Author: Harlan Coben
Publisher: Dutton Adult (March 19, 2013)
Description: In Six Years, a masterpiece of modern suspense, Harlan Coben explores the depth and passion of lost love…and the secrets and lies at its heart.
Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.
But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.
As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found, or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.
Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love, and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.
My Thoughts: This was an excellent thriller about a man who will do anything for love. Jake Fisher fell in love with Natalie Avery one summer while he was writing his thesis and she was attending an art camp. She left him at the end of that summer to marry another man—Todd Sanderson. He promised to leave them alone and never try to contact her.
Now six years have passed and he sees her groom's obituary on the front page of their college website. For Jake, all bets are off. He needs to see if Natalie was willing to rekindle their relationship. He feels that he was only leading half a life during the past years. But when he attends Todd Sanderson's funeral he is surprised that the widow is not Natalie. This starts him on a quest to find Natalie but he encounters road block after road block.
Jake also attracts the attention of the mafia, various police officers, and the FBI. Despite being beaten, kidnapped, and shot, Jake continues to follow all the clues to find out what happened to the only woman he had ever loved.
The story is told in first person as though Jake is talking to the reader including various asides. We get to follow along as he uncovers clues and conspiracies and as he uncovers secrets and betrayals. The style of the book is engaging and engrossing. It was a real page-turner that kept me up later than I should have been up. Jake was a great hero—an ordinary man who gets in way over his head and perseveres because of his great love for Natalie.
I recommend this one to mystery lovers. My first Harlan Coben will definitely not be my last!
"Do you know anything about hope, Jake?"I got this eARC from Cassie at Dutton Books in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.
"I think I do," I said.
"It's the cruelest thing in the world. Death is better. When you're dead, the pain stops. But hope keeps raising you way up high, only to drop you to the hard ground. Hope cradles your heart in its hand and then crushed it with a fist. Over and over. It never stops. That's what hope does."