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Supercharged by a father's fierce drive to rescue his kidnapped daughter, Coben's third stand-alone thriller proves far more gripping than his second, Tell No One. Marc Seidman, a plastic surgeon near New York City, wakes up in a hospital to learn that he has been gravely wounded, his wife shot dead and his infant daughter, Tara, snatched. The ensuing narrative, which shuttles between third person and Marc's first person, covers more than a year in Marc's hunt for Tara and climaxes twice with his fumbling of payments in response to ransom demands, plunging him into despair. A smartly drawn supporting cast supports Marc in his quest, including an old girlfriend-an ex-FBI agent-who reappears in his life; Marc's lawyer, who's also his best friend; a cop/FBI duo who for a while suspect Marc of engineering the snatch and ransom demands; and a working-class hero who joins forces with Marc near the end of his hunt and steals every scene he's in. On the villain's side lurk several shady folk, including a psychopathic former child star and her hulking boyfriend. The plot is overly complicated, and there's a revelation at book's end that veteran thriller readers will have sussed out long before. Those flaws matter little, though, in the face of the emotional onslaught of Marc's gut-wrenching, self-questioning, relentless narration, which will carry readers like a tidal wave through the novel's twists and turns. What Coben's thriller lacks in originality, it makes up for in sheer vigor; few browsers or dippers will put this down.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* Very few writers can induce in their readers the kind of trancelike state, punctuated by frequent "wows," that most of us associate with much-loved books from childhood. Coben can. Although he has had a fairly short mystery-writing career (this is his fourth novel), Coben has already won a great deal of acclaim. He is the only writer to have won all three of the genre's most competitive awards: the Edgar, the Anthony, and the Shamus. His current thriller is as pleasantly painful to read as its predecessors. Coben starts with an excruciating premise: What would you do if your infant were kidnapped? His hero, a plastic surgeon specializing in pediatric reconstructions, has no known enemies. But he wakes up 12 days after having been shot in his own home to discover that his wife has died, his six-month-old daughter has been taken, and he himself is a suspect. When the kidnappers make contact, promising that there will be "no second chance" if the cops or feds are brought into the case, Coben's hero is thrown into an agony of hope and indecision. The novel, spanning 18 months and jumping between the father and the kidnappers, sets off depth charges of meets, double-crosses, near-misses, and vengeful acts. Coben holds it together with his hero's determination and smarts. This is the kind of book that will leave readers dazed--but only after they finally look up from the final page. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
I expected more from Harlan Coben. It was very confusingPublished 4 months ago by giseline stigners
This novel will keep you up, dying to find out the ending.
Written mostly from the doctor's perspective, this psychological mystery feeds you bits and pieces of the puzzle. Read more
Dr. Marc Seidman has been shot, his wife murdered and his baby daughter kidnapped. When Marc is finally ready to go home from the hospital his wealthy, priggish father-in-law... Read morePublished on April 1 2012 by AceofHearts
Marc Seidman comes to in the hospital to learn that he has recovered from a near fatal gunshot wound. Read morePublished on March 1 2009 by Paul Weiss
At home. Breakfast time. Another ordinary day. But everything changes in the space of a minute. Plastic surgeon Marc is shot at and is left for dead. Read morePublished on July 30 2008 by ELI (Italy)
I simply couldn’t stop reading this book lucky for me the weather was on my side.
This white-knuckle thriller is about loyalty of old friends and the bond between parent... Read more
This book is a real page turner. Just to wait up from a coma, only to find that you are the prime suspect of the murdered of your wife and possibly of you own child can be... Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by Lorraine Brown
Plastic surgeon Dr. Marc Seidman awakens in an intensive care unit realizing that he had been shot both in the chest and head in Harlen Coben's "No Second Chance". Read morePublished on July 11 2004 by Cory D. Slipman
I read this book with trepidation. Recently having read my first Harlan Coben book Tell No One and recommending it to everyone, I feared my initial enthusiasm might be in vain. Read morePublished on July 5 2004 by lovz2read