Harlan Coben has been on my radar for quite some time now. I have heard a lot about his works and I was waiting for the moment to lay my hands on his works. His works seemed the perfect candidate for my reading preference. Last year, I watched the show The Five written by Coben and was blown by the script, the characters and the suspense. It’s one of the best shows I watched last year. Six Years was a random pick. I didn’t do any research to rank Coben’s best works. I saw this book at a book store and picked it up just for Coben. A work of advice- don’t follow this procedure.
Six Years has a very interesting plot. Jake, a professor, keeps his promise of staying away from his love Natalie for six years until he sees the obituary of Natalie’s husband. He remembers the moment he attended Natalie’s wedding and the promise she forced him to make to stay away from her and her life. Six Years. Six Years he kept his promise. But not a single day passed without him remembering her. When he realizes Natalie is alone now, he decides to pay her a visit. He tries to get in contact with her but is unable to find her. He contacts her sister who refuses to identify him. He contacts the church where they got married, but the church has no record of the wedding. He visits the café where he and Natalie used to spend all their time, but the attender refuses to recognize him. He searches for the retreat where Natalie stayed, but it doesn’t exist. Here is a point where as a reader I began to doubt if Natalie really existed or if the entire thing was a fragment of Jake’s imagination. The plot is set strongly here for past revelations and connecting the dots.
The book is very fast paced. There is lot of action, as in true action. But this affects the story. The story lacks depth. The emotions. I never felt for Jake. The character just didn’t connect. His love for Natalie was too shallow. His quest to find Natalie came out as some kind of a weird obsession rather than unconditional love. The story wavers between being an investigation and some spy game. I just couldn’t get all the facts in line because there was action all the time. I started to skip the action part searching for the story. We have hitmen sprawling around, questionable police officers, strange friends and acquaintances spread throughout the narration. There are many characters introduced and it takes time to understand who is who. The connection to the past is done nicely, the part where Jake realizes Natalie’s father taught in the same college of his, but the execution at the end- bringing all the loose ends together was extremely weak. When it is revealed that the entire happenings are related to some secret organization,- I was like what?! Give me something more believable please. The motto of the organization was forced and beyond my understanding. Natalie does make an appearance and her entire back story is too clichéd. The only portion that was interesting and attracted my attention was the story of Natalie’s father and how he is the source for all the happenings.
I don’t really have much to say about this more than that I expected a lot more. A very disappointing read, without any doubt. I am going to do some research and start fresh again on my adventure on Coben’s books.