Harlan Coben is easily one of my favorite mystery writers. He has a knack for building suspense from the beginning of his books and building the tension until it’s almost unbearable. Tell No One is a perfect example of this skill. From the first page, the reader knows something bad is going to happen. Even as Coben weaves a strand of romance through his introduction of Dr. David Beck and his wife Elizabeth as they go for an anniversary drive, there is an underlying note of danger that will make you hold your breath.
As David remembers their thirteenth anniversary, glimmers of warning shift into the memories. By the end of the first chapter the foundation of the tale. I already felt as though I knew the happy couple. The story picks up eight years later as Dr. Beck cares for his patients in a low-income neighborhood. He’s everyone’s dream of a good guy, a doctor who cares more about his patients than making big bucks. He’s the kind of character you root for from the beginning. And when he is thrust into situations where painful memories are rejuvenated you ache for him.
The good doctor starts receiving mysterious e-mails and they send him into a tailspin. Although warned to tell no one, he is desperate to talk about the bizarre occurrences. Is his beloved wife Elizabeth alive or is someone playing a terrible and cruel joke on him? And who can he trust?
This is a brilliantly woven tale of dark secrets, deadly misunderstandings, and a love that won’t die. Even when things seem most bleak, David hangs on by a thread, desperate to believe Elizabeth has survived. But why has she been hiding for eight years and why won’t she come out now?
Most people have favorite characters in the books they read. While all the characters in this book have solid personalities, my favorite is Tyrese Barton. The only thing I’ll say about him is he reminds me a lot of guys I knew growing up in New York City. I think Coben must know the people in the neighborhood where I was raised, and I thank him for representing Tyrese with a raw honesty that gives a genuine picture of New York “gangstas”.
There is a delightful twist at the end of the book that I confess took me completely by surprise. There was a secret hinted at throughout the book and I believed I had figured it out. But Coben tricked me again and I’m grateful.
Mystery lovers, readers who need suspense with the flavor of reality, and the kind of tension that makes you clench your teeth and stay awake all night reading, need to grab a copy of this book and settle in for a ride down a dark and dirty road.