Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

This is the latest release by Harlan Coben. It is part of the In The Pub Challenge since it was published this year.

This is the story of Mike Baye, a doctor who is holding a patient's family secret, as well as a father who is losing his own teenage son. In the course of the story, Mike and his wife, Tia, decide to spy on their son through a number of high tech computer devices. Their son, Adam, is grieving the suicide of a close friend, but there is much more wrong than he has revealed to his parents. Mike starts to get more and more wrapped up in his son's world, through the spying, and finds out what is really going on with his son.

In the Author's Note for the book, Coben explains that the technology used in the book is actually available, though produce names have been changed. This both shocked and educated me because I'm aware of all the issues surrounding Facebook, MySpace, and Instant Messenging. I also truly believe that people can get into trouble with the anonymity of these things. However, I was surprised at the sophistication of the monitoring potentials and worry about their effects on our society.

STRENGTHS OF HOLD TIGHT: As normal, Coben creates characters that you really care about. Mike is a dad who just wants to help his son. Tia is a mom in the same boat. The plot has some interesting twists and turns which did keep me interested.

WEAKNESSES OF HOLD TIGHT: I can't quite put my finger on it, but this wasn't one of my favorite of his books. The plot seemed to move too slowly and, while interesting, the computer stuff didn't make for very exciting reading. I also thought the subplot about the neighbor's family was a bit contrived and overly dramatic.

Overall, I'd have to give this one 3 stars. I think I was expecting more from Coben. This book just didn't hold my attention the way his others have. Let me know what you thought of this one if you've read it.


Jeane said...

It sounds interesting to me just because of the spying w/technology aspect. I might take a look at it.

Anonymous said...

I really like Harlan Coben's books and just opened Hold Tight, looking forward to a great read. I was disappointed and a little distracted by the last sentence of the Author's Note on the very first page, which reads, "The product names have been changed, but really, who is that going to stop?" Shouldn't it be "whom is that going to stop?"