I found Harlan Coben’s Six Years at a Booksale’s P20 pile. I read the first two pages and I was hooked. I wondered how an intriguing book would end up with a missing dust jacket on the floor of some used-book shop, just a couple of years after its original release date. So I picked it up and kind of forgot about it until earlier this year.
The book was honestly difficult to put down. I went through it in a little less than four days. I found a new appreciation for the thriller/mystery genre. If you haven’t yet read this amazing story, I suggest you do before continuing to avoid spoilers.
Jake Fisher believes that he had found his one true love, Natalie, but has somehow ended at the back pew of a small chapel watching her marry another man. At the end of the ceremony, he is then forced to promise that he will no longer interfere with her life. He’s kept that promise for six years, until he happened upon the obituary of a Todd Sanderson – the man Natalie married. Things take a turn when he finds that the widow Todd has left wasn’t the woman Jake loved. He then begins to ask questions about Natalie and finds that it’s as if she had never existed. If there was no Natalie, who was the person Jake had spent a whole summer with?
Six Years set a wonderful mood that had me turning the page. The story has several intriguing twists that had me at the edge of my seat. Coben built a big-enough environment that consistently kept me invested in the story and a sense of longing that made me crave answers.
Jake’s persistent determination was something out of a fantasy, and sadly, that’s where my feelings for the book wavers. After being chased off by thugs, mobsters, and even his own best friend, Jake remains undeterred. I wouldn’t say the book lacked realism, but it was at times, unreasonable.
Another thing that disappointed me was the fairy tale ending. The book was, for me, one chapter too many. It felt like I was reading a novel that is one age category lower that when I had started. I understand that Coben is an avid thriller/mystery novelist and one thing that makes him this is the ability to leave no loose ends behind. However, I believe that the book can stand even without the sneak peek into what is Jake’s happily ever after.
I highly recommend Harlan Coben’s Six Years; it made me question my thoughts and feelings for myself and others. It also made me rethink my definition of what it is to know and love someone. It made me, at times, paranoid about the people around me but that’s just more proof of how much grip the book had on me.