When Dan Mercer walks into a televised sting designed to catch sexual predators, TV reporter Wendy Tynes and the New Jersey suburban community are certain of his guilt, even if Dan’s ex-wife says it’s not true. Then in an alarming development, the courts throw out the evidence. That’s more than enough for one enraged father to act and when high school senior Haley McWaid goes missing, everyone is ready to pin the crime on Dan. Are the two cases connected? Wendy Tynes is beginning to wonder if there’s a bigger story.
Wendy’s intuition points to other suspicious players and she can’t rest until she has it figured out, with the help of police investigators. Coben introduces many characters who seem to be one way, but have interesting hidden motives that are only made clear as the plot develops. The investigation takes the reader all around northern Jersey, with a couple Ivy League trips south to Princeton’s campus.
Caught is an exciting thriller that follows the circuitous leads after Dan’s arrest and the questionable motives of the story’s many characters. It’s a fast-moving and engaging and story that looks at issues of entrapment, vigilantism, destructive viral marketing and, of course, secrets. In addition to the crimes, Coben includes themes of marriage, families, raising teenagers, careers, and loss and he asks a question that has many answers: How far would you go to protect your family?
While some of the characters and plot lines stretch logic and plausibility, they are nevertheless entertaining. And despite the serious subjects, Harlan writes with a good amount of humor. In addition, any reader with ties to New Jersey will appreciate the unique references. Coben’s storytelling and writing style make the book a page-turner that is appealing to a broad audience. I recommend Caught to anyone who likes a fast moving thriller.
Harlan Coben has written twenty-six novels and has over seventy million books in print worldwide. He has won many awards for his writing. His first books featured the sports agent character, Myron Bolitar, but he has since branched out to write about other characters. Among his books are two separate series which are set in the New Jersey, New York area. Each series includes the same main characters, with some who appear in both.
His latest thriller is Home, about a high-profile kidnapping case of two young boys.
I love to imagine a writer’s friend group and found this fun author fact: Coben has two interesting close friendships. One with Amherst college fraternity brother, author Dan Brown and the other with high school chum and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Check out Coben’s website at harlancoben.com.
Click here to read about Coben in a 2012 Family Circle interview.
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