Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

I am generally a fan of Harlan Coben (although I admit I am less fond of his Myron Bolitar books, which is heresy to many of his fans!) so I was pleased to get a copy of “Don’t Let Go” from Dutton/NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

In this latest, we meet Nap (Napoleon) Dumas, a police detective in suburban New Jersey. Nap had a twin brother who died when they were in high school, and Nap has never really recovered. Since then, he has grown close to a cop named Augie who has been a mentor, and who Nap truly loves. They have something in common, as Augie’s daughter Diana was with Nap’s brother Leo when they were both killed on the railroad tracks across town. At the same time as this horrible accident happened, Nap’s goddess girlfriend Maura disappears, adding to the obsession Nap has about finding out what really happened the night Leo and Diana died.

For fifteen years, Nap looked for answers (and for Maura, sometimes going outside the ethical lines to search for clues to her whereabouts). Following a murder in a neighboring town, Maura’s fingerprints turn up in a rental car linked to the murder. Nap goes full bore into a search for the answer to the earlier deaths as well as the more recent deaths of people who had been in the same group as Leo back in the day.

In the foreword to the book, Coben tells the reader the two-pronged suburban legends he heard growing up: that there was a Nike missile launch center with nuclear capabilities, and that there was a mansion (complete with armed guards) owned by a member of the mob that was on property that supposedly included an incinerator/crematorium. He ends the foreword with the words “Years later, I learned that both legends were true.” When the Nike missile site appears as part of the story, I sort of kept expecting the Mafia guy’s estate/crematorium to figure in to the plot, but that part never happened.

There is, however, plenty of mystery, action and character development to keep this one rolling along. It help my interest right til the end. As usual, I hadn’t figured out the mystery (I usually don’t) and was somewhat surprised by the ending. I didn’t like a couple of key characters, but I did enjoy Nap and expect to see more of him in future Coben books. And, for the Myron Bolitar fans, he does make an appearance (although miniscule) early on. Four stars.