Thursday, January 27, 2011

Caught, by Harlan Coben

For a while in my 30s, I pretty much read nothing but mysteries and thrillers.  This was in no small part due to the fact that that's wheat my mother was reading, and if you've ever read my blog you know that she was the supplier for my reading addiction when I was too poor to supply myself.  As a result of this rather narrow range of reading options, I have a mystery/thriller formula pretty much sewn up in all its various permutations.  Private detective stories, average guy stumbles onto a mystery stories, forensic anthroplogist/forensic scientist stories, psychiatrist-as-detective stories-chances are that if there is a kind of mystery out there I have read it. While I still enjoy reading them, they rarely surprise me too much.  Usually I've figured out what's happening long before the characters, so it's a treat to find a story where I am truly surprised.  Lucky for me, I read Caught, by Harlan Coben.

Caught follows several characters, but the protagonist is Wendy Tynes, a tabloid TV reporter who works for a "To Catch a Predator" kind of show.  After airing an episode that destroys a local do-gooder, Wendy starts to question whether she was used to set him up.  She starts investigating, and finds out that nothing is really as it seems. (of course, when is it ever in a mystery?)

My favorites of Coben's books are his Myron Bolitar books, and this one makes a passing reference to some of the characters from that series.  Win, Bolitar's amoral best friend, plays a minor role in the resolution of the story.  It was kind of fun having them there, though it did make me wish for a new book in that series.  It felt a little bit like teasing a little kid with a candy bar and then only giving them one little square.  But I thought that the story was well-paced, and I couldn't put it down.  I was also interested in the way that Coben portrayed the show about sexual predators.  I've always had a problem with that kind of "gotcha", and this situation gave me some interesting insight.  Overall I recommend this book for the mystery lovers out there.

1 comment:

  1. I read this book but have not read the series you mentioned, I will have to check it out. I liked this book, it was a good mystery!

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