middle of all of the questions is a mystery surrounding an abandoned military base in their hometown, which some believed was far more nefarious than the story presented by the government.
What happened that fateful night which changed the course of so many lives? Was it government conspiracy, youthful folly gone wrong, or something even more sinister? Will finding the answers set Nap free to live his life, finally able to put the past behind him, or should he take the advice of those who tell him—and not all do it gently—to let it go? And will Nap even survive his hunt for the truth?
Much like Home, not only did Don't Let Go pack some punches, but it also contained a lot of raw emotional power as well. Nap, Maura, his best friend Ellie, and Diana's father (and Nap's mentor) Augie were fascinating characters, each with secrets of their own. Every time I thought I knew where the book was going Coben took the plot in a slightly different direction, and I was truly hooked from start to finish.
How many of us have wondered about whether we could have changed the course of a tragedy if we had only acted differently, or acted at all? That knowledge doesn't always help, and it creates a burden we must bear until we're ready to move on. That burden is so deeply felt in Don't Let Go, and Coben's mastery with the plot's twists and turns as well as its emotional intricacies makes this an excellent book.
NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!
Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben is a 2017 Dutton publication.
An ingenious, potent, and disturbing thriller-
Napoleon ‘Nap’ Dumas’ was enjoying an active senior year in high school, where both he and his twin brother, Leo, were involved in serious romantic relationships, and were busy with extracurricular activities- Leo, with his conspiracy club, and Nap with his hockey team. But, Nap’s world stops on a dime, when Leo and his girlfriend, Diana, are found dead on the railroad tracks, and Nap’s girlfriend, Maura, suddenly leaves town, leaving no traces of her whereabouts for the next fifteen years.
Nap, who went on to become a cop, is still haunted by Maura’s sudden departure and has grieved every single day for his twin brother.
But, when a fellow officer is killed, Leo recognizes him as one of Leo’s buddies from the ‘The Conspiracy Club’, back in high school. But the real kicker is that Maura was with him when he was gunned down, but managed to escape.
This event seems to set off a domino effect, when another member of the ‘The Conspiracy Club’ disappears, and yet another goes completely off grid.
Nap begins to believe Leo and Diana did not die in a senseless drug and alcohol fueled accident, or a suicide pact. Determined to discover the truth about his brother’s death, Nap starts to look into why ‘The Conspiracy Club’ was so interested in an abandoned Nike Missile site. Is there a connection? After all these years, why has Maura suddenly reappeared and why are members of the conspiracy club being murdered?
At this point, I could just say- It’s Harlan Coben. Read it. You’ll like it, I promise.
But, if you need a push, here you go-
I think you will really like Nap. He is unconventional, has a tendency of taking the law into his own hands, has no qualms about breaking the rules from time to time, but is still a straight up guy, who feels things very deeply, and is loyal to a fault.
If you like conspiracy theories, (and who doesn’t like a good conspiracy theory), there’s a really good one woven into the plot, plus it’s quasi- factual. This story also has a cold case element to it, as well, which happens to be one of my favorite crime tropes.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be a HC novel without a couple of steep inclines, breath sucking free falls, a few dangerous hairpin curves, and maybe add in one or two gut punching revelations, for kicks and giggles.
The story is very absorbing, the characters are unique and surprising, and while I say this after nearly every Coben novel- the conclusion of this book is a real stunner. I sat staring into space for about five minutes after I finished the last chapter. Seriously, it was so shocking, it had a numbing effect.
So, back to where we started- It’s Harlan Coben. Read it. You’ll like it, I promise!
Harlan Coben, the king of literary suspense, is back at it again!
Coben is my go to author for when I need a sure thing - he just ripped me out of a month long book slump with this here little tale, and I am oh so grateful. You really can’t go wrong with his books, he is a master at this genre and always delivers. I love that I catch myself saying “What in the world is going on?!” at least once a chapter in his books. He constantly keeps you on your toes and wondering where the ride will take you.
