Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

            Who doesn't love a murder mystery surrounding a stripper turned soccer mom?

            Megan left her past behind a long time ago. For nearly seventeen years she has been living the busy, satisfying life of a suburban homemaker, selling a little real estate on the side. She has a loving husband, two teenagers and no regrets. But sometimes she misses the excitement of the old life just a little.

            While on a business trip to Atlantic City, she gives in to the temptation to drop by one of her old haunts. Suddenly, the past becomes very present in her life.

            A man who had been stalking and abusing her went missing the night she walked away from her old life. The police have had an open missing person case for seventeen years, but rumors have started to surface that he has recently been seen in Atlantic City again. A second man, in love with her, started a long, slow slide into depression and alcoholism the same night. The police have long assumed Megan had something to do with the disappearance, but another recent disappearance on the seventeenth anniversary of the first has them looking at things again.

            Surveillance from the nights of the two disappearances show lots of people wearing beads as they leave the club. And, they finally put the disappearances together with Mardi Gras. They begin to look at Mardi Gras on other years only to discover a disturbing pattern of disappearances. And the hunt for a serial killer begins.

            Megan doesn't know much, but she is the only lead the police have. Her happy home and her very life are put at risk as she struggles to do the right thing for her old life. With her help, the dogged police detective finally runs the killer to ground, a killer he has known for decades.

            This was a pretty good read. I liked it, although there were parts I didn't think needed to be there -like the issues with her mother in law. And I wondered what the title had to do with anything until it became quite clear at the end of the story. If you like who-done-its, definitely pick this one up.

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