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Stay Close by Harlan Coben

Stay CloseReviewed by Allen Hott

How intertwined people’s lives can sometimes turn out is pretty much the premise of Stay Close. Things that occurred years ago in a lifetime can often come back to either haunt a person or make a person feel giddy and happy. Most of the things that come back in this book tend to haunt the person involved.

The main character, Cassie as she was known as in her days as a stripper in Atlantic City many years ago, is now living as Megan. As Megan she has a loving husband and two teenaged youngsters in the New Jersey countryside. When she receives a phone call from an old acquaintance back in Atlantic City she feels she has to return to find out some answers to questions that were left unresolved upon her departure.

Another friend of that old acquaintance is a photographer who developed a drinking problem brought on by some strong guilt feelings. Ray is now not the respected photojournalist that he was but rather a very disturbed man who ekes out a living doing menial photo shoots. Little does he realize that he is about to not only meet up again with the lost love of his live but he is also about to be looked upon as a possible murderer.

Detective Broome began investigating a missing person who had been thought to be a runaway husband. Broome had become very close with this fellow’s wife and family. Broome felt something strange about the case and though it was now more than fifteen years past he still was pursuing answers.

He finds that at about the same time (around Mardi Gras) each year for almost all of these years a man would go missing. And the missing man would always be thought of as a possible runaway husband who after growing tired of his home situation sought out togetherness in the seedy nightlife of Atlantic City.

Also one of these missing men (a more recent one) was the son of very powerful man who decided that if the police couldn’t get answers and solve the mysteries he would hire some “outside the law” investigators to get information about his missing son. Those renegade investigators do more harm than good.

Harlan Coben has again done a masterful job of putting many suspects, clues, and subterfuges into this story. As usual his writing moves swiftly because he writes with much dialogue between participants and his descriptions of scenery and happenings, though done very well, are not over wordy and cumbersome. Coben writes with little profanity and no explicit sex scenes to detract from his well written work. Just a very good read….again!!!!

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