I very much enjoyed the forward, where Coben explains his inspiration for this book - an actual location which existed in his hometown. He has woven a deeply intricate tale based on this locale, one that I won’t soon forget.
The characters are flawed and real, the dialogue is witty, and the story has suspense, intrigue and a dash of romance.
If you are a fan of this genre, you certainly can’t go wrong with this book!
Thank you to Netgalley, Harlan Coben, and Dutton for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
All the stars and wow this was one awesome book with a main character that I absolutely loved!!
Special "Birthday" Traveling Sister Read with Brenda, Kaceey & Lindsay
I haven't read too many other books by Harlan Coben but the ones that I have read I have thoroughly enjoyed although not as much as this one.
DON'T LET GO by HARLAN COBEN was an extremely well-written and good read! It was fast-paced, intense, suspenseful, and a gripping novel with an intriguing storyline that I read in less than 24-hrs. I could not put this novel down. Highly recommend!
Publishing Date: September 26, 2017
Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Harlan Coben for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book for a fair and honest review.
You want more Coben – you get more Coben! This means if you are a fan of his twisted plots that keep you guessing, this book will not disappoint. I did have some guesses throughout this mystery, and some of them were close, but in true Coben fashion you can never be quite sure what happened until the final period of the final page.
One thing you don’t get in this book that you sometimes see with Coben is humor. It seems like he keeps that just to the Bolitar series. Everytime I have read a book outside of that series, it has been more serious. However,
If you haven’t tried Coben before and you like mystery/suspense/thrillers, he almost always delivers. Don’t Let Go would be a pretty decent place to start.
Traveling Sister Special Read Review by Brenda and Norma with Kaceey and Lindsay's thoughts.
Don't Let Go is an outstanding and solid new standalone thriller from the thriller master himself (in Brenda and Kaceey's opinion lol) Harlan Coben that we all were very excited to have received from Edelweiss.
We decided to read it as a special birthday read for Brenda's 50th birthday and thought it extremely fitting as this has been Brenda's all time favourite author for some time now. Brenda and Kaceey who are big time fans of Harlan Coben were very excited to read this along with Norma and Lindsay who have only read one or two of his books so far. Brenda only recently introduced Norma to a Harlan Coben novel not too long ago. Don’t Let Go lived up to all the hype created by Brenda and Kaceey for Norma and Lindsay. They are now fans and there will be more Harlan Coben books in the future for these Traveling Sisters.
Don't Let Go is a fast-paced story with big secrets and lies that reach back to 15 years ago. Harlan Coben does a great job revealing layers of deceit along with clues and throwing in a bit of red herrings along the way. He didn't have all of us guessing to the end, although Norma quickly became suspicious early on, she was still left surprised with a few twists as there were plenty of twists and secrets to reveal.
Harlan Coben takes a hometown legend and builds quite an interesting and creative story here that had all of us quickly turning those pages with Norma reading and finishing it mostly in one day. We left the very exciting, suspenseful and intense ending to read together so we could message our thoughts and suspicions to each other. Which makes it all that more of an interesting and enjoyable reading experience for us.
Don't Let Go started off with a bang and didn’t let go to the very end leaving all of us looking forward to our next read by Harlan Coben! We highly recommend adding this one to the top of your list and Don't Let Go till you read it!
Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Harlan Coben for providing me with a copy in exchange for a review!
Harlan Coben delivers an intensely suspenseful, captivating, fast-paced thriller that kept me guessing from start to finish. I have read one other book by Coben (The Innocent) which was good, but didn’t “wow” me. With encouragement from my fantastic “sisters” Brenda, Norma and Kaceey, I jumped on board this Traveling Sister Read and tried out Coben’s latest book and it definitely lived up to the hype!
I loved the main character, Nap! He is a police detective who finds himself working a case that involves his personal life from fifteen years ago. I enjoyed following Nap on his journey to explore and expose lies and buried secrets to uncover the mystery that has long haunted him. Nap’s journey takes many unexpected twists and turns and keeps the suspense building as the pages fly by. His sarcastic and witty humour had me giggling throughout every chapter.
