Six Years

Overview

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 ...

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Six Years

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Overview

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.
Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking novel that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Counselors often tell clients to bury old relationships and move on. After Natalie, the love of his life, ditched him to marry another man, Jake Sanders did exactly that; yet now, six years later, he can't resist her call. When he sees an obituary for her husband, he impulsively decides to go to the funeral; but once there, he discovers that her marriage story was a total concoction. As he investigates further, everything that he thought he knew about his beloved dissolves before his eyes; with his fascination redoubled, he continues to search for the real woman behind all these deceptions. A suspenseful thriller with a thoroughly arresting concept.

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 nothing—minor characters, seemingly incidental details, stray remarks—wasted. 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.
Publishers Weekly
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.)
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.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal - Audio
Coben (Stay Close; Play Dead) returns with another suspenseful thriller that will keep listeners guessing until the final track. It's been six years since Jake witnessed Natalie, the woman he loves, marry another man. When Jake sees that man's obituary, it causes love and longing to come crashing back in a way he can't ignore. He travels to the funeral in hopes of getting a new beginning with Natalie or at least some closure but instead unearths secrets that many people hope will stay buried. Jake's love for Natalie and the fear that she is in trouble keep him looking for answers despite the promise he made to her long ago and the danger to his own life. Scott Brick portrays Jake with an unstable voice that leaves listeners unsure the character is a man on a desperate mission to unravel a mystery involving his lost love or just plain crazy. VERDICT Highly recommended for thriller fans. ["The narrative is immersive, and the well-drawn characters and twisting plotting are stellar," read the starred review of the New York Times best-selling Dutton hc, LJ Xpress Reviews, 2/1/13.—Ed.]—Theresa Horn, St. Joseph Cty. P.L., South Bend, IN
Kirkus Reviews
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491544969
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 9/30/2014
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty previous novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Stay Close, Live Wire, Caught, Long Lost, and Hold Tight, as well as the Myron Bolitar series and, more recently, a series aimed at young adults featuring Myron’s nephew, Mickey Bolitar. The winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards, he lives in New Jersey.

Biography

Harlan Coben may be the only mystery writer to have inspired the dubious endorsement, "Raymond Chandler meets Bridget Jones" (as the Chicago Tribune wrote about Darkest Fear). But it's not hard to see what the critic means: Coben knows how to create a good chase, but he is also adept at generating laughs along the way. His books often start with a few pieces of bad news and end with the closet door flung open to reveal a few skeletons.

Debuting in 1995, the series that cemented Coben's reputation revolves around Myron Bolitar, a wisecracking sports agent who always finds himself getting into trouble, via his clients or his own past. What's endearing about these books is Coben's willingness to have fun as he spins a story. He might poke fun the yuppie wardrobe of Bolitar's partner, Win, or his gal Friday (and sometime female wrestler), Big Cyndi's, tendency to wear "more makeup than the cast of Cats." There's a slight boys' club air to the series, but it's more frat house than locker room -- or more appropriately, rec room, since Bolitar finds himself still living at his parents' in his early 30s.

Sports-averse readers should not avoid the Bolitar books; in the end, sports play only a peripheral role in the story, which is primarily about the mystery. Given this, it's not surprising that Coben has called William Goldman's Marathon Man one of his favorite thrillers and has cited Philip Roth and Alfred Hitchcock as influences.

And yes, there's certainly life beyond Bolitar! Coben has crafted a number of superb stand-alone thrillers filled with tortuous twists and turns and peopled with characters you can't help but root for. In a 2001 interview, the author stated, "I love a book that sneaks up behind you at the end and slaps you in the back of the head." Ultimately, that describes everything in Harlan Coben's oeuvre.

Good To Know

Coben has four children with wife Anne, his sweetheart since age 20.

Coben advises aspiring writers thusly: "Write. Don't take classes. Don't join workshops. Don't listen to me," he told the Charlotte Austin Review. "Just write. Oh, and cut. Cut a lot. You're probably not editing yourself enough. Then rewrite. Then rewrite again. Repeat. Like with shampooing."

Coben says his mother was his best literary inspiration in an interview with the Page One literary newsletter. "We'd go to the old Barnes & Noble in Manhattan (back then, if you can believe this, I think there was only one) and spend the entire day. We didn't have much money back then and we almost never bought toys -- but we were always allowed to get whatever books we wanted."

In our interview, Coben shared more fun facts:

"I once worked as a tour guide in the Costa del Sol of Spain."

"I pretty much only wear Lilly Pulitzer ties because my best friend owns the company."

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    1. Hometown:
      Ridgewood, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 4, 1962
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newark, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A. in political science, Amherst College, 1984
    2. Website:

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