May 2, 2013

Review: SIX YEARS by Harlan Coben (Unabridged Audio Version)

I know it might be hard to imagine, but this is the first Harlan Coben novel I've ever read. When I learned this was a stand alone novel, I felt it would be the perfect segway into his work. Then after listening to a podcast from the NYT and discovering that he writes a lot about disappearances, that got me very curious. They even mentioned that this book was Gone Girl-esque, so of course, I had to give it a try.

About The Book:
(No spoilers included!)

Professor Jake Fisher has lived a quiet, uneventful life on the college campus where he teaches and lives, trying to move past losing the love of his life.  Though he has dated other women, he just can't get Natalie out of his mind or his heart, even though he attended her unexpected wedding to another man six years ago.

Then one day, he spots an obituary notice for the man he watched marry Natalie.  But none of the details match up. He can't stave off his curiosity so he boards a flight to the small South Carolina town and attends the funeral, fully expecting to see Natalie mourning her husband's death. But when he arrives at the church, Natalie is not the woman wearing black and accepting condolences of friends and neighbors. Going to the funeral only adds to the questions Jake has and the more he finds out about the dead man, the more he is convinced something is seriously wrong. He begins to doubt that Natalie was married to this man at all.
The more Jake digs, the more his life is put in danger and the people he questions from his and Natalie's past swear they've never met him before but he will not give up on finding the truth or Natalie.

My Thoughts:

Considering Harlan Coben's success and notoriety, I had pretty high expectations for this book. I liked the angle of a mysterious disappearance.  Jake Fisher seemed liked a pretty decent guy - just your average single college professor. I liked the way the mystery of the deceased husband started immediately so there wasn't a lot of build-up to get to the meat of the story. And the plotline was good, albeit a little convoluted and full of twists and turns. The story is told from Jake's point of view, which makes it seem like the reader is going on the ride with him.  Overall, I liked the story and the pace was good as well. There weren't a lot of characters but they each had a purpose and added to the dynamic of the plot. I can't say the build-up to the  ending was a big surprise but I was satisfied with the outcome.

If I were to rate the story alone, I would probably give it 4 out of 5 stars, however, I chose to listen to the audio version, so I must add that into my review. Honestly, I was disappointed in the performance by Scott Brick. I'd never listened to any of his audios before, though he has been the speaker for many very successful novels, including THE FIRM by Grisham. I even listened to a bit of that to see if it was different and it was. In SIX YEARS, his voice was very low and drawn out and I felt he was over-doing it a bit. Maybe he was trying to add drama to the mystery, but personally, I didn't care for it. So based on that experience it took away from the listening pleasure a little for me. That is why on Goodreads, I gave this novel 3 stars instead of 4. If I had read the printed version, I think I would've liked it better. But at least now I can say that I've finally read a Harlan Coben novel. I would be open to reading another stand alone from him but probably won't get into his series.

Are you a Harlan Coben fan? And if so, have you ever listened to one of his audios? I'd be interested to know your thoughts.

SIX YEARS (Unabridged Audio Version)
Author: Harlan Coben
Audible Pub Date:March 19, 2013
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Lenth: 10 hrs 37 minutes
Source: Purchased with a credit

1 comment:

  1. I do want to read this one but I will make sure not to make it an audio book. It's truly amazing how much a narrator can make or break a story for me!!


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