This novel was a great re-introduction for me to Coben’s writing. I am definitely hungry for more books from this author and will make sure I add some to my reading list in the near future.
A big thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Harlan Coben for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!
To find this review along with the Traveling Sisters review, please visit Norma and Brenda's fabulous blog at:
I adore Harlan Coben novels and would have to say that he is probably one of my top five all time favourite authors. His books are fast paced, easy to follow, addictive and very entertaining and his latest "Don't Let Go" is everything I expected and more. A particular quirk of the author is to incorporate dry humour often into taut and tense scenes but the way he does it is so professional - it really works and very entertaining. Although this story is a standalone thriller I was over the moon to see an appearance by Myron Bolitar, the main character in his successful Win/Myron series that I also love. 'Nap' Dumas was a great main character and I liked how the story was told through him and how he kept speaking to his dead brother in his mind. The plot is very clever and sends you down many routes before finally revealing the unexpected and quite shocking denouement. I believe the premise for the story is based on true events that occurred in the author's home town which made the plot all the more interesting and compelling for me. I thoroughly enjoyed "Don't Let Go", I highly recommend it to thriller readers young and old and I look forward with baited breath for Harlan's next book.
My thanks to friend and fellow reader Rachel Hall for her copy of the book.
A New Jersey cop, Nap, a baffling murder case that brings back the unsolved case and unsettling memories of the death of his twin brother Leo and his girlfriend, Diana 15 years earlier. Not only that, but Nap's high school girlfriend, Maura who had broken up with him, disappeared. Was she connected some how?
A new murder investigation of a Pennsylvania cop, Rex Canton, who was also one of his high school classmates brings back all the circumstances and questions about the their unsolved deaths 15 years earlier. Maura's fingerprints are found in the car of the suspect in the Rex Canton case and Nap quickly starts making connections.
Will Nap solve this present-day case and finally discover the truth behind his Leo and Diana's deaths? Will he ever see Maura again? What caused her to vanish 15 years earlier?
An excellent and fast-paced mystery with many surprises! A great plot that moves along quickly as you try to help Nap sort out the clues! Coban fans are in for a treat!
Thanks to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishers, and Harlan Coben for the Arc. Publication date is Sept.26,2017
Usually I love Harlan Coben mysteries, but I think this was the first one that took me two weeks to read. I just didn't enjoy it much and had to force myself to pick up the book and finish it.
The story revolves around New Jersey detective "Nap" Dumas, and the mysterious deaths of Nap's brother and his girlfriend, followed by the disappearance of Nap's own girlfriend, Maura. The incidents happened when Nap was in high school, but years later he decides to investigate when there's an unexpected sighting of Maura.
So there's a decades-old mystery to solve, a wise-cracking detective, and a conspiracy theory involving an old military base in the town. Why didn't I love this book? I think it's because it felt like Coben was just going through the motions. The banter felt stale, the characters were two-dimensional, and I didn't buy the abrupt turnarounds that the final reveal required.
This is middling Coben. He's still good at turning out mysteries every year, but this one just wasn't my favorite.
Detective Napoleon (Nap) Dumas is brought into a case involving a murdered cop in another state when prints found at the scene match those he’d entered in the system years ago. They belong to his former girlfriend, Maura, who disappeared 15 years ago, the same night when his twin brother, Leo, and his girlfriend, Diana, died in a train accident. His search for answers sets him on a strange and sometimes dangerous path that he just can’t let go.
Nap is no saint as he’s got his own unorthodox sense of justice but the more he investigates, the more he’s convinced that everything he’s believed about his brother’s death might be wrong. It’s an unusual narrative, one I liked as Nap discusses the case and revisits the past through conversations with the deceased Leo. We learn a lot about their past and the people important to their lives, past and present. And, one wonderful surprise is a special cameo appearance of one of my favorite Coben characters! I’ll leave that for you to discover.
