Fans of murder mystery novels rejoice, here’s one you have been waiting for – Harlan Coben’s latest, Don’t Let Go.
It has it all – a small town cop who has a tendency to go rogue, a murder in the past that comes back to haunt him, a missing first love, a conspiracy theory, and then the body count in the present day begins…
It would be easy to look at this and write it off as clichéd (the first line of the book is ‘Daisy wore a clingy black dress with a neckline so deep it could tutor philosophy’) however this is where Coben shows his mastery as this book is yet another absolute page-turner, one to keep you up all night and bleary-eyed at work.
The main character, Nap Dumas, narrates and we get to see inside his head as he explores the grief he hasn’t been able to let go of from when his brother died in high school. His brother was also his idol and not a day goes by without him having conversations in his head with him.
The murders start with the execution-style death of a police officer, who happened to be in the same high school secret society as Nap’s brother, the Conspiracy Club. The Conspiracy Club were determined to work out what the secret purpose of an old missile base outside of town is actually used for – the government stated it was used for agriculture research but the Conspiracy Club were sure something else was going on. The club came to an end when Nap’s brother and his girlfriend died in a horrific accident but could there be a connection between the Conspiracy Club way back then and the execution of a police officer now?
Don’t Let Go is based on real-life scenarios – there are many small towns in America with old military bases from the 1950s and Coben describes in the foreword that he grew up in suburbia near an old military base and that it inspired this story.
Coben has the back catalogue and awards to be considered amongst the royalty of crime/mystery authors so it is no surprise that many have been eagerly awaiting this release. It is a pleasure to say that this novel absolutely delivers.
A warning, though: don’t start it late at night if you want to be functional the day after as there’s no putting it down!
Reviewed by Michelle Baylis
Rating out of 10: 10
Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Release Date: October 2017
RRP: $49.99 hardcover, $32.99 trade paperback, $12.99 eBook