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Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Don't Let GoLots of suspense, and even more emotion, as Detective Napoleon (Nap) Dumas struggles with the strange and untimely death of his twin brother. The death occurred about 15 years ago but it not only was it very strange then but now there are even more happenings that do not really make sense.

Leo, Nap’s brother, and Leo’s girlfriend, Diana, were found dead on the railroad tracks outside of town and appeared to have been hit by a train. The bodies were so badly torn up that very little could be done in the way of an autopsy. The two of them, however, were members of a special club called The Conspiracy Gang which was composed of a group of high school students. These students had been somewhat taken aback when the area of the woods where they hung out to drink, smoke a little pot, and make out got somewhat disturbed by a government base that appeared to be deserted or little used.

Nap, now fifteen years later and a detective gets called in on a case where a cop was shot by a guy who had been picked up in a bar by a woman. It turns out the cop was a member of the Conspiracy Gang as was the woman who made the pickup. The woman, Maura, also happened to be Nap’s girlfriend fifteen years ago.

Sound confusing? Well, yeah, it is in a way but in a Harlan Coben sort of way as he begins building this story which turns out to be a terrific read.

The lady cop working the case enlists Nap’s help because of his background in the little New Jersey town and also his detective background. They begin trying to figure out why the cop was killed and where did the woman go and in the beginning they didn’t even know that she was Maura.

Strangely enough as they begin working the case they find that just recently another member of the Conspiracy gang has turned up missing. This member, Hank Stroud, not only still lives in the little town but he appears to have mental problems and he wanders the streets a lot especially around the railroad tracks where the first two members of the gang were found dead fifteen years ago.

The father of the dead girl was and is the chief of police and he has been basically mourning very, very hard throughout those years. She was his only child and her mother had left her with the father so they were very close.

Nap knows Augie, the chief, very well and begins discussing with him all the various aspects of the crime and the strange things that have begun happening now fifteen years later. They both are completely at a loss as to what has happened to Maura and they both appear to be working to figure out what was going on at the somewhat desolated base back at the time of Leo and Diana’s death.

The more Nap digs, the more things he uncovers and still none of the items seem to go together until he does find one of the officers who had been working on that base. And he also finds that the members of the Conspiracy Gang had even made a film of a well camouflaged helicopter making landings into the base’s property somewhat prior to the mysterious deaths of Leo and Diana.

Some very strange things then happen to Hank Stroud which appears also to have some type of connection to the recent happenings involving a member of the Gang and also participants in the happenings on the night of the deaths of Leo and Diana.

Nap then gets really deeply involved and appears to be about to be going under, if you will, when presto who appears but Maura!

Overall Don’t Let Go not only is another of Coben’s better works but it is a book that you will find doesn’t let you (the reader) go! You have to keep reading and figuring out what exactly is going on. And even the best detective readers will still have a hard time solving this one. But give it your best shot. It is well worth your time and effort!!!!

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