Title: Just One Look
Writers : Harlan Coben
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
My Rating: 3 on 5
I read my share of non-fiction and literary fiction, but what got me started as a serious book reader was murder mystery or thrillers. No matter how heavy a book I am reading, give me a thriller any day and I am happy. I can’t read them too many in a row, but they are great as fillers and act as brain bleach when you are done with a heavy read and don’t have the energy to pick another similar book. They go fast, you don’t need to think too much about them and they satisfy your curiosity of ‘what next’.
Just One Look is one such book. It is about Grace Lawson who finds a strange, old photograph of her husband along with her recently developed vacation photos. She is puzzled how such an old photo got into her pile and on confronting her husband, gets an extreme reaction from him which ends with her husband leaving the house in the middle of the night. When he does not return for some days, she suspects something is fishy and launches a full fledged search for her husband. What starts off as an innocent search turns messy and she discovers many buried secrets, some related to her husband, and some of her own.
Coben creates a very strong plot and the suspense is set in from the word go. He creates an interesting protagonist in Grace and creates a tale for her which becomes entangled with the main track and we readers know nothing is as innocent as it looks. Eric Wu comes across as a devil and just reading about him gave me shivers some times.
The best part about the book is it is a page-turner, what every mystery novel should be. You don’t want to put the book down until you know why things are they way they are. Easy language, not many distractions from the main plot and fast pace makes this book one quick read.
The plot gets thicker as we read and somewhere Coben loses the grip and the story appears muddled. The main motive behind the crime remains unjustified or not satisfactorily enough. When the built-up suspense is so high and many questions are raised, the climax needs to be dramatic, but the book ends somewhat abruptly and leaves you with a bitter taste, making you wish the author had tied the ends in a better way. It is a good read nevertheless. If you need a filler, this is a good one.