I loved the pace and complexity of this story. While I had a strong sense of who was involved, I hadn’t a clue as to the particulars, including the why so I just settled in for the always good storytelling. And, I loved Steven Weber’s narration, especially as he seemed to get underneath Nap’s skin and became this character, capturing all of his nuances. It was a perfect fit.
Friends know that Harlan Coben is one of my favorite auto read authors, even if the story just turns out okay because it’s still a standout. However, this was a gem of a read and I finished it in two days. Loved everything about it!
(I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Sigo echando bastante de menos a Myron Bolitar, tanto que, cuando en esta novela hace una repentina aparición, pensé que sería el comienzo de la remontada de la misma. Pero Myron no vuelve a aparecer, y la novela no consigue remontar.
El problema es que no he conseguido creerme a Nap (Napoleón), a pesar de contar con elementos para hacer de él un personaje mucho más atractivo. Maura tampoco ayuda. Es un personaje que promete mucho en esa gran introducción, pero que luego se disuelve para acabar al borde del ridículo. Ridículo que no llega porque Harlan Coben no es ningún primerizo, y en esta novela lo vuelve a demostrar con creces, tirando de profesionalidad para urdir una obra que, aunque no te creas, te la quieres terminar. Es más, la terminé y, si Coben hubiese puesto un poco más de su parte, hasta la hubiese disfrutado. Sí, eché en falta mayor profundidad en su personaje principal. Sabemos lo que le pasó a su hermano. Pero apenas perfilamos qué fue de la vida de Nap desde esos días hasta ahora. Su ingreso en la policía y su posterior carrera quedan muy desdibujadas. Y que tarde quince años en averiguar lo que realmente ocurrió, cuando estaba bastante claro desde el principio, tampoco ayuda.
A pesar de ello, confieso que “casi” me lo he pasado bien leyéndola. O será que siento un cariño especial por este autor, y estoy dispuesto a perdonarle casi todo. Con esta clase de autores, me temo que no soy lo suficientemente subjetivo. Ahí van mis tres estrellas.
Fifteen years before the story opens, in 2002, Napoleon (Nap) Dumas was an 18-year-old high school jock in Westbridge, New Jersey, looking forward to college and a future with his beautiful girlfriend Maura.
Then Nap's world collapsed overnight. While the athlete was at an away hockey game his twin brother Leo, and Leo's girlfriend Diana, were hit by a train and killed.
On that same evening, Maura broke up with Nap, left town, and disappeared. Nap couldn't believe these traumatic events were unconnected and became obsessed with finding out more about that fateful night.
Nap talked to Maura's mother, who would only say her daughter had changed schools, and nothing more. Nap even broke into Maura's house to look for information, with no luck. Afterwards, Nap was taken under the wing of Diana's heartbroken father, Police Captain Augie Styles, who ascribed the deaths of Diana and Leo to foolish behavior caused by drugs and alcohol.
Ever since the calamitous high school events, Nap has been mourning his brother - with whom he'd shared 'a womb and a room'; and yearning for Maura - who he considered the love of his life. Thus Nap forewent college, became a police officer, and is now a detective in Westbridge. Nap's a good cop, but he doesn't always follow the rules.
For one thing, Nap 'corrects' the behavior of men who commit domestic abuse by beating them up. For another thing, Nap illicitly put Maura's fingerprints and DNA into the national database, asking to be informed if there's a hit.
And now, a decade and a half after Maura vanished, there's a hit. Maura's fingerprints are found in the rented car of a man who shot and killed a Pennsylvania police officer, Sergeant Rex Canton. As it happens, Rex Canton was Nap's high school classmate, and belonged to a teenage 'Conspiracy Club' with Leo, Diana, Maura, a boy named Hank - who has since succumbed to mental illness, and a girl called Beth - who's now a physician in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In high school, the members of the Conspiracy Club were 'investigating' a secretive government installation near Westbridge - a facility that was fenced off and liberally posted with 'No Trespassing' signs. The base supposedly contained Nike missiles during the cold war, and was now used for some unknown purpose. The teenagers would lurk around the installation, go up to the fence, try to peer in, take photos, and so on.
