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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

Fool Me OnceFool Me Once by Harlan Coben

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: 
In the course of eight consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers, millions of readers have discovered Harlan Coben’s page-turning thrillers, filled with his trademark edge-of-your-seat suspense and gut-wrenching emotion. In Fool Me Once, Coben once again outdoes himself.

Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.

Read as an audio book.

I've mentioned before, a narrator can make or break an audio book. I'm on the fence about Ms. LaVoy. She has good intonation, is very expressive emotionally, guys voices are decent, and the childs voice wasn't grating. Flip side of that is, perhaps a bit too much emoting - as the book moved along, Maya became more grating, demanding and whining than I cared for. I'm not sure if this is how the book was written, or the narrators interpretation.

Oh, I am so conflicted about this book...

On one hand the set up made no sense at all, it was overly convoluted, it was implausible, it was...bizzare.

On the other hand, I admit I didn't really see the end coming. Mostly. About 2/3 of the way through I began to pick up on some not so subtle hints that I shan't say here.

Some of my issues with the plot:

Confronting the nanny with the video, but not making a back-up first and THEN telling the nanny which devise was recording. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Then, later, the nanny claiming she knew it was a nanny cam because of how quickly it appeared after the funeral. Maybe plausible, maybe not - because it was, bottom line, a gift.

Over use of "I don't understand". I really wish I had a way to figure out how many times that phrase was used, because it was a lot.

Maya's self flagellation became irritating. Everything was Maya's fault, right back to the video that caused her sister to run to the books equivalent of "wikileaks", it was her fault her sister was spying on the Brickettes, it was her fault her husband was dead (because of the video which caused the sister to run to wikileaks...). You get the idea.

I'm a bit conflicted about her demanding bitch side - in a guy it would be considered direct - unless it's the Harry Bosch character, then just annoying. But more often than not I wondered if her character would have been better using honey to get what she wanted, rather than the bull in a china shop approach.

I didn't understand her need to "protect" Shane - she trusted him with her life, but, not. It didn't make sense. There was the perfect person to bounce all the crazy shit off of, to talk theories over with, who wasn't emotionally involved but she didn't.

So I had really mixed thoughts on this book. It's pretty standard Coben, similar to Tell No One, more of a psychological thriller and about as far from a police/FBI/detective procedural as a person can get. Which is a refreshing change. And I thought ending was...different.

I just don't do "stupid" well, and there was a lot of "stupid".

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