Harlan Coben’s Don’t Let Go Is Hard to Put Down

I’m worried about Harlan Cohen. Worried that he is working too hard. Besides turning out adult mysteries that are page turners, he also has a bestselling YA series, and he created The Five, a ten-episode series now playing on Netflix. If you’re looking for something to binge watch on a stormy night, The Five should be The One.

How he manages to keep up such a pace and still turn out quality work should motivate all aspiring writers. His latest, Don’t Let Go, keeps his streak going. And like the plot for The Five, Don’t Let Go deals with present crimes that are linked to past events.

Napoleon (Nap) Dumas is a Police Detective in suburban New Jersey. For Nap and his friends, senior year in high school was a turning point. Nap’s twin brother, Leo, and Leo’s girlfriend, Diana, were found dead in a car on railroad tracks. With drugs and alcohol in the teens’ blood, investigators attributed the deaths to a wild night pf partying that went horribly wrong. That night, Nap’s girlfriend, Maura, disappeared without a trace. Years later, Nap is still looking for answers, not only about his brother’s death, but also about Maura’s disappearance. When Maura’s fingerprints turn up at a murder scene, Nap has even more incentive to find her.

During high school, Leo, Diana, Maura, Ellie, and two other of Nap’s friends, Rex and Hank, suspected that an abandoned military base near their hometown was being used for clandestine purposes. During the 1970s, the base was rumored to house nuclear warheads, although the official government line said the outpost was being used for agricultural studies, Several of Nap’s friends were not convinced. They formed a Conspiracy Club, often gathering at night outside the base’s fence to monitor activities. While the base now seems deserted, Nap can’t help but feel that what went on there long ago is responsible for his brother’s death and Maura’s disappearance. That theory gains traction when Maura’s sighting seems to put unseen forces in motion. Two other deaths happen, and another member of the club, Beth, now living in Chicago, abandons her medical practice to disappear. Nap teams with his old mentor, Capt. Augie Styles, who was also Diana’s father, to try to find Maura and solve the murders.

Cohen creates characters that are fully formed and believable. Even those that make brief appearances somehow leave a lasting image. And, of course, having a fan favorite, Myron Bolitar, turn up on the basketball court, is a treat.

We know why Coben works so hard. His fans, including this one, can’t wait for his next book.

Don’t Let Go
Harlan Cohen

Top photo: Bigstock

About Charlene Giannetti (839 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines including the New York Times. She is the author of 12 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her new book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Charlene divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Alexandria, Virginia.