The Washington Post - Art Taylor
Harlan Coben's readers know him as the master of this type of story: a life suddenly unraveling, the past summoned back into a swiftly shifting present, secrets peeling back to reveal more secrets…With Six Years, the author shows once more how it's done. What's impressive here is how narrowly constructed the story actually is, with the plot repeatedly circling back on itself, moving ever homeward rather than further into unknown territory, and leaving nearly nothingminor characters, seemingly incidental details, stray remarkswasted. Sherlock Holmes famously chided Watson, "You see but you do not observe," and the beauty of Coben's craftsmanship here is how often he can lure us into not perceiving what's clearly right in front of our eyes.
In the prologue to this Kafkaesque stand-alone from bestseller Coben (Stay Close), Jake Fisher, a political science professor at Lanford College in Massachusetts, promises the love of his life, Natalie Avery, to leave her and the man she’s about to wed, Todd Sanderson, alone. For six years Jake keeps his promise, until he sees Todd’s obituary, flies to the deceased’s Palmetto Bluff, S.C., funeral, and finds that the widow is not Natalie. This is merely the first of many shocks. He later gets the brush-off from Natalie’s sister, and when he tries to revisit the retreat in Kraftboro, Vt., that Natalie was attending when they fell in love, he’s told there is (and was) no such place. Surprising secrets among Jake’s friends and colleagues propel him on a trail of violence and labyrinthine deception. Coben has achieved greater suspense in other thrillers, but this ranks among his strangest and most ingenious plots. 5-city author tour. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
“FURIOUS PLOT TWISTS.”—The Washington Post
“WHILE SIX YEARS IS CERTAINLY A THRILLER, IT ALSO IS AS MUCH A LOVE STORY.”—Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“THIS IS COBEN’S VERTIGO, HIS MASTERPIECE.”—The Providence Journal
"DON'T WAIT SIX YEARS TO READ WHAT MIGHT BE COBEN'S BEST SINCE TELL NO ONE."—Library Journal
Jake Fisher finds the love of his life, Natalie, and imagines their future together as husband and wife. Instead, she dumps him and a few days later then invites him to her wedding to a man she just met. Jake watches Natalie take her vows, and she tells him to leave her alone forever. For six years, he keeps that promise. But when he sees Natalie’s husband’s obituary, Jake decides to attend the funeral and comfort Natalie. He is stunned to discover that the man’s widow is not Natalie and that the church where he watched her marry has no record of the ceremony.
Verdict Coben is one of the best thriller writers in the business, and he delivers another amazing novel that will resonate with readers long after the final page is turned.The narrative is immersive, and the well-drawn characters and twisting plotting are stellar. With such a cool hook and a surprising and satisfying payoff, don’t wait six years to read what might be Coben’s best since Tell No One. [See Prepub Alert, 10/17/12.]Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.
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Six years after the summer girlfriend he's convinced is the love of his life throws him over to marry someone else, a shocking series of revelations draws a Massachusetts professor back to her. "Promise me you'll leave us alone," Natalie Avery demanded of Jake Fisher after her wedding to surgeon Todd Sanderson. And for six years Jake's done exactly that. But the news of Todd's death rekindles his desire to see Natalie again. What could be the harm, now that she's been widowed by the robbers who shot Todd to death? When he travels to their home in South Carolina, however, he walks into mystery and denial. Todd's widow isn't Natalie, but someone named Delia. Natalie's sister Julie Pottham denies knowing anything about Jake. So do Cookie, the Kraftsboro Bookstore Café owner who served Jake and Natalie all those scones, and Rev. Kelly, who officiated at the wedding. In fact, there's no record that Natalie and Todd were ever married at all. An anonymous email telling Jake, "You made a promise," grieves Jake but doesn't deter him from his search. Neither does a close encounter with a pair of killers who want to know where Natalie is and are certain Jake can tell them. Up till now, Jake's nightmare is as infernally all-absorbing as Dr. David Beck's in Tell No One (2001). But the discovery of a clue that begins to unravel the mystery also sends the tale spiraling past the bounds of plausibility, even for a thriller, until Jake's quest for the truth entangles benevolent conspiracies, hired killers, multiple disappearances, the Mafia and all the people besides Natalie that Jake has held nearest and dearest. Like Jeffery Deaver, veteran Coben (Stay Close, 2012, etc.) is a magician who's a lot more fun to watch when you don't know how he's fooling you.
What People are saying about this
From the Publisher
“Coben is simply one of the all-time greats.”—New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn
“Quite simply, Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors. His books have it all.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Kristin Hannah
Praise for Six Years:
“The author shows once more how it’s done…The beauty of Coben’s craftsmanship here is how often he can lure us into not perceiving what’s right in front of our eyes.”—The Washington Post
“This is Coben’s Vertigo, his masterpiece.”—Providence Journal
“Don’t wait six years to read what might be Coben’s best since Tell No One.”—Library Journal
“It reminded me, in good ways, of…Gone Girl, with clever twists and a denouement that’s jaw-dropping.”—The Dallas Morning News