It's been years since I've been able to say this, but I read Harlan Coben 's thriller, "Tell No One," basically in one sitting. No chores, no ball games, just one meal break. Then back to the book until I finished the last page.
This sleek, captivating novel is that rare book that moves at breakneck speed and commands your complete attention until it is over. It's not great literature and may not even substantively be the best thriller you'll read this year, but it doesn't get any more exciting than this.
Dr. David Beck is a famously tragic figure in New York. A young doctor who mainly serves the poor of Washington Heights, he has never fully recovered from the murder of his wife, Elizabeth, murder at the hands of a serial killer eight years before.
Then, on the anniversary of her death, David gets a mysterious e-mail than links him to a live digital camera shot of someone who seems to be Elizabeth.
Meanwhile, the bodies of two men who were killed assassination-style have been discovered on the remote lake property where Elizabeth was abducted. Prompted by an FBI agent who has never quite bought the story, David is suddenly a suspect.
But suspicious lawmen may be the least of David's worries. A steroid-built kung fu freak is on his trail, leading a team of killers and backed by a billionaire out for vengeance.
David is afraid to protest his innocence by saying Elizabeth is alive for two reasons: First, no one would believe him, and secondly, she cryptically warns that he may be followed and should "tell no one."
With its chaotic pace, a likable hero in constant mortal danger from all sides and a situation that rings emotionally true - even if logically it's a tad gimmicky - "Tell No One" is breathtakingly suspenseful and utterly irresistible.
Coben is best known for a series of mysteries featuring sports agent Myron Bolitar, which recently made the jump from paperback originals to hardcover. Maybe Coben was getting just a little weary of writing the same characters, but the hardcovers have not been as tightly paced as the lively paperbacks that made him a favorite of mystery lovers.
It's safe to say that mini-slump is over.
"Tell No One" is an instant genre classic, a book that will have every reader ignoring the title, passing the book around and telling everyone, "You gotta read this!"