Nap comes to suspect that the activities of the Conspiracy Club led to the deaths of Leo and Diana fifteen years ago, and to Maura running off. Moreover, reverberations from those old days may have sent a murderer after Rex Canton just a few days ago.
Nap wants to interview the remaining members of the Conspiracy Club, but this turns out to be a difficult task. Mentally disturbed Hank, who was recently accused of exposing himself to schoolgirls - and bullied online - has disappeared; and Dr. Beth seems to be hiding out and not answering the phone. What could possibly be going on?
As Nap pursues his inquiries he questions people who knew Maura, Leo, and Diana; consults with Captain Augie Styles; helps investigate Rex Canton's murder in Pennsylvania talks to Walt's distressed father; comes face to face with pushy government agents; unearths important evidence; and so on. In the end, Nap learns the truth about all the deaths and disappearances, and the solution is a corker.
Most of the story is told by Nap, partly as a first person narrative, and partly as a one-sided conversation with his dead brother Leo. Nap has a snarky sense of humor, and his amusing quips lighten the otherwise dark story.
The novel is engaging, but I sometimes found it difficult to suspend disbelief. For instance, I don't think an average 18-year-old girl has the know-how to disappear at the drop of a hat. Other things bothered me as well, but I don't want to give away spoilers.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and recommend it to fans of thrillers.
Harlan Coben is a steady Eddie. By that I mean one can pretty much depend on the fact that his books are going to be good! I've only read one book by him that I thought was so-so, the rest are great. If I am looking for a dependable author who has twists and turns coupled with good writing and story lines, I know I can depend on Coben to pull it off. He does it again in this book. After I read my first Coben book, I was hooked and went on to binge read a bunch of his books. I can't read him fast enough. It was torture waiting for this book to become available at my local library.
Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas has lost a lot in his life. His twin brother Leo and Leo's girlfriend (Diana) were found dead on railroad tracks on night. Pair this with Nap's girlfriend, Maura disappeared without a trace with no explanation or goodbye. BAM! His life has been changed forever. Nap has never been able to get over his brother's death or his girlfriend's disappearance. There are just too many questions. Why would his brother be on the railroad tracks? Wouldn't they hear the train coming? Why would his girlfriend leave so suddenly? It is a lot for anyone to handle. Nap eventually becomes a police officer, Mentored by Diana's (twin brother's girlfriend found dead on the tracks with her) father. Over the years he has looked for Maura but has never found her.
Then Maura's fingerprints are found within a car linked to the killing of a police officer. Nap's past comes back at him full blast. Where has she been all of these years? Where is she now? What ties may she have to the dead police officers killing? Then other people from the past are found dead as well. Why? What is the truth?
Ahhhh, the intrigue...the mystery. I really liked how this story came together. I will admit, I was surprised at the reveal. I thought I had things figured out. I was on the right track so to speak some of the time but not entirely. This is another I like about Coben. He manages to pull off his twists and turns and they all make sense. I do get a thrill about figuring out who the killer or parties responsible are in a book, but I also get a bigger thrill when an Author can surprise me with who the blame falls upon.
This book sucked me in right away and did not let go (hence the title, perhaps?). I love when a book does this. This book was a very enjoyable read. Great mystery. Great characters and a for me, I was surprised at the end. * I read this in one day btw because I could not let go.
Don't Let Go is the latest stand alone by crime writer Harlan It is the story of Nap (short for Napolean) Dumas whose TWIN brother was found dead on the town's train tracks along with the brother's girlfriend. Nap's girlfriend mysteriously disappeared after this and so the story begins.
