Friday, December 17, 2010

Review - Play Dead

Title: Play Dead
Author: Harlen Coben
Publishing Date: 2010
Genre: General Fiction
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from my co-worker.

Play Dead is Harlan Coben's first published novel. It has been rereleased this year. There is a letter from the author warning readers that if this is your first experience to reading one of his books he suggests that they stop reading, go and get another of his books and then come back to this one. I had to laugh because this book is my first by Mr. Coben and I couldn't read a different one because this was December's book club choice. So, I went into reading this book with an open mind.

I can completely see how Harlan Coben has been able to keep readers spellbound and why he has such a following. The story he weaves is one that makes readers try to figure out what the hell is going on. He gives the reader just enough information to keep them hanging on to find out what next little secret he is going to reveal.

Now having said all that, I can see why he was apologizing to his fans and telling new readers not to start with this book. It is painfully obvious to me that this is an inexperienced author. The story is rich with its twists and turns, but it is executed poorly. The book was 500+ pages and could have been told in 300 and I would have been satisfied. Often times the clues where all too stingily delivered to have them pounded into the ground over and over by different character view points.

I found Play Dead to be an entertaining read. But I thought the two main characters were slightly superficial and the book a little too long. Other than that, I felt that Harlan Coben has great potential and wouldn't be averse to trying something else by him. Do any of you who have read him before have recommendations?


Hilcia said...

Jill, I'm so glad that you read Harlan Coben, even though it was that first book!

Books I recommend? Well, I still have The Innocent in my bookshelves and I also read, enjoyed and can recommend No Second Chance and Hold Tight. He has a series that a LOT of people like and read -- the Myron Bolitar series -- but I don't read those.

Jill D. said...

Hilcia - Thank you for the recommendations. I'll put Innocent on my list. Just curious but why don't you read the Myron Bolitar series since it is so popular?

Hilcia said...

Jill, I've always meant to start that series at some point. But you know how it is... the series begins to build up (books add up), and I "discovered" it when it was already in progress. Maybe at some point? ;P So, I pick up his stand alones instead.