I Will Find You by Harlan Coben @centurybooksuk

My thanks to Century Books for an advance copy for review

Source: Review copy
Publication: 16 March 2023 from Century
PP: 416
ISBN-13: 978-1529135503

David and Cheryl Burroughs are living the dream – married, a beautiful house in the suburbs, a three year old son named Matthew – when tragedy strikes one night in the worst possible way.

David awakes to find himself covered in blood, but not his own – his son’s. And while he knows he did not murder his son, the overwhelming evidence against him puts him behind bars indefinitely.

Five years into his imprisonment, Cheryl’s sister arrives – and drops a bombshell.

She’s come with a photograph that a friend took on vacation at a theme park. The boy in the background seems familiar – and even though David realizes it can’t be, he knows it is.

It’s Matthew, and he’s still alive.

David plans a harrowing escape from prison, determined to do what seems impossible – save his son, clear his own name, and discover the real story of what happened that devastating night.

I love Harlan Coben’s writing. It’s smooth, fluid, fast paced and he writes characters so well. But you do have to take your disbelief, and wrap it in cotton wool before proceeding, because this brilliant pure escapism.

David Burroughs is in a Maine prison in maximum security, serving a sentence for filicide – the killing of his three year old son Matthew in a brutal, bloody fashion. He doesn’t remember doing it, but the evidence left little room for doubt and he had been having issues with his marriage and his mental health was impacting on his sleep.

He accepted his sentence, refused to see any visitors and eventually his wife moved on and re-married. Now, after 5 years, he suddenly has a visitor. His sister-in-law Rachel, a journalist with her own history of disgrace, has brought him a photograph. And that photograph changes everything. Because in the background there’s a man’s hand and that man is holding the hand of a small boy that he knows in his heart is his son, Matthew.

Now everything has changed and David will have to use all his resources to get out of prison and find his son – with only one photograph to help point him in the right direction.

There follows a whole set of events that lead in a plethora of different directions, putting lives at risk, introducing us to some exceedingly dodgy characters and taking us on a rollercoaster ride that twists and turns until we are so dizzy it’s hard to tell what is up and what is down. This book is certainly enlivened by two FBI agents Max and his partner Sarah, whose wisecracking approach to interrogation certainly produces interesting results. I also enjoyed the cameo appearance from lawyer Hester Crimstein.

There are lots of nicely done tropes packed into I Will Find You, from the mobsters with a sense of honour to the wife who may be hiding secrets from her husband and in the end it wasn’t all that hard to see where this story was going. But my, what a wild ride it is to get there!

Verdict: Fast moving escapism with lots of imaginatively drawn very bad guys, thrilling chases, more than one show down and a plot that twists and turns like a rollercoaster on steroids. Sterling stuff from Harlan Coben. Just right for a snow day when you wrap up in a duvet to keep warm and read to take your mind off the world. And we all need that now and again, right?

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With more than eighty million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the worldwide number 1 bestselling author of numerous thrillers, including Run AwayThe Boy from the Woods, Win and The Match as well as the multi-award-winning Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in forty-six languages and are bestsellers in more than a dozen countries. Coben is also the creator and executive producer of many television shows, including the Netflix Original dramas Stay Close, The Stranger and Hold Tight, as well as the upcoming Amazon Prime series adaptation of Shelter which is based on Coben’s YA novel of the same name. Coben is currently developing 14 projects, including Run Away, with Netflix in the US and internationally. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

Published by marypicken

Passionate book reader. Love all kind of books from 19th century novels to crime thrillers. My blog is predominantly crime, psychological thrillers and police procedurals with a good helping of literary fiction thrown in.

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