Coben is a good writer. His books keep you entertained and, admittedly, I read this one straight through with no breaks. There is a lot of dialogue so it's an easy read. I don't read Coben's series and rarely read his stand alones. I find his books to be like meatloaf and I prefer grilled tuna. He also manages always to throw in nuggets of propaganda that aren't true as though they are and if they are read often enough by enough people, even in fiction, then people believe them. Case in point. Military torture works. Liberals say it doesn't but if it was your kid whose life was at stake you'd want the mi,Italy to use torture. NO, an emphatic NO. Torture does not work. It has been proven time and again. You get information, but it's not good Intel and all you've done is harden the people even more. It wasn't relative to this storyline, he added because it's what he does. Ugh, no more Coben for me.
I’ve always been a big Harlan Coben fan. His books are usually well plotted out mysteries that keep you engaged. Not so much with this one. For starters, Napoleon Dumas initially comes across as a bit of a jerk. As a police officer, I couldn’t figure out why he was such a pain when officers from neighboring Pennsylvania show up at his door. And his character doesn’t really improve. He’s a vigilante and obnoxious to those trying to help him as well as his enemies.
It’s 15 years after his senior year in high school. A year in which his twin brother and his girlfriend died on the train tracks, and Nap’s girlfriend took off immediately afterwards. Now comes word that his HS girlfriend might have resurfaced. There are lots of conspiracy theories here. And initially, it appears that Nap is really weaving a story out of some pretty thin threads. Like his mentor, I struggled to see if there were connections were Nap saw them.
The use of a Nike missile site brought back lots of memories to me. There was one near where I grew up that was always a poorly guarded secret.
While this story kept me engaged, I never felt I could buy into it. It is just unbelievable in so many ways. Not one of Coben’s best.
The narrator, Steven Weber, does a great job capturing all the voices and emotions and I can’t fault him for this less than stellar work.
As far as I am concerned Harlan Coben writes good books, very good books and excellent books. This one falls into the excellent category!
Don't Let Go starts full on and finishes at the same speed. And the in between was so good I did not want to stop reading at any point. I must have been three quarters of the way through when a little suspicion popped up of who might be the main culprit. Then I thought 'surely not' but it was. What a twist!
I smiled when Myron Bolitar paid a short visit. It was a pity Win was not with him. Character development is one of Coben's many strong points and I very quickly became attached to Nap. What a pity this is not the start of a series as he would probably be at least the equal of Myron if not even better.
Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys the genre.
In ancient times good old stories used to start with that classic Once Upon a Time we all know about. A magic, powerful line that resonated into the mind of an avid reader as a “fasten your seat belt” command. However, my dear fellows and book mates, I truly regret to inform you, that those days are gone!... Right now, authors are investing in a bit more creative beginnings, like for instance, this particular one:
“Daisy wore a clingy black dress with a neckline so deep it could tutor philosophy”.
Now tell me, ain’t that a deep, philosophical beginning?! So deep that it could perfectly be the main theme of a Philosophy class. 😉 I can easily picture all the students in that class — mainly the heterosexual males — pouring all their deep philosophical thoughts about Miss Daisy’s neckline. Now imagine yourself there. What would you say about the philosophical deepness of such a start? Would you find it enough motivating to eagerly jump to the next line?... If your answer is yes, this book is definitely for you 😉
Another gem of a book by Mr Harlan Coben you had a cop Dumas who was struggling to cope with the death of 2 teenagers 15 years earlier one was his brother, now brought into a case similar by Lieutenant Stacy Bates a cop killer is on the loose Rex Canton was murdered in cold blood, Nap knew him but hadn't seen him in 15 years. What Bates & Dumas found was there were no finger prints on the gun going by the datra base , but what they did find is that the prints were from Naps former girl friend Maura< did she do it, or was it a cover up!!
My Thoughts This Author is the best at his genre he gets into the premise very quickly & he doesnt let you go i loved everything about this book, the charactewrs were well written the pacing right up there. All in all a very satisfying read.
