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We met to discuss what was almost unanimously (at least to those who have read him) Harlan’s NOT so best work, I Will Find You.

Thank you to Emma for the delicious homemade snacks. Emma, feel free to reply all to this message with the recipes!

Before I get into the book, though, I want to announce the books that got chosen for July-November. 17 people weighed in and the top books got 9, 8, 6, 5, and 5 votes. We talked about limiting the number of books that get on the list because this one was just WAY too long (and I think it watered down the votes). So from now on, please continue to put your suggested books in BookMovement, but if we have too many, I will limit each person to 3 recommendations. So make sure the ones you put there are really ones you want to read/recommend, rather than just any random mystery.

  • July: Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly
  • August: End of Story by AJ Finn
  • September: Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera
  • October: The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose
  • November: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley
  • December was previously voted on and it's: The Man With the Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes

We had a few members who have never read Harlan Coben, but the majority have not only read him, but are big fans. He’s one of the top chosen authors for our group (see the Wiki stats). Therefore, we were a bit disappointed in this book. I guess they can’t all be gems, and there has to be a least best in any author’s order of books. Many Crime & Beyond members thought that this one would be at the bottom on a Harlan list. But....there’s something to the concept that the worst Harlan Coben book is still better than the best (insert your fave here: Ruth Ware, Lisa Jackson, whoever wrote Cathy Martin). Which is evident by the scoring below: 15 out of 24 scores were 7 or higher.

The scores were: one 9, seven 8s, seven 7s, five 6s, three 5s, and one 4.

We also listed our favorite character from the story and we had 5 people who were team Nicky the Mob Boss, 5 people who were team David, 2 who were team Pixie, 2 who were team Max, 1 for team Sophia, and 1 for team Pharmacy friend of David’s. I loved it that so many favorites were the Baddies.

The positive points about the book were that it was an easy read, a fast read, light, had a good premise, entertaining, humorous, a great ride, non-meandering, and in book reality it made sense (we were able to suspend our disbelief and go with it). Gail and I, and maybe 1 or 2 more, loved the Max/Sarah FBI Banter. It was cheesy and corny, but also laugh out loud funny. Joel was sucked right into the story (correct me if I’m wrong, but Joel I think this was your first Harlan book).

Nicky and his boardwalks tickled a lot of people, hence so many being team Nicky above. We also liked that the 2 issues in the story had different culprits. David was convicted based on eyewitness testimony that Nicky coerced, and his son was taken by Hayden. Both people conspired separately and were responsible.

On the minus side, some weren’t able to suspend disbelief and didn’t like that David had to beat up a cop and shoot 2 people. Made him less of a good guy, perhaps? We didn’t like that there were no big twists. Harlan is really known for his twists and there just weren’t any in this book; there was no real hook. It was more a howdunnit than a whodunnit and many of us didn’t like that. It was The Fugitive instead of Knives Out.

A few people didn’t like the whole idea of ending the main story with David getting shot, only to have a months later epilogue to wrap up the story – now called an Epilogue Dump in Crime & Beyond. And during that epilogue we found out that David got together with Rachel, his ex-wife’s sister. A few didn’t like that concept, thought it was creepy.

Some thought David was whiney and weak. Others said the story wasn’t sticky, which led us into a discussion of the opposite of sticky. A sticky story sticks with you (kind of self-explanatory). Non-sticky just didn’t sound right, so I am going with Slippery (slips right out of your head when you close the book).

To be honest, it all makes me tug my forelock.

TugMyForelock

Lastly, we had some TV/Movie recommendations:

We will meet on June 24 to Discuss Mother Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon. I will lead and Susan will bring snacks.

Until then, enjoy your holiday weekend.

Kerry

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