Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: Seconds Away by Harlan Coben

At times there are few stories which let a reader devise the path. It can be a quick finish or it can be a subtle approach. Anyways both of them lead to the end. Desirable or undesirable that's the point of question. Author Harlan Coben in his book "Seconds Away" let his characters speak for themselves. How well they handle pressure? Let's find out. 

When tragedy strikes close to home, teenager Mickey Bolitar and his loyal new friends - sharp-witted Ema and the ever-charming Spoon - find themselves at the centre of a murder investigation involving their friend Rachel. Now, not only does Mickey have to continue his quest to uncover the truth about the mysterious death of his father, he also needs to figure out what happened to Rachel - no matter what it takes.
Mickey has always been ready to sacrifice everything to help the people he loves. But how can he protect them when he's not even sure who - or what - he's protecting them from?

First look at the title and the cover and it gives goosebumps. Title sounds something on the lines of race against time. The blurb follows Mickey Bolitar and his friends in a new raging mystery. It doesn't gives out anything that saves the best for the reader. 

The story revolves around Mickey and his friends Ema, Rachel & Spoon. Life's never been kind to Mickey and it's not looking sunny in a new place too. His uncle Myron lends him support but he finds himself in a boiling mystery when Rachel is shot in the head and her mother murdered. From there on it's a cat and mouse game for the police and troubled Mickey to find the killer. So did he play a part in it? Who had the motive? What dangerous game is being played in the shadows? Who can be trusted and who cannot? Time will tell. 

Mickey Bolitar is an instant connect. An ordinary troubled character with tainted and tempered outlook he oozes defeat and purpose. Purpose to find about the past and defeat in setting things right. That's what binds him and the other characters. The sinking ship getting a murder mystery. Together murder and Mickey create menace and mess and lead up to n number of ends. The story hyping it up and building the scene to explode. The narratives switching from usual occurrences to people spoilt for choices, though not many. The suspense element is held on to for a longer period of time. 

The book loses its purpose as too much is revealed too quickly. The sparks also die out with visible lack of enthusiasm in the other characters. The book becomes more me than us. There are times when it traverse into unknown zones and tend to waive off into oblivion. There are no definite or concrete glue to hold the two ends together. It corrupts the inner core of the mystery and leave it brittle and exposed. 

All in all there is a certain love hate connect with the story. Even though it retains most of the element of suspicion it still fails to illicit a passionate finish. Very surreal and circle approach with dull narratives put it in a spot of bother. On a brighter side it is never straight forward and let a reader devour it all. There are no wrong steps only the approach is too measured. More open space was required to let the story blossom under the shades of blood and gore. Guess work keeps going to let the matters sink in to deep pits of nothing and let readers be as sumptuous. A mixed affair. 


3 OUT OF 5

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