Second book by Harlan Coben I've read. ✔ Second book by Harlan Coben I've really enjoyed. ✔ In DON'T LET GO, Detective Nap Dumas finally gets a lead in the disappearance case of his high school girlfriend — well, it's his own case as no one else is looking. Maura went missing 15 years ago on the same night his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were killed, supposedly hit by a train. Nap's always wondered if there was more to the story, and of course, if Maura's disappearance was somehow related. Now a clue from a crime scene in another town sets his investigation in motion again. DON'T LET GO is page-turning suspense with a complex mystery and relatable characters. I especially loved Nap's sarcastic wit.
EXCERPT: Dale Miller pulled the handle. When the interior car light came on, Daisy closed her eyes for a moment. Miller rolled out with a grunt. He left the door open, but Rex reached past him and slammed it closed. The window was still cracked, so Daisy could hear.
'Sir, I would like to run a series of field sobriety tests on you.'
'We could skip that,' Dale Miller said.
'Why don't we go right to the breathalyser, if that would be easier?'
That offer surprised Rex. He glanced past Miller for a moment and caught her eye. Daisy gave a small shrug.
'I assume you have a field breathalyser in your squad car?' Miller asked.
'I do, yes.'
'So let's not waste your time or mine or the lovely lady's.'
Rex hesitated. Then he said, 'Okay, please wait here.'
When Rex turned to go back to his squad car, Dale Miller pulled out a gun and shot Rex twice in the back of the head. Rex crumpled to the ground.
Then Dale Miller turned the gun toward Daisy.
'They're back,' she thought.
'After all these years, they found me.'
ABOUT 'DON'T LET GO': Fifteen years ago in New Jersey, a teenage boy and girl were found dead.
Most people concluded it was a tragic suicide pact. The dead boy's brother, Nap Dumas, did not. Now Nap is a cop - but he's a cop who plays by his own rules, and who has never made peace with his past.
And when the past comes back to haunt him, Nap discovers secrets can kill...
MY THOUGHTS: Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben is a maelstrom of a book. I was on edge the entire time I was reading. My heart was pounding, and my heart racing, as was my mind. Albeit in totally the wrong direction, but race and jump it did.
Coben has, as he usually does, written a compelling thriller. I love conspiracy theories, and in Don't Let Go, we have a group of teenagers who formed a conspiracy Club. Let's just say that this will prove to be the most dangerous thing that they will ever do, and the repercussions will be felt for many years to come.
The fast moving action is tempered with an examination of the relationships between the characters. Nap, at the centre of the story is stubborn, vengeful, and consumed by the death of his twin brother when they were both still in high school. The same night, his girlfriend Maura went missing and has never been seen since. His heart was broken by these two events, and it is only the friendship of Ellie and the guidance of Augie that has sustained him.
I liked the way that Nap continued to talk to his dead brother. It illustrated the hold his death has over Nap, although of course Nap has fallen into that trap that so many of the bereaved do, that of idolising the dead person.
So, why not five stars? The ending, while dynamic and thrilling, did not work for me. I can't explain why without giving away a major spoiler, but trust me, there's no way Nap can possibly get away with what he has done, and I really wanted to see him ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.
The other down for me was some of the dialogue. Only some, but at odd times it was strangely stilted and not at all natural.
Despite these faults, I really enjoyed this read. Don't Let Go is a story of heartbreak and vengeance, of secrets and lies, and enduring love. The twists and turns are unpredictable, the suspense palpable, and I definitely didn't guess the outcome. Not even close. In fact, I was gobsmacked!
THE AUTHOR: Harlan was born in Newark, New Jersey. He still lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House, Cornerstone, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
Coben is an auto buy author for me, I’ve read every single one of his books and have never been disappointed by any of them. I LOVE his Myron Bolitar series but his standalones work well for me too and this one was no exception. There’s a brief cameo from Myron at one point when he crosses paths with Nap which was such an unexpected treat! The main character, Nap reminded me of a combination of Myron and Win so my craving for them was partially satiated. This was twisty and full of deceit and long buried betrayals, classic Coben doing what he does extremely well.
