Monday, October 14, 2013

Crime & Beyond Book Club: Harlan Coben's SIX YEARS

Kerry Hammond reports back from the latest meeting of the Crime & Beyond Book Club. This month's pick was SIX YEARS by Harlan Coben. 

The Crime & Beyond book of the month for September 2013 was Six Years by Harlan Coben. The club has read several Coben books in the past, and they always provide a lot of discussion points and usually a few tricky plot twists to talk about. Six Years was no different, and brought out a record number of club members for the discussion. It can be hard to reign in 18 people, but we did just fine.

The ratings for the book were mostly in the 6-9 range, with a lot of 7s and 8s. A lot of people really liked the book, were very entertained, and found it to be believable. Some of the praise resulted from the whole plot concept and unraveling of the mystery, as well as the humor the author always manages to provide in his books.

On the other side of the coin, other members found the story a bit contrived and Jake extremely sappy. They felt that a couple of the surprises were thrown in to ease the plot along, rather than because they were a normal progression of the events that were taking place.

Let’s talk about the plot first. A few points were taken away by some members for the backstory that was eventually revealed (specifics have been removed for spoiler content). Then there was the issue of Jake’s pursuit of Natalie, who was the love of his life, even though he only knew her for a short time. I wasn’t the only one who went with the fact that Jake never got over Natalie and had good reason to pursue her after he saw Todd’s obit. Many of us found that to be entirely plausible. In addition, we liked the twist at the end where you found out why Natalie was running.

I always find it interesting to hear one member say they like the book for a specific reason, and then have another member say they didn’t like it for that exact specific reason. Readers are as diverse as the books we read, and I am thankful that writers continue to provide us with stories that some will love and some will hate—but that all provide good discussion content.

Lastly, some additional Harlan news was provided. He is going to write a Young Adult book featuring Myron Bolitar’s nephew, Mickey. There is a trailer for the book on Harlan’s website. Also, Six Years is going to be made into a movie. You’ll never guess who is going to play Jake...

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