Saturday, January 15, 2005

No Second Chance, by Harlan Coben

No Second Chance, by Harlan Coben

This books tries to pull at your heartstrings, but fails miserably. The setup is tragic: a man wakes up in the hospital to discover he was shot, his wife killed, and his six-month-old daughter is missing. That situation would make me crazy—I can’t imagine what I would do in a similar situation and it makes my stomach churn just to think about it. None of the angst, sadness, or anger I believe I would feel, though, seems to be experienced by the protagonist. In fact, he seems more concerned with being considered a suspect than offended. Where I would be outraged, he was logical. Because of this I had a really hard time getting drawn into the story which made the “shocking” plot twists seem more amusing than anything else—I found myself rolling my eyes at several points. This is one of those tales where everyone has something to hide and each secret was somehow intertwined. Think Murder on the Orient Express without the fascinating characters or the well-crafted story. This would have worked much better as a Law and Order episode than a 338 page novel. Actually, that isn’t fair to Law and Order; let’s call it an Ashley Judd movie instead.

First Sentence:
When the first bullet hit my chest, I thought of my daughter.

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