Sunday, August 22, 2004

It's That Good

It's That Good

I just finished reading a fantastic book by Harlan Coben entitled No Second Chance. The storyline itself is not necessarily original - a guy wakes up in the hospital recovering from life-threatening wounds only to discover that somebody shot and tried to kill him; his wife was murdered, and his 6 month old daughter is missing - your typical murder mystery, right? Not so.
First of all, it's written in the first person, which I love. It seems like the character is actually talking to you, the reader.
Secondly, there are many unexpected twists, and a surprising ending. Now, the book I read previously to this one was a run-of-the-mill murder mystery with no surprises whatsoever. (Capital Crimes, by Stuart Woods.) It tried to leave you dangling at the end, but I just wasn't having it. That may have influenced my intense enjoyment of this book, because it was so much better by comparison.
Finally, it has that certain "je ne sais quoi." That creative cocktail that elevates a book from good to great. That elusive quality that you can't quite capture in words, so that when someone asks you why it was so great, the only possible response is, "read it yourself and you'll know."

Now, having extolled the virtues of this book, I feel the need to add a little disclaimer here. I'm not trying to sell this as the best book ever written, only to say that I quite enjoyed it. Sometimes I get a little carried away with words....


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