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Thanks to everyone who dressed up for Halloween, it’s always fun to see the costumes. Gail won first prize with her Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Fantasia. Jeff won second prize with Sam Spade and his Maltese Falcon (the very thing that Hitchcock refers to when he talks about a MacGuffin).

Thank you also to Amy for her homemade (and original) Rice Krispy blondie bars. That’s not what she called them, but that’s what I am fondly remembering them as. My teeth still hurt but I’m not complaining one bit!

We met in October to discuss Harlan Coben’s Home. This was our first ever Myron Bolitar book that we’ve read in book club. We have read many of Coben’s standalone novels, but since he hasn’t written a Myron book in a while, we haven’t had one on our list. Like his standalone novels, though, the book got great reviews. We even had some first time Harlan Coben readers and they are now total converts.

Here’s a recap of the book. A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

The scores were as follows: one 10, one 9.5 (you know who you are), one 9.25 (you will get coal in your stocking at Christmas), nine 9s, one 8.67 (you are dead to me), six 8s, one 7.5 and one 7. Our readers did a great job of articulating (yeah, I said it) their thoughts about the book. We spent a lot of time discussing the characters and instead of a slap vote, we went around and mentioned our favorite characters. Win won (that’s fun to say) with 9 votes, but Myron was close behind. We also liked Zora and Fat Ghandi. Harlan Coben really knows how to create some strange and fun characters.

Most of the club members liked the mystery element of the book. Some thought it was slightly anti-climactic. Many knew that the kid was dead the whole time and others were waiting for him to surface. Janice thought it got a bit rushed at the end. Jay thought the book was fast and entertaining. Dave loves the author’s warped sense of humor. Stephanie though it was “super camp” and a “great romp” and she liked Win, the “psychopath with a bit of a heart.” Evan got tired of the basketball injury story. Jose loved it and liked reading from Win’s perspective, even though it was a tad scary. Deborah liked the relationships between characters. Amy noted that the writing style is different from Coben’s standalones.

It appeared that a couple of club members had trouble with the fact that the Mom took her kid to a body drop. Yep, that’s where we draw the line here at Crime & Beyond. Not only did the kid just shoot his friend, but his Mom couldn’t drop him off at school first. Nope, she had to take him to the quarry and let him watch her throw the lifeless carcass that was his little play pal into the water (at least I think that’s what she did with it). Years later it really was shocking that the kid had psychological issues.

We also chose 6 more books for next year at the meeting, and our choices are below. Stay tuned for which month they will each fit in, Terri is working her library magic.

  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
  • The Late Show by Michael Connelly
  • Crime Scene by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman
  • I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen
  • Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly
  • Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz

We will meet on November 27 to discuss The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz. Dave is leading AND bringing snacks for that meeting.

Happy Thanksgiving, see you in November.

Kerry

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