If I had never read Harlan Coben before, I would think this was a great book. And it is good. It just that, as I read it, I could see a lot of things he'd have done differently today because he's matured so much as a writer. So whether you're a fan of Coben's or not, go ahead and read it.
Play Dead is Harlan Coben's first published novel. It has been rereleased this year. There is a letter from the author warning readers that if this is your first experience to reading one of his books he suggests that they stop reading, go and get another of his books and then come back to this one. I had to laugh because this book is my first by Mr. Coben and I couldn't read a different one because this was December's book club choice. So, I went into reading this book with an open mind.
I can completely see how Harlan Coben has been able to keep readers spellbound and why he has such a following. The story he weaves is one that makes readers try to figure out what the hell is going on. He gives the reader just enough information to keep them hanging on to find out what next little secret he is going to reveal.
Now having said all that, I can see why he was apologizing to his fans and telling new readers not to start with this book. It is painfully obvious to me that this is an inexperienced author. The story is rich with its twists and turns, but it is executed poorly. The book was 500+ pages and could have been told in 300 and I would have been satisfied. Often times the clues where all too stingily delivered to have them pounded into the ground over and over by different character view points.
I found Play Dead to be an entertaining read. But I thought the two main characters were slightly superficial and the book a little too long. Other than that, I felt that Harlan Coben has great potential and wouldn't be averse to trying something else by him.
Coben is too hard on himself...this book is great. It is a total edge of your seat thriller. It starts a bit muddled with alot going on and it takes 100 pages or so to really get into. Also this is not a book you can read in 10 min. periods, especailly at first, you need to devote some serious reading time in the beginning for it to make sense, but stick with it because it is great!
Another great Harlan Coben! If you have never read Harlan Coben, what are you waiting for? He is a master of the plot twist. Other books I know who "it" is by at least half-way throught, his I know, then find out I was wrong, then wrong again. Terrific writer!!!!!
Right off the bat, this book pissed me off. Page six has a rape joke. Husband David is too worn out by prior sex with his new wife Laura that he must rest. She doesn't want to rest. She wants another go round. I was flabbergasted to read his joking response that he would cry rape, and she (also jokingly) told him to go ahead and do so.
Disrespectful to those who have actually survived such an odious event, not to mention a PTSD trigger.
Shame on you, Mr. Coben, for resorting to that. Never again.