Six Years by Harlan Coben

Six yearsSix Years

By Harlan Coben

Dutton, 2013, 368 Pages

ISBN No. 978-0525953487

Reviewed by PJ Nunn

Some books are enticing because the characters seem to come alive on the page. If you close your eyes you can almost hear their voices. Other books tickle your senses, making it seem as if you can feel the hint of rain on your face, or catch the scent of the ocean on the breeze. These are all characteristics of a good book.

When I picked up this book, it wasn’t the first I’d read by Harlan Coben and I wasn’t surprised that the first line immediately captured my attention. It read:

I sat in the back pew and watched the only woman I would ever love marry another man.

There’s heartbreak waiting to happen. I kept reading. Jake Fisher might be anyone. He could easily have been a friend of mine from college. And who among us can’t relate to a lost love? That’s not to say his story is universal, it’s quite unique. But there are enough commonalities for any of us to relate to him in his quest to find the girl he’ll always love.

Like pretty much everything he writes, Harlan didn’t slack off on this one. It’s really good, but about half way through it gets better. That indefinable essence that pulls the reader in and shifts into high gear comes into play. Suddenly I was questioning everything. Did harlanthat really happen? Did Jake really see that? Or is he hallucinating? Who’s telling the truth? The circumstances had become so vivid it was hard to tell what was real and what wasn’t.

I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t say too much. Suffice it to say that Six Years is unquestionably one of the best books I’ve read in a while. If you like suspense and riddles; if you like to be engaged by lifelike characters and a story that never moves in a straight line, then you’ll want to read this one. Really.