Book Review 'Six Years' by Harlan Coben

No doubt about it, Harlan Coben has “got it goin’ on;” a new novel every year, movies, No Second Chance, a six episode, French television crime drama, and The Five, a 10 episode series in Britain. Surprisingly, he claims to love writing for tv, so much so that it sends his movie adaptions somewhere down on the list of priorities.

Nevertheless, Hugh Jackman signed on for the role of Professor Jake Fisher in the silver screen version of my favorite Corben novel to date, Six Years. Jackman is the perfect match and I hope the film lives up to the high standards already set by the book. IMDb claims, the project is currently in development.

Set in a small New England university community, Professor Jake Fisher is in a comfortable place in his life. Although he is struggling through academia to attain a greater status among the hierarchy and of course, the more palatable salary that such accreditation provides, he is well on his way to achieving his goals, at least, until he reads an obituary in the school’s alumni newspaper.

At this point, Jake’s life takes a dangerous turn as he walks down memory lane to a wedding he attended six years prior. Not just any wedding, but one with where the bride was the only women he was sure he would ever love.

Unfortunately, she had made him promise to never look for her.  As he stares at the obituary of her now dead husband, in Jake’s mind all previous promises are now obsolete and he sets out on a deadly journey to find his long lost lover.

As with all Harlan Coben novels, the most compelling part of the story does not rest on the surface of the plot; there is always a deeper situation that leaves the reader thinking; “Gee, I never thought of that or I was wondering how something like that might happen.”

In Six Years, Coben orchestrates a plausible set of circumstances within a well-thought out organization, where a person, despite advanced technology, could live off the grid.  Although, it is complex from inside the novel’s suspenseful thesis, the particulars do not seem impossible for an everyday criminal. It just leaves you thinking.

Jake is a fascinating character with a sexy, sensitive side that rests just beneath the cover of the awkward professor determined to face any threat to find the love of his life. It’s a thriller with mystery and suspense and at the end of it all is a magnificent and powerful love affair.

Six Years, published by Signet, a Penguin Group, is available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audio at Amazon and other book retailers.

Review by Sammy Sutton


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