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Customer Review

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, At Best!, 11 April 2012
This review is from: Stay Close (Hardcover)
With the exception of Miracle Cure, I've read all of Coben's adult audience books and enjoyed them all, albeit some more than others. This string of praise-worthy books has come to an end for me with Stay Close.

I won't provide a plot summary as this can be gotten from the Amazon Book Description above. I'll just say that Coben's latest standalone, which is set primarily in Atlantic City and the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, involves the violent intersection of several lives that are overshadowed by past events. Broadly speaking, this plot concept has been used by Coben in several of his other books and, though no longer very original, he succeeded in executing them quite well in the past. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Coben's ability to execute his plot concept in Stay Close left me pretty unfulfilled.

Overall, I consider Stay Close to be just an okay read -- at best. What makes me judge this book as "okay" (and not worse) is attributable to Coben's narrative skills and plot pacing, which kept me turning the pages at a brisk pace from beginning to end. Coben gets a lot credit from me on this point because I felt Stay Close had little else that deserves strong praise. In particular, I felt the plot execution lacked credibility and much excitement, and the characters were mostly thinly developed, unlikable, and failed to make me care what happens to them. And, while on the subject of characters, Coben's Ken and Barbie-like team of professional thugs came across to me as laughable and ridiculous and, as a consequence, unthreatening.

If you've been a long-time, loyal Coben fan you're likely going to want to read this book regardless of my review and other reviews giving Stay Close a three star rating or lower. While I don't think Stay Close is a bad book, it's not one that I'd recommend you rush out to read. I cannot recommend books that are just okay, at best.

I hope this review provides some help in deciding if Stay Close is a book for you.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 May 2012 19:11:27 BDT
enjaybee says:
Got to agree with this review in every way. I'd even go as far as to say that it reads like something that Coben has had in the drawer for some time, and has finally got around to finishing/updating.
Certainly not up to standards previously set.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2012 19:36:21 BDT
bobbewig says:
Thanks, Enjaybee, for taking the time to share your thoughts on my review. Much appreciated.

Posted on 19 Feb 2013 16:55:16 GMT
Batmobile says:
I agree with this in every way except I think 3 stars was generous. Possibly because we expect so much more from his stand-alone books, this was extremely disappointing. I hope the next is back up to par.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2013 18:43:41 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Feb 2013 18:44:30 GMT
bobbewig says:
Thanks, Batmobile, for commenting on my review. Like you, I'm hoping Coben's next book will be up to the high standard he established for himself in his earlier stand-alone books. If it is not, it will be his third consecutive book that I felt is just okay at best, and he will no longer be an author whose books I'll buy based on his name alone.

Posted on 23 Mar 2013 10:22:34 GMT
S. Lyons says:
I can only agree. I'm a long-time Coben fan and I bought this book "blind" as I can rely on him that his stand-alone books are brilliant, but I was a bit disappointed about this one. It is good but not as brilliant as his other stand-alone books. Nevertheless, I would still buy his future books in the hope that he goes back to his old style.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Mar 2013 19:34:50 GMT
bobbewig says:
Thanks, S. Lyons. I've been undecided about reading Coben's newest book (Six Years) due to the very mixed reviews it's been getting here in the U.S.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2014 14:13:33 GMT
Totally agree with the Barbie and Ken comments, that ruined the whole book for me, totally ridiculous and unbelievable characters, dont know what Coben was thinking of.
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Review Details



Location: New Jersey, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,040