Nap was the kind of standard character fans know and love in Coben’s books, he has that trademark dry humor and wit, he’s smart, sharp and the type of cop that’s not afraid to skirt the boundaries of the law and he’s loyal to a fault. I immediately connected with him, his story is heartbreaking, he lost his twin brother and his girlfriend within a short period of time and has never quite been the same since. All he wants are answers and he may finally be getting them, but it’s all much more than he ever expected, the lies are stacking up and nothing makes sense, how much of the past was fact and what was fiction?
I can’t say much more about the plot, but this was excellent, Coben is a master and this was a strong reminder for me as to why he’s one of my all time favorite authors. He’s simply one of the best and if you haven’t read one of his books before they all come highly recommended by me.
Fifteen years after Detective Nap Dumas’ twin brother Leo and his girlfriend Diana lost their lives when they were hit by a fast-moving train, Nap still grieved. Never able to let go, he also thought constantly of the girl he loved, Maura, who had also disappeared that night. Nap was sure there was more to the whole event, but even fifteen years later, he’d not found any answers.
Until the night a fellow cop was gunned down in cold blood. He’d been someone Nap had known slightly all those years ago – but it was Maura’s fingerprints which were discovered near the murder scene that shocked him to the core. And started his search in earnest. Would Nap discover what had really happened to Leo and Diana? Where Maura had been for the past fifteen years? Or was the danger something that even he couldn’t live with?
Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben is another absolutely brilliant thriller by a masterful author; he always hits the nail on the head with the right amount of tension, secrets, twists and intrigue – every time! Loved it, and highly recommend it!
I’m a fan of Harlan Coben’s books, but unfortunately Don’t Let Go didn’t do it for me. The conspiracy theory driven plot was boring. A little too far fetched with high school kids and the military. Also, the Audiobook was just so so as I didn’t really care for the narrator’s voice. I will be sticking to Coben’s ebooks in the future.
Recordam-se daqueles tempos em que as histórias de encantar começavam com “Era uma vez”? Palavras mágicas que surtiam em nós o mesmo efeito que apertar o cinto no início dum voo. Reclinávamos os sofás de leitura, e... descolávamos impelidos pelos ventos das palavras!...
Pois lamento informar-vos, meus caros amigos e colegas leitores, que essa frase inaugural foi suprimida, e em sua substituição surgiram novos prelúdios ditos mais criativos, como o caso presente, que passo a transcrever na íntegra:
“Daisy usava um vestido preto muito justo e com um decote tão profundo que quase estaria habilitado para dar aulas de Filosofia”
Ao longo da minha ainda curta vida (pois a vida é sempre curta para quem lê), posso garantir-vos que tenho lido de tudo um pouco e bastante de tudo. Porém, meus caros amigos e colegas de leituras, é a primeiríssima vez que deparo com um decote quase capacitado para lecionar filosofia! Por si só, esse feito único e incomparável, já é digno duma estrela 🌟 cintilante, e posso assegurar-vos que outras se seguirão!...
Mas deixando agora para trás este preâmbulo filosófico, o que confesso não ser tarefa fácil, permitam que vos adiante um pouco sobre a proprietária de tão erudita indumentária: Ms. Daisy dedica-se, falando num português simples e claro, a tramar divorciados, por forma a que lhes seja interdita a custódia dos filhos. O divorciado alvo é abordado num bar e impelido a beber até à embriaguez, sendo esse o motivo que leva Ms. Daisy a trajar de modo tão ousado — para cativar olhares libidinosos e mais facilmente se insinuar junto da sua presa... Uma vez concretizada a almejada abordagem, a conversa flui amigavelmente por entre copos até ao ansiado ponto de embriaguez, e é aí que Ms. Daisy revela uma impreterível urgência em regressar a casa, aguardando uma oferta de boleia por parte da sua vítima, o que invariavelmente acontece!... Já no carro, ouvem-se sirenes, a polícia junta-se à festa e Ms. Daisy dá por cumprida a sua missão. Só que... desta vez... as coisas não aconteceram bem assim!...