I Will Find You by Harlan Coben Review

When I got back into reading regularly, one of the first authors who caught my eye was Harlan Coben. I’d never read anything by him before, but soon found myself rushing to the library to borrow his books and then devouring them over the course of a week to several days, which is pretty common for me in terms of how long it takes to complete an average sized novel. I never knew that I was so into that type of mystery until I started reading his wares, and have since become a huge fan who’s done his best to acquire as many of Coben’s books as possible. Have I read them all yet? No. There are too many books and too little time. I have read a number of them, though, and share them with my father and grandfather who also like to read.

Upon seeing that Mr. Coben was releasing a new book this spring, I eagerly looked forward to it, especially since it seemed to be a standalone novel and not a continuation of a past series like Wilde’s. Don’t get me wrong, because I enjoyed those books, but I generally prefer good standalone books. That’s something this author is great at writing, too.

As soon as I could I purchased a copy of I Will Find You, even going to two or three different stores in order to try to find it. However, just before I sat down to read my copy, Grand Central Publishing sent me a review copy based on a request I’d sent. I was appreciative of that, and still am, but it didn’t sway my opinion or my review.

I Will Find You is the story of a man named David Burroughs, who’s been locked up for the past five years and has a life sentence to look forward to. Why? Well, they say that he killed his three year old son, Matthew, in a bout of sleepwalking or some sort of drunken rage. It’s the only explanation because David was the only one home with his son, had been drinking, doesn’t remember the night well and was seen — by a neighbour — burying the baseball bat that caved his kiddo’s skull in while he slept in bed. Did he do it? David doesn’t think so, but with no son to spend time with he doesn’t care what happens to him now. All of the light has left his life.

That is, until Rachel — David’s sister-in-law, whom he shared a good, friendly, relationship with — comes to visit him at the well guarded Main prison in which he resides. She’s his first visitor and, despite him telling them to send her packing, she sits down across from him and picks up the phone anyway. She has something to show him, she says, and what happens next change’s David’s life and outlook forever.

What Rachel shows David is one hell of a coincidence, but stranger things have happened. It’s a picture from an amusement park, showing Rachel’s friend’s kids. However, in the background, it’s possible to see an eight year-old boy who resembles Matthew. Hell, he even has the same portwine mark on his face, which doctors said would disappear over time. It’s possible that this kid just looks like an older version of Matthew, but David and Rachel feel it’s him and want to know whether that’s true or not. Thus, a plan is hatched to get David out of prison if only for a short time, spurring a manhunt involving two very colourful and comical FBI agents named Max and Sarah, who get their own chapters.

This is a story of a man who has nothing to lose. After all, he’s already facing a life sentence, and being caught will just mean going back to jail. Furthermore, if it’s not his son then it’s not his boy. He’s used to thinking that Matthew is dead, and being labeled a child killer, so what would change? He just has to figure out where that boy is, find him and put things to rest.

Like any good mystery/thriller, or any good Harlan Coben book, I Will Find You is an interesting read full of good, deep characters, and a number of twists. It’s also well written, as Coben books always tend to be. They’re easy to read, but he’s a good writer, too; much like Stephen King.

While I admittedly didn’t find the twists to be as shocking or impactful this time around, I enjoyed reading through this novel quite a bit. As expected, it was a well above average genre effort, and another good addition to this author’s resume. It’s not my favourite book by him, but he’s written some really great ones so that’s not an indictment. Fans of the genre(s) will surely enjoy it just like I did, making it a must read this spring or summer, or whenever.

I definitely recommend I Will Find You by Harlan Coben.

This review is based on a copy of the book that we were provided with.

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