This was actually my first Harlan Coben book…hard to believe, I know. I don’t know why but I had it in my mind he wrote horror. Anyway, Don’t Let Go was a great one to start with and was published in 2017.
Napoleon ‘Nap’ Dumas, a New Jersey Detective, has never quite come to terms with his twin brother’s death, and has carried that baggage with him since Leo and his girlfriend, Diana, were found dead on the railroad tracks back when they were all in high school. Nap’s girlfriend, Maura, disappeared from his life at the same time and for the last fifteen years Nap has been consumed with wanting to know the circumstances behind his brother’s death and the sudden and mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend, Maura.
When Nap learns about the murder of a police officer, another of their high school friends, and the fact that Maura’s prints were found in the perpetrator’s rental car, a chain of devastating events is set in motion as Nap starts to dig into the past. Pins worn on his friends lapels and an abandoned military base hidden in the woods are significant and seem to Nap to hold the key.
I have heard the expression “the hairs on my neck stood up” but I don’t think I ever quite got it until now. Now Reynolds waits, but I won’t give her the satisfaction. She’s carrying this ball now. I’ll let her take it to the goal line.
“The prints got a hit,” she continues, “because ten years ago you, Detective Dumas, put them in the database, describing her as a ‘person of interest.’ Ten years ago, when you first joined the force, you asked to be notified if there was ever a hit.”
I try not to show the shock, but I don’t think I’m doing too good a job. I’m flashing back, Leo. I’m flashing back fifteen years.
The author’s note explains how story was inspired because of a legend, which turned out to be true, surrounding his hometown; that behind barbed wire and no trespassing signs there was a Nike missile control center. For me, this gives a strong sense of realism to the narrative and I loved the way the story was built around the legend. I can imagine such a place being used for morally questionable purposes.
Inventive and excellently written, Don’t Let Go engages from the start with the past impacting on the present in a huge way. I found myself totally caught up in the story, right through to the unexpected conclusion.
Don’t Let Go is filled with suspense, emotion and is a fast paced, gripping read. With several compelling, well defined characters, the plot is put together brilliantly. Each time I thought I knew where it was going there was another unexpected twist. Nap’s quest for answers and his desire to get to the bottom of the secrets surrounding the original group of high school friends leads to more questions than answers. Maybe he didn’t know them as well as he thought…
About the Book
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…