Top positive review
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Easily Read, Though No Great Surprises
on January 24, 2007
"Tell No-One", first published in 2001, is Harlan Coben's eighth book - though is his first not to feature Myron Bolitar. Instead, the book's hero is David Beck. He'd known his wife, Elizabeth, from childhood - they'd met when they were seven, had their first kiss at twelve underneath a tree at Lake Charmaine and married at twenty-five. (Lake Charmaine was once a kids' summer camp, and is now owned by David's grandfather). After their first kiss, they carved their initials on the accompanying tree and, being a very cheesy couple, returned every year to add another notch beneath them. However, the evening they add their thirteenth notch, the couple are attacked - David is left for dead, while Elizabeth is abducted. Three days later, Elizabeth's body is found and is later identified by her father - from the signature branding, it seems the couple had been attacked by the serial killer Elroy "KillRoy" Kellerton.
Time moves on, though David remains single and never properly gets over Elizabeth's death. Eight years later, he's working as a paediatrician, with the majority of his patients on Medicaid. Unfortunately, events are about to bring what happened at Lake Charmaine back to the surface. The first thing provides possibly the biggest shock of them all - an email from Elizabeth, containing phrases only she should've known. The same afternoon, David is contacted by the local Sheriff about two bodies that have just been found near the lake. A baseball bat buried with them has blood traces on it that matches David's blood group - B positive. However, while it's not entirely clear what part - if any - these men played in the attack on David and Elizabeth, things aren't about to get any better.
Obviously, David finds this all very unsettling. Despite a warning in one of Elizabeth's emails - "tell no-one" - David decides to confide in Shauna, his ex-roommate and his sister, Linda's, long-term partner. Linda manages the Brandon Scope Memorial Charity, named after the son of a local billionaire who'd been murdered several years previously. The charity had been founded by the billionaire, Griffin, an ex-classmate of both David's and Elizabeth's fathers. Unfortunately, it's clear from very early in the book that Griffin has some business dealings some very unsavoury people and is keeping a very close eye on Davis.
Overall, I found "Tell No-One" a very enjoyable and easily read book. Coben tells the story in two distinct styles. The sections of the book about David are told from his point of view ("I tried to reach for it, but someone leapt in my back"). However, the sections that focus on other characters are written about them ("Griffin hung up the phone and snapped on a pair of latex gloves"). While the approach may put some off, I felt it worked well. The ending, on the other hand, seemed a little too neat and not quite as dramatic as it should've been. Nevertheless, it's